Sea side
05 March, 2022

Zandvoort. On the right Badhuisplein square, with apartments that will be demolished soon, to make space for new building.
A spur of the moment decision to take a day off from work, get on the train and spend the day at a beach resort. A bit of an odd choice I admit. I like the beach and have a weak spot for sea side architecture, but only in winter, in a quiet, off season atmosphere. Nothing of the sort, as expected, on a sunny day in March, in the midst of spring vacation. It was nice even so, taking a long walk along the boulevard, reading the papers while having tea and a sandwich at a beach pavilion, a bit of sun on my face.

Also, I’m trying to get along with the light and colours of sunny days, if only to get me through the summer season. I never photograph much under these conditions, except when traveling. And even then I’d rather not. In France last year I tried to make peace with blazing sunlight and blue skies. I managed to sqeeze a little series out of these efforts, and I quite like them to be honest. But these are black and whites. Sun at noon for beginners. And also I cheated.

Colour photography is something else though. Drop shadows and back light are more difficult to handle, colours, blues and greens especially, are too prominent to my taste, and, coming from a digital camera, not very subtle or pleasing. I feel it requires a completely different way of working, miles away from what I’ve been doing so far. These are the two pictures that I like best. But obviously there is nothing ‘different’ about them, it’s what I always do. At least I put light and colours to good use, I think, instead of trying to deny them. I’m even a little fond of these hints of orange in both pictures.

I doubt if I will ever feel comfortable photographing on summer days, it’s not just a technicial thing of course. Or not at all, really. The discomfort with summer and bright weather goes way back and stems from long before I ever held a camera.