My home of Amsterdam, Netherlands has had one crazy winter. Back in December, we got hit by a blizzard that was the most severe that I had ever experienced in this beautiful city. Even though the conditions were challenging, I walked away with some great photographs and a cool slow motion video. I also shared my 7 tips for taking photos in a blizzard. But, this seems to be the winter that never ends.
Last week was extremely cold. February 28th, 2018 set a recored for that day as the coldest in history, breaking the mark set over a century ago, in 1904. It’s crazy to experience this kind of weather here while some of my friends in Norway and Iceland are having warmer weather. Temperatures around -10c at night and still below zero during the day combined with extreme winds that go on for days seemingly make everything freeze up, especially the coastlines. Even the famed canals of Amsterdam froze over, making it possible to ice skate on them. This has not happened over the last 6 years! Seeing my country like this as a photographer is beautiful. I normally only see these crazy ice shards and sculptures when I travel to the Arctic. It has been quite a unique winter.
So I thought it would be interesting to compare some of my photos from this frigid winter with the same scenes taken during the much warmer spring and summer months. As I put this compilation together, even I was shocked by the extreme differences a season makes.
The famous Prinsengracht with the Westerkerk (West-Church) as a backdrop. Last time ice skating was possible here was 6 years ago. Cruises stopped going temporarily because of the ice.
Chunks of ice in the Leidsegracht. The boats are still going here hitting the ice every time.
Shards of ice near the coast of Harderwijk. This is not a real crashed plane. It’s a memorial that commemorates the 117 Allied airmen who were killed around Harderwijk in World War II. Many of their aircraft crashed in the IJsselmeer-lake, which was partly frozen last week.
The lighthouse of Marken had some crazy ice formations forming because of the extreme winds and very cold temperatures.
Another iconic location at Marken are the Icebreakers. Icebreakers are to protect the coastline of large water areas against upcoming ice in winter. This pier will soon be completely gone because of the weather. It was extremely unstable when I got there last week and as can be seen on the before/after pictures it’s already missing a few elements.
A tree lane near my house with no leaves and frost on the trees.
The famous Speulder Forest. All in all it was a beautiful winter. Here are some other shots I took this winter and the year before.
The frozen Markermeer looks like the Arctic. Below, a couple ice-skating on the Markermeer. This lake is extremely big and almost never freezes. You can see a silhouette of Almere in the background.
Ready to skate! Me putting on the ice skates during a nice cold evening ready to skate on the frozen canals.
Last year around the same time we were able to skate on the waters near the famous Kinderdijk. At that time the canals in Amsterdam were not frozen.
A few months earlier this year we had a lot of snow in Amsterdam. This also has not happened since years. All in all this winter has been pretty crazy for our standards.
Extremely frosty day last year made all vegetation frozen.
A very cold morning in the countryside with pastel colours last year.
Surreal scenery with an intense sunset and frozen trees, also taken last year.
Hope you all enjoyed this new ‘Dutch’ series of pictures. Please also check my other series from my own country:
The Beauty of the Netherlands in 20 pictures
For gear I use, check HERE.
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