Transport Through Amsterdam

An urban exploration of transportation throughout Amsterdam. Photographed by Cameron Scarlett and Fiona Flanagan.

For our article for this year’s Neutral Magazine we had the opportunity to join the Media Geographies trip to Amsterdam, to create a portfolio of images in order to develop them into a photo essay. To make our photo essay unique we decided to take not only a DSLR, but a disposable camera to get different situational angles. We decided to focus our photo essay on Amsterdam’s transport network, with a focus on trams, ferries, cars, aeroplanes, bicycles, cars and boats.

As part of the trip we had lectures in various areas of the city, some accessible solely by ferry. Our first lecture was situated in Noord, meaning we all needed to catch the passenger ferry over to Buiksloterweg. This gave us an opportunity to catch a glimpse of commuters and tourists alike making their way over to tourist hotspots like the EYE FilmMuseum, a location that half of the student group chose to visit – with the other half sightseeing at A’dam Lookout. The Lookout features Europe’s highest swing, as well as a 360˚ sky deck, bar and restaurant all with panoramic views.

Visiting classic tourist destinations gave us the opportunity to take photographs of Amsterdam’s movements. In order to catch the ferry over to Buiksloterweg where we had a class, we had to first visit Centraal Station, where the photo of the graffitied train was taken, the number 5 tram heading to Amstelveen, and the photo of Cameron standing by the canal. We noticed the mass number of cyclists in the city, as seen with our photos of the bicycle rack by Centraal station and the girls giggling in Vondelpark. The vast amount of cyclists amazed us as it was an introduction to a whole new and inviting culture.

We chose to walk the canals as opposed to getting aboard a tourist canal boat, following the boats at stages to catch them next to scenic locations giving a real sense of transport in the city. The picture of Fiona stood overlooking the canal watching the city go by, the two tourist boat images and the river with the stacked bicycle rack in the foreground reflect our city exploration.

Another form of transport we chose to focus upon was the journey to Amsterdam, with the image of the glass doors in the arrivals lounge of Amsterdam Schiphol airport, showing the open doors of transport and security. We were offered the opportunity to enter the cockpit as we had a short delay before take-off at Leeds Bradford Airport, giving us a new perspective of flying. Our photograph of the wing of the aeroplane with the sunset backdrop also reflects the various stages of a flight.

The image of the cyclist and the train track was taken on our journey from our hostel in Zeeburg to Schiphol airport. Our hostel was located rather centrally, with transport access into the city via the number 14 tram, and was fully equipped with everything a student of a trip would desire, alongside a selection of restaurants, bars and shops nearby. Our trip was a highly successful and eye-opening one, reflected in our imagery.