This is a two-minute long exposure of the Sarasota Skyline one afternoon last month. Looking at the file info for this image I see it was taken at 5:43pm. This was obviously before we set the clocks back because now the sun goes down at 5:30. Funny thing about photography is it causes me to notice little details like that.
On one level photography is a mechanical process, take a picture and preserve a moment. On another level the practice of photography is a way of becoming present in the moment and aware of my surroundings. One way to reconnect to the environment is through art, and for me that means the art of photography.
It's nice if I can make a photo that other people like. But more important to me is to make a photo that I like. It's an exploration through experimentation that leads to discoveries. To start with, discovering what aesthetics I like. Also discovering how to convey a vision through an image. A vision is in our minds and an image is a thing we look at. Connecting the two is an art.
I could go on about what the pursuit of photography is, at least for me. But perhaps I'll cut it short today and let the picture do the talking. That should be worth at least another thousand words.
I walked through central Amsterdam on a Saturday Night and saw a little bit of everything. Having landed only that morning it was my first exposure to things which I've only read about. A lot of people were out having fun which in and of itself is not unusual. However the city of Amsterdam is anything but usual.
For instance, I'm not used to seeing people smoking weed and hash out in the open. I'm not used to seeing shops where hallucinogenic drugs are sold. I'm not used to seeing brothels in and amongst the shops, restaurants and bars. Perhaps most unexpected of all was that people seemed quite blasé about it all. These things are just taken in stride.
Honestly I don't know what I expected. I have this feeling that if we did the same thing in the United States it would be havoc, but that's probably just my own ill-conceived ideas. I did not see junkies strung out on the street corners. There appeared to be very little crime, I felt perfectly safe on the streets even late at night. It's the kind of town I could easily live in. In fact Amsterdam has a night mayor. It's a real position that ensures all the night life runs smoothly.
Anyway, it was early November and they already had Christmas lights up. That, along with all the happy (and possibly high) revelers out having a good time created a fun atmosphere. If I had to sum it up I would say that Amsterdam at night is an exceptional party town that could only exist in a European society. At least that was my first impression.