Urban Photo Race Amsterdam

12 hours, 4 checkpoints, 6 themes, 18 photos, 1 city

My legs feel like lead but I'm so happy to have completed the feat in 10 hours. I thought I would finish sooner but what the heck, the themes were quite challenging! I was struggling with two themes and halfway through the race, I thought about giving up but I powered through it and now I can proudly say that I have completed the race.

Here are some of the things that I have learned:

  1. It's hard to do street photography if you're scared of getting close and approaching people. I am afraid to approach strangers to take their photo because I am either scared of offending others or getting rejected.
  2. There are so many techniques and the only way to learn them is through practice. I wish I had tricks up my sleeve like using reflections or mirrors or using shadows.
  3. It's hard to shoot in black and white. How do you convey warmth or color when you're shooting in B&W? I think it's very challenging but it does push one's limits and creativity!

I was so intimidated by the other participants because they brought in professional cameras and I, an enthusiast, was holding a tiny, mirrorless camera. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the photo race! It was an awesome experience because I learned so much about myself, my camera, and street photography. So without further ado, I would like to share with you some of my entries a.k.a. my favorite shots from today. :)

  Ik ben 90 jaar oud.  This sweet, old man happily agreed to have his photo taken. He told me that he's 90 years old. :)

Ik ben 90 jaar oud. This sweet, old man happily agreed to have his photo taken. He told me that he's 90 years old. :)

 This is such a noisy photo taken from Amsterdam Centraal. I love that from this crowd, there's one guy who's looking straight at my camera.

This is such a noisy photo taken from Amsterdam Centraal. I love that from this crowd, there's one guy who's looking straight at my camera.

 A pair of turban-wearing gentlemen enjoying their moment in the sun.

A pair of turban-wearing gentlemen enjoying their moment in the sun.

 In the Philippines, we call this HHWW -- holding hands while walking. :)

In the Philippines, we call this HHWW -- holding hands while walking. :)

 Of course, a photo shoot in Amsterdam won't be complete without the notorious bicycle shots.

Of course, a photo shoot in Amsterdam won't be complete without the notorious bicycle shots.

 We've been extremely lucky with the weather this weekend so I took full advantage of taking photos of people enjoying the sun.

We've been extremely lucky with the weather this weekend so I took full advantage of taking photos of people enjoying the sun.

Which one is your favorite? I hope you enjoyed this entry and I wish everyone a nice weekend. Til next time. Doei!

Candid Amsterdam

If you're an aspiring photographer, perhaps like me, you'll like the most egalitarian form of photography -- street photography. Anyone with a camera and the guts to take photos of strangers can practically do it. This weekend, I joined two Meetups. On Saturday, we headed over to Westerpark to take photos of the cherry blossoms and on Sunday, I joined a street photography walk. I enjoyed the latter very much although I probably won't join another street photowalk for the simple reason that people get uncomfortable when they see big ass lenses. My camera is very small and I tend to use a tiny lens so when I take street photos, it's very discreet  and unthreatening.

We went around the city center and after an hour and a half of walking, I managed to take 93 photos but ended up with only 8 that I really liked. Here are my top photos this weekend in chronological order. I wanted to post them in black and white but my boyfriend convinced me that these photos are better off in color. So without further ado, here's candid Amsterdam.

 I didn't ask these gentlemen to pose for me. I just caught them at the right time -- them looking at my camera.

I didn't ask these gentlemen to pose for me. I just caught them at the right time -- them looking at my camera.

 This couple was standing right in front of a colorful background, a photo of them is plain mandatory.

This couple was standing right in front of a colorful background, a photo of them is plain mandatory.

 During the day, you wouldn't have a clue that this is part of the Red Light District. It looks very charming.

During the day, you wouldn't have a clue that this is part of the Red Light District. It looks very charming.

 Today's money shot. I can't believe I was quick enough to capture this -- just two gentlemen taking a break in one of the alleys.

Today's money shot. I can't believe I was quick enough to capture this -- just two gentlemen taking a break in one of the alleys.

 Amsterdam is a very crowded city especially on the weekends. What I love about this photo is how they are kissing like they were the only people in the world.

Amsterdam is a very crowded city especially on the weekends. What I love about this photo is how they are kissing like they were the only people in the world.

 This guy is so absorbed with whatever he was reading, completely oblivious of the city buzz around him.

This guy is so absorbed with whatever he was reading, completely oblivious of the city buzz around him.

 A Yoda impersonator was making a baby cry.

A Yoda impersonator was making a baby cry.

 Our walk ended at the Dam Square where there's a Kermis ( ein Kirmes auf Deutsch ).

Our walk ended at the Dam Square where there's a Kermis (ein Kirmes auf Deutsch).

I'm on my way

As a child, I had this habit of making up stories in my head about strangers I meet on the streets. I think I have resumed to this old habit because it somehow makes me feel less lonesome going home to an empty apartment.


We need to get home soon, buddy. They've taken quite a long while to finish today's errands. His girlfriend called twice to check if he bought milk because they were out and whether he's walked Ruben. I have, honey. I even got you a bottle of your favorite wine. In ten minutes, we'll be home and tonight I'm going to cook your favorite dish. I will even wash the dishes. He's hoping that tonight, he will finally gather up the courage to ask her to be his wife.


Do you also wonder what goes in the head of little children? I've always imagined that they must be amused to see the world differently when they're perched on top of their parents' shoulders. Or how they must be looking forward to going home to their toys or their pet dog. Surely, they won't remember this fleeting moment tomorrow. But it's okay. They will probably have plenty more walks like this until they are too big to be carried or when hanging out with their parents start to become uncool.


Dark clouds started to roll above and tiny drops of rain began to fall. I guess it's now time for me to head home as well. I'm on my way, door number 53. I'm on my way.