The Museums of Amsterdam: Van Gogh + Foam

The Van Gogh and Foam museum are arguably my two favorite museums that I have visited so far in Amsterdam. The only thing that I do not like about them is that you are not allowed to take photos inside. I suppose this is a personal preference but I just love photos of museums and really hate it when you can’t take any! So I am sorry, this is a photoless post. :(

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I think what made me love this museum so much is the fact that you really get to know Van Gogh. Instead of having snippets of so many artists works like most museums, you are able to fully learn about his life and art. By the end of my tour I felt like I really understood him as an artist and was that much more appreciative of his work. The way they ordered his work is also very well done. You start at his earliest art and then eventually get to right before his death so you can really see his growth as an artist and how he developed his famous style.

When I first visited I wasn’t sure if the museum would only show Van Gogh’s work but I now know that this is not the case. They also show other artists work from Van Gogh’s time that he was either friends with or looked up to for inspiration. So you really get a full understanding of what the art world was interested in at the time. They also have multiple letters that he sent to friends and family that you can listen to on recording.

I’ll be heading back to this museum in a couple of weeks to see it with Sean and I don’t even mind. I’m not sure how to fully describe my experience in this museum except to say that it was satisfying.

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Foam is a photography museum so if you are not super interested in the medium then it may not resonate as much with you as it did with me. Upon entering the gallery I immediately realized how much I missed and love photography. I mean I take photos all the time, but I don’t really take care with them. I just snap whatever. Visiting Foam really made me want start taking photography more seriously again.

When I went they had exhibitions by Broomberg & Chanarin, Geert Goiris, and Regine Peterson. To be honest I really enjoyed all of them. They were very different from one another so it was nice to see a broad range of what photography can be.

I am definitely looking forward to going back when they change around their space.

What are some of your favorite museums to visit?

Until next time x

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Daily Diary: The Hague

DSC_0270 Last weekend my friend Chloe and I decided to do a day trip to another city in the Netherlands. After much deliberation (And checking of train ticket costs because the place I wanted to head to was 50 Euros…) we decided on The Hague or Den Haag. We set out early Saturday morning and arrived at about 10ish. Even though it was a cloudy miserable looking day I really enjoyed our trip. We mostly just meandered around the old part of the city, but it was nice to see all of the buildings and just chat. DSC_0271DSC_0272DSC_0274The Parliament buildings. We really wished we could go inside but alas, we couldn’t. DSC_0279Old with the new.

DSC_0309We did end up going to one museum, the Escher Museum. The museum showcases work by Maurits Cornelis Escher who I did not know I knew until I saw some of his designs. He is most famous for his impossible constructions such as the one that has a bunch of staircases in different directions.

DSC_0280I enjoyed the museum quite a bit, and a lot of his work especially. Another special feature of the museum was that in every room they would have a different crazy chandelier. There were ones shaped as guitar’s, missiles, and sharks. So weird and amazing.DSC_0287Belvedere. 1958.

One thing that we didn’t understand about the museum however, was why his work was being shown in that particular building. In every room it would have snippets of information about when the Queen lived there, which made for a rather strange juxtaposition. DSC_0295Metamorphoses II.DSC_0299At the end of the museum they had multiple rooms with interact illusion things… my English is failing me right now. Sorry!DSC_0318A church we happened upon. DSC_0325And a giant statue we wandered to while trying to get somewhere else.

I think The Hague is a very interesting city because the Dutch parliament and monarchy reside there. So there are a number of historical buildings to see. We didn’t end up going to the palace but I am sure it would have been quite a site!

I am really looking forward to more trips like this in the future! It is so much fun to get out of Amsterdam for a bit and see more of the Netherlands and hopefully soon, more of Europe.

Until next time x

Amsterdam at Night

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I love Amsterdam at night. As soon as the sun goes down and the lights of the city come on, it has a completely different vibe. Depending on where you go, it can be peaceful to stroll along the canals and watch the lights reflect in the water. But if you are looking for more of a party vibe, the city definitely has that too. I think one of my new goals is going to be to see more of Amsterdam at night, I definitely don’t spend as much time out as I should when the city is so magical. Enjoy these few photos I managed to take at my favorite time of day!

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What is your favorite city to see at night?

Until next time x

Daily Diary: Oude Kerk

DSC_0800A couple of days ago I ventured out of my dorm with a mission to see Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam. Thanks to a couple of mishaps and my not liking classes, I now only have two courses this semester, which means I have a lot of free time on my hands. I have no idea what I am going to do with myself! I really need to get a new hobby… But until I find that new hobby, I have been trying to busy myself with touring Amsterdam.

I started my day by taking the sprinter from Diemen to Amsterdam Centraal, and then went by foot to find Oude Kerk. Of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t get lost once or twice on my way there, but I made it eventually. It was actually rather shocking because I think that Oude Kerk is right next to the red light district, so I found myself once again trying to hide my camera and get out of there as fast as possible. DSC_0809DSC_0756DSC_0734

Oude Kerk is the first cathedral that I have ever visited and it was stunning! I could have probably spent hours standing in there looking at the columns and stained glass windows. My personal favorite thing to look at was watching how the sunlight shone through the windows and made intricate shadows over the rest of the church. So beautiful. DSC_0737DSC_0771DSC_0735

The craziest spiral staircase I have ever seen. Insane.

DSC_0722Until the 29th of March there is an installation in the Cathedral by the video artist Tony Oursler. It was very strange to see an 800 year old building paired with a video installation. I actually didn’t like it very much to be honest. It ruined the serenity of the place, especially because the recordings and videos were so haunting to listen to.DSC_0790

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Rembrandt’s wife Saskia’s grave.

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After my visit at Oude Kerk I thought I might wander the streets of Amsterdam until I found a nice cafe to sit in, drink hot chocolate and write. Instead my plan was diverted when I saw a fry stand (I don’t really know what they’re called..). I had yet to try these vlaamse frites, but every time I am in Amsterdam I see hoards of people eating them, so I knew I had to try them. They are just simple french fries covered in a sauce of your choosing. I opted for Belgium mayonnaise because I think that might be the traditional sauce so I wanted to try that first. And oh. my. gosh. They are amazing! I am seriously craving some write now… I know that every time I go into Amsterdam now if I see one of those stands I am going to have to test my will power to not buy more.

Afterwords I planned to walk around more, but it was so cold that I ended up going home. Some Canadian I am, eh? I hope that everyone likes this new idea for a post. I decided to make a “daily diary” series to share the places and things I get up to on the days when it is something interesting.

Until next time x

In The Dark Room: Series

DSC_0649   The final project from my photography class was to make a series. This could be done by telling a story or simply having all of your pictures relate somehow, it was up to you. When my professor first told us that this was our final project I initailly didn’t like the idea. Storytelling has never been my fortay and I think it really showed. I had a very hard time coming up with ideas of what I should photograph so this was a very last minute concept. I saw the bull skull laying on the patio outside (Yes my house is full of an assortment of weird things!) and had a sudden burst of inspiration. For my project I used the bull and horse skull as well as some deer antlers juxtaposed with Kimberly to make a series that focused on the idea of death and life. DSC_0648DSC_0650

I’ll be honest, this theme didn’t come to me initially. It was only after discussing the meaning of my series with my classmates during my critique that it really came to me. I originally just thought that having a bunch of skulls was good enough to have my photos relate and winged it. What a bad photographer I am! I especially liked one theory my professor had. She said that it looked like Kimberly was slowly becoming an animal herself and that this was the story I was telling (because of the order in which I presented my photos). Maybe I will stick with that one.DSC_0651

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In hindsight I do kind of wish that I had created a story, because I think that those types of photographs can be so powerful. Maybe next time though? I did really enjoy taking these photos thought. And some of them (especially the first one) turned out amazing! I wish all of my photos could look like that! Spot on focusing, which is something I actually have a hard time doing, so proud. hah. DSC_0647

One thing that I do have to complain about however, is framing. I love photography but having to frame each photo with matte board is the bane of my existence. So much so, that for this project I exploited Kimberly’s kindness and got her to cut out each sheet for me. The worst part is that I always have a white boarder around each photo when I print and you have to cut this off. Trying not to cut into the photo is the hardest thing in the world, and absolutely heartbreaking when you do! That is why some of the photo’s edges may seem a tad bit wobbly. Next time I do this I know to invest in a good x-acto knife. Ok, rant done!

I have one more ‘In the Dark Room’ post that I am thinking about putting up. It was one of our first projects but I was unhappy with it because I used Ilford HP5 film that made the photos very grainy. Other than that though it wasn’t bad, so maybe.

Until next time x

PS. I now have a bloglovin! <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/12513745/?claim=qw7ywvumb9p”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Walks in a Winter Wonderland

During the winter months I usually find myself huddled up in a blanket by a cozy fire sipping on some tea or hot chocolate. Rarely do I ever venture outside since I was a kid and playing in the snow was considered fun. *shivers*. My problem with winter is that I actually do want to go outside, get some fresh air, and exercise, but I get cold so easily that I end up staying put. This winter I am trying to change that, even though its a rather slow going process, by advenuring outside a little more than usual. Last week Sean and I went walking along Mission Creek and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t too cold, and the creek being covered with ice was beautiful. The only thing we had to watch out for was slipping on the ice that covered nearly every inch of the path! Please enjoy these photos that I snapped while taking in this winter landscape.DSC_0682DSC_0671 DSC_0703 DSC_0725 DSC_0726DSC_0736DSC_0753 DSC_0754

In the Dark Room: Light Project

 

Untitled-1    The semester is finally over, aside from one exam and an essay I need to complete, but I am all about celebrating as soon as possible so…. yaaay! I am currently writing this back log of a post because I don’t want to start my seven page essay which is due in two days. Whoops once again for procrastination. This was my favorite project of the semester and I am very proud of it actually. The project was all about light, whether that be painting with light or just shadows from a tree it was your choice. I opted for night shots only and tried experimenting in a few different settings. I remember being so anxious about whether or not these photos would develop properly because I had never taken night shots with film before. Luckily, they did turn out really well, although these shots might not show it. I just quickly photographed the photos with my dslr so I can share them here, but its not the best quality. I was too lazy to scan them.

I shot two rolls of ilford delta with ISO 100. This was my first time using any film that wasn’t ISO 400 but I really liked it. I actually want to go out and try to take more night shots, especially since there are so many pretty lights around due to Christmas.Untitled-2The first thing I tried for this project was painting with light. I wanted to write something but we discovered that it is just way to hard. I usually would test shoot with my dslr first to see if they would turn out but it never looked right. That is why I opted for this infinity sign instead of the billion other things we tried.Untitled-5When my prof first told us about this project the first thing that I thought of shooting were cars driving on the highway. We have only one walkway in Kelowna that goes about the highway so that is where I headed. It was really fun shooting there and it made me want to go elsewhere in town and shoot more traffic. The patterns that cars make are really interesting. Untitled-3After these two ideas were up I didn’t know what else to shoot to use up my film and then it was like a lightbulb went on over my head. I immediately contracted Kimberly to be my model and draped a string of Christmas lights over her. Thank you Kimberly for putting up with my photography projects! I know you really hate sitting still when I am trying to make my camera focus just right.Untitled-4 1I have already had my last class of photography and I was surprisingly emotional about it. I am hoping to take another class next year when I get back from Amsterdam. But until then I will just be sharing my own photos I take on my travels (Besides the next backlog post from my photography class).

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

until next time x