Small and flat with well-marked paths, the Netherlands is a bicyclist’s dream. A few weeks’ riding will take you all around the country and through picturesque villages. Kinderdijk is only 2 hours’ cycling from Rotterdam and is a perfect opportunity look for creative ways to show the commonly recognizable scenery in an unusual way.
In every country, there are things on everyone’s ‘must-see’ list – the Eiffel Tower, The Coliseum, Times Square. In the Netherlands, windmills are the iconic image. Every traveler who visits the Netherlands seems to come back with photos and postcards of the charming windmills which are dotted all over the country. However, all these photos are almost interchangeable. If we all are shooting the same subjects, how can we make sure our photos are not identical to everyone else’s?
This was my question as I traveled by bicycle through the Netherlands for two weeks. I adore windmills and so obviously, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kinderdijk with its 19 windmills was part of my trip. I wanted to make my pictures unique. Luckily, as a long-time lomographer, I had some tricks up my sleeves. Here are some ways in which I tried to make my photos stand out:
- Choose your camera(s) carefully based on your subject matter. I took my Sprocket Rocket to capture the landscape and a Supersampler to emphasize the feeling of movement.
- Use different films and/or processing: Cross-processing, LomoChrome, Sunset Strip and tungsten film all add their own color to the scene.
- Pick unusual composition or viewpoints. Turn the camera sideways. Shoot from the hip, from the ground, or from a moving bicycle.
The main thing I learned was that this was a great time to experiment and be creative. Next time I take photograph something which has been done a thousand times before, I will be even more daring. In a best case scenario, if the photos come out well, I will end up with unique and personal photos. But, I might buy a few postcards, just as a back-up plan.