With all the traveling I have done around the world as a sports photographer and a Navy photographer (a few years prior) I have been lucky enough to see all sorts of great places in multiple continents around the world. One place I hadn’t been was Europe. Thanks to an awesome girlfriend I received a plane ticket to Amsterdam as an early birthday present to join her and her friend Amie on their long ago planned vacation. Let the fun begin!

For starters this is simply a blog of snap shots during my three day vacation. The plan for the trip was to go there and relax and have fun so photography somewhat took a backseat. Below you will find some of the photos from the trip. (There are many others but I am smart enough to know that not all photos are appropriate for the world!)

Below, Jennifer and I are all packed for the trip!


After a four hour flight to Philly, four hour layover and eight hour flight we finally got to Amsterdam. I may be smiling in the below photo after landing but after getting zero sleep on the plane I was not in the best of moods.


One cool thing about Amsterdam I really didn’t realize before going was all the canals throughout the city. In the below photo you can see one of the water taxis that we rode which gives a great view as it traverses the cities waterways.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 500iso, f2.8, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority

Amsterdam is a very cool looking city. It somewhat reminds me of some areas in New York City, except instead of roads there’s water, and instead of rats there’s boats.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 500iso, f2.8, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority

Another great thing about the city is most of the population gets around via bicycles. They even have their own lanes and stop lights. Another very important thing to be mindful of is to not walk in the bike lanes. I never got in anyones way but I saw a few people who did and they got cussed out and threatened with violence!

Below, a couple holds hands as they ride their bikes.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 400iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Aperture Priority

Below has got to be the smallest car I have ever seen that wasn’t being peddled by a child. It makes my good buddy Justin Kase Conder’s car look like a luxury vehicle!


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 400iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Aperture Priority

Below, Jennifer climbs into a wooden clog on a street corner. (I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I am pretty sure it was a popular urination destination!)


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 400iso, f2.8, 1/5000th, Aperture Priority

In one of the many town squares people relax as Pigeons mill around looking to infect with diseases.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 400iso, f2.8, 1/5000th, Aperture Priority

Amsterdams version of a packed parking lot, below.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 400iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Aperture Priority

In the below photo I am guessing that is a sign for a butchers shop….or something really kinky. Regardless of what it actually is, that is a bad ass logo!


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 400iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Aperture Priority

Jennifer, below, attempts to hitchhike a passing horse drawn carriage. No dice.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 500iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Aperture Priority

Some monument framed by a narrow alley.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 500iso, f2.8, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority

Below is the outside view of a very old and cool looking cathedral.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 500iso, f2.8, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority

On the main door entering the church there were signs saying no photography inside so I shot the below photo through a small window on the door.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 500iso, f2.8, 1/100th, Aperture Priority

We went inside and it was a completely amazing looking building. All I could think of was how I would love to do a cool portrait shoot inside.

There were several tourists inside walking around taking photos. None of the ushers said anything so on my way out I took one frame (below) and hoped my exposure looked good.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 640iso, f2.8, 1/100th, Aperture Priority

The old school buildings looked awesome so I shot lots of snaps of the architecture.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 320iso, f4.5, 1/6400th, Aperture Priority

A cool building reflects in a train window as a woman sits.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 320iso, f4.5, 1/500th, Aperture Priority

At night you can find all sorts of street performers entertaining the crowds in hopes of making some tips. My flash lit up the smoke from a nearby person adding a cool effect to the photo.


Canon G10, 800iso, f2.8, 1/60th

Below is a wide angle shot (jokingly wearing Amies glasses) showing the accommodations at the Apple Hotel where we stayed. The woman working the front desk made us upgrade to a room with three beds since two people in a bed, “would break the bed.” Β  Hmmm, she was wrong.


Nikon D300, 10.5-17mm, 800iso, 1/15th, Aperture Priority

One day we all decided to walk through this big park near our hotel. It was Amsterdams version of Central Park and took awhile to walk through. No muggings though!

Below, a Heron does some fishing in a stream.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1000iso, f2.8, 1/6400th, Manual

Not sure what kind of spider this is (below) but all I know is I don’t want it to bite me!


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1000iso, f2.8, 1/1600th, Aperture Priority

Nice light pockets can even make something as boring as a plant look kind of cool.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1000iso, f5, 1/5000th, Manual

A man relaxes in the grass and takes in a book.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1000iso, f5, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

Fresh fruit anyone?


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 500iso, f5, 1/320th, Aperture Priority

The below picture spray painted onto an abandoned building sure is an accurate portrayal of women I’d say!


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 500iso, f5, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

There was lots of graffiti around the city but the below building was my winner for most grafittied building.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 500iso, f5, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

Below is a random sunset photo shot from one of the 1200 bridges in Amsterdam.


Canon G10, 200iso, f2.8, 1/200th

Random building and cloud photo.


Canon G10, 100iso, f2.8, 1/40th

Yet another sunset from a bridge shot (can you tell I wasn’t trying very hard to be creative?)


Canon G10, 100iso, f2.8, 1/50th

Coolest fast food character ever!


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 800iso, f2.8, 1/400th, Aperture Priority

One day for lunch we went to a pancake shop. The below photo is my pancake which is mixed with eggs and strips of bacon! Woo hoo


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 800iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Aperture Priority

Below is my attempt at being a food model.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 800iso, f2.8, 1/250th, Aperture Priority

One of the last things we did during the trip was visit the famous Heineken Brewery.

The below room totally reminded me of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Sadly no oompa loompas were to be found.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Aperture Priority

Random tourist photo.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/100th, Aperture Priority

Cheers for beers.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Aperture Priority

Jennifer strikes a simulated drunk photo pose. Nice!


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Aperture Priority

The beer bottles are filled.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

Then the labels are placed on.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 4000iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

Then Jennifer sits in the cool spaceship looking seats as she watches a beer propaganda video.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/40th, Manual

Then we made a video (not that kind!)

At the end of the tour they take you to a bar and give you drinks. The below two photos are of a cool bar that we weren’t able to drink in.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/160th, Aperture Priority


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Aperture Priority

Jennifer ends the tour by serving drinks to some of the fellow tour patrons.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/200th, Aperture Priority

The trip was only three days but it was a fun filled time experiencing Amsterdam. I can’t wait to go back!

Posted in Me, Scenic, Travel   | 11 Comments

11 responses to “Amsterdam Vacation”

  1. Hi Mark,

    Great shots of Amsterdam! Really takes me back to my trip their a few years ago, it’s a fantastic city with a lot to offer.

    Cheers for taking me on a trip down memory lane πŸ™‚


  2. Rob says:

    God I miss that place. You did a great job capturing the cityscape. My favs are the brewery shots, thanks now I’m thirty and there isn’t a legal beer here for two countries. C’mon October!

  3. That logo represents the people who checked the meat at the old meatmarket.
    If you translate it dutch–>english it says: THE FINDERS ROOM!

  4. sandra742 says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. πŸ™‚ Cheers! Sandra. R.

  5. Kartman says:

    Where are the pics from Club Vandersexx!

    Did you say Fluggaenkd3chioebolsen?

  6. Mike says:

    Hello…..I life in the Netherlands and i like the photo’s very much.
    Nice to see that you had a good vacation.

    If you had send me a mail……i had like to give a tour of Holland πŸ™‚

    Greetings from the Netherlands.

  7. Leonora says:

    Love your pics!!! Nice framing, colors, everything!

  8. Joshua says:

    is it harder to shoot photos on heroin or acid?? j/k nice trip! I’m going there now for sure!

  9. richard says:

    Nice shots but… uhm… that smallest car thing is actually a scoot mobile for the impaired.
    Now in the Netherlands you might find a lot of youngsters driving these things instead of getting a drivers license… And in Amsterdam it beats a car any day of the week!


  10. Great pictures of Amsterdam…. I have a technical question – the ISO setting were all over the place (D700) Many, most, were taken in AP – did you let the camera set the ISO rating, via ISO sensitivity settings, or did you? Thanks in advance for the answer,


  11. Monique says:

    Nice shots! I have a photo of me in that same dutch clog your girlfriend is sitting in πŸ™‚

    You have to go back to Amsterdam April 30 for Queen’s Day. It is insane, and you’ll get some great shots!


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