29 december 2017
My newyears resolution (of 2016) was to ‘stand in front of something interesting’.
As I looked through my images of 2016 I can see that my resolution did not yet kick in.. My usual approach to make something rather ordinary (location, subject matter) and make it look better (wait for the right conditions i.e. sunrise/sunset, fog, clouds) was predominantly present. It produces some interesting images but I would like to take it a little further than just ‘interesting’. What lacked in my opinion (most of the time) is a truly great/awesome location/subject.
Since I did not get round much fulfilling my resolution in 2016 I have set myself to try to capture some of the iconic images of The Netherlands in 2017. To literally stand in front of something interesting….
So late December 2016 I finally embarked on a trip to Rotterdam for some nighttime photography of the characteristic Erasmus bridge.
I had done my homework, scouting the locations and angles I considered most interesting over at 500px.com. I even visited the Erasmus Bridge in daytime to get a feel for future shoots.
For nighttime city photography to work for me, I either needed to shoot in the blue hour (when the city lights and the ambient light are naturally balanced) or there had to be special conditions. (Smal confession: I cant stand solid black skies in my photo’s.) This specific day was foggy and the mist stayed all day long. I knew that some shots I had in mind needed the extra atmosphere the fog brings to an image. So this was the perfect night to go to Rotterdam! I was going to be shooting well beyond the blue hour so the fog offered the city lights something to reflect on and create a nice ambient sky backdrop for my city shoot.
Arriving at the first location it was a little disappointing to see that there was construction work beeing done on my desired ‘foreground’. Since I was there anyway I decided to try to work with it and incorporate it in my shot. I tried several different places and compositions and even set up my tripod up on a couple of the concrete blocks dividing the two driving lanes… The results were good enough. Not exactly what I had in mind but close enough and a good reason to return there someday…
After these shots I walked towards the bridge and tried several compositions on either side. Both were not ‘interesting’ enough for me. So here I was standing in front of something interesting with perfect conditions, awesome light and it was not (yet) working… Time to go to my third option…
Cross the bridge, park the car and walked towards the bridge… then finally (for me) the magic happened. A better composition under perfect circumstances. The images from this angle are way much more pleasing to me… the fog and mist made for great atmosphere and the city of Rotterdam just did the rest. I love hoe the bridge is lit from underneath and how the lines of the bridge create depth and perspective.
I just stood there as a silent witness to press the shutter and enjoy the moment…
One down, hopefully more to go of my new years resolution for 2017
Hope you enjoy as well!
Happy New Year!