Last week I was in Amsterdam for a (free!) photography course that I had signed up for, and as it was mostly a practical course, all of us were in the streets after only 10 minutes of class. After some quick says on the technical part of photography, we mainly practiced composition, movement and photographing people. The teacher was more like a "practice a bit and just ask if you need help" kinda teacher so I didn't learn too much new stuff, but it was fun to photograph around a bit. Here's the result.
Walking around in Amsterdam makes me feel astonished about the variety of people in the world. In this city all kinds of people, cultures and ethnicities are mixed up and living together in a beautiful capital. When looking more closely at these people when photographing, I wonder about their different stories and their lives, their hopes and dreams and histories. People are small, and indistinguishable from a crowd like ants most of the time. We look at other people we don't personally know much in the same way as we look at those ants. They are just creatures with no personal background of importance filling up the earth like film extras. That's what I love about photographing people: it's like highlighting one person in a crowd, making this person in the picture important for an instant. Suddenly we realize this specific person has had a life full of all kinds of events, a complicated personality, opinions, believes, desires. Although a photo alone doesn't hold any facts about all these things, we can think of them in our own way, which is most importantly: that they are thought of.
I love photographing people, but I love photographing lifeless objects and details as well. Photographing doesn't only make you look closer to people, it also makes you notice details you wouldn't have noticed otherwise. I know the world is so much more than us human notice in our daily lives as our build-in filter filters out a lot of the details surrounding us, so I like that photographing forces you to pay a closer look at your surroundings. Besides, when scanning a photo that you took afterwards, you may notice even more details.
I may want to say that I like the world better through a camera. Some people say that sometimes you need to put away your camera and look at the world through your very own eyes, but I believe photography is a way that may enrich the way you're seeing the world. A photographer may see things other people don't. At least I know that I do see things differently when I'm walking around with my camera, looking for beautiful things and happenings to photograph. But perhaps this is only because I tend to look at my feet when walking around with no camera in my hand.
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