Suffering for one’s art, at least a little bit

A rainy day at De Bijenkorf - Amsterdam, Netherlands

A rainy day at De Bijenkorf – Amsterdam, Netherlands

I can’t claim years of struggle or suffering to create this photograph — but it did take a bit of effort. I shot this on Sunday, a week ago, in Amsterdam. It was raining off and on for 6 days, sometimes quite heavily with gusty winds and temperatures in the low 50s. I made an effort at night to get out there and take pictures. Partially because I had only a limited time in the Netherlands but also because the wet streets add a beautiful shine, especially at night.

I only had a day and half in Amsterdam before I had to fly home. Unfortunately, rain was forecasted for both days. Welcome to typical Dutch weather, I was told. I was walking the streets of Amsterdam for 7 hours shooting away with tripod in tow and a small flimsy umbrella to shield myself but mostly my gear from the elements.

It was nearly 10pm when everything came together. It was peak blue hour and the nasty weather had scared away tourists. I took my usual 3 frames to create this HDR with my Olympus E-PM2 with my Panasonic 14mm and wide-angle adapter. It’s a setup I know well and I was able to fire off the shots quickly.

Ironically the weather cleared just as I was leaving Amsterdam and the entire week was warm and dry. I realized though it was because of the rain and a bit of suffering that allowed me to create this photograph. The added dimension of the shiny wet streets makes the image special. I’m really happy with the way it turned out and I decided to print it large on 13 x 19” paper. This one is going into my paper portfolio as well as my online portfolio.

Nice to know that a little effort can be rewarding at times.


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3 thoughts on “Suffering for one’s art, at least a little bit

  1. I had to smile… blue hour at 10pm… man, even on the longest day of summer our blue hour is around 7:30pm 🙂

    Super nice work Andy. Your HDR work for night time photography is always a pleasure to get immersed in.

    1. Yup, and the blue hour really lasts an hour there. It was fantastic. In Austin, sunset is an hour earlier and the blue hour lasts 15 minutes.

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