Category: Various

All things related to running your own businesses in the creative sector. The fascinating life of a freelancer. From apple pie to business card. Promotion and acquisition on old and new media. Maintaining a bilingual website and blog. Visits to completed projects. Exhibitions and more.

Detail of a knitting pattern of the Rotterdam skyline

The Rotterdam Skyline Knitting Pattern

3Develop, the reliable source for all your knitting patterns … I have the feeling that a lot of my blog posts start with “… is not 3Develop’s core business, but …”. This is that kind of posts again. Graphic skyline It is yet another spin-off of my Rotterdam skyline project. I made this graphic portrayal of the city’s skyline a few years ago for a contest. Which I lost ingloriously but since then the picture, in different versions, has started to live a life of its own. It hangs on walls, it adorns birth announcement cards and on April 9...

Overview of all the Pinterest boards by Frans Blok/3Develop: webshops, photography, artist impressions, digital art and inspiration

Pinterest for Self-Employed Creatives

Of all the social media that emerged over the last few years Pinterest doesn’t seem to have a very cool reputation. The digital pin board is suffering of an image problem: it is thought to be populated primarily by elderly women who use it to exchange knitting patterns. There is of course nothing wrong with that, but apparentlyas a social medium you’re only taken seriously when you’re used by trendy food vloggers (Instagram), bored adolescents (Snapchat) or populist politicians (Twitter). Visual But on reflection Pinterest appears to have a much more diverse group of users. Women are, indeed, the majority, but one-third of all pinners...

The Forest Planetarium of Arnhem: eight stainless steel spheres in the Cold Pond in Sonsbeek Park

The Arnhem Forest Planetarium and the Lost Planets

A few years ago I had a brilliant idea: a model of the solar system on the scale of the municipality of Rotterdam. Just because it’s important to see the bigger picture, to know which larger system we’re a part of. And because it’s fun to be amazed about how big everything is. And how small we are ourselves. Streetplanetarium The city of Rotterdam is a very suitable place for such a streetpanetarium because there is a long trail of port areas attached to the city. Therefore, the distance between the center and the extreme outer regions is so large...

Machine heads for a guitar with baroque decorations

He says an old guitar is all he can afford.

Sometimes I’m amazed about how cheap some things are. Who would have thought, for example, that my old guitar could be repaired for less than ten euros? I’ve been playing this acoustic guitar for decades. It’s just an avarage guitar, nothing special, but that’s okay because I’m not a gifted guitarist either. At a campfire I can provide some rhytmic guidance to the singing, and that’s about it. It’s impossible to figure out how old the instrument is, but a few stickers on the back, with fading psychedelic colors and nineteen sixties typography, suggest that we might have the same...

36 photo's from Frans Blok's Instagram account

The Instagram top 7 – my most popular images

How do you find out what your most liked photos on Instagram are? I expected a button somewhere that would provide that information. Unfortunately, it turns out that there are only some apps that can do the job but they have their limitations. The only way is to go through all of your photos, manually write down the markings and put them in the right order. Instagram is a social medium that you can’t afford to ignore as a photographer and / or visualisor. But I had to get used to it, one and a half years ago when I...

The author with a red jacket on television in a fictional "Summer Guests" talkshow

A Summer Guest in October

Every year in July and August there’s a show, made by VPRO on Dutch television, called Zomergasten (Summer Guests). From eight till eleven PM one guest shows and talks about his favorite television clips. The guests can be anyone, from the prime minister or celebrities from the world of entertainment to scientists or designers who are largely unknown outside their own field of expertise. Whining about the program is a kind of national sport. The skills of the host, the selection of guests and the fragments they choose, the occasions in which everyone is enthousiastic are very rare. One would...

Selection of photographs with the theme of Rotterdam on the edges of the night

Rotterdam: the Edges of the Night – new expo in the Lijnbaan gallery

Since this week there’s a new exhbition of photographs from my Rotterdam collection in my Lijnbaan gallery. This didn’t happen at the expense of the permanent collection, which is still there like it has been in the last two years on the front facade of 3Develop’s premises in one of the residential building in the Lijnbaan national heritage area. Blue Hours Unlike the permanent collection, which gives an comprehensive overview of my work, I have picked a more defined theme this time: Rotterdam on the Edges of the Night. Photos taken in the so-called blue hour before sunrise and after...

Corten steel wall under van der Louw bridge in Rotterdam with root shaped openings shaping the word ROTTE-DAM

The Wijnhaven effect

Why is it easier for our eyes to recognize certain patterns when we see those patterns on a photograph instead of seeing them in real life? Three examples and an attempt to explain the phenomenon. The extended Willems Bridge, it was a weird name for the bridge across Wijnhaven. Especially after the Willems Bridge itself was relocated two hundred meters further upstream, only connected to the extended portion by a strangely twisting road. A good reason to rename it Andre van der Louw Bridge, after the man with the moustache and the pipe who from 1974 to 1981 was mayor...

Black and white photo of a two year old boy and a young goat, made in the summer of 1964

Six Decades of Photography

There are people – though they must be very old by now – who have witnessed both the first plane and the moon landing. A similar feeling comes over me when I think of how photography has evolved during my life. I have turned my archive upside down and made the following reconstruction. It will probably sound very familiar to anyone in their fifties or older and is hopefully informative for anyone who is younger. For convenience, I’ve summarized it into Six Decades of Photography, though I missed part of the first decade, and we still have to bring the...

Image made in Google Earth of the layer of 3d buildings in downtown Rotterdam, showing the city hall, the former post office, Beurs wtc and the new Timmerhuis

Four Features of Google Earth

For many years, Google Earth has been my favorite product by the company from California. Okay, the search engine is also very useful. But it remains priceless to be able to travel in a matter of seconds from outer space to any place on Earth. Or on the Moon or Mars. An unconvenient side effect however is that programs like Google Earth tend to fall victim to rapidly aging. It’s much more fun when the used satellite and aerial imagery, and the layer with the 3D buildings, are current. And lately Google didn’t really seem to do its best to...