zaterdag 26 mei 2012

a sense of Scheveningen     
exploring a new place   

Last week my dad and i visited Scheveningen village to look at an apartment. I know Scheveningen beach, but have never been to the village center. In the afternoon we walked through the main shopping street, Keizerstraat, and i took some shots, trying to capture the atmosphere.

The Keizerstraat is one of the oldest shopping streets in the Netherlands, and stretches from the village center right up to the beach. In the afternoon the sunlight splits the street down the middle into light and shadowed halves.

Due to Scheveningen's international appeal, the flags of many foreign countries are hanging above the street, which has been closed off to motorized vehicles. Brightly colored clothes are put out in front of the shops to attract buyers. The football season has started and many shops sell clothing and gadgets in our national orange color.

Policemen and city guards patrol the street in a casual and friendly way

Most of the merchandise is on display in front of the shops, saturated colors everywhere you look....

People have put chairs and benches in front of their houses to sit and chat, read or study

You can see interesting reflections of street life in all the shop windows

Of course the street is filled with bicycles, most of them carrying a plastic crate or basket in front

Many people use their bikes to make personal statements.....

People who are born in Scheveningen tend to stay there their whole life, and Scheveningen cherishes its senior inhabitants. You can see many elderly people moving about in electric scooters.

Contrary to what's written on the scooter, people are taking all the time in the world to shop, have a chat, or sit in the sun watching the constant flow of pedestrians.

Not all vehicles in Scheveningen are slow...there are loads of scooters and motorbikes standing along the Keizerstraat, and there are some shops that sell or repair them. 

The bright orange one caught my eye when i was siting down on a terrace to have a drink, especially because of its royal color!

Everywhere you can see people sitting down on a bench, a chair or a terrace, having a drink or a snack

Crossing a side street under the watchful eyes of two fishermen's wives in traditional outfits.

zondag 6 mei 2012

night ride
capturing brightly lit cityscapes
Kat Sloma's 'a sense of place' this week is about photographing landscapes and cityscapes. I love shooting at night, so i decided to drive my electric scooter (with gorilla pod fastened on top!) up the bridge crossing the river Zijl and capture some of the city lights.

The bridge is situated on the outskirts of the city, so the first bright lights are coming from a gas station, a place to fill up your tank before the journey out. I just love that sharp straight red taillight-trail running parallel to the red light along the roof.

It is very late, so the big apartment buildings are sparsely lighted, evoking a sense of desolation.

This drab and gloomy pedestrian and bicycle tunnel leads to the other side of the bridge.

While crossing the bridge motorcyclists overtake me and cars rush towards me, creating the most beautiful light trails. 

View of the river Zijl and its riverbank, taken from the top of the bridge.

On the other side of the bridge there is another town, with similar apartment buildings, symmetrically dotted with lights. 

Back to the gas station, this time passing it from the other side. The dominating color is blue here.

As the lights are changing from green to orange to red, and back to green again, so the digital advertisements are scrolling from cheap tickets to shape sensation.....

The bike shop windows reflect the bright lights of cars, the gas station and the traffic crossing.

donderdag 3 mei 2012

coot stories
life among the reeds

It always starts with a nest... straws and branches are piled up among the reeds along the riverbanks and in the ditches, where the eggs are laid and then kept warm by the female, defended against intruders by the male.

And  then the brooding and waiting begin......

Sometimes the coots are chased away, leaving their eggs to be eaten by predators

If this happens, they often return, looking disoriented, confused about what happened

While the female is brooding, the male hunts for food and extra straws to fortify the nest.

And then the eggs crack and the baby coots start crawling around the nest

After a while it is time to explore the world beyond....!!!

A very scary and exciting experience....

Especially when you are rocked from side to side by those big waves....

Fortunately dad's around to offer food and protection