3Develop beeldblog / image blog Blog

Christmas card of the author: a paintified photograph of the maritime outdoor museum at Leuvehaven in Rotterdam, covered with snow

Winter in Rotterdam: a white Christmas animation

Anecdotal evidence is no evidence at all. It’s hard to say whether or not the boring winters of the last few years are an effect of global warming. For which, by the way, there is enough real evidence; that’s what scientists (or at least 99.9% of them) agree on. Anyway, the last few winters were exceptionally mild. Especially here in the southwest of the Netherlands. On television I see people skating on natural ice in the northern province of Friesland or a beautiful blanket of snow in the eastern region of the Achterhoek. But the last time Rotterdam colored white...

Photo of the City Hall and the Market Square in Leuven made at night through the window of a pub.

Countdown: the Ten Best Photographs of 2016

Every year in early December the ranking season starts. The sportsman/sportswoman/sportsteam, politician and person of the year; the best films, books and records. As if nothing is going to happen in those final weeks. And now I’m doing it as well, by compiling the top 10 of my favorite photos from 2016. But I have a blog, and that has a great advantage. If between Christmas and New Years Eve I make a picture that is better than any other I made this year, I can simply rearrange the list. No no one will notice. The longlist I made close...

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...

Photo made at the Old Harbour in Rotterdam on a misty day, with the White house and the boats in the harbour in sharp vision but William Bridge as a vague contour.

Rotterdam in the fog

Fog is a natural phenomenon that can occur in any season, but in autumn it’s more likely to show its face. That seems to be related to relatively large temperature differences between day and night, although Wikipedia reports that the forming of fog depends on many factors. The presence of open water certainly also plays a role. Like all special weather phenomena mist provides opportunities for photographers. And at the same time it creates challenges: if you are surrounded by mist, the pictures tend to be rather featureless and gray. It is better to choose position on the edge of...

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...

The Barge at Night, artist impression of the new Feyenoord stadium on the banks of the river Nieuwe Maas in Rotterdam

The Barge: a New Stadium for Feyenoord

For a few years now, there have been discussions about a new stadium for Feyenoord, replacing the legendary football temple and municipal monument, De Kuip. Allthough I am not as frequent a visitor of the stadium as some of my fellow townspeople, I also have my memories of De Kuip. For example, of a competition match of Feyenoord against Vitesse: 2-1. Pierre van Hooijdonk was still playing then, so it must have been a while ago. Much longer ago I was at the best concert of the  (twentieth) century by Eric Clapton. With Elton John as a disastrous support act and the then virtually unknown Bonnie Raytt doing...

Reflection of the New Luxor Theatre in the water of Rijnhaven in Rotterdam

Painting Waves: the Coincidental Artist

If you’re looking at my photographic work, it’s obvious that reflections are an important theme: in mirrors, in water, in glass, in metal, on ice, on wet asphalt. I even have a board devoted to the subject in Pinterest. Today I want to talk about a special kind of reflection. Under the right conditions, reflections in an undulating surface start resembling oilpaintings. With water as a canvas and coincidence as an artist. Impressionistic scenes that you only need to capture with a camera. The right circumstances So what exactly are these right conditions? To begin with: it has to be...