Three wonderful days of touring and exploring old Amsterdam and the museums – that had been the focus of Part 1.  But on our final day we headed to the Centraal train station where a ferry crosses the Ij to the north bank and its modern architecture.


The Amsterdam Centraal train station was built around 1889 but the Dutch have a way of  extending their older buildings with modern architecture. This facade is on the waterfront side and I spotted the shadows and colours cast by the roof structure and composed this shot.

The Dutch were amused at our frantic search for a ticket booth for the ferry about to depart. “It’s free, just walk on” they said, smiling at our shock that this public transport did not require payment. “We’re from Britain” we said by means of an explanation and everyone nodded understandingly.

The EYE film museum lies at the other side. My greater interest on this day was in the external photo opportunities that presented themselves – modern architecture and bold lighting.

A wooden boardwalk and the dramatic angles of the EYE museum
Building or starship?

The shadow cast by the nearby A’dam tower at first seemed to be unfortunate but with a balanced exposure, a dramatic blue wispy-clouded sky and a black and white treatment I felt the images had real impact.

That shadow came from the A’dam Toren, previously the head offices of Royal Dutch Shell. With its square observation platform on top a good shot seemed to be a super wide-angled and symmetrical approach.

The A’dam Toren
Ignoring accurate views, this one is about lines and shapes within the frame

Heading back to the south bank we pass under the railway lines through this tunnel. The contrast of the dark cycle lane against the light pedestrian path struck me.


The lighting was a real challenge with its extreme values but that is where a full frame Nikon and raw image capture can prove its worth.  The light at the end of the tunnel was blinding and I wanted to show the way the light streaked in by exaggerating the darkness:


It was a good day for walking along Prins Hendrikkade and the open basin of the Oosterdok. Wonderful historic barges were at the other side of this area but I was fascinated by this simple jetty, the reflections in the water, and the view towards the domes of the distant Sint Nikolaaskerk.


Another interpretation of the same viewpoint, this time with a longer lens and, having seen so many paintings in the galleries, I was inspired to give it a painterly approach.


Just along from here is the NEMO Science museum. Another architectural treat of disturbing angles and shapes. Its green coppery cladding made for an obvious colour shot but here I preferred to focus on just a part of the building and use black and white to bring out the shapes and textures of the materials.

All courtesy of hard follow-up work in my digital darkroom.


And that for me was Amsterdam on this visit.  I don’t plan my photography, I simply seek out the images in the scenes that I come across as I tour around and my collection of images and the modernity of some of them surprised me.  I expected them all to be more like the one I will leave you with….

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