Daily Inspiration #319 by Hans van den 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 interesting, 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 who 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!

29 Comments

    • Agreed. I am happy that the days are getting longer and that there is some light now in the morning. In total darkness, with only the station lights, colors are not as strong and I have to crank up the iso a little as well. However in the summer it can be so bright that I cannot maintain the longish shutter speed. I may have to get myself an ND filter for these moments. But for now with spring coming, it’s getting better everyday.

  1. Like the theme and especially your execution of it, Hans! Same basic image each time but the variations you are capturing get one to really look for the differences! Well done!!!

  2. Talking about serendipity – I had just started writing a little article that I plan to send to Steve. When I visited the site to review other articles, I noticed my pictures…..

    Thanks all for the kind words. Another incentive for me to find a way to exhibit some large prints. In the station itself would be awesome. That’s my dream.

    Btw., I have made some new pictures which can be found on my website http://www.joco.me.

  3. Really great concept! Especially your second picture interest me the most. And living around the corner of the Amstel station, I fully agree that it is not the most pretty part of Amsterdam. However, your images let this dully area shine!

    Thanks for sharing:-)!

    • Silly me! ..I thought he liked textures, colour, serendipity, fortuitousness, patterns, a mixture of sharpness and blur, the notion that you don’t have to know the whole story: that just a part of it will do, horizontals and verticals, happenstance, motion and stasis, fashion, decoration, dynamism, a different rectangle than the standard 3:2 or 4:3 of ‘orthodox’ photography (..and legs too, I’ll give you that..!)

      • ..And there’s subliminal paradox here, too: the soft material of the textiles is more sharply and clearly defined in these pictures than the hard – but blur-softened – metalwork of the moving trains; so what’s usually dense and solid is here fleeting and insubstantial, while what’s flimsier and more yielding (trousers, jackets, stockings) is firmer, sharper and more static and definite.

        (..I don’t want to grow on you too much, Daniel..)

        • This is exactly why I am personally so fond of this series. All these interesting things are right in front of me every morning. Even if I cannot see them right away, I know they’re there. And it cheers me up. It is perhaps a kind of escapism. The reality is not quite that nice, but the thought of what could be makes is so much more pleasurable.

  4. Hans, great concept I really like these shots you posted! I think people get too hung up on how to compose a photo that sometimes we forget to do something a little more original like this. Nicely done.

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