Spectacular 4K Time-Lapse of Amsterdam Captures the Elegance of This European Jewel

Dutch landscape photographer Albert Dros is known for his imagery of locales like Kyrgyzstan and Antarctica, as well as explorations of his home country. Now thanks to his new 4K time-lapse, he's able to show off the beauty of Amsterdam. The film was two years in the making and is an inspiring tribute to this jewel of a city.

Dros took advantage of his time during the COVID-19 lockdown to finalize the film, which mainly contains footage shot before the pandemic. Over the course of five and a half minutes, viewers are treated to crystal clear time-lapses that highlight the best of Amsterdam. “With this timelapse film I wanted to create something unique,” Dros writes. “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.”

Both the shooting and the editing were no easy feat. Over the course of those two years, Dros estimates that he shot over 500 GB of footage. What ended up in the final film is less than half of what he actually captured, as he curated the best bits for the short movie. Some special moments in the final cut include a lunar eclipse from January 2019 that begins at the two-minute mark, as well as footage from the annual Amsterdam Light Festival that happens about a minute into the film.

As Dros zips around the city capturing Amsterdam's iconic canals, we see the boats moving through the waters and cyclists making their way along the streets. The bustling atmosphere of the city is evident, except for one eerie moment that occurs just before the three-and-a-half minute mark. A nearly empty Dam Square is filmed during the day, with just a few scattered cyclists cutting across the plaza. This is one of the few pieces of footage the photographer filmed during COVID-19, taking advantage of the rare opportunity to see this normally crowded space without people.

From spring tulips to Christmas trees, each season gets their due and we have the unique opportunity to see just how special Amsterdam is at any time of year. Thanks to his hard work, Dros helps us appreciate this small city just a little bit more.

“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,” he says. “But it’s just the whole atmosphere with our beautiful old buildings, romantic canals, and everything that comes with it.”

See some of the stills from Albert Dros' stunning 4K time-lapse of Amsterdam.

Tulips in Amsterdam's Dam Square

Amsterdam at Sunset

Canal in Amsterdam

Amsterdam at Sunset

Amsterdam at Sunset with the Moon in Amsterdam

Boats and Architecture Reflecting in the Water in Amsterdam

Buildings Along Amsterdam Canal at Night

It took two years to take the footage in the film, which allowed Dros to shoot during different seasons.

Time Lapse Setup by Albert Dros

Time Lapse Setup by Albert Dros

Shooting a Time Lapse in the Winter

Albert Dros: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Albert Dros.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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