10 July, 2012

I Amsterdam || Rijksmuseum Blue

I Amsterdam || Waiting For The Magic

While I was in Amsterdam, I really wanted to make a cool shot of The Rijksmuseum during Blue Hour. The thing was, I had no idea how the building would light up, or even if it would light up at all. I find that this happens to me often in European Cities. I’ll get set up and wait for the magic to happen but then… no magic. It baffles me that people go through all of this trouble to design these magnificent structures with no thought to exterior lighting. I know that some of these buildings predate conventional lighting but still, come on Europe. One yellow flood light just doesn’t cut it. ;p

Since I’ve been burned this way so many times, I always make sure to get to my locations extra early. That way I can capture a Golden Hour / Sunset shot in addition to a Blue Hour / Night Shot. Then later on I can decide which version better represents the feeling of the location. Sometimes as a bonus, I end up with two beautiful versions to use.

For this shot I arrived a good 2 hours before what you see here. Once I picked a nice composition and tweaked all my camera settings, I kicked back, opened a bottle of wine, and waited for the magic to happen. I was confident that the dramatic weather would produce some awesome sky drama. All I had to do was be patient and vigilant.
An ominous cloud descends over The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

About the Author

Elia Locardi is an internationally recognized professional travel and destination photographer, writer, public speaker and educator who spends his life seeking out and capturing some of the most beautiful and inspirational locations in the world. Recently featured by Professional Photographer Magazine, CNet Australia, and Wacom USA, Elia has cultivated an engaged social media following of nearly 2.5 million people across Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram. On the road full-time, he teaches the Art of Photography here on www.BlameTheMonkey.com, collaborates with various brands, sponsors and tourism boards, and leads Photography Tours and Post-processing Workshops worldwide.

  • http://annemckinnell.com Anne McKinnell

    What a stunning image, I absolutely love the colours and the whole feeling of the shot. I remember visiting the Rijksmuseum when I was there oh .. uh … OMG 20 years ago (it’s scary when you start thinking in decades), but I don’t remember this water feature at all. I must go back! So beautiful Elia.

  • Eric

    How do you control stop the street lights from flaring?

  • http://csafotography.wordpress.com Chitra Sivasankar Arunagiri

    I love reading your experience. Great writing!!! Love it and the I have no words to say. I am just awestruck!!! Great shot!!!

    • http://www.blamethemonkey.com Elia Locardi

      Thanks for the feedback Chitra! It’s great to have you here. :)

  • http://www.paulvanderheyde.com Paul van der Heyde

    Awesome image! Love the reflection in the water …
    Great tip on the “kick back with a bottle of wine” btw … Maybe this will persuade my girlfriend to wait with me for a great shot (since we mostly go together on trips) :-)

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  • Bryan.c900

    I don’t live to far from there, looks like I will have to go again and wait for the magic hour, great photo see if I can get something like it,?????