Local Heart, Global Soul

February 18, 2019

Black, White And Deep Indigo…

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Just before our Easter break visit to Zeeland in 2017, I finally bought the telephoto camera lens I had been pining after for several years.

It’s a “Sigma” brand, still a very expensive purchase at Euro 1.250,- but still considerably cheaper than if I had opted for a Canon lens to match my Canon camera.

Now I look like a “real” photographer, but since it’s fairly heavy, I don’t carry it around attached to the camera but in it’s case, safely in my backpack or in the zipped up basket below the wheelchair.

Then I can attach it when I want. Eager to try it out and always interested in photographing birds at close range, I rigged it up on the living room table for an experiment.

Our accommodation had heavy curtains so I used clothes pegs to close the curtains completely, leaving only a “peep” hole for the camera lens.

Out on the lawn and on the garden table I have been scattering bird seed since we arrived some days earlier so that the birds would get used to there being food here.

Then I got up very early and scattered more birdseed on the table and grass whilst it was still almost dark.

The sun came up within half an hour or so and in between trying to stop Himself noisily clattering his breakfast plates, cutlery and seemingly everything else he touched, I attempted to photograph birds.

Finally Himself disappeared back to bed  with coffee to read his book in comfort, not just because I requested less noise but also since I had rather inconveniently plunged the living-room into gloom by closing all the curtains.

After a small interval of silence the birds arrived. This is a bird that I first thought was a magpie, but close up it’s clear it’s not. At first glance I also thought this birds colours consisted of only black and white, but closer inspection reveals a deep  indigo blue/purple patch of feathers that he kind of wears like a little cape further down it’s back and towards his tail feathers. It strikes a formal note: looks a bit like a suit worn to a gala. He may be a She of course. I don’t know. This is a lovely little bird, full of character, looking directly at the camera often, even though I am well hidden and can only see outside via the camera lens.  He looks like the Orca of the bird world. Lovely suit… dressed to kill? Only worms are in danger I think. He takes whatever seeds he can get but has a distinct preference for the raw peanuts. These are Arty shots… I may have a go at drawing one of the birds I photograph here one of these days, Into the Reference files these go, a safe spot to stash my stash.

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 16, 2019

For Drawing Cobbles And Tiles…

Ok, a weird “Arty” post just for myself.  It’s all very well wanting to draw an object if you are in the drawing mood, but what do you do with the background? How do you fill in details of the ground, of cobbles and bricked pavements? Ditto for things like roof lines, how do you draw the tiles that cover them if you can not see them up close and understand how they fit together? the light and shade? texture? colour? and everything else you need to literally fill in the gaps? For me the answer is to make a post that delights me and probably has you all scratching your heads. This is a handy place for my “reference files.” If you are arty it might be something you do too? Don’t worry: “normal service” will be resumed tomorrow.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 8, 2019

Stadhuis Rooms…

Other parts of Zierikzee’s Gemeente Stadhuis (City council / Town Hall) that I managed to visit during the 2017 Easter break, were several beautiful rooms. However I didn’t see all of the Stadhuis by any means because of time constraints, mostly due to my taking time out to keep sitting down to have a rest. One room has a large piece that has been made with thousands of sea shells. Marble pieces above the fireplaces are also amazing…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 1, 2019

Making Up Pleasing Architectural Detail…

A Photographic essay of the streets of central Zierikzee, some taken seated on random house steps with the telephoto lens, others with the car window rolled down, the rest as we travelled in and out of the city several times. I like the combinations of light, textures, shapes, plus the quirkiness of centuries old buildings that lean with their not-quite-straight walls and bricks of different colours and ages. Then there are the  decorative elements: different coloured bricks producing patterns in the brickwork, fancywork on the iron bolts holding walls together, scrolls, arches, all the little things that make up pleasing architectural detail.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 29, 2019

Apparently The Designer Also Had An Eye For Detail…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Walking around Zierikzee in 2017 (or rather more accurately, “sitting” around the town as I took frequent rest stops), I took the opportunity to test drive my new telephoto lens and one of the landmark municipal buildings seems like a good place to start.

The “Stadhuis” (City Council / City Hall) building is endowed with more detail then seems logical, even for a detail fanatic like me, given that the tower is tall and what can be seen with the naked eye is limited by distance.

It’s also not a space open for public visits and yet, the designer determined to make every part of it beautiful.

Not only are there decorations, there are also sometimes decorations on decorations, for instance small faces on the tower decorative pieces that jut out into the changing skyline.

There are beautiful finials, decorative brickwork, the whole gambit so I barely knew where to point the lens first.

The designer of this spire certainly had an eye for detail and the workmanship here is stunning.

I have no clue if he could ever imagined that three to four hundred years later someone with a “machine” that can spy see right up close to his work and design ad yet the person doing the viwêwing, be seated so far away.

The wood work here is little doodling in detail, there are little features and facets to delight any artist.

I take a heap of photographs for my Reference files and the architectural detail tag, I have a feeling that I an not the only one who might be inspired by this…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 26, 2019

Rooftop Trigger-Happy Zooms…

My “trigger-happy” trials with my new (in 2017) telephoto camera lens continued during our Zeeland 2017 Easter break. Himself had dropped me off in Zierikzee and whilst taking several rests I took photographs, this time focusing on rooftops and rooflines. I posted one bird photo because these two birdies sat together for quite a long while, fluffing up their feathers, making themselves comfortable, looking around and at each other, then one flew off, (I’d waited for this, trying to get the first part of flight, but the first bird left just as I was taking a drink from my water bottle) the other waited a short moment and then I got photographs of it about to launch itself off the chimney and then the first moment of flight.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) The moment before the leap as the last bird prepares to depart…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) launching into the air, the first moment of flight…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 25, 2019

Both Necessity And Opportunity: Telephoto Trigger Happy…

When visiting Zierikzee during the Easter break of 2017, I took along my brand new telephoto camera lens. Taking frequent rests was both a necessity and opportunity, and with the advantage of many Dutch houses having steps outside their front door I sat and made myself comfortable and began to play with my new camera toy. Of course getting the hang of things took a little bit of doing and I had no tripod with me, so many photos turned out out of focus or at crazy angles. These are some of my first experimental shots with a telephoto, I need a lot more practice of course but the zoom on this thing is ridiculous. (In a good way). The one disadvantage is that you can’t then quickly switch to a more “normal” camera focal length, so anything up close is impossible and requires a lens change. It’s a specific tool for a specific job and so it’s a matter of training myself to know when best to use it and when I probably can do without it. I have my back-pack , empty except for a water bottle, wallet and the other camera lens so weight isn’t an issue on this trip but it might be if I was carrying more stuff. In the meantime I’m getting trigger-happy with the telephoto…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 13, 2019

Points To House: “I Live There!”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch) on one of the walls of the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren church tower is an enlargement of an old city landscape. the etching this was made from shows Zierikzee’s church and tower prominent in the left centre section and the illustration gives a lot of detail to show how the city looked in the fifteenth century. A cupid holds a shield in one corner with a lion and water, possibly the emblems at the time for either Zierikzee or Zeeland, and another cupid holds a shield, possibly with the coat of arms of the church, or of the Bishop or someone high up in the church at the time. I love the cupids, they have been given pride of place at the top of the etching and have been drawn in amazing detail. The city scape is also an exercise in detail, even down to the small canals at the far right of the etching (the last photograph in this post). A very, very early type of “Google Earth”, people have always been fascinated by cities, where things are, landmarks, boundaries, fortifications, streets and where they fit into to it all. I can almost image someone looking at the original print of this etching and pointing to one of the houses, saying, “I live there!”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 8, 2019

Heavy Shoulders Never Used…

The Sint-Lievensmonstertoren church tower in Zierikzee was meant to be constructed to a height that would have made it the tallest building in the world at the time. Financial difficulties meant that building was discontinued so what was supposed to be the base of the large tower, became just the small tower we see today. These walls were meant to shoulder the weight of a massive tower, instead they sit like a heavy fortification never put to test. There are decorative elements around the tower, it’s well worn but that’s to be expected when you are 565 years old. I take a look to see how the tower was built.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 6, 2019

Little Faces Stare Down From The Façade…

Continuing through the streets of Zierikzee I photograph beautiful pieces of architectural detail: a house that has an entire series of female faces around the upper edge, just before the roofline. At first I thought that maybe they were angels, closer inspection reveals that they are one face, repeated around the façade under the eaves. I have no clue if this was done for luck or was just the fashion of the day, but if you keep your eyes peeled, small details pop out at you one after another. I find old brickwork, beautiful doors, a place that has a Royal Warrant, meaning that they have some official connection in supplying their goods/service to the Dutch Royal household, this is a way to boast about it. The motto of the Netherlands (always written in French): “Je Maintiendrai” formally translates as “I shall maintain” or more loosely as: “maintain, sustain, ensure, preserve, secure, keep enforce, hold, establish, protect… (thank you Google) but I’m not quite sure exactly what it is that is that is being maintained, the Dutch State? I’m assuming it must be that at the very least. I managed to take one door handle photograph in such a way that it looks like it’s floating. Other ornamental pieces are just pleasing to the eye.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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