Keep Going Back - Oostpoort, Delft
Keep Going Back
I've said it before, I'll say it again (and probably not for the last time) that as a landscape photographer it's worth going back to locations repeatedly. Each day will throw up different conditions and as much as I like to work with the conditions as they happen, I find that I often have a particular image and atmosphere in my mind. To create that image more often than not I need to return to locations again and again. This is the benefit of using locations close to home rather than thinking you can only produce worthy work if you have traveled far and wide.
I first came across the Oostpoort on the Delftsche Vliet canal in Delft way back in 2010, not long after moving to The Netherlands and whilst doing the tourist thing with visitors. I captured it mid-summer, with flowers in full bloom and blue sky but despite it only being 30 minutes down the road I have not been back often. In March I led my ViewFinders walk around this lovely historical city but it was a day of blue skies and no cloud and as you know, I am rather Cloud Obsessed. I returned the following week, early morning and was greeted by blanket cloud. Some may say that this image gives a simple backdrop to the historic Oostpoort, the only city gate remaining from 17th Century Delft but it does not have the atmosphere I was trying to create nor the picture I had in my mind's eye.
Skip to this morning. A glimpse out of the window showed me some lovely cloud formations, what a friend once dubbed "Vermeer skies", a term that has stuck with me (and particularly apt as Vermeer hails from Delft).
So what to do? Hang curtains or go out with the camera… Needless to say I opted for the latter! Having been there a few times now I knew exactly where I needed to set up my trusty Manfrotto tripod for my chosen composition and even though the canal was busy with Sunday morning rowers, as I listened to the church bells I set up stacking the Lee Big Stopper, 0.9 ND and 0.6 ND soft grad to get a nice long 4 minute exposure time to capture the clouds scudding across the sky and to loose the water detail and any moving elements. Much more satisfying.
The infrared camera had it's first outing of the year too with the willows now in full leaf (a month early) to give a more ethereal feel to the shot.
All in all it was worthwhile morning out (and I even got the curtains hung too!)
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