Architectural ICM - a step too far for me?
The final morning of my creative retreat. Thoughts already turning to the homeward journey later in the day. There is a feeling of change in the weather; after a beautiful sunrise, the sky turned grey and dull and the chilling wind added to the autumn feel.
We decided to take a wander around the place where we had been staying but not had the chance to explore during daylight. It was full of amazing sights. An historic town, Doesburg was first awarded city status in 1267. It is situated on the Ijessel, a tributary of the Rhine, busy with boats full of freight. Doesburg is famous for its mustard (and the local mustard soup is delicious!) and there are many old, attractive buildings in the renovated town centre, including the Martinikerk, the Stadhuis (City Hall), the Waag (Weight House) and several museums. The terraced houses that line the streets are attractive, decorated with a range of colours, and beautifully designed.
Doesburg was very quiet this Sunday morning, apart from the delightful carillon from the church. Just a few dog walkers and occasional cyclist, so we were able to take our time, standing in the road if needs be to get the composition we wanted. Ethical dilemmas kept emerging as I wanted to capture the symmetry of the windows, the colourful doors and the collections of artefacts on the doorsteps, and yet aware that I was intruding into people's lives by doing so. This is where ICM comes in so handy as it can be tricky to tell what exactly has been photographed! I also got frustrated at the dull light, yearning for blue skies and sunshine to highlight the colours.
I was therefore so cheered to see a couple of Ukrainian flags fluttering outside a café providing a reminder of how many European countries are supportive of the Ukrainian people. I took a photo to show our visitors when I got home.
Spending time playing with shutter speeds and different movements, I found that taking ICM photos of the modernist buildings by the river was more successful. Following the lines up and down resulted in some interesting abstracts.
Despite a lot of experimentation, the ICM photos of the historic buildings in the town centre were very disappointing. Tracing the outline of the windows while the shutter was open was not easy as you can see from this:
This one is perhaps a little better:
I did find that aiming to capture the colour rather than distinct outlines was more satisfying, leading to a more abstract image:
I also enjoyed looking for symbols of the Netherlands to photograph - one of them being the bicycle:
And I also learned that going on a photo tour can be a little frustrating. Hard to get the balance between focussing on developing my photography, so giving myself time to experimnet and play, willing to have a lot of discards, while also captruing some 'touristy' record shots of the lovely places we visited. I can't pop back tomorrow to have another go! But what I can do, is to learn from this experience, practice in my local town and then I will be ready the next time.