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The Red Light Bar Coffee Shop in Amsterdam

Wandering the streets of Amsterdam early in the morning really allowed for picture taking without thousands of people in the frame.

I loved this scene because of all the different colors there were to capture. From the orange flags for supporting the Dutch soccer team, to the neon signs, the Heineken sign, the graffiti in the alleyway, the red bricks, the awnings, the dirty black stairs…they just played so well together to create an explosion of color in an old town.

The door was closed to the coffee shop, but if it was anything like the other ones I passed with open doors…I’m sure there was some good smoking going on inside!

(More photos from my trip overseas: Holland Trip)

A few moments captured in Amsterdam

Sometimes you can get too attached to one kind of shot, one kind of lens and you forget that the world can be seen in a wide variety of ways. My first instinct when I landed in Holland was to capture EVERYTHING, hence my 17-35mm was the lens of choice. I wanted architecture, wide plazas, canals, cars, anything and everything…but in a wide scope.

For the first half of the trip, my 50mm 1.4 sat in the bag. But while I was in Bruges, I switched about halfway through and was thrilled at the shots I was getting. Tight shots, taking more time to compose and see what I wanted to get in the frame and mostly, the ability to get some great candid shots with my favorite lens.

There is no doubt…I can try to take candid shots with the wide angle, and sometimes they may work, but the 50mm feels like a weapon in my hands. How I love thee!

These are just a few random candid shots from Amsterdam on our last night there. Nothing earth-shattering, but I love these little peaks into the life of the city.

I read once that sometimes “travel photography” is more about capturing the people and moments, and not necessarily every famous structure or object. Everyone has seen the EiffelTower, but perhaps people haven’t seen a hard-working waitress at a little cafe down a quiet street.

It all depends on what you like. I happen to enjoy all of it.

(You can see more of my Holland pictures here: Holland Trip)

The Mercedes Benz of Amsterdam

I loved this old Mercedes Benz as I was walking the streets of Amsterdam and just had to take a few pictures of it. I have another view that contrasts the bike, but this one is something a little different than my normal HDR processing.

I processed the photo as a normal black and white, and then did a single-image HDR out of the color version of the RAW photo and then masked that into the B&W to come up with something a little more interesting to me personally.

I’m calling it an HDR Blend and would like to think up a better name for it, but jet lag has a hold on me and I’m a little bit sleepy *grin*

Anyways, give me some old buildings, cobblestones, bricks, and some nice sports cars and I could be taking pictures all day.

Welcome to Amsterdam

I was walking through what appeared to be a craft sale/art show/garage sale in the middle of Amsterdam when I stopped, looked right and saw these lovely ladies laughing at me. Then I noticed one of them wasn’t entirely decent.

Immediately upon seeing these girls, I thought “Welcome to Amsterdam, Mike!”  Hope you enjoy *grin*

(more photos from Holland by clicking on this link: Holland Trip)

Amsterdam – Bikes and Bikes

One thing about Amsterdam (and maybe a lot of other places in Europe, I can’t honestly speak truthfully since this is my first time overseas) is that there are a ton of people riding bikes. And even more than that are the number of bikes just chained up all over the city. Chained here, chained there, chained everywhere.

This is a little alleyway between two other “larger” roads going through Amsterdam Centraal.  I almost passed it, then looked at all the bikes and knew I needed a picture.

A few other photogs I follow would probably have loved to use their Tilt-Shift lenses on this scene, but since I don’t have one, I tried to get as close to the left wall as I could. This was taken with my new Tamron 17-35 about a foot away from that left wall.

My wife has already seen the shot and loves the tree at the end of the alley. I just love the details in the old bricks everywhere, plus the light touch of color from the flowers and flag up on the walls.

(You can see all the photos from my trip by browsing this tag: Holland Trip)