Het is stil in Amsterdam

“Het is stil in Amsterdam. (…) De auto’s en de fietsen zijn levenloze dingen. De stad behoort nu nog aan een paar enkelingen. Zoals ik. Die houden van verlaten straten.” – Ramses Shaffy

This is one of my favorite pictures. An oldie, but goodie. I’ve taken this picture two years ago on a September morning in Amsterdam. I was taking a photography course and my first assignment was to create an Edward Hopper inspired photo. You probably know his painting ‘Nighthawks’. His work always shows something dark or an isolated person in a corner.

I was mulling over the setting of my picture, with only 3 days left on my assignment. On my way to a conference in Amsterdam I brought my camera with me, in the hopes of taking a couple good shots at the end of the day. Killing a few moments before the conference began, I walked over to the Veemkade looking out on the Jan Schaefer bridge. The sunrise battling through the fog, cyclists making their way through morning rush hour and that one man on the right strolling with a jacket over his shoulder.

Here was my Edward Hopper inspired shot. No filters, no edits, just recording that moment. Early morning in the city and I can almost hear the soft tones of ‘Het is stil in Amsterdam’ from Dutch singer Ramses Shaffy: “t Is zo stil in Amsterdam. Ik wou dat ik nu eindelijk iemand tegenkwam.