Four Princesses

four princesses in Amsterda copy


This image feels like it could have been shot in the early 1900’s, but in fact it was taken on my first trip to Amsterdam in the early 2000’s.

We were on our way to a cafe for dinner, when I saw these four little girls in princess dresses walking the same way as us, but on the other side of the street. I had two cameras with me….one was an old Holga (plastic camera, known for soft lenses and light leaks) that was loaded with T-Max 3200 film. The other was my trusty Nikon F3 with color slide film. I immediately pulled the Holga out of my jacket pocket as I noticed that they were crossing the street and would be slightly in front of us. Shooting with the Holga was s double edged sword. On one hand, it was easy as there was very little control over exposure or focus. On the other hand, it was extremely difficult for the exact same reasons.

As they crossed the street, I was able to get one shot as they made their way in front of us. If I’m being totally truthful, I never saw the bicyclist until I had the negative in my hand. He was an exceptionally happy accident that really adds balance. Afterward, I was trying to figure out if I thought I had a decent exposure….but in the end it was too difficult and I just crossed my fingers. I was able to get two exposures of them with my Nikon before they ducked into an ice cream shop for a birthday party. The images are okay, but show none of the energy of this image from the side where you can see them pulling the adult with them in their hurry to get to the pary.

The film was pushed two stops, and then I printed the image using the “lith” process. ( This adds to the graininess of the image, and also helps give it that “period” feel and warmth. Lith printing is a long and involved process, but gives you something that (I feel) is unobtainable with digital. GASP!!

The final image you see here is a scan of an 8″x8″ print.

Thanx for listening!