Rockin' Rotterdam

The evolving story of this photographic project

Contributor View - Eduardo Longo

I was lucky enough to join the official launch of the project on the 27th of November, together with some other 20 photography enthusiasts. As anticipated, it was a very nice experience - more than that, it was an opportunity to gain some insights into how I photograph, which I would like to share here: - there is something refreshing about pushing yourself to take a creative photo of a street you wouldn't normally go in the first place. You get there and tell yourself: "There's nothing here to photograph". Then you look harder and come to the conclusion that "There's REALLY nothing here to photograph...". However, you are committed to taking a photo and that pushes you out of your comfort zone: you look high, you look low, you look for tiny details, you observe how people "interact" with the city, you look for light, shapes and color, you move away from the focal length you use most naturally... A great exercise to develop your photographic eye!

You quickly realize that you need to manage your time if you plan to cover a certain number of streets in a few hours. Meaning that you need to decide when it's worth to wait for a photo to evolve and when you had already put enough effort on it. I already knew that I tend to spend too much time trying to make a photo that in the end I will find only OK whilst I spend too little time on those that I know I will like much better. Having to select only one photo for each street made me more acutely aware of this tendency to do the opposite of what I should - which can only be good to my photography.

Finally, one can experience photographing as a solitary endeavor, but browsing through the photo galleries of the project gives me a totally different feeling. My photos blend together with the photos of many other photographers to create a collective story - a story of the diversity you can find in a city like Rotterdam, intertwined with the story of the diversity of perspectives the people who inhabit or visit the same city have. I would love to hear about others' insights. And I hope that this sharing stimulates many other keen photographers to join this exciting project.

Eduardo Longo