For over a year now, the whole world has looked like nothing we've seen before. COVID-19 suddenly put our busy lives on pause and turned lively cities into modern post-apocalypse. Many photographers who breathe traveling were forced to turn their lenses to their hometowns. One of these photographers is Dutch photographer and cinematographer Stijn Hoekstra, who captured how once-vibrant Amsterdam turned into an eerie ghost city under the pandemic restrictions.
One February night after the snowfall, equipped with a camera and a permit to leave the house after 9 PM (weird times we live in, huh?), Hoekstra went out to capture the empty and lonely streets of his city.
"Like so many other countries, the Netherlands is also in lockdown, which means all unnecessary shops remain closed and people are still advised to work from home. From January 23rd, the government introduced the curfew from 09:00 PM till 04:30 AM in which you are not allowed outside unless you have a permit. At the beginning of the curfew, I wanted to go outside, but I wasn’t able to find the right storyline for the pictures. In the first week of February, heavy snowfall was predicted, so I arranged the necessary permit to go out on the streets. The city once so vibrant felt eerie without anybody. I walked for hours during the cold night in which the city was covered with a beautiful white blanket. I knew, and hoped to never find the city like this ever again," Hoekstra told Bored Panda.