Photography: Dutch Mills In Kinderdijk 📸

in #ocd2 months ago (edited)

In the week I also shot the night sky in the small village called Veere, I’ve also been to another scenery location together with @dboontje. He did create a post about it already, I'm a bit late to the party🤣. We’ve been to Kinderdijk to capture a typical Dutch landscape scenery. Normally I wouldn’t go there because it is way too crowded with tourists. But to look at the bright side of the worldwide pandemic and the accompanying measurements. Nowadays it’s almost deserted, especially during the not so normal hours during the day. Like we did go out in Veere during the night, we did choose the golden hour for Kinderdijk.

Kinderdijk

Famous tourist spot

Why is Kinderdijk such a tourist magnet? Because in this small area in the Netherlands you will find some of the keystones from the Dutch history and the fight against the water. Everybody knows the story of Hansje Brinker, but it actually is a story created in the USA and not here in the Netherlands. But it is symbolizing the fight we always have with the water, and here in Kinderdijk we work together with the water and the wind to create a safe country to live in and keep our feet dry.

Kinderdijk
Tourist magnet source

Thousands of years ago the area here was one big moor, in between the rivers and the sea.
You could only find people here during the summertime when the water was low enough. But the grounds here where very furtile, so people did create solutions to make it even possible and live here. They build their houses on small sand dunes, but more and more people wanted to live here. This was one of the reasons they build the dikes to protect the people from the flooding rivers. But rain and groundwater still flooded in the areas protected by the dikes. They needed a solution to get rid of that water. The 19 windmills in Kinderdijk where build around 1740. The unique point about this area is that there even nowadays are still so many windmills together. Not only the windmills create a unique Dutch polder environment, but the windmills do still function nowadays. Not the main source of water regulation because that is done by a few other pump stations. In the beginning of the steam age of course with steam but nowadays with Diesel and electric engines. Talking about electricity, Kinderdijk was one of the first areas in the Netherlands where they did have electricity because an energy station was built in the area (approx 1886).

We parked the car
During our walk to the mills

Another fact about this place is the origins of the name for this place. In the year 1421 there was a storm raging in this part of the Netherlands. The dike couldn’t hold the raging terror from the waves crashing at it so the land was flooded by the water. Villages and people flooded away, only Dordrecht (a place nearby) was spared. That night the men that survived and tried to rescue anything that could be rescued noticed something floating on the water. When the object got closer they noticed it was a cradle, and there was a baby sleeping in it and a cat that was balancing the cradle to keep its feet dry. In memory of that night the place got its name Kinderdijk (child dike).

In 1997 UNESCO claimed Kinderdijk as a unique part that shows the Dutch landscape. That’s why they added Kinderdijk to the World Heritage List. Since then millions of people visited this beautiful place (except me and @dboontje because we always thought it was way too crowded). We have some other places like this in the Netherlands and I have never been there before to take pictures. Places like de Zaansche Schans and Giethoorn. Maybe an idea @dboontje to go there for our next adventure now we still can?

Kinderdijk

The scenery

Because of Covid we wanted to take a more peaceful moment of the day to go there. That’s why we decided to opt for a sunset (sunrise could have been an option as well). Because there are 19 windmills, we couldn’t capture them all, the area is way too big for the short amount of time you have during sunset. So we did shoot also a short period after sunset. But that wasn’t planned at all. Before we took off, I searched for the better spots again on Photopills.

Photopills
Photopills
Photopills

While planning we did also check for the weather and the predictions where the best for the 25th of April. The predictions where with some small clouds in the sky (real Dutch skies!). But as most of the time with clouds there nowhere to be seen when you need them. Remember that Supermoon adventure @dboontje wrote about? That night should have been a night without clouds. Well guess what. no clouds! Just work with what you have, when life gives you lemons, just make lemonade 🤙

Kinderdijk

While we arrived, I was dressed in my short pants (like always) but damn it was cold in the chilly winds. Luckily, I had my outdoor pants in the car, so I did a quick change of pants and off we went for another photographic adventure. We noticed all the small tracks and couldn't imagine all those thousands of tourists daily walking around them during normal times. Really there isn't much space between all the waterways.

During our exploration we met some people doing their evening run or going out for a walk and just two other guys taking some pictures. We both loved the space we had by this rarely moment during the COVID pandemic (might be a bit cruel to say or think like this?🤔).

@dboontje wanted to try and take some action shots from the mills. But there was only one at work. That’s why he tried his luck with some birds in flights. For me it was all about presenting the mills with some long shutter times. Just loving the calm and serene mood you can create by this technique. After our moment of time during golden hour we thought we started it to call a day but even after sunset the place feels magical.

While we did walk back to get to the car, Dennis remembered he still needed his trademark (jumpshot), so we created that quickly taking a snapshot with my phone. During that moment we noticed a guy taking pictures from a bridge and he was talking on the phone while changing all the settings on his camera. We placed our tripods on the same bridge and started talking. He lived in this area and he was taking some pictures while he was learning new things with his camera. He had a very COVID proof way of learning stuff. He was doing the practical side of the photography and called a friend who knew how the stuff worked.

Photographer at work
Job done, happy photographer

Loved his approach! During our talk we shared some knowledge regarding shuttertime, diaphragm and ISO settings and how they are related to each other. We enjoyed teaching him a bit and I got the idea he really liked our tips. While the best light was totally gone by now we called it a day and finally did return to the car. We ended the day of course with some coffee!☕️

Kinderdijk

Can’t decide, will you help?

Last question for you dear readers, I got three pictures and normally I can choose very easily but not this time. With the faster shuttertime I love the movement in the water, but that movement isn’t my main subject… With the longer shuttertime I did freeze the water in time and the shapes of the windmill and the bridge combined with the colors in the sky got the attention they deserve. But I also tried a B&W conversion and actually loved the calm and serene look of it where the attention really goes to the bridge and windmill because there are no distractions from colors in the background. Now the question… Which one do you prefer?

Fast shuttertime
Long shuttertime
Black and White
Fast shutterspeedSlow shutterspeedB&W conversion

PS. As you might have heard, I'm not 100% healthy at the moment. A reply at a comment can take a while. Sorry in advance for that... ?

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