#222. Travel photo of the day : Amsterdam Sunrise

By pascaljappy | Travel Photography

May 06

You’ll be hearing a lot more about Amsterdam on this blog in the coming weeks as it is one of the most photogenic cities I have ever visited.

In the mean time, here’s a single shot that stands out from the rest for me.

Houses reflections in the Amstel river on a spectacular morning sun, in Amsterdam, Holland

Reflecting on the Amstel (c) Pascal Jappy

It was made on the very last morning of my recent trip to the city.

We had to catch an early bus to the airport and hesitated between a lazy ride on the tram or an hour-long walk with heavy suitcases. The walk won, as it always does if you give me half the chance.

And what a shame it would have been to be stuck in public transport during such a magical sunrise. Apart from local contrast adjustments to make the houses lighter and the river darker, the image is largely untouched. I didn’t even correct the convergence produced by the very wide Leica R 19 II on my Sony A7r because it accentuates the natural lean and gives the group of houses a bunched-up look of penguins cuddling in the cold.

If anything, this photograph proves 3 things that every travel photographer should always keep in mind :

  1. The light rules. Always. A good light will make an ordinary scene sparkle whereas dull light can kill the most superb scenery. In Northern countries, the quality of light can change rapidly from one hour (sometimes, minute) to the next. When the light is good, don’t let anything get in the way of your picture making. Similar conditions might not repeat in a hurry.
  2. When you can, walk by yourself. Organised travel is easy and (occasionally) relaxing. But the possibility of being where you want to when you want to rather than being tied down to a predetermined schedule is invaluable. You never know when opportunity will come your way.
  3. Get out in the morning. You’ll have cities and other locations mostly to yourself, often superb light and a vibrant atmosphere that no other period of day can touch.

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  • philberphoto says:

    Delightful picture, Pascal, congrats! Though, personnally, before posting, I would have tried correcting the perspective to see what it wouldlook like; I would also have tried cropping the top off (part of the clouds) to make the waterline less centered and emphasie to the foreground reflections.
    But definitely a great pic!

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thanks Philippe.

      I prefer the image uncorrected as Amsterdam houses are all bent and twisted. At least around the canals. But cropping is a good idea, and if I was to present the photograph it might be in a square format. Or at least a stubbier aspect ratio. When will non-pro gear finally adopt a better format than 3:2 ? 😉

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