Nov 26, 2008

On photography.

I think the question I've heard most often regarding my LOA is "So did you take a lot of pictures?". One answer might be yes, I think I took about 3000 pictures over the three months in europe (plus another 1000 over a weekend in San Francisco). From a numbers perspective, I guess it's reasonably large. But then a lot of them are duplicates, multiple shots of the same subject or scene, maybe with different settings or different angles. So off the top, there's only a fraction of those that contain different subjects. And out of those subjects only a fraction were probably really interesting. And out of the interesting subjects only a fraction were visually appealing.

To say the least I'm not particularly happy or proud of any of the pictures; I don't think I really "accomplished" much in terms of photography in the past few months. My initial lofty goals of intimate portraits of some human condition never came fruition. It never got off the ground. I really just ended up with a collection of tourist photos, distant and detached. I already knew engaging people isn't my forte. I guess I had somehow imagined I'd just get better at it by taking more pictures in an unfamiliar place; perhaps I'd be forced into it by the mere fact that I just didn't know anyone in Amsterdam.





Obviously, it didn't come so easily, and getting to know random strangers doesn't come naturally either way. I guess I'll just have to make much more of an effort in the future. The first weekend I was in Amsterdam happened to be the gay pride parade. I did manage to take a lot of pictures of mostly drunk partygoers. There's other random pictures of Amsterdam here as well.

The one below's probably one of my favourite shots, from my first few days at the hostel. It's not really a picture of Amsterdam though, it could be a picture of any city. People each with their own destinations and priorities, passing by within a few feet of others with entirely different lives.


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