First off, a warning for Amsterdam. DO NOT leave your gear unattended for even a second. Other than light fingered-ness, it is a pretty safe place.

In Amsterdam, just wander around the central parts, either on foot or rent a bike. There are loads of lovely little streets, buildings, canals and bridges. Amsterdam seems to have all sorts of people, trapped in different time zones / era, so there are loads of "street" opporunities. However, do not photograph and of the ladies/gents in the windows in the red light district.

There are a couple of new areas that are quite popular with the tourists - De Eilanden (Java/KNSM/Borneo/Sporenburg) about 30 minutes walk or 10 minutes tram ride from Centraal Station. A little further out, on the same tram line is a series of brand new islands (IJburg).

A little further out, you could go to Marken, a traditional fishing village with people dressed in traditional costume. It is not as bad as the description would seem :-)

Another place to wander around is Zanse Schaans, with its old windmills. The nearby town also has some nice old houses.

One final note: don't be disappointed with the lack of service in cafes, restaurants, etc. - this is entirely normal ;-)