The City of my Birth – Rotterdam

Sterker door strijd!

When people think of visiting the Netherlands, they always think about Amsterdam and, possibly, The Hague, but relatively few think about visiting Rotterdam.  Each of these cities has their set of attractions with Amsterdam’s museums and canals, and the beach and parks of The Hague, but for my money you can’t beat the variety of what Rotterdam offers!  And, as the mystery slide for this week is set in Rotterdam…

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Centraal Station

The best way to visit Rotterdam is by public transportation; if you’re coming from outside the city, you’ll likely arrive at the central train station, or ‘Centraal Station’.  This completely modern transportation hub combines train, street car, bus and metro (subway) in one convenient package.  When using public transportation in the Netherlands you’ll want to get get an OV-Chipkaart, which is used for all modes of transportation; as a tourist you can buy an anonymous OV-Chipkaart, which comes preloaded and can be loaded at many check-points using your credit/debit card.  Just don’t forget to swipe your card when you get off you disembark!

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Skyscrapers!

A unique feature about Rotterdam’s architecture is the presence of skyscrapers in the center of the city.  Every other city center in the Netherlands consists of older architecture.  This is due to the fact that during the early days of World War II, the center of the city was flattened by German bombs during the so-called Rotterdam Blitz.  The notable surviving building from this onslaught is the St. Lawrence Church (St. Laurenskerk), which was damaged, but was restored and still stands proud surrounded by modern architecture.

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De Koopgoot

The center of Rotterdam is well-known for its shopping district that extends along the Coolsingel and the streets surrounding it.  As the Dutch love walking in their cities, the center has been set up to minimize the need for crossing the street.  An example of this is the Beurstraverse, which is better known as ‘de Koopgoot’ or, literally, the shopping gutter; as you can see, one just walks down the incline and continues shopping at the stores below ground level, as you cross the busy Coolsingel to get to more shops.

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Delftsevaart

As Rotterdam is a major port-city (‘Gateway to Europe’), water is never very far away.  As the port has expanded over the years and ships have become larger, some of the old harbors are no longer used for shipping, such as the Delftsevaart above.  They have either been filled in to make room for building or preserved as picturesque living areas right in the center of the city.

Hope you enjoyed this little overview of the city of my birth!

Rust Sleeps on the Farm

Young and old alike

For me there’s nothing better than being allowed to walk around on a farm with a camera.  Farms are great sources of inspiration with lots of unique, often rusty, items and little tableaux.

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The Old and New

Rust, to me, is a hallmark of venerable age and long utility, a badge to be worn with pride, as it indicates untold hours of toiling in all sorts of weather conditions.  When, after many years of service, retirement allows you to sit by the side of the road, you still look impressive and draw the attention of the young who pop up to see you.

Technical Details

Photograph was taken with an iPhone 5S using the standard Camera app with minor enhancements in Instagram.

Thursday’s Dog Star – vol 11

The mind of the dog

Dear Reader, please indulge me in this moment of pure love for the craziest of my canines…  As I’m in the process of reorganizing my disk storage and making it safer and more resilient against failure, I came across this playful image.

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Darwin’s Mind

Of course, when your name is Llanbryn’s Theory of Evolution, you have to be an advanced thinker, which Darwin certainly is.  Even at the ripe old age of 14-1/2, this capricious canine still looks to play tricks on his pack mates and human attendants alike.  It is pretty funny, when a dog who usually scares my wife, because he sleeps so deep that he doesn’t feel like waking up when a bomb goes off next to him, all of a sudden grabs a toy and starts racing around the house with it.

Such is the Darwin!

Technical Details

This was an iPhone 5S photo taken with the Camera app and messed with in Instagram.

WPC – Andy Warhol’s Dinnertime

Anyone for soup?

The current Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge theme is Dinnertime, which made me think of a series of images that I shot a number of years ago, as I had drawn inspiration from a rather iconic pop art work from the 1960s.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

This can is one of a sizable series of images that I shot of a major portion of the range of soups that Campbell had for sale that year.  After studying the technique used by Andy Warhol in his iconic ‘Campbell Soup Cans’ work, I attempted to emulate the look and feel of his acrylic paintings by adjusting the lighting and ensuring that the angle, at which I pointed my lens at each soup can, matched too.

At some point in time, I will print a full set of 32 images, so that I can hang them as a single installation; I actually have a space in mind for this.

Now, open a can of Chicken Noodle Soup and feed your body and soul!  Enjoy!!

Technical Details

The images were shot using a Canon EOS 5D Mk II camera with an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens.  The lighting setup included 2 strobes with softboxes balanced to get a rather flat lighting feel without any harsh shadows.

Inspired by Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Dinnertime

Wednesday Wonderment – pt 13

Among green giants

As we continue to explore the amazing world and universe, in which we find ourselves, I find myself continually drawn into the simple aspects of the natural world that surrounds us.  And when I say simple, I’m referring to the commonplace items, such as leaves, which show shape and variety seemingly without bounds.

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Form, shadow and light

On this beautiful Summer’s day, it was pure joy to look at the interplay of light and shadows among these variegated leaves.  These leaves already have stunning form and structure, which would also be a wonderful subject for a macro study (maybe later).  The bright light of the day just made them look that much more imposing.

When I see scenes of this kind, I very much enjoy approaching them from an angle that is low to the ground, as it allows the featured artists to be even bigger stars.  Looking up to the blue sky, the verdant leaves are imposing in their size, shape and beauty.  It is as if we find ourselves surrounded by an army of green giants, who are ever marching toward the sun.

Hope you enjoy this little bit of wonderment.

Technical Details

I captured this image with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/50 second at f/16 and 100 ISO (yes, there was a lot of light).

I did perform a bit of post processing in PhotoShop with an adjustment to crop this to a 4:5 aspect ratio and some minor sharpening and contrast adjustment.  The other ‘trick’ that I used was Topaz Labs Texture Effects with a mild application of the Lilac Tinge effect and the addition of a bit of Light Leak to get the sunburst in play.

Tuesday’s Tree – ep. 1

Green’s energy abounds

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re aware that I am a lover of trees and obsessed with a particular tree: the Yoga Tree.  Her strong beauty and vivid poses never cease to impress me, so I like to give her as much coverage as I can.  So how about a Tuesday’s Tree topic?

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Surveying the field

Of course, we’re starting with the Yoga Tree, but today from an angle that I don’t feature very often: a low view looking into the field that she keeps an ever-watchful eye on.

This image was from a beautiful July morning, when the sky was particular interesting as clouds were not lighted uniformly yet.  The scene is quite verdant and full of the promise of life’s boundless energy.

May your day be filled with similar energy!

Technical Details

This image was captured with an iPhone 5S using the standard Camera app.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Around the House

This doesn’t hold water

I’d like to kick off something new this week: a photo challenge, in which I’m asking you to participate, if you like.

Part of my reason for this new feature is that I want to work some new photography, some new excitement into my more routine work of landscape photography.  My inspiration for this comes from some of the recent posts by Instamatic Gratification and the discussion I have had with Caryn about her recent posts.  She mentioned that she was photographing some items around the house just to break out of a rut.

Therefore, I am starting this new series off with the topic ‘Around the House’.  Here’s my first image:

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Storage Facility

For those who’d like to participate in this weekly challenge, the rules are the following:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please use the tag #fpj-photo-challenge
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week
  • Have fun creating something new!!

Let’s see where we can take this.

Technical Details

This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using a EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens.  Exposure was at f/9 and 1/60 second at 1600 ISO.