DRAMA IN DUTCH SKIES – and a photo tip…

Basiliek van de H. Nicolaas and Amsterdam Centraal Station...a trick shot (see below).

Basiliek van de H. Nicolaas and Amsterdam Centraal Station…a trick shot (see below).


My brother-in-law Jacob Oldenburger always claims the Dutch skies are the most beautiful in Europe. He’s cycled many a kilometre and he ought to know.

You’d think sky was sky and light was light wherever you went, but on a windy autumn day as Mevrouw T and I rode over the flat landscape of Waterland, north of Amsterdam, it was the clouds that caught our attention.

I only took a few shots, then converted them to black and white and did a little experimenting…

The North Holland Canal. The trees show which way the wind usually blows.

The North Holland Canal. The trees show which way the wind usually blows.

The Markenmeer, with windmills. I can't see how they are blots on the landscape.

The Markenmeer, with windmills. I can’t see how they are blots on the landscape.

The IJsselmeer, formerly known as the Zuiderzee. The sun breaking through patches of cloud was spectacularly theatrical.

The IJsselmeer, formerly known as the Zuiderzee. The sun breaking through patches of cloud was spectacularly theatrical.


As the ferry brought us back to the city, the sun's last rays hit the Eye film museum.

As the ferry brought us back to the city, the sun’s last rays hit the Eye film museum.

And now to that photography trick…

Not having a polarising filter I took the top photo by pointing the camera directly into the sun through my sunglasses, then cropping, converting to black and white and boosting the contrast.

Here’s the original…

Maybe it's time to invest in a polaroid filter lens.

Maybe it’s time to invest in a polaroid filter lens.

I’m an amateur photographer, working by trial and error. All suggestions from those who know more about it than I do are gratefully accepted!

7 Comments

Filed under Holland, travel photography

7 responses to “DRAMA IN DUTCH SKIES – and a photo tip…

  1. Stunning images, Richard. Love the dramatic skies.

  2. Dramatic skies, indeed, Richard. Love the photo with the trees along Noordhollandsch Kanaal!

  3. Richard
    A polarizing filter will help to get clouds to stand out and become better defined and then a simple conversion to monochrome should do the trick. Have a look at the last 2 photos of my journal vol 16 part 2 where I have used the filter and compare with some of the other photos, some with filter and some without. You should be able to pick them.
    Len.
    P.S. Sunglasses will work as well if the are polarizing.

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, Reggie and Mina, and for the polarising filter tip, Len. And yes, great shots at vol 16, 2. I imagine you’d often need that filter for the bright Kimberley light.

  5. I’ve tried that sunglasses trick but it didn’t work as well for me as it did for you.
    Jacob Oldenburger is a wonderful name!

  6. I hadn’t thought about the name, Andrew, but indeed, he could be a rustic character in a Thomas Hardy novel. He’d look just right for the part too.

  7. Love the converted pics, Richard. The trouble with polarizing filters with a digital camera is that you can’t see what the effect is the way you could with the old SLR cameras because you are not looking through the lens. At least not on my camera.

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