The Shape of the Sky in Haarlem

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I love traveling, but I'm not much of a tourist. That's even more the case when I'm taking photos -- if I see tourists waiting in line or gathering in one spot to take a photo, I stay away from it.

While I was traveling in Europe last month, I visited two cities that are tourist favorites for their old architecture. Bruges, Belgium (those photos are coming tomorrow) and Haarlem, Netherlands. I weaved around people aiming their cameras at buildings, statues, food, and canals wondering what I can do to be different. I don't like taking travel pictures (or selfies -- I hate those) to advertise how much more fun I'm having on vacation than everyone else who's working, but I'm also not a big fan of taking pictures just to prove to my future self that I was there. When I'm walking around a beautiful city, I'm looking for pictures that I can personally call "art."

I don't usually have a problem with taking the pictures of the same thing as everyone else, so long as I can figure out a way to take its picture differently. Being new, different, unique -- that's the kind of art I crave.

After walking around Bruges for a whole hour, taking pictures of only six things, none of which I really cared for, my idea finally clicked. Everyone points their cameras up at the beautiful buildings, but nobody points their cameras straight up -- at the sky.

Once the idea clicked, I put my widest lens on the camera, and started looking straight up for interesting shapes of the sky that were created by the same buildings everyone was looking at. Then I started getting my butt dirty.

 Bruges -- My dad captured evidence of how I took these pictures. Interestingly, he's not the only one who took pictures of me -- whether people thought it was odd, interesting, or funny, people pulled out their phones just to take pictures of me doing my thing.

Bruges -- My dad captured evidence of how I took these pictures. Interestingly, he's not the only one who took pictures of me -- whether people thought it was odd, interesting, or funny, people pulled out their phones just to take pictures of me doing my thing.

When people look at me funny because of how I'm taking pictures, that's a good sign. It means I'm not doing something ordinary, thus increasing my chances of creating unique, if not interesting or pretty images.

I'm going to start getting my butt dirty more often -- especially when a lot of other people (particularly  tourists) are around.

Below are the photos from Haarlem. Tomorrow, I'm posting photos from Bruges.

 

*click an image to open the full screen gallery