What an incredible month February was! I am delighted for the variety of seasons within a month and believe this was a unique opportunity for photographers, no matter the specialty, to showcase the change, the joy, and how everyone enjoyed going from rain to snow, then to ice, and finally to sunny days—more than 20ºC difference inside a month.
I want to share my favorite pictures taken in February around De Wallen, telling you a bit about each of the images. I am dividing the area into five posts to make it a bit more manageable for planning a route.
Let's walk around Amsterdam with pictures. All of my photographs that have been not commissioned are available for sale in 30x40cm format, printed in Professional Photo Paper. Keep in mind a particular treatment is done with the pictures for printing, so there are no faces on them.
Have fun and enjoy your time planning your stay in Amsterdam. At least by now, we can dream of traveling soon.
From Beurspoortje, you can have a great image of the National Monument on Dam Square. Check the ceiling. That is impressive. To the left, you will find the building used for, believe it or Not!, but pay attention to the stairs. The lighting in there can also give you an exciting image. Before Crossing the Beurspoortje, you will find curious pictures on your right.
Mornings help to have cleaner images while doing landscapes. Everything with photography is decisions. Do you want sunrise or sunset lighting? Or do you want a clean shot? Most likely, the sky will tell how the day was. This was an overcast day, and it rained an hour after this picture. One element I always recommend for photos is adding color. In this case, the tram breaks the monotony of the architecture. You can see the Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk, and the building where Peek & Cloppenburg is in this picture. Don't miss the details on the façade of this last building.
When at Dam, don't miss getting close to the National Monument. Read all the inscriptions and how the lions change. Also, there are excellent compositions to try. There is a bench inside the monument. You can use it too. Imagine a picture using the stairs and space to sit?
This one is the most classic and famous image from Amsterdam Center. Damrak in all its beauty. What to be aware of here? We are going to have boats all the way but not at this point. Stairs are going down at the closest point, walking towards Centraal Station. When you are doing pictures, the most prominent position, the stand-up, is not the only one you can do. Change your composition, go closer to the water (don't fall!), and experiment with reflections. This is my favorite place for a snack. Keep in mind you can find plenty of places for snacks in the center, but I will always go for a Smoked Salmon Pita Sandwich at Albert Hein Express.
Do you see that opening in the center of the buildings? Yes, that were the streets before and is still a street now. With the difference, there was no asphalt, but also water! The reason why the city was called Venice of the North. This is the closest point to Beurs van Berlage, the lovely building on your right. But don't cross the structure. Turn left on Oudebrugsteeg, cross Beursstraat, and turn right on Warmoestraat. Continue on Warmoestraat and turn left on the first corner. You will find this in front of you:
Remember that as soon you are in Warmoestraat, you entered De Wallen, known as the Red Light District, which brings a couple of considerations to tell you. Respect the Ladies. They are working.
Let's bring this issue to everyday activities. Do you like someone photographing you without your permission while doing your daily routine?
There is fantastic art around, but be respectful. People are living in this area. Not all are businesses, so try not to be disrespectful. This is why I loved so much the pause of the activities that brought the unique opportunity to discover this area to show you the route that you will enjoy and know, before going, where to go and what things to have in mind. The area around the Oude Kerk has lots of little passages. One of them even scared a friend of mine. She told me she fell a bit claustrophobic because that passage is not much more comprehensive than a person.
You have two options, left or right. Both are beautiful. If you decide to go to the left, you will see more red light windows and Café Putain. It makes fantastic pictures. Go around the church, and there is a café that you can use as a halfway stop. Then go back on your steps to the first image of the church and turn right. There is an open area towards the canal. You will see this bench. Across it, there is a passage. Take it, and in the first corner, take your left. This is the smallest passage I have been to so far. You will see more windows and a message: "Take pictures of the art but respect the ladies." I'm not inventing this. Before leaving the passage, turn back. The street art looked from the outside is fabulous. It is like an optical illusion. Doing it this side, you force everyone to leave to let you pass, then you have the alley exclusively for your picture (You're welcome!).
This one was taken on a sunnier day, right at the end of February. When you go out of the alley, look to your left, you will see the Nicholaas Kerk at the end of the canal. There are three bridges. The closest to the Oude Kerk is still too far for a picture. Get closer and walk only one more bridge. Then you will see this. But, not always been closer helps as if you go for one closer bridge, you will see this:
From this point, turn right, and continue your route, looking for the houses closer to the canals. Something is interesting in the building on your right. The passage is open to cross, and you will see something green that will grab your eye.
Keep exploring, and see you soon with more images of Amsterdam.
Joanna, your Amsterdam photographer
(For now, only in English for a better understanding of all your wishes)