Peter Kun Frary | Photographer

Window Girl Redux • Amsterdam, Netherlands


This image is an impressionistic approach where I panned the camera during exposure and rendered the scene as a blur, but with discernible shapes. This is not a PhotoShop effect. Oddly, the reflection of the tourist in the window is sharp as she was moving about the same speed and direction as the camera. The reflection was an accident but it improves the image. The next window girl is boring but realistic:

These blurry images were among the last batch of pictures I took in Amsterdam, my last stop in Europe. It's certainly the most photojournalistic. I'm mainly a landscape and travel photographer, so my images normally have no social implications. I strive to produce images that speak of universal beauty and stand on their own graphically. So, yeah, this image sucks but exudes social implications. It was the best I could muster under the circumstances. I shot from the hip while on the run! The mere sight of my camera set off a chain reaction of curtain closing and verbal threats. I didn't go back for a reshoot.

Perhaps the lack of a face illustrates the impersonal nature of prostitution: intimacy without affection, attraction or much of anything save an exchange of Euros. Human nature has not changed since Biblical times: women still sell themselves and men still buy. Hell, we still make war and enslave one another. We haven't come very far in 3000 years.

I was surprised at how modest the red light area was: a narrow alley lined with rooms the size of music practice studios. I had imagined blocks of ornate whorehouses fronting cobblestone streets! Rooms were fitted with a glass door, illuminated with red light and just big enough for a tiny bed. Each woman posed in the window or reclined on the bed to display her assets. If busy with a client, the curtain was closed.

The girls weren't very attractive but maybe I walked by during off hours and saw the second string shift. Plenty of creepy guys hanging around in the alley. I felt sorry for the women having to service rejects all day. But that's why they get paid the big bucks. Here on Honolulu's Kukui street things are much the same, except we have ladyboys and druggies trolling for dumb dips.

Finally, note my handsome reflection in the window...

Canon EOS 40D and EF-s 17-55 2.8 IS USM

Galleria Europa

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