Sure it’s not quite photojournalism. And for all its bells and whistles the iPhone lacks the charm of a Nikon F. But photographing these poor umbrellas has become something of a pastime for me. So sometimes, as I’m doing my best Rod Stewart shuffle struggling to get the picture I want, I can’t help but feel a little like Dennis Hopper’s wigged-out crazy snapper in Apocalypse Now.
The rain hammering down. The bemused stares from passersby. The certain knowledge of the futility of what I’m doing in trying to document the ones who don’t survive the storm. After all, this is Amsterdam, where umbrellas go to die.
I’ll be posting the latest from 2012 soon, in the meantime I hope you enjoy my favourites from 2011!
1. The "Amsterdammer"; To me this is the epitome of what dead umbrellas are about. You see it every time it rains. A cyclist struggling against the rain with a half-broken umbrella.
2. The "splat"; One of Expat Julia's favourites. She feels passionately about this one because "the poor thing is squashed! Trapped, abandoned & squashed! The sad sodden little thing!!"
3. The "skeleton"; How much force does it take to rip the fabric of an umbrella from its spokes?
4. The "optimist"; I like this because it demonstrates the inherent optimism behind so many dead umbrellas. This umbrellas was never going to fit in that bin but someone nevertheless gave it a go.
5. The "wanderer"; You see them blowing down the road but how often do you see one with an Englishman in hot pursuit? Capturing the movement is not so easy with an iPhone.
6. The "spider"; The classic inside-out, stuck to the floor, unwilling to budge again even for the rain...
7. The "burial"; Planted in the bin. I like this one because it captures the mood so well.
8. The "first one"; I had seen a number of other discarded umbrellas around Oosterdokseiland after a good down pour but this is the first one I photographed.