Tagged: landscape

Snow-covered reed in the Hitland near Capelle aan den IJssel, The Netherlands

Looking Back at the Winter of 2017

On Monday, March 20th, 2017 at 10:28 AM, GMT, spring begins in the northern hemisphere of planet Earth. It is the day of the vernal equinox, when day and night, anywhere on the globe, have more or less the same length. The beginning of spring, that’s a good time to look back at the winter of 2017. I know: it ain’t over till it’s over and also late March and April can have cold periods. But something tells me we’re not going te see a lot of wintry weather in the coming weeks. And should I be wrong, I will simply update this blog....

Artist impression of the interior of a giant hollow asteroid, seen from the shore of a lake, with two men on a wooden pier, looking out towards a city and the hills, lakes and cliffs beyond

Psyche Station: living in an asteroid

Some people use Facebook to watch cat videos or to read fake news. I use this medium for completely different things. A few weeks ago, my attention was triggered by a sketch my Facebook friend Shaun Moss posted. A simple drawing of a fairly extensive project: the excavation of asteroid 16 Psyche for the establishment of a space colony. The blue lines indicate a huge cylindrical space (the distances are in meters). Rotating the big rock around its central axis creates a centrifugal force on the curved walls of the cylinder. That force feels like gravity, like in a spinning washing...

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...

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...

Van Kregtentunnel in Wierden, with on the walls tiling based on paintings by Fedor van Kregten, seen from the north

Tunnel in Wierden Still Free of Graffiti

Two and a half years after the opening of the Van Kregtentunnel I went back to Wierden to take a look at the project. The tunnel was still in good shape; projects like this usually get covered with tags, pieces and other graffiti fairly quickly after opening. But in this case there’s no trace of that. Respect It could be that the municipality of Wierden has a very strict cleaning policy. But it’s more likely that the graffitists have respect for the work of another artist. Master of the Beasts That other artist is obviously Fedor van Kregten (1871-1937), painter...

Photo of Korendijk Wetlands, the Netherlands, showing the sun rise above the banks of Haringvliet estuary

Four Rewards for an Early Rise on Easter Morning

Getting up in the middle of the night is not something I like to do and I suppose a large part of the population has similar feelings. But for a landscape photographer the sunrise often provides the best opportunities for making beautiful pictures, so sometimes it is wise to set aside principles and put the alarm at six o’clock. On Easter Sunday 2015, we were very royally rewarded for that bravery. The aim of the expedition were the Korendijk wetlands, a nature reserve on the island of Hoekse Waard, near Rotterdam. A large part of the area is only accessible...

Photo of a chestnut tree near Lijnbaan in the center of Rotterdam, made beginning of May, when the tree is in full leaf

My Favourite Tree – a Springtime Animation

My favorite tree is a chestnut in the park in front of my apartment at the Lijnbaan in downtown Rotterdam. Every spring I am amazed about the speed with which nature operates. Within a few weeks time a metamorphosis takes place: the barren tree gets buds, leaves and a short time later flowers which then also pretty quickly disappear. Last year, during the months of March, April and May, I took a photo every day at nine a.m. from the walkway in front of my appartment on the sixth floor. In a perfect situation I’d use a weathertight protected fixed...

NASA's indestructible Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, still going strong after two hundred years, driving around on the terraformed former Red Planet

Opportunity’s Bicentennial

More than eleven years ago, on January 25, 2004, Opportunity, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover, landed in Meridiani Planum. An identical rover, Spirit, landed three weeks earlier, on the other side of Mars. Both vehicles were expected to remain active for 90 Martian days, more or less equal to three months on Earth. The Martian climate would claim its toll, or so the mission planners feared. Although on Mars the sun shines more than six hundred days a year, the dust storms and large daily temperature differences would surely leave their mark. Indestructible Oppy But the rovers appeared to be more...

Buispanorama van Het Park, Rotterdam, met twee nijlganzen en de Euromast, gemaakt op een zonnige dag in de herfst

All Year Round Spherical Panoramas

I’ve been making a lot of spherical panorama’s lately, often referred to as “little planets”. But of course I have not invented the concept myself. I’m certainly not the only one who makes them; anyone with a camera and a recent version of Photoshop can produce them quite easily. And of course I do want my panoramas to add something, to stand out among the many other small spheres that are being made. Wet asphalt One of the ways I try to do that is by showing the influence of the weather and the seasons. The panorama below, for example,...

Close up of moss and other small vegetation on an old brick wall in Delfshaven, Rotterdam, with boats, quay and houses out of focus in the background

Urban Nature in Delfshaven

When thinking of urban nature, most people envision trees, gardens and parks. But also on a smaller scale beautiful landscapes and ecosystems can be discovered. This picture was made in a downtown Rotterdam neighbourhood called Delfshaven, at the roadside terrace of city brewery De Pelgrim. Inspired by a delicious glass of their Dubbellam beer.