Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring riding!

What a gorgeous weekend we just had! I'm so happy it's spring again.

I went out last Friday morning to assess my winter-reduced ability, and my new compulsion to bring my large format camera with me for taking boring but pleasing landscape photos.

Ability=reduced, ready for improvement.
Inconvenient, expensive, film based photography requiring a tripod=fun.

Against the wind, I went as far as I could, about 10k to a weird bridge implement that I wanted to photograph (quick digital photo):

It was sunny at that moment, so I stopped... also, by that distance I was exhausted!
I was sweating, breathing hard, swearing that someone must have tilted all the dutch roads to a terrible steep angle. And the wind! It was horrible! Look at the water in my digital photo- the ripples are from the wind, not tide or flow or anything.

For the next 30 minutes, I used 4 sheets of 4x5 film on a trio of swans foraging in a field behind the bridge. They were pretty, the sun was out, but mostly I was reluctant to get back on my bicycle. Eventually, I packed up and moved on.

After going a little further (to the path at the bottom of the hill to the sand dunes), the clouds completely covered the sky.  I stopped to observe some beautiful horses...
Then, I turned around and went home. 25k was enough and the sun was gone...


On Saturday, it was sunny again so I cycled out to the horses, took their picture on film (which, by the way, is a great way to meet people. They all want to know what you are doing, then smile a lot when you explain, then regale you with memories of their last analog photography experiences... do we all miss film?)

I left the horses happily milling about the sunny meadow, and went on up the hill to the dunes. I wasn't nearly as tired as the day before, possibly because the wind wasn't nearly as strong.

I took a right and cycled about 6k to Katwijk. The light wasn't right for photography, but it was great for cycling. There were many, many happy cyclists (including Fiets met Friets), runners, hikers and dog walkers out on the paths. 

On my way home near the Valkenburg Meer, I found a perfect knotwilg in a picturesque setting.

During my camera preparation, a curious horse appeared at the fence behind me.
He stayed in one spot and watched me the whole time.

Analog photography= great way to meet horses. 

Curious horse


  1. oh film is a great ice breaker! I have been offered tea in france, coffee in capri and some tips on lifeboat handling in terschelling just because people could relate to the old nikon f3 I was carrying often till last year.
    Hats off to you on lugging the 4*5 with the tripod along, I usually end up pairing my digital camera with some good old manual focus lenses and even that feels heavy on long daytrips, I guess sometimes less is indeed more. As for horses , I must warn you against leaning too closely on the wired enclosures. Some of them are electrified as I found to my peril on my ronde netherlands trip.

  2. Especially after getting the TLR, I find a ton of people remarking on it - anything from excited nostalgia about shooting film (I think honestly a lot of people do miss it, they just assume it's not possible anymore), to "does that shoot old-looking photos?" "No, it shoots very nice photos, better than many digital cameras." "But are they all grainy?" "No, they look just like normal photos." "Wow, that's awesome that you're still using that" "I actually just got it, I've never used one before." :)

    I think I eventually would like to get a nicer Rolleiflex and/or maybe some kind of Hasselblad so I could have interchangeable lenses. But it's also kind of nice, in a sense, to just have one, and have to frame your shots accordingly. As they say, humans operate best with some limits on them.

    That is an absolutely beautiful camera, by the way. If we end up in the NL, I may have to come drool at it at some point :) Cheers!