Digital Reflections of Rotterdam
I often see them in photo groups on Facebook: photos of Erasmus Bridge, or other iconic buildings located near the river, reflecting in the mirror-like water surface of the river Nieuwe Maas.
But the Maas is never smooth like a mirror. Rotterdam is the location where the water of the river meets the flow of the tides from the Northsea. As a result, even in completely windless weather there are always big and little waves. In reality, the Maas therefore is hardly more reflective than, say, the turf in stadium De Kuip or the new pavement on Coolsingel boulevard.
So how are those mirror photos of the Maas made? The answer is of course: with a little help from modern technology. With Photoshop for example or, if you want more control over the waves, with 3ds Max.
Behind the scenes
The image below provides a look behind the screens, or maybe I should say in front of them. A camera low above the digital water surface, the wave dimensions and other characteristics of which can be varied. And behind it a screen with the scene to be mirrored.
You can call it kitsch, you can call it cheating. You can also use words like atmospheric, picturesque or surreal. Call it what you want, without this kind of special effects these pictures could not be made.
It becomes rather funny when this technique is used to reflect buildings in rivers or canals that don’t even exist. Such as the Central Station, of which one of the nicknames, the Shark’s Mouth, is even more apt when mirrored.
I created a whole series of water reflections of Rotterdam icons and set up a special room for them in my online gallery. Fourteen images and counting. Feel free to look around; there are, like often a gallery, price tags but viewing them is absolutely free…
Please note: shipping only to the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France. If you live anywhere else on the planet, check my international gallery. With the added bonus of curtains, pillows, duver covers and other household items with these images printed on them!
Requests for new pictures are also welcome, just tell me in the comments below!