3Develop image blog Blog

Westersingel canal in Rotterdam in the blue hour before sunset with a very thin layer of snow on the grassy banks

The Lousy Winter of ’18/’19

Now that the magnolias are in bloom, it’s about time for my traditional photographic review of last winter. And what a lousy winter it was … One snowflake on a scale of one to five! I know, weather and climate are not quite the same and you cannot automatically blame global warming for every mild winter day. But still it makes you wonder if snow photography has a future. However, the winter of 2018/2019 also had a few photogenic moments. But one had to act quickly. Christmas The first snow fell on the early morning of December 16. It was...

Two different Manfrotto mini tripods on a lawn with daisies

The Manfrotto Brothers on tour

Three years ago I bought a mini tripod for about twenty euros: the Manfrotto Pixi. A very useful investment, because I have since then used this tripod thousands of times. In the blue hours, when taking HDR photos and sometimes in broad daylight, because even then it often improves the sharpness of the photos. Due to its compactness, such a small tripod is extremely stable. In fact, there could only be one reason to use a larger tripod, and that is if you want a higher position than a few inches above ground level. But even then there are often...

A rainbow behind Hallgrimskirkja, the iconic church in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik in Winter

While Western Europe enjoyed a very early spring, travel companion A. and I spent a week in the capital of Iceland capital, Reykjavik. It was definitely not spring there yet, but unfortunately just not wintry enough either. There was ice on lakes, snow on the mountains, and here and there there were large heaps of snow in the street, but no fresh snow fell. Well, that means we’ll have to go back there once more. Metropolis There is something strange about Reykjavik. The city, including suburbs, has only 240,000 inhabitants, just as much as a town like Swansea. Which, by...

The planets Earth and Mars represented by two beach balls in the sand, on the right scale ratio to each other.

Two planets on the beach

Among the general public, there’s remarkably little awareness of the solar system, our immediate environment, our neighbourhood. Many people simply don’t know the difference between the solar system, the galaxy and the universe. Even Dutch national quality newspaper the Volkskrant once wrote that Jupiter is the largest planet in the universe (I’ll never forgive them). Naming the eight planets in the right order is a basic skill that few people posses. Knowledge about the size and mutual distances of these celestial bodies is also very limited. Beach balls For some reason, many people think that Mars is bigger than the...

The floating pontoon bridge across Leuvehaven harbour near the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam during the blue hour before sunrise

January Mornings

In a previous blog, I told you that the earliest sunset, the first milestone on the way to spring, already happens on December 12. The latest sunrise is two and a half weeks later, on December 30th. The graph below makes it clear: on that day in Rotterdam – and it won’t be much different elsewhere in the Netherlands – the sun won’t appear untill 8.50. Expeditions Sunrise at (almost) 9 AM ; that means that in January you do not have to get up extremely early to experience the blue and the golden hours. So every year I set...

Wooden walkbridge through the tidal forest along the river Oude Maas near Ruigeplaatbos in the Rotterdam district of Hoogvliet

Return to Hoogvliet

The Rotterdam district of Hoogvliet, located more than ten kilometers from the city center, is a boring suburb if ever there was one. I’ve spent the first 22 years of my life there. And I was not very enthusiastic about it, to put it mildly. A town with forty thousand inhabitants, but without a theater, a cinema or other forms of culture and nightlife. And with architecture from the disastrous decades of the sixties, seventies and eighties, which did not make me happy either. Roots I don’t visit Hoogvliet very often these days; there aren’t very many people I know...

Photo made on an early winter morning of the cube houses in Rotterdam with a disfiguring white van parked in front of them

The Curse of the White Van

Every photographer knows it: the Curse of the White Van. Well, every photographer doing cityscapes and architecture, that is; in portrait or macro photography, it’s much less of an issue. Sick So what exactly does it entail, this Curse of the White Van? It’s the phenomenon that a lot of potentially beautiful photos are spoiled because a white van is parked in a place where you would rather not have it. Sick man! Annoying Of course there are also vans in other colors. Not even mentioning motor vehicles in general. Or traffic signs, advertisements, trash cans, traffic lights, lampposts, signposts,...

world map made of scrapwood, old planks, plywood and othe recycled material

The Scrapwood World Map

The scrapwood map the the provinces of the Netherlands was the most popular item in my Dutch webshop in 2018. That does not mean that the map is decorating walls in hundreds of living rooms, but it is still a modest success for this piece of virtual recycling. The World After this achievement, I just had to make a world map in scrapwood as well and here it is… Just like the map of the Netherlands it was rendered in 3ds Max using digital scaffolding, plywood, planks, slats, floorboards and rusty nails. The colors and textures were chosen quite randomly....

Field of salicornia in the rasta colors red, green and yellow at the beach in nature reserve Kwade Hoek on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee, with two hikers in the background

Countdown: the Ten Best Photos of 2018

For the third consequetive year I’m trying to put together a list with, in my humble opinion, the best ten photos that I made over the past twelve months. And once again that proves to be a daunting task. I made about 5,000 photographs in 2018; making the longlist (see below) was already very time-consuming. And what kind of criteria should I use to make the final list? The most useful advice I could give myself was to make a nice and diverse list, paying attention to various seasons, times and subjects. So here they are: ten pictures, each of...

Close-up of a bollard between the cobble stones on the quay of Wilhelmina Pier in Rotterdam, The Netherlands with in the background a fiery sunset over Charlois neighbourhood

The Earliest Sunset and the Shortest Day

This will be an encouraging post for everyone with a winter depression. And in fact for everyone who passionately longs for the spring, and who doesn’t? I can appreciate a bit of snow and ice, but I’m certainly not fond of the dark, the humidity and the chillyness of winter in the region where I live. Harbinger of spring Keep courage! Even before mid-December, the first harbinger of spring arrives, the first step on the way back to warmth and light. On December 12, the earliest sunset of the year takes place. In Rotterdam, the measure of all things, the...