Amsterdam Journal One

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Me_Amsterdam

The Blurb Roadshow hasn’t started but we’ve landed on European soil. It’s been ten years since I walked these streets. We were so jet-lagged all we could muster was a tour of the Rijksmuseum but even that was mostly wandering and trying not to yawn. It was packed. Lots and lots of kids in classes, phones in hand, snapping every single moment of every single moment and every piece of every painting. But, they all seemed truly engaged, interested, even the tiny ones.

At one point we came to a room I found alluring. It was empty. But it was also green and had incredible light. What happens when you see something like that? You have to shoot something. I shot a picture of my friend Kent, then turned the soul-sucking beast camera on myself. Now, you will note, I’m wearing a backpack on my chest. I could have checked this thing but was in too much in a daze to realize this until I’d already entered the museum, so I ended up carrying it the entire time. And my two jackets. Like an idiot. But what I did learn is if I carry my backpack on my chest I can prop the camera on top in an act of the utmost laziness. I don’t even have to look through it, just sit it there and blast away endlessly. I think I found my new style.

Oh, and my shoes are too small. I need new ones. That is the second thing I learned today.

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Okay, I went back out. I realize now it looks like I’m lurking while I work. Standing around the edges of where “normal” people would be. It doesn’t look good. I’ll admit. I somehow managed to bump my camera settings and accidentally turned on the multiple exposure thingy, so every time I exposed a frame I would get this strange pop-up. I had to email Flemming who saved me from five weeks of having to press the “Okay” button after every single exposure. Thanks Flembot. Of course you know I tried to fix it myself, for about thirty minutes, then got used to pressing the “Okay” button when things certainly weren’t okay.
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As we got back to our hotel it began to rain, like really rain where you have to dive for cover or risk being swept away. We timing it perfectly as both of us had left our umbrellas in the room.(I live in LA people.) Sitting at the bar having dinner we were treated to one of the most incredible moments of light I have ever seen in my life. It was Vermeer. There it was, plain and simple. It explained how when we walked the museum my headed snapped around the moment I saw his works from across the room, even through the heads of so many school kids. WHAM. A palette I just can’t explain. This image doesn’t even begin to do this moment justice. I nearly choked on my baby squid. Something happens to us when we experience something like this. The light not the squid. It brings us back to the moment we fell in love with looking at the world beyond a superficial level.
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Blurb Roadshow starts tomorrow. Before then…eat, sleep.

Comments 9

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      Wim,
      Germany on the list for next time. Still haven’t been. Would love to connect in person.

  1. Welcome to Europe, Daniel. Hope you have a great time – even the work bit. We have great light in Europe, and clouds, and rain. On a trip to Scotland I read a quote from Scottish comedian Billy Connolly – “Scotland only has two seasons, Winter and June”.

    Mike.

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      Mike,
      I am so wimpy when it comes to winter, but the light makes it worthwhile. Even having clouds is a novelty.

  2. The light is gorgeous in that last picture. And I totally agree in what you say about the moment that you find certain type of light … Light is different in every part of the world. For me, coming from the Basque Country, when I first came to CA I noticed that the light looked more … yellow-ish? than where i come from. Years later, once I moved to SF for good i discovered what I call “my light”. Is that light that you know you have to be photographing on that moment. IT HAS TO BE DONE. And seems you are the only one who sees it.

    About the setting you don’t know how to change on the Fuji … Do you have Fleming’s phone number? Cause I have some questions too LMAO

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  3. You trade in your tried and true shoes for soft ones and they turn out to be too small….message in a bottle people. 😉

    Enjoy the whirlwind called business travel – and the light – as much as possible.

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