Looking back: Curaçao at the beginning of last year6 min read

A year ago. Only a year ago. Already a year ago. We were posted up on a tropical island. Taking photos of the blue ocean water and sharing them online with captions like “Blue Monday isn’t that bad this year”.

Ha, who would’ve thought we’d be here a year later.

Blue Monday was past Monday so it’s technically already 4 days removed. Or 361 days removed, depending on if you believe in the linearity of time or not.

I’m doing pretty well these days but I could do with a little more sunshine and adventure. Thankfully, I take pictures of damn near everything these days and last year’s trip to Curaçao wasn’t an exception. I just want to highlight five of my favourite shots from the trip and talk about them a little.

Photo number one

Mitchel Lensink De Lens Picture of a bike in Curacao

This first shot is one I’ve taken on the second day, which makes it exactly one year ago that I took it. I still go back to it quite a lot because I like how easy and friendly the whole scene looks.

You can sense the warm weather despite it being overcast. The bike is there, which tells you this is nice place to ride it. Places that you are happy to ride your bike are mostly happy places. Those places provide you with space and are calm enough to manoeuvre a bicycle through them. Maybe I’m thinking too much of it but that’s just where my mind wanders when I look at it.

Also, somebody though it was a good idea to paint it orange, a happy color. All this a clues, to me, of a happy place.

Finally, the orange of the bike and green of the folliage compliment each other very well. That’s an added bonus!

Photo number two

Mitchel Lensink De Lens Picture of some trees in Curacao

This second photo is taken at Shete Boka National Park, which is famous for its seven bays (hence the name) but my eye drew to these dramatically shaped trees as well. It was around noon that we arrived at the park and these trees are just off the parking lot.

The bright sun was burning straight from above and created a dramatic shadow-play underneath the trees. Combined with the curly shapes of the branches, I think it makes for an interesting shot.

Still, it lacks a focal point as were basically just peering into a bunch of bushes. That doesn’t matter to me though as it helps serve the memory, which is invaluable.

Photo number three

Mitchel Lensink De Lens Picture of the Rastafari Car Wash in Curacao

This third photo is of the Rastafari Car Wash that’s a known sight on the island. We haven’t visited the place any more than this. It was about time for lunch. Priorities had to be made.

I’m happy I grabbed this shot from across the road though. It’s visually stimulating enough with its colourfulness and abundance of subjects. To be honest, I can’t even point out what matters most in the shot.

You notice the cash wash sign on the fence first, I think. Then perhaps the big mural after it. Then the red stop sign. The two-tone colours of the stairs, which lead your eye to the massiveness of the tree. There are some carparts on the balcony. And a tire hanging from one of the branches on the tree. Who put all these cans on the spikes of the fence? I see there’s a chair on in front of the whole thing that hasn’t been sat on in a long time.

It’s a busy scene.

Photo number four

Mitchel Lensink De Lens Picture of the sunset in a bar in Curacao

This fourth photo is taken at one of our favourite bars on the island. It’s a scuba dive bar just outside of Willemstad that had good food, cold beers, super friendly service and complimentary(!) beach chairs. The beach was made of rocks and not that nice but, come on, you’re looking at the Carribean Sea here. What’s not to like?

The photo was taken when we were on one of our many afternoon hangouts and the sun was starting to set. We probably just ordered our second bucket of Polar beers and maybe even a pizza. I noticed how the rays were beaming through a gap in foliage and filled the place with a warm glow.

All I had to do was grab my camera, which I carried with me everywhere, and capture the mooooood.

Photo number five

Mitchel Lensink De Lens Picture of a car in a garden in Curacao

Finally, this fifth picture was taken on one of our many walks across the island. Perhaps even to the supermarket. I don’t remember any more of the specifics of the moment but the juxtaposition of the different elements drew my attention.

As you can see, the main focal point are the cars. One of them is a pretty nice convertible. At first sight, it looks like it belongs in a nice driveway. A place that has, you know, tarmac or something. This car was just out there parked in a garden, right in the dirt. There’s even a chicken standing next to it.

Now, I’m not saying this is wrong in any way. I just thought it was fun to see these different things come together in one scene. The added foreground of the leaves make it a perfect capture of how I experienced the island.

That’s all I have to say today. This has been fun so perhaps I’ll do more looking back on other photos in the future.

See you tomorrow.

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Hey, I’m Mitchel Lensink. I’m a photographer and writer from The Netherlands. Want to know more than that? You can find out on my about page.

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