Tagged: seasons

A prunus tree, more specifically a Japanese cherry, in bloom in springtime near Unesco world heritage Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam

Springtime in Rotterdam: Magnolia, Prunus, Robinia

For some photos the window of opportunity is very small. You have to be quick, otherwise your chance is over. Think, for example, of the increasingly rare photos of the city under a nice layer of snow. Or photos taken in the blue hour after sunset, when the circumstances change by the minute. Spring is another of those narrow windows. One moment the trees are still bare, a few days later they are full of blossoms and/or young leaves. And if you don’t act promptly, the spectacle is already over by the time you get your camera. Late Spring was a...

Longlist of 120 photos nominated for the top 10 of best photos of 2017

Countdown: the Ten Best Photographs of 2017

Just like in 2016, I wanted to present a top-10 of my favorite photos of the year. And like last year that appeared to be a daunting task. In 2017 I took over 6,000 photos; that makes about 20 per day. When I tried to make a longlist, it still contained 120 photos: When choosing the final ten I mainly tried to create a nice selection, with a spread over seasons, locations, themes and parts of the day. It hurts that countless beautiful, sometimes even legendary, photos have not made it to the top 10. But actually that is also...

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...

A freshly fallen leaf of a sweetgum tree, red with some yellow, in the grass in autumn

Looking Back at the Photographic Autumn of 2017

When does autumn begin and end? The answer depends on whether you ask an astronomer or a meteorologist. Equinox and solstice The astronomical autumn begins with the autumn equinox, the moment that day and night, everywhere on Earth, have the same length. Autumn ends with the winter solstice, better known as the shortest day. In 2017, autumn officially started on 22 September at 20.01 Central European Time; the end is scheduled for December 21, 16.18. Because the length of a year on our planet (and actually on almost every other planet) is not an exact number of days, the times...

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....

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...

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...

Photo taken low above the ground in a snowcovered Park in Rotterdam, illuminated by a low sun shining through the trees

The Winter of ’14: Two Days of Snow, Ice and Slush

And so we had a White Christmas after all in Rotterdam. Well, almost, because the first snow flake fell shortly after midnight on the 27th of December. But it felt a bit like the third day of Christmas anyway. It was the beginning of a winter that would last for two days. Not too long, but already now there has been more snowfall than in all of last winter. And it was long enough to add a few nice photos to my collection Winter in Rotterdam. On that first day the temperature was just above freezing so there was a...

Kerstkaart met schilderachtig beeld van een kerkje in het winterlandschap in nationaal park Thingvellir in IJsland

Merry Christmars

For decades, I’ ve been putting a great deal of work into my Christmas cards. And sometimes into those of others. This year I made one by commission of Explore Mars, a (mostly) American non-profit organization that promotes Manned Mars exploration: The design and the text “Two Down, Mars and the Universe to go” is a reference to Neil Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” and the recent landing of the European spacecraft Philae on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Mars comes into view as the next big step. And after that there are a few hundred billion stars and their planets to...