Amsterdam Movement

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Lithe, easy going, effortlessly gliding; understated coolness moving to a different beat.

Water ever present adding it’s own shimmering, chugging splashes to the palette of the cities movement.

Like looking into the ever changing flickering flames of a late night outdoor fire I find myself hypnotised by a city that flows like no other.

Trams snaking through the middle of ancient streets, utter modernity alerting you to their presence with a timeless 1920’s bell.

A progressive political and social heartbeat, tolerant, boundaries pushed outwards in art, philosophy, architecture, enlightenment shining through still.

I adjust to it’s rhythm, thought processes slowing but clearer, more space as my mind relaxes, body too in no rush, gentle movement and wandering seems the best pace.  Natural not forced and I instantly feel the better for it.

Then I join the flow, turn the pedals, relax and just journey randomly taking the temperature of it’s perpetual movement of which I’m now part.

I stop at a canal-side cafe and settle into the Dutch state of being, gezellig.  Time for my pen to move and distil thoughts.  I sit and watch trying to work out how to capture the moment and the movement that aligns with my soul.

Summer Photo Fun 2015 – Week 5 – Movement

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The 5th theme of summerphotofun that the kids picked was movement and what I really liked about the interpretations this week was actually some of the stillness where movement was implied.  I thought the chess photo was a great example of this, a game that involves the movement of pieces and has your inner brain in constant movement as it thinks through all the machinations available and yet if you watch it it’s a game of stillness.  The photo of Jeremy Corbyn was also a clever interpretation of movement and of course there was some lovely photos of all sorts of a different types of actual movement.

The photo at the top however I thought was a fantastically joyful of interpretation and also captured summer perfectly.  I’m sure we can all remember that youthful excitement and exuberance of summer trips to the beach, charging through dunes down to the glistening see and splashing in.  As adults simply dipping our toes in the water around these isles can be icily numbing but as children that never seemed to matter did it, just charge in, wrapped in big towels afterwards, sand sandwiches, ice creams and happy days.  This photo brings all of these memories to life for me.

Huge thanks as always to all who contributed this week, click on the gallery and you can scroll through the photos in their full size.  Do let us know which ones you liked.

Summer Photo Fun 2015 – Week 4 – Angle

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After the sparseness of week 3’s smooth the theme of Angle picked by the kids for week 4 seemed to appeal to people much more this week.  Of course wherever you look you cannot help but see angles in the built environment all around and there were some great examples of this.  I also really liked the interpretation of things seen or taken from a different angle.

I’m keeping the post short while I catch up after being away but I really loved the photo at the top of one of Anthony Gormley’s Land figures on Lundy Island.  The figure of is one of four that have been commissioned as part of the 50th anniversary of the landmark trust.

Many thanks for all who contributed, click on the gallery and you will see the pictures in full size and you can scroll through them.  Do let us know what are your favourite interpretations.

Summer Photo Fun 2015 – Week 3 – Smooth

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After last weeks wonderful splash of colour this week the kids chose smooth for the theme.  I thought that this theme would carry on from last weeks with lots of wonderful interesting interpretations but strangely only a few photos came in.  Not sure whether everyone was away on holiday or whether the theme simply didn’t appeal.  One of the things I’ve found very interesting over the last couple of years we have been doing our photofun themes is that you simply can’t second guess either how people will interpret the themes or which themes capture people’s imagination.

Even thought we didn’t get many interpretations this week it was still great to see the different ones that did come in and I thought that the slide picture was simply perfect.

Summer Photo Fun 2015 – Week 2 – Colour

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We had a right splash of colour for week 2 of this year’s summer photo fun.  I’m not sure whether we had more people contributing because they found this theme easier to interpret that the first week of start, or whether for most people this was actually the first week of the holidays.  Either way there were some great interpretations and it was fantastic to see my timeline pop up with these lovely photos, including some from kids which is always great.

If you click on the gallery then you can scroll through them in the right size, do have a look and let us know which ones you liked.   I really liked the pink umbrella in St Mark’s Square but I couldn’t take my eyes of the piece of art work dripping in colour so I had to put that one at the top this week.

As always huge thanks for playing along with us, the kids will set a new theme each week over the summer holidays so hope you will continue to play along with us.  Just follow #summerphotofun and / or me – @ianstreet67 on twitter and you will see the themes, then just tweet your interpretation and they will all go into the blog gallery for that theme at the end of the week.  You don’t need to be a ‘photographer’ just open your eyes, snap on your phone and have fun with it.  If you happen to be in a part of the world where it’s not summer, no worries you are still welcome to interpret and join in.

Summer Photo Fun 2015 – Week 1 – Start

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Summer Photo Fun 2015 got off to a bit of a slow start, with the kids picking Start as the first theme.  I was not sure whether people were finding it hard to interpret the theme, or whether we had simply got off to too early a start for people.  The summer holidays in Leeds this year are a bit strange and have caught quite a few people out as we count through our diaries and realise that it lasts for 7 weeks this year.  Now summer holidays have been 6 weeks for as long as I can remember but for reasons I don’t understand this year they are 7 weeks and next summer 5 apparently.  The result of this meant that we leapt into Summer Photo Fun a bit earlier than normal.

Still a few people saw it and got snapping and as always there were some lovely interpretations, the start of journeys, adventure, races and perhaps my favourite the photo at the top feature the start of new life.  Although it was a quiet start to summer photo fun, as always many thanks for those who contributed.  Let’s see what the rest of the summer throws up.

Anyone is welcome to contribute, just watch the hastag on twitter #summerphotofun and / or follow me on twitter @ianstreet67 for the weekly themes that my kids set.

Madrid Street Signs

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Whenever I’m in a city, wandering around there tends to be something that sticks out at me and makes that city special.  This for me is not the usual landmarks, but something else that you would perhaps not give a huge amount of time to, but which I think reveals something about the soul of a place.  Last year for example when I was in Malaga I became interested in both the graffiti and perhaps more oddly the paving stones.  In Madrid recently there were two things that really stood out, the amazing markets in each area and the street signs in the centre of the city which I became quite mesmerised by as I wandered around.

Every street, square, alleyway or courtyard had one of these beautifully crafted individually tiled street signs.  There didn’t appear to be any particular style or uniformity to them as they were made up of either 9, 12, 15 or 16 tiles and the artistic designs were also quite different, they were also often quite high up on the walls, often with wires running across them or CCTV cameras next to them.  In other words they were just everyday signs but for me they added a real sense of beauty and style to the city.  Anywhere that takes this much care in designing a street sign for an alleyway has got to be good.  It also really added to my enjoyment of walking around the city as I was constantly looking out for the signs as I meandered along and they made great reference points.

I didn’t do much thinking about them as I walked around, apart from trying to translate the odd one, my knowledge of Spanish and Spanish history is not good enough to understand the meaning or resonance behind many of the pictures but I found myself wanting to know more.  What is the Calle del Codo with the arm in armour all about for example ?

I think about cities and sense of place quite a bit particularly what makes a good city or place?  I don’t necessarily have the answers but as with the paving stones in Malaga, any city that puts this much craft into it’s street signs must have soul.