Category: Photography

Wooden walkways across the frozen and snow-covered Lake Kralingen in Rotterdam

Looking Back at the Sandwich Winter of 2017/2018

March 20, at a quarter past five in the afternoon, spring officially started, according to the astronomers. For the meteorologists, it even started already on the 1st of March. So it’s time to review the winter of 2017/2018. What kind of winter did we have and especially: were there some winterwonderland photo opportunities? Sandwich The winter of ’17 / ’18 was a sort of sandwich: a grey and boring middle section with some wintery scenes at the beginning and end. It all started promising on Sunday 10 December with a snow front that slowly moved across the Netherlands from the...

Aerial view of the old center of Amsterdam including the Singel canal, the dome of the Koepelkerk and the tower of the Westerkerk

The Open Towers of Amsterdam

Like most Rotterdammers, I tend to refer to Amsterdam somewhat pejoratively as 020 (the city’s area code, which seems to indicate it came second after Rotterdam, 010). But secretly I think it’s quite a nice place. Okay, I still don’t understand why it is the capital when the government is located somewhere else. But especially when it comes to old and new architecture and urbanism there is a lot to see around the Y river. The Open Tower Day on 24 March was therefore a good occasion to take a fast train to Amsterdam. Unfortunately I was too late to...

Photo made from one of the platforms on Utrecht Central railway station during the blue hour with the platform canopies, the station hall and the City Office

Photography on Railway Stations: Do you Need Permission?

I had about ten minutes untill the train to Rotterdam would roll into Utrecht Central Station. just enough time to take some pictures. The hour, just after sundown, and a beautiful sky asked for it. Station hall and City Office So I walked to the end of the platform, put my camera on my mini-tripod and made two photos. First the one below with the platform canopies, the station hall and in the background the City Office. And secondly the photo later in this blog post, with the new pedestrian bridge, the Rabobank building and a passing train. Espionage But...

Longlist of 120 photos nominated for the top 10 of best photos of 2017

Countdown: the Ten Best Photographs of 2017

Just like in 2016, I wanted to present a top-10 of my favorite photos of the year. And like last year that appeared to be a daunting task. In 2017 I took over 6,000 photos; that makes about 20 per day. When I tried to make a longlist, it still contained 120 photos: When choosing the final ten I mainly tried to create a nice selection, with a spread over seasons, locations, themes and parts of the day. It hurts that countless beautiful, sometimes even legendary, photos have not made it to the top 10. But actually that is also...

A freshly fallen leaf of a sweetgum tree, red with some yellow, in the grass in autumn

Looking Back at the Photographic Autumn of 2017

When does autumn begin and end? The answer depends on whether you ask an astronomer or a meteorologist. Equinox and solstice The astronomical autumn begins with the autumn equinox, the moment that day and night, everywhere on Earth, have the same length. Autumn ends with the winter solstice, better known as the shortest day. In 2017, autumn officially started on 22 September at 20.01 Central European Time; the end is scheduled for December 21, 16.18. Because the length of a year on our planet (and actually on almost every other planet) is not an exact number of days, the times...

The Rotterdam town hall seen from the Delftse Poort building with behind it Timmerhuis, Saint Lawrence Church and the Markthal

Making photos through glass – fighting reflections

Last week, together with a number of fellow photographers, I had the opportunity to take photographs from the 37th floor of the Delftse Poort building (formerly known as Nationale Nederlanden). Many thanks to Ramazan Aydogan of Rotta Historica for organizing this event and to the facility management of Delftse Poort for their hospitality. The blue hour Delftse Poort is one of the highest buildings in Rotterdam, and right in the center. You do not get a chance to take photos from such a place very often, and certainly not during the part of the day that is so popular among...

Light trails from cars in the tunnel under Koninginneplein in Venlo at night with slow traffic next to the tunnel.

Venlo revisited: the Koninginneplein Tunnel

The tunnel under Koninginneplein (or should I say Queen’s Square?) in Venlo was completed in 2011. It ensured a smoother and prettier transition between the railway station and the city center. Through traffic went underground; from now on pedestrians could easily and safely walk into the city. Glass panels My Royal HaskoningDHV colleague Mari Baauw was the architect of the project. I had the honor to design the glass panels in the railing between the underpass and the ground level. Six years later It was not the only reason, but Koninginneplein was my main goal when I traveled to Venlo...

Black and white photo of the autumn in the Brediuspark in Woerden, The Netherlands with a low sun and the reflection of trees on the water surface, with a sepia tint applied in Photoshop

Black and White Photography in Photoshop

There has been a challenge going around on Facebook these days. People post a black and white photo of their daily life for seven consecutive days, without people in it and without explanation. And every day they challenge one of their Facebook friends to do the same. Sooner or later, of course, it was my turn. And it’s a real challenge for me. Photos without people, that’s no problem; on most of my photos, I’m already trying to avoid people. But with black and white, I actually had hardly any experience at all. After all, the world is in color...

Stained glass windows in the front facade of Steiger Church in Rotterdam during Open Monuments Day

Open Monuments Day 2017 in Rotterdam: Churches, Shelters and Other Heritage

On 9 and 10 September, doors opened that usually stay closed. Although the name is still singular, Open Monuments Day now covers the entire second weekend of September. Over the years, I’ve seen many Rotterdam monuments during those days. But fortunately, the program offers new surprises every year. And sometimes it’s fun to revisit a monument as well. Schielandshuis I had been in the Schielandshuis, the only 17th century building in the city center , when it was still Museum Rotterdam. These days, it’s used by Rotterdam Partners, an organization dedicated to the promotion of the city (and no one...

The Miniworld or Madurodam effect on a photo of Rotterdam Central Station featuring a yellow bleu Dutch Railways train

The Miniworld Effect

There are so many features on a modern camera that many of them are hardly used by most people. For example, on my Nikon d5100 (but many other cameras have something similar) there is a setting called miniature effect. Since I bought the camera five years ago, I have not given this feature much attention. But a couple of weeks ago I started experimenting with it. And I discovered that, with the right choice of subjects, it can produce some interesting results. Madurodam or Miniworld The miniature effect, as the name suggests, creates the illusion that we are looking at...