Tagged: photoshop

A World Block Map, in colors that are realistic, albeit somewhat exagerated

The Block World Map Is Here At Last

Yes, my name, Blok, means Block. In fact, the family name was Block until one of my ancestors moved to Rotterdam in the late 18th century and a lazy municipality official dropped the c. In that light it’s amazing that it took so long for me to do something with the block theme. But here it finally is: a Block World Map. Grid The map consists of three grids, which are placed on top of each other. The largest blocks form a grid of 72 by 36; the attentive reader realizes immediately that each block corresponds to five degrees latitude...

Wall with 35 ceramic tiles with kaleidoscopic patterns in spring colors

Springtime in Kaleidoscopia: Mandalas and Milky Ways

Half a year ago I wrote about my first visit to Kaleidoscopia, that magic kingdom where ordinary photographs are transformed into colorful abstract patterns. A few weeks ago I returned to Kaleidoscopia. But while I first used photos of fallen leaves and other autumn scenes, I now submitted pictures of blossom, young leaves and similar springtime scenes to my kaleidoscopic Photoshop actions. The result: 35 new kaleidoscopies, collected below on a tiled wall (and if you think it’s a quilt: be my guest). The question is of course: do these springtime patterns have an essentially different atmosphere than the autumn...

"Old" vintage postcard, or rather a digitally aged recent photo of the White House and the Old Harbour in Rotterdam

Vintage Rotterdam

Take a good look at the picture below of the White House and the Old Harbour in Rotterdam. An old postcard, found in a cardboard box that has been in a cold and humid attic for decades. Let’s try to date it. Fin de siècle Er, did I hear you say fin de siècle? I assume you mean the end of the nineteenth century. That sounds like a valid assumption; the White House, the “American” skyscraper that for years was the highest in Europe, dates back to 1898. And the classic barges in the foreground, located in the Oude Haven,...

49 multicolored kaleidoscopic patterns like tiles on a wall

Mining beauty in Kaleidoscopia

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a tutorial about creating kaleidoscopic patterns on Digital Photography School. On that same day there was a lecture about symmetry by Robbert Dijkgraaf, director of Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies, on Dutch TV (it’s in Dutch, but very visual, so you may enjoy it even if you don’t understand a word) Can that be a coincidence? Yes, I guess it can. But it sure is remarkable Photoshop To briefly summarize the tutorial: by copying, mirroring and rotating images in Photoshop and by using the Lighten blending mode you can fabricate wonderful symmetrical kaleidoscopic...

Detail of the Color Map of Rotterdam cropped at the city center with all city blocks drawn in a random color

Christmas Blog: a Festival of Light and Color

Christmas is the most important Christian holiday, but the origins of the festival date back to before the birth of Jesus. Both the Romans and the Germans did not let the winter solstice on 21 December pass by unnoticed. Understandably: even in modern times with its central heating and abundance of artificial light, many people get a little depressed by the short and chilly days. In earlier times, in poorly heated houses by candlelight, this part of the year must have felt even more depressing. So the moment on which the days start getting longer and we begin our long...

The Rotterdam town hall seen from the Delftse Poort building with behind it Timmerhuis, Saint Lawrence Church and the Markthal

Making photos through glass – fighting reflections

Last week, together with a number of fellow photographers, I had the opportunity to take photographs from the 37th floor of the Delftse Poort building (formerly known as Nationale Nederlanden). Many thanks to Ramazan Aydogan of Rotta Historica for organizing this event and to the facility management of Delftse Poort for their hospitality. The blue hour Delftse Poort is one of the highest buildings in Rotterdam, and right in the center. You do not get a chance to take photos from such a place very often, and certainly not during the part of the day that is so popular among...

Black and white photo of the autumn in the Brediuspark in Woerden, The Netherlands with a low sun and the reflection of trees on the water surface, with a sepia tint applied in Photoshop

Black and White Photography in Photoshop

There has been a challenge going around on Facebook these days. People post a black and white photo of their daily life for seven consecutive days, without people in it and without explanation. And every day they challenge one of their Facebook friends to do the same. Sooner or later, of course, it was my turn. And it’s a real challenge for me. Photos without people, that’s no problem; on most of my photos, I’m already trying to avoid people. But with black and white, I actually had hardly any experience at all. After all, the world is in color...

Work in progress by the author on a digital graffiti world map on a wall of ten by five metres

Graffiti and Coffee Beans: Two New World Maps

More or less at the same time, I finished the work on two new world maps. Two maps with a totally different look and feel, and created in rather different ways. They have, however, one thing in common: when I started, I expected to finish them in one or two days, but it took weeks before I was completely satisfied about them. Cartograffiti Below you see me working with a spray can to put the finishing touches on map no. 1: the graffiti world map: Virtual street art The picture is, of course, fake news, just like the whole piece...

Detail of the Rotterdam Water Map, shaped like rust patterns on the hull of a ship, zoomed in on the city center and the Kop van Zuid district

Rusty Rivers – the Rotterdam Water Map

On one of my photo tours through Rotterdam I went to Park Quay. At that location, not far from the inner city, often relatively large seagoing ships are moored. This time, one of those ships was in obvious need of some major maintenance. I made some pictures of it, including this one: Rust I can look at this kind of pictures for hours. A lot of things are happening here on a couple of square meters! The red paint on the ship’s hull is irregularly discolored into a wild palette of shades all the way to purple and pink. In...

Spherical panoarama, or little planet, made of twelve photographs taken at the lawn in the little park in front of Saint Lwarence's Church in Rotterdam

A New Park, a New Panorama: Saint-Lawrence’s Planet

There was a time when I made a lot of spherical and tubular panoramas but the last one, at Kruisplein, dates back to over a year ago. There are two reasons for this. First of all, those little planets are actually quite time-consuming. Well, Photoshop takes a lot of work out of your hands, but you still have to work hard to eliminate minor irregularities, fill in missing information, and tweak details. Secondly, I became a lot more critical in choosing locations. I am looking for special places, geometric shapes, beautiful compositions or other reasons. And I just do not...