Windmills at the Zaanse Schans Netherlands. I don’t travel a lot when I am in the Netherlands. But i saw some very inspiring photos of other photographers from the windmills at the Zaanse Schans and decided that I had to go there too. 🙂
What is it ?
The Zaanse Schans is a residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life. Stroll past the bakery museum and enjoy the smell of fresh bread, or take a look at the warehouse where clogs are made. You should be sure not to miss the cheese factory, pewter foundry and the various windmills. The Zaanse Schans is a unique part of the Netherlands, full of wooden houses, mills, barns and workshops. (text: zaanseschans.nl)
From a distance you can already see the sails of the windmills slowly turning, with extensive meadows in the background. It’s a serene image, but hard work is going on inside the mills. The creaking, toiling wood and all moving parts in the belly of the building make up an imposing spectacle in which wood is sawn, or oil, flour, spices and pigments are milled.
There are about 10 windmills at the Zaanse Schans. In the village there are a couple of small windmills. All the windmills function well and you can go inside. Climb on one of the decks and you have a great view over the area.
The windmills are really old and still operate in a traditional way. However, at most windmills you need to pay an entrance fee to get in. In the village you can buy a card that gives you entry to all the windmills and museums.
How to get there
Quite simple. Take a train from any station to Zaanse Schans. Get out there and walk for about 10 minutes following the signs ‘Zaanse Schans’. Once you at the bridge you already can see the windmills and village.
For photographers, the Zaanse Schans’ is a real heaven. Throughout the year you can visit the place and, at times, you have spectacular sunsets and sunrises. Together with the windmills you have a really, i mean really nice scenery. Even in Wintertime it is nice to go there. The downside is that you have tons of people visiting the place so you always get some people in your photos. For me not a problem but there are some of us that see that as a problem. Also at times there can be an ‘extensive line up’ of photographers at certain locations. Just follow the tripods and you know when you are at one of the Zaanse Schans top photo locations !
Bring a wide lens and a standard zoom. I recommend to use filters like ND and CPL. Use a sturdy tripod. Best times to make photos: afternoon around sunset. Light will be incredible. If you have a camera body with a high dynamic range, you will have a blast post processing. Really the color, the light you can bring it really to ‘life’.
Click to enlarge.
And here are all the photos of Windmills at the Zaanse Schans. Click to enlarge.