With this image I wanted to capture the complete picture of the red light district in Amsterdam, Holland (The Netherlands). The facades of the buildings line the canals where many people also live down in the canal boats in the lower half of the image. So you have this connection with the water and it’s integrated into dutch lifestyle. Flying in to the city from above you really get a good grasp of how much of holland is covered in water.

I stood across the canal from the area with my camera mounted on a tripod and captured a series of images of the scene. You can see a few of the red windows glowing in the night in this image and these rooms are used for what men and women like to do when they’re alone together. What I found interesting about the whole system is that a woman would leave the curtains open and maybe smoke a cigarette or two at the window and when a client entered the curtains would close indicating she was busy.

My stay in Amsterdam taught me so much about the place and it truly is a fascinating city. Many of the buildings facades aren’t just leaning over due to bad foundations but were built this way to allow tenants to hoist goods up to the top floor using a hook on the front of each place. You can see a few of these hooks in the centre of each one at the very top. There was some law against having a lean greater than a ratio of 25:1 as some buildings were created with a gradient that ended in them toppling over.

Amsterdam, seen through a tourists eyes, is a magical place and I hoped to have shared a little more about the place with you here.



Editing technique:

Check out a series of Luminance masks tutorials here: – Luminance Masks and HDR Video Tutorials


OnOne Perfect Effects – An amazing Filter program to stylise your images. Comes as a standalone filter program which can also be launched from Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture.

– Adobe Photoshop CC  used to layer, mask, make adjusments plus much much more. The Photoshop Photography plan allows you access to Photoshop and Lightroom for $9.99/month, definitely worth checking out.

Image Location:


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

For commercial use please contact me

Cheers, Luke



Sony A7r


Nikkor 14-24mm

Focal Length




Shutter Speed

1.6, 4.0, 8.0, 15.0 and 30.0 second exposures



HDR info

Luminance masks


13th August, 2014




Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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