I needed a project. One that would get my creative juices flowing, but would be simple to execute.
I was looking for something that had nothing to do with writing, or blogging even. I didn't really want it to be travel-related and I wasn't keen on it being something I kept up with every day, or even every week. (You may have noticed my poor monthly book reviews have slowed to a halt... sigh.) But I also wanted to learn from it and to have something at the end that would both document a journey but also represent something I could be proud of,
I don't know why I chose doors specifically. Maybe it was because they provide a perfect canvas for attempting to perfect how well I capture straight lines, or maybe it's because of what they represent figuratively, but when I snapped a quick photo of a really unusual Amsterdam School house not far from my own, my eyes were drawn to the door more than anything.
And so #damgooddoors was born, a series of photos of Amsterdam's doors that I post on Instagram.
I've always loved doors, and have written about this before. It didn't take me long, therefore, to notice Amsterdam's doors. So varied, so quaint, so impossible to ignore once you've noticed them. I love how they not only show off the range of architectural styles that you find in Amsterdam, from slanting doorways of the 17th century canal houses in the centre of town to the individualistic and often slightly odd doors you find in Amsterdam School buildings in the Diamantbuurt and Rivierentbuurt areas that aren't so far from where I live. Although they may not be regarded as pretty as others, I even like the pastel-shaded doors of the 1960s and 1970s blocks scattered around the city, and I shouldn't have to explain why I love the curves and glamour of the art nouveau and art deco doors I spot in between.
But more than the aesthetics of these doors, I love what they represent. A door is an opening, an invitation, a way into a home, our most sacred of places. It's also a closing, a seal, a mysterious barrier, but always a movable obstacle.
I know doors won't move other people in the same way, and maybe Amsterdam doesn't have the most dramatic, breath-taking doors in the world (even Lucca's were instantly more attractive) but I hope you'll indulge me as I continue to sporadically (I love that word!) document my #damgooddoors here too. (Speaking of which, here are Amsterdam Doors 21 - 40)
And please, tell me what you like photographing these days? I'm always looking for new Instagram or Flickr accounts to follow so please do share in the comments.
Frances M. Thompson
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