Amsterdam - My Home

June 1 - 2020.

 

It’s finally done! My long awaited timelapse film about my current hometown Amsterdam. This film consists of footage shot during a 2 year period (mostly before COVID), has all different seasons transitioning into each other and even has a lunar eclipse above the city skyline. It was shot during different times I was home in between my international travels as a professional landscape photographer.

 

With this timelapse film I wanted to create something unique. I wanted to create a visual experience with beauty, flow and emotion. I want locals to be proud of their city when they watch this film, and tourists wanting to visit (even more). I put this all in a film packed with little details. There’s a big ‘fun facts’ list where you can read all about it (see below).

 

Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful (and relatively little) cities in the world. Our city is not ‘spectacular’ as it does not have impressive skyscrapers and hyper modern buildings. But It’s just the whole atmosphere with our beautiful old buildings, romantic canals and everything that comes with it that makes it special. 

 

I’m super excited to finally release this film and I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed creating it. 

- Albert

For licensing of 4k+ footage, please contact me at info@albertdros.com

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Technical information:

Duration to make: about 2 years

Footage Size: around 500 gb

Gear Used:

Sony A7RIV

Sony A7RIII

Sony A7III

Lenses:

Sony 16-35GM

Sony 100-400GM

Sony 24-70GM

Laowa 10-18mm (mostly on the slider)

iFootage Shark Mini Slider

Miops Trigger

Laowa 10-18mm full frame lens for a lot of extreme wide shots on the slider

Photoclam + Fotopro tripods

Benro Geared Head for moon shots

SunwayFoto Heads

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Fun Facts

  • Shooting was done over 2 years, and getting around with the sliders was 100% done by bike. I lived near the Artis Zoo and was able to get around very fast and easy by using the bike.

  • The sound design was done by Alexander Clement. He did an incredible job with the sound and music to give the right feel to the film.

  • In winter 2018, I wasn’t able to shoot for 1 month straight because of bad weather conditions.

  • The slider shots were done with a small iFootage slider of only 50cm on 1 tripod. It sometimes looks they’re much bigger movements because I was often using a 10mm full frame lens and getting super close to foreground objects, like railings, bicycle bells etc. 

  • I probably spent more time in the field taking shots that failed than shots that actually succeeded. Planning the weather in the city is difficult, especially spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

  • I used less than half of the footage I shot in the final film. I actually have much more time lapses that are of similar production quality but I just couldn’t fit them in all.

  • All shots with the moon were planned with an app called Photopills. It can be used to plan sun position, moon position and the stars.

  • The introduction shot was shot from the Hilton Skylounge. I went here over 10 times to get the conditions I wanted. On top of that I wanted to make photos and shoot time lapses during the NYE of 2019. I rented a suite for 800 euro for the night, but it was completely fogged up for the whole night so I had zero usable footage. I still had a good time celebrating the New Year with my girlfriend.

  • At 00:40 seconds into the film, there is a tilting shot that points up to the church where the moon is appearing. This moon is actually ‘fake’. I put it there using special effects and masking. Ofcourse it becomes real when the shot zooms in. The next shot is a realtime video of the moon shot at 600mm with 2x teleconverter and using crop mode on the camera, so an effective focal length of around 1700mm

  • The shot with the extremely crowded Amstel canal at 1:03 is in winter 2018. It’s so crowded because of the Amsterdam Light festival, that appears every year during winter times. The idea of the Amsterdam Light festival came from the tourist boat organisations to generate income in the more quiet winter months. As you can see, they succeeded.

  • At 1:31 you hear a street organ. It's a world famous street organ called 'De Arabier", from Museum Speelklok in Utrecht playing "Aan de Amsterdamse grachten".  The original song "Aan de Amsterdamse grachten" ("At the Amsterdam canals") is a Dutch song by Pieter Goemans. It was written in 1949 but not recorded until 1956, and many times more since then. It is one of the standard songs celebrating the city of Amsterdam. The recording of the street organ was done by Nicolás Díaz, a Dutch producer. 

  • The sequence at 2 minutes into the film shows a Lunar eclipse that was shot at January 2019. It goes from the full eclipse to slowly revealing the moon again. I was sitting at the docks in front of the Nemo museum. We were extremely lucky to see the full lunar eclipse because it’s often cloudy in the Netherlands. It was surreal to see the lunar eclipse reflecting in the clear and still waters. I sat there for about 4 hours in the early morning hours, from 4 AM in the morning. I was using 2 cameras to shoot both close ups and a wide frame. The 2 shots from 2:09 were actually not shot the same morning, but during another morning in February when there was the supermoon. They’re real time shots (as you can see from the birds and the plane) and no timelapses.

  • The shots with the grey weather you see from 2:20 is considered the typical weather in the Netherlands, mostly according to Dutch people: Grey and Rainy. 

  • At 2:30 we see the Utrechtse Straat in Christmas lights. I always find it the most beautiful street in the winter months they the street is beautifully decorated.

  • We’re in a tram at 2:34. This tram is not actually a ‘usual’ tram. It’s a super old tram that is part of a museum that you can check out here. They only drive during some Sundays and during some occasions like at the last days of the year. The man driving the tram at the time, mr. Carels showed great passion for the old trams and told me many interesting stories. He was so kind to let me stand next to him while driving a circle through the city. He did not see the footage ever, until the release of this film almost 2 years later after I recorded it. 

  • At 2:38 you see another man stepping out of the tram, operating the switch for the tracks outside manually. This is how they did it in the old days.

  • The part at 2:50 where the tram movement transitions into windows of houses consists of a bunch of photos I took from different windows that are animated in After Effects.

  • The part that comes after that has scenes from the Amsterdam Light Festival, That I told you about earlier. Every year, different artists make lighting artworks around the city.  Look closely at 2:58 and you’ll see a Van Gogh painting in lights!

  • The Ice skating track you see at 3:10 appears every winter at the museumplein. You see it transitioning to water with pots of tulips at 3:16. That’s the same as in reality: The ice track is at the exact same location as the tulips in winter.

  • The place you see at the Royal Palace at 3:20 is the tulip festival that opens every year. It marks the start of the tulip season. Every year, the Tulip Festival organisation put tulips around Amsterdam during April.

  • The scene at 3:24 on an almost empty Dam Square was shot during COVID-19. You’ll never see the Dam square as empty as this.

  • The season transitions from 4:05 took quite some planning. I marked a bunch of shots that I wanted to shoot through different seasons. I already had in mind that the making of this timelapse was going to be long and I wanted to do some special things, like the moon eclipse, and the season transitions. We almost never see snow in the city. If we’re lucky 1 or 2 days per year. I was super happy to have some snow in the film, even for just a few seconds.

  • Look closely at the last shot at 5:10 where the moon moves behind the flag and you'll see that this is the Amsterdam flag (you can see it well at the beginning of the shot). The flag is the flag from the ship at the Scheepvaart Museum.

  • If it wasn’t for COVID-19 that happened in 2020, I would’ve not finished the film for probably another year. Actually, I don’t know if it would ever have been finished. Having some spare time during the pandemic allowed me to finish this film.

  • This film was inspired by time lapses of FilmSpektakel . Do check them out. Their Taste Of .... Films are amazing!

  • The image gallery below has a lot of images from the time-lapse film, but also has a lot of images that do not appear in the film at all. They're either from different shoots that didn't make the final film, or separate photo shoots over the years. 

Image Gallery

Behind The Scenes