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Amsterdam Through My Daughter’s Eyes

June 6, 2012

If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I was in Amsterdam for a family vacation.  After we picked up the excellent Workcycles cargo bike pictured above I gave my two and a half year old daughter an old digital camera, figuring it would keep her occupied on some of our longer sightseeing jaunts and bike trips.  I taught her how to push the shutter button and my only instruction to her was, “Hold it up.”  While I realize that every picture was a happy accident, I like to imagine that she composed them with purpose and artistry.  What follows are highlights; the full set of her vision of Amsterdam is on Flickr.

Compare the picture above with the picture at the very top of this post.  She took this one moments after I snapped the one of her in the bike.  You can see the tourist boat further away in the shot I took and just about to go under the bridge in the shot she took.

The photo above was taken on Westerkade in front of our apartment in the Jordaan.  We parked our bikes here and the front corner of the bakfiets can be seen on the right side of the picture.

With rain in the forecast, we decided to hit some of the more touristy sites during our first full day in Amsterdam.  Here I am at Museumplein.  My daughter may have figured out how to compose this picture because my wife was standing next to her with my camera taking the same one.

She took more than a few shots of the floor of the cargo bike.  This one was taken after we waited out the rain at a cafe over lunch.

After our first rainy day we had nothing but perfect weather for the rest of our trip.  We took a day trip along the Vecht to the town of Loenen, about 22 kilometers south of Amsterdam.  We were on separated bike paths for almost the entire time.  I saw this picture after we stopped and was pretty impressed that my daughter managed to place my wife in the center of the frame while we were both moving.

We stopped for lunch along the way.  Here’s a less than flattering shot of me and my wife with our faces stuffed with cheese sandwiches.

I took my camera out and took a picture of my daughter taking a picture of us.  It’s in the same location as the shot right above it, but from the reverse angle.

When we returned to Amsterdam, we went out for rijstaffel, a traditional Dutch colonial Indonesian feast.  My daughter took a few self-portraits while we waited for our food.  This one is my favorite.

My daughter loved the train ride, but didn’t ask to have the camera at any other time during our trip to the Hague.

This is Marnixstraat, behind our apartment.  I’ll have to ask Michael Colville-Andersen if this qualifies as Cycle Chic.

We stopped to admire this windmill during our trip along the Vecht.  When I searched the camera to see if my daughter had been able to take a picture of it, I didn’t find anything.  Chances are she missed pressing the button or maybe it was too difficult to press down with those little fingers.  In looking at this picture, I can’t help but wonder how many more pictures she thought she was taking but didn’t and what sparked her interest enough to motivate her to point and shoot, so to speak.

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7 Comments
  1. Steve O. permalink
    June 7, 2012 9:48 am

    Great post. I love to look through the eyes of children…

  2. June 7, 2012 5:52 pm

    Fantastic post! I get tears in my eyes to see my own country by your daughters eyes.

  3. June 7, 2012 8:39 pm

    Herbert, glad you like it! We loved our trip and can’t wait to go back.

  4. June 10, 2012 5:02 pm

    What a cool way for her to document the trip! She’s adorable!

  5. June 13, 2012 1:14 am

    This is so great. Looks like she figured out photography pretty quickly, too.

  6. Boza permalink
    June 13, 2012 5:20 pm

    Beautifull!

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