Vignettes of Amsterdam – Part Two

Last week I published part one of this series, a black and white photo essay from a recent trip to Amsterdam.  Black and white works so well when featuring photography from European cities, because, I think, of their timeless feel and their amazing architecture.

Amsterdam is a vibrant city though, full of life and colour in the late summer and early fall.  This was especially true for the few days I was in town to teach in September: we had beautiful blue skies, warm t-shirt temperatures and the city streets were alive, packed with people enjoying their last few summer days.  Long days in the sunshine were followed by late evening strolls on the cobblestone streets, drinks on a patio and conversations with friends and strangers alike.  Honestly, it would be an injustice to that beautiful city to not also feature a series in colour.

Most of the photographs in this essay were taken with the Fuji X100F, a few with the Fuji X-Pro2 and the 50mm f/2 lens.  All images, except the last one, used the Classic Chrome film simulation, with small adjustments in Lightroom.

I hope you have enjoyed this two part glimpse into life on the streets of Amsterdam.  Up next on the blog:  a new Street Tips article and a new interview coming soon!

Until then,

Ian

My Final Images of 2017

I started writing this post on December 23rd, sitting in a coffee shop enjoying a hot chocolate after finishing my Christmas shopping (one day early I might add… no slacking off this year).  Brilliant sun was shining through the window, casting long shadows on the ground.  The shop was busy, but everyone was clearly in the holiday spirit.  It felt good.  Peaceful.  Inspiring.  It felt the way life should at this time of year and that feeling has only grown stronger  over the last few days spent with family and friends.

I have a lot of things to write about, but I’ll leave that for my first blog post of 2018.  For now, I just want to share one final photo essay for the year and express gratitude for so many things in my life:  family,  friends,  colleagues,  peers,  clients,  students,  community,  art,  health and  success.  Also, the struggles and the failures.  Our experiences, both good and bad, shape us and I wouldn’t trade any of them for anything.  It has been an amazing year.

Despite the usual year end hustle and bustle, I have been lucky enough to get out on the streets of Vancouver a few times over the last few weeks.  The weather has been beautiful:  cold, but with brilliant sunshine and a couple of days of snow.  The late afternoon sun, coming in so low during these winter months, has provided  a world of long shadows and pockets of light to photograph.  It has been a lot of fun to shoot this light with my Fuji X100F and to make images just for the sake of creating.  No client driven work.  No working against a deadline… just making art for the love it.

I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season.  I’ll be hitting the ground running with many new projects in 2018 so, until then, let’s all enjoy some well deserved downtime.

Best wishes,

Ian

Winter is Coming

I missed the transition from summer to fall this year.  I’m not sure how, but one day it was oppressively hot and the next day it wasn’t.  My September was busy, including a trip to Europe to teach a workshop in Amsterdam and to shoot some personal photography in Paris… maybe that is why I missed it.  Suddenly the peaceful calm of summer, with its long lazy days, was replaced by the chaos of the fall:  work, dance lessons for my daughter, business trips, family events, booking weddings and workshops for next year, etc.

The transition from fall to winter feels different though, I can feel the change this time;  the days are getting shorter, the skies darker, the weather colder and the rain is pounding down.  Soon it will officially be winter vacation for my daughter and wife (who is a teacher), Christmas will come, there will be more rain and, I am sure, snow.

Is this happening faster each year?  I swear it is, and I have to remind myself to savour each day, each experience, each memory.  I have to remind myself to be mindful and present so that it doesn’t pass by in the blink of an eye again like the end of summer did.  My life is pretty amazing, full of opportunity, but it is so easy to get swept down the river by the current if I’m not careful.  As they say, it is about the journey – not just the destination.

Here is a short photo essay I took last winter, with one or two images thrown in from the year before but re-processed in black and white.  It won’t be long until the world looks like this again and I can’t wait.  My cameras are ready.