Have you seen the Keizersgracht lately? How about the Amstel?
February 23rd, 2013 by Alisa
...Because if you're not lucky enough to have experienced the pure unadulterated magic of Amsterdam's largest canalfronts then let's face it, you're missing out!
If this is indeed the case, then you are in luck mainly due to the magic of modern-day photography, but also because of some of the world's most ridiculously talented and committed photographers. You see, in a city like Amsterdam a picture of regular size and framing, no matter how lovely, rarely does justice to the magnificent Golden Age architecture found throughout central Amsterdam. The buildings found all around the city center, the narrow merchants' houses, were never intended to stand alone, or even in pairs. They are connected and interconnected, divided only occasionally by canals and narrow alleyways, and often form continuous strands of fantastic architecture. Although each structure is unique and different, it would look sullen and lonesome without its neighbors. How, then, does one transport such a wealth of architectural history into a photograph?
Enter Panorama Streetline.
Panorama Streeline developed as a project, or rather a sideproject to a project. The goal of this group of globe-trotting photographers is to visualize whole street blocks of cities instead of just cut off views. A panorama angle provides a context and a narrative for a shot. It also carries across to the viewer the character and building traditions of that particular city landscape.
Panorama Streetline's methods have proven particularly effective in our beloved Amsterdam, where the architecture often feeds off the majesty of the many waterways that crisscross this city. See for yourself the results of the project's take on the mouth of the Amstel: (clear here for a full screen view)
For their latest project, Panorama Streetline tackled the mighty Keizersgracht, and the results are astounding:
Says photographer Jörg Rom of his time in Amsterdam taking these pictures,
"It was freezing cold these two days in Amsterdam and I couldn't feel my fingers anymore, but I thought I was lucky to be able to capture the Gracht System of Amsterdam in ice and get a very sunny day. In the Keizersgracht for example I was able to photograph a whole group of people skating the ice and I tried to capture all of them in different parts of the canal to later create a montage that would give an impression of a lot of people on the ice. However the most complicated thing was to stitch the bridge of Leidsestraat in the middle of the panorama to create the whole image."
Panorama Streetline is just getting started, however. Stay tuned to the collective's Facebook page for news on their latest projects, because they are taking over the world with their lenses. In terms of Amsterdam, they have no shortage of upcoming projects as this map shows. Jörg Dietrich, one of the program managers of Panorama Streetline tells me that the collective is also hoping to get many more photographers contributing throughout Europe: "We hope to involve more photographers in the future to collect an archive of similar works from all over Europe. We are also open for co-operations and projects where people are interested in getting similar views or doing exhibition projects with us."
So there you have it, folks. The future of travel photography is here... and it is a panorama.
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