Daily Inspiration #275 by Hans van de Bosch

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your inspirational work on the blog! Your website to me is all about ‘go out and shoot’ and that’s what I started doing, taking my camera with me everywhere. Including my daily commute by train to the cubicle and back. This trip represented a real photographic challenge to me, as this environment is rather bleak and not at all obviously photogenic. The Amsterdam Amstel station is not as pretty as the Amsterdam canals and the trains give it an industrial, almost inhumane atmosphere. In the morning the people look tired, bored and isolate themselves with their newspapers and phones. And I shared this feeling, I was one of them.

But when I started to look for images, this changed. Over time I found more and more perspectives to look at the station and the people. The first series I made was of passengers in the trains, in black and white. These images to me are intersting, but also somber, representative of the environment, rather dreary. Looking for a more positive feeling that I thought had to be there, I started experimenting with the movement of the trains and the people that are waiting to get in. With a wide angle perspective, low view point and some color enhancements, I found a lot of interest in a normally dull scene. Color, movement, shadows, little details and even an unlikely sunrise.

So now, each morning, I look forward to another interesting scene (please people – wear something interesting tomorrow!) and I enjoy the beauty that I found is present in day-to-day life. Isn’t photography great!


  1. Wonderful pictures! I travel past Amstel Station every day on my way to work, sometimes with my K-r and 15mm limited in my bag. I will keep an eye out for you 😉

    • Thanks! I had been experimenting with B/W conversions before and found there are many more aspects then I had expected beforehand. So I figured that the same would apply to color, with even more possibilities.

  2. Congratulations, Hans. I can honestly say this is the most interesting set of photographs I’ve seen in a while.

    You’ve got everything right in these compositions.

  3. A very unique perspective of the banal! Great series!
    But I would not even dare to try this back home myself in Australia. I would probably get dragged back to the police station under the stupid Anti-Voyeurism Laws back there!

    • Thanks SuperP. If you see something interesting, try it out. In my experience, people really don’t react to the camera. At least not in an aggressive way/calling the police etc.. They generally ignore it, even if it is right in their face. The most reaction I get is that they are trying to get out of the way, out of politeness, as to give me free range and not ruin my shot. Which is obviously not what I want.

  4. Hi Hans,

    You seem to share some of the same photographic DNA as Amy Medina, with a similar approach to subject selection and post processing, oh and you both use a K5 Check out her site http://www.dangrabbit.com definitely worth a look.

    • Thanks for the tip. I agree with you and I had noticed that before. Amy’s work was showcased here some time before and I visited her website then (and revisited now). Worthwhile indeed.

  5. Hi Hans,

    I have seen more of your work in a restaurant lately and I love it! I heard that you have produced a great looking book. Where can I get it?

    Keep on the good work, Ton

  6. Thanks for all the encouraging comments! I am working hard to find a place to show these images on large size (with these it is the larger the better) and justify the cost of having the prints made. A difficult process, so your encouragement helps a lot. And I really hope some of you get inspired to work with low perspective, wide angle and color editing. It is a lot of fun!

    The colors are very much the result of the PP, but in this environment with all different light sources the white balance does vary a lot. I put a lot of work in getting the pictures in the same ‘mood’ and still there is variation.

    Thanks for checking out the books! I am at a Blurb workshop next week, so I’ll comment on the MAC-friendliness. I had some issues myself, being from Europe…….

  7. .
    Great colours, patterns, movement, point-of-view ..I’m rather colour-blind, so I don’t see that “greenish tint”, but vinny’s “urban acid” comment is spot-on! ..the corrugated carriage-sides plus blur makes the photos look like stills from a TV screen, as if the characteristics of one kind of picture have been transposed to another!

    ..The seredipitous sunstars and people’s positioning make a great marriage of observation, chance and intention.

    Glorious! Thanks for the link to your website!

    • .
      P.S: Just bought two of your books from your website – BUT I had to use Firefox, as (even after disabling the pop-up blocker) the ‘Change Country’ field (changing from USA to UK) doesn’t work in my Mac’s ‘Safari’ browser.

      ..Maybe you could ask Blurb to make their site more Mac-friendly..? ..i.e; to work to normal web standards.

      Many thanks for the photo joy! – David.

      • .
        Just received my books this morning – thanks Hans!

        What a delight! ..One’s for me, and I’ll use the other during classes – when I teach photography – to show your originality, your choice of point-of-view, your choice of lens, the mixture of your creative intention and any unforseen happenstance, etc!

        I’m really enjoying this “Monday morning” book!

        • Thanks David. Very kind words.

          It is now also possible to download the book as an ebook to iPad or iPhone. So in case a student has one of those devices and wants to zoom in to the fun details (for instance the price tag under the right pump in the third picture), it is an option.

  8. Love your photo’s. It really reflects the atmosphere of the place, but also lifts it up to a higher level. I been there, and seeing this photo’s makes that station so much more interesting. Good luck with shooting some more of these inspiring moments!

  9. Nice shots. I assume the green tint ( which I love, very cinematic ) is from the fluorescent lighting as opposed to an addition in post production.

    Excellent philosophy for photography and life. Magnificent!

  10. I love the greenish hue and processing, these look awesome on my Mac. Wonderful, I prefer to think of you laying on the platform to take them…..fully committed!!! Excellent work Hans.

  11. Thanks for looking! Yes that would be an odd sight, laying flat on the ground in between all those people…… No, I sit on a bench and I put the camera on the ground. It gives the perspective and keeps the camera steady at this longish exposure times. After some experimentation I found the right spot to get this composition. Then it is hoping that something interesting happens, for instance the little sun star. One cannot plan it, it is a pleasant surprise and it makes the image unique since it is almost impossible to reproduce. There are more on http://www.joco.me, Steve forgot to put the link in.

  12. Interesting. The hue is a bit greenish (on my screen), but that’s besides the point. Interesting nonetheless.

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