Amsterdam

A few months ago I visited Amsterdam. I decided to post 2 of the pictures I took.

American Bookstore Center

The first one taken at the American Book Center, which has a terrific interior design. Many of their books go with the stairs for every level, giving this unique look:

DSCF0806
(Fuji x100s, A-mode,  f/11, 1/75s, auto iso 6400)

I wanted to capture the curved lines of the stairs, ceiling and wall of books going with it. The wall of books should be the center of attention; the stairs and ceiling showing its curvature. I tried several positions and switched from horizontal to vertical. This perspective seemed best, even though I’m sure I could have done a better job if I took some more time.  Unfortunately a lot of people were using the stairs, so it was more of a now-or-never snap.

I wanted everything to be in focus so I shot in A-mode (aperture priority) set to f/11. Full auto or P-mode probably would have selected something like f/2.8 which would have left too much in this shot out of focus.

The downside of setting a small aperture like f/11 is that a camera needs more time to expose the sensor. So that leaves 2 options: a slow shutter speed or high iso. Since high iso isn’t a problem on the Fuji x100s I went that way: auto-iso chose 6400 set to a minimum shutter of 1/60s).

I could have tuned the ISO down to – say – 1600 giving less noise in the image, but the shutter speed would have been quite long around 1/15s and camera motion blur would have been unavoidable. Since noise is great at high iso’s with this camera I just don’t risk the slower shutter speeds.

Lady on the bench

While walking around I saw this lady sitting on the bench. She seemed so worry-less, elegant, classic ánd modern, the whole look of the scene appealed to me.

DSCF0813
(Fuji x100s, P-mode @ f/5.6, 1/180s, auto iso 400)

I was standing across the street. Zooming is not possible with the Fuji (fixed 23mm lens), so I’d have to move closer. However, I did not want her to be aware I was trying to take her picture (would have ruined it), so I just kept standing there, set my camera to P (everything auto except flash and exposure compensation) and took the shot.

Then I got home and cropped the lady from a much larger picture. Hence the lower resolution (512×786 pixels only).

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