I enjoy the world-between-worlds effect of photographing reflections in windows. With or without a bit of manipulation of contrast, you can find interesting juxtapositions of interiors and exteriors. On January 1, as I was out wandering the quiet city, my eye was caught by the reflection of the Willibrord church in the window of a hi-fi equipment store on Domstraat. The reflection against the window signage created an interesting billboard, particularly since the name Wilbert was there, a name close to the name of the church reflected. The final crowning glory to the image was the almost glitter-like glow from the interior light shining against the glass.
As I explained in my previous post, my first thought for this week’s theme was to photograph the Dom cathedral’s wonderful Gothic windows. However, as I was walking down Domstraat toward the cathedral, I passed this art gallery that has been a frequent source of inspiration for me. A window installation of the work of one of their featured artists inspired my own artwork that now hangs in our bedroom. The current exhibit by an artist who does wonderful graphic-style images of Utrecht is another favorite. I love seeing the different parts of the city depicted in this format.
As I walked past the gallery Saturday, I was inspired by one of the paintings. The artist has focused on one section of the Stadhuis, including just the windows and the ubiquitous bicycles. I loved the idea of using this painting of windows, seen through a window, with the reflections of other windows layered over it all. Even better, some of the Gothic windows of the cathedral, which is just a few steps away, are reflected in the gallery’s window.
Additionally, I love how the windows in the painting seem to line up so well with the windows of the building reflected in the gallery window. This collection of windows, all in one window, was too good an opportunity to pass up!
I went over to the Oudegracht area today for a couple of reasons. First off, my main goal was to go to the Stadhuis to see the Trekhaak Gezocht exhibit. They have some photos and bits and bobs showing one man (and his dog) on a hitchhiking trip from Utrecht to the three European Cultural Capital Cities of 2010. The kicker is that he was hitchhiking with a caravan. As he headed from city to city, he had to rely upon the kindness of strangers to help tow his caravan from place to place. The website has a lot of info in English, so I do recommend checking it out. And if you’re in Utrecht, head to the Stadhuis before 1 November to see the exhibit. Plus, on 31 October, there will be a free showing of the documentary that was made along the way.
My second goal of the day was to head to Hema to get their infamous (and delicious) rooktworst. We’re having hutspot tonight! Yum! Lekker! *drool*
As I was wandering through the city (with camera phone, rather than full-on camera), I saw a few unusual sights. First was that broken umbrella hanging from a branch out over the Oudegracht, as seen above. I’m not sure if it blew away and happened to get caught, or if someone decided to toss it and managed to catch it on a branch. Either way, it was kind of pretty amid the few yellow leaves and against the reflection in the canal.
Yet I think the most unexpected sight I saw was the arrival of the holiday lights that are strung up over many of the streets here in town. Echt? Already? It’s not even November! I know the pepernoten has been out for a while, as have the chocolate letters, but somehow I thought the lights might wait a little bit longer.
The colors are a bit muted, but that’s what happens when you take a walk in the evening. Still, I like this photo for the calm nature of the scene. I love all the little canals you stumble across here in town, the ones that have these little vignettes of day-to-day life. There’s something about this terrace that makes me think of Daytona Beach. Maybe it’s the sense of casual life lived outdoors. It’s not decorated straight out of a catalog; it’s comfortable and homey. I also just really love small bridge reflections in water.