Shooting Amsterdam: Overcoming Logistical Challenges

© Matt Peyton

Day three, we welcomed Ferry Biedermann to the shoot. Jonathan was preparing for his summer holidays and the hand off between these two fixers was crucial.

Ferry and I returned to Centrum for the morning, while Jonathan Groubert took the opportunity to stay back and plan the rest of our 7-day shoot. Jonathan is an ex-pat New Yorker (Brooklyn side) with a background in radio/audio. We fell into an easy rapport based on silly studio jokes about microphone placement, music references, Monty Python, and so on.

Ferry has a tremendous background in covering the Middle-East as a reporter for the Financial Times, among other outfits. He lent us a whole other take on Amsterdam as a born Amsterdammer, and as a local who was shopping for a home with his wife Nat. This allowed me to indulge my naturally curious side and learn about real estate prices, area residents, and local employment experiences. Ferry was Johnny-on-the-spot with details about square footage of apartments, average prices, what kinds of people live there, and so on.

This particular day was really a double day, and likely the hardest physical day of the tour. The first half with Ferry in Centrum, the second half with Jonathan in Nieuw West; starting on the canals and ending in Sloterpark.

This was also our first experience with an outage on the GPS unit. We’re using a Canon GPS system that ”prints” the geocode and exact direction of every picture we make. Riding around on a scooter, camera around my neck, somewhere between Centrum and Sloterpark, the GPS spit out its single AA battery and then closed itself, hiding the issue. After expressing some bad words, we figured out a fairly brilliant solution that allowed me yet more familiarity with the city. We back tracked through every location since lunch, made one picture of each by the waning light, and then combed across the Geocode from the ”imprinted” picture to the set I made in that location previously. This was a solution that would help us more than once with the somewhat wonky geotagging device.  - Matt Peyton

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