You can see here gallery of black and white and color digital pictures taken by Ryszard Lebmor.
Pictures of Amsterdam: canals, streets, bicycles, coffeeshops, graffitis, night in Amsterdam.
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Camera: Digital Camera: Nikon D80;
Lens: AF Nikkor ED 80-200/2.8, Sigma EX ASP 24 - 70 mm/2.8, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 EX DC
Amsterdam is probably the oldest of the young cities of the world. It exists almost eight hundred years, but at the same time Amsterdam is today the city of young people, artists, newcomers from all over the Netherlands, immigrants from all over the world.
The name of the city means more or less 'the dam on the Amstel' because it has been founded at the spot where Amstel River falls into the Ijmeer, the area of water which used to be a big North Sea bay, but now is closed from the sea by the huge dam (Afsluitdijk, completed 1932). The Ijmeer was hundreds of years ago a perfect protection from the North Sea storms to the sailing ships and the Amstel River was an ideal communication line with the rest of the Netherlands. From a small fishing village in the early Middle Ages, Amsterdam grew into an important harbor of the end of the 16th century.
The peak of Amsterdam commerce activity falls on the Dutch Golden Age - the 17th century. Amsterdam grew into one of the biggest cities of Northern Europe becoming also the world's most important financial center. Within 50 years, between 1585 - 1635, the city expanded far beyond the medieval defense walls. The circular rings of the canals were added. Hundreds of newly built townhouses of merchants were at the same time their businesses. In fact, often the warehouse has been located on the upper floors or at the back of the townhouse. The scale of the commercial and shipping activity has been enormous. Only in one direction of the Mediterranean, each year more than 400 ships were leaving the port of Amsterdam. Powerful Far East Company was trading as far as Africa, India, China, Japan and Indonesia. Large part of today's Brazil has been conquered. The main merchandise was grain, brought here from the Baltic Sea as well as spices, silks, cotton and china brought from the Far East. Amsterdam of that time was the city of tolerance. Here the printing of books in many languages took place, best maps were drawn, people like Descartes, who because of their ideas or religion were in danger in their own country, took refuge.
At the end of the 17th century, an industrialization of the agriculture in the Western Europe and the loss of Ukraine by Poland to Russia ended the time of Amsterdam prosperity. London took over as the center of finances, Paris as the center of arts.
Amsterdam of the 19th and 20th centuries remains the city with ambition. With the growth of tourism, Amsterdam became a real tourist attraction. Old houses, canals, interesting landmark buildings as well as the traditional Dutch tolerance permitting open consumption of the soft drugs in the so-called coffee shops and an open prostitution behind the shop-like windows in the selected part of the town called Red Light District. The streets of Amsterdam are busy during the day; take a few hours rest early in the evening, to become active again until late hours at night. Because Amsterdam is the city vibrant with activity, cultural events, arts. Few cities of this size have so many galleries, theatre shows, concerts, cultural festivals.
For a photographer, Amsterdam means most of all the unique Northern light of the city which is located close to the sea. The light which changes fast during the day, with surprising effect given by clouds, wind, rain. No wonder the Dutch had so many good painters.
Enormous human activity of the city gives photographer also the chance to observe and to catch the unique moments, situations, scenes. Therefore, Amsterdam is not only the city of a special light and old architecture, but also a city of people. People who are active, busy, colorful. People from all over the world. People who are riding their bicycles, walking, painting graffiti's on the old walls of the city, moving in boats through the canals. People who came here from all over the world. Even a short stay in Amsterdam lets you feel this constant flow of energy of this unique historical city which remains eternally young.