Recently visited The Netherlands for the first time. It was only a short one week visit, and though I managed to experience lots of other areas in this small country, I more specifically focussed my time on Amsterdam as our "home-base". I absolutely loved Amsterdam, which could easily be a new contender for my favourite city. It used to be Paris, then Damascus, but for obvious reasons the latter is no longer a reasonably accessable and safe destination.
It also struck me that this was my first visit to a first-world, European country in nearly a decade, having habitually rather preferred to visit off-the-beat places of a more rustic nature while the opportunities exist. Expecting to be creatively inspired by the unfamiliar territory, instead I found myself paralysed by creative block as I realised that, photographically, famous cities have been documented to death! It's increasingly difficult finding a new perspective or story to tell, especially in a short time which doesn't afford one the luxury of finding and getting into the real soul of the place. I needed a different approach, as it felt like the people and their daily public lives are so "normal" that one have to rely on "micro situations" and context to make an interesting photo, as opposed to relying on bold characterful (and obvious) subjects in the unfamiliar situations I'm more accustomed too.
I found it difficult making the mental switch, feeling mostly like a bumbling beginner street photographer aimlessly shooting whatever looks mildly interesting in a desperate attempt to just bag ONE keeper. Thankfully, in the end a few acceptable shots were in the bag, but unfortunately no real memorable winner. My favourite image from this visit is probably the completely opportunistic shot of the redhair woman at the World Press Photo 2016 exhibition I was furtunate to have visited.
Frustrating, but I'll definitely be back for more! Amsterdam is great on so many other levels.