A Misty Morning in Rotterdam

Autumn is the season of special effects par excellence. In addition to beautifully colored trees and spectacular cloudy skies, fog sometimes creates a special atmosphere in these months.

On October 8, the conditions in Rotterdam were truly sensational. The day started with thick fog but at about nine o’clock the sun slowly started to break through. From my balcony I first saw the Parkhotel, the Boymans museum and the Depot building emerge from the mists. After that, the Euromast and the twin towers of the Erasmus MC slowly appeared.

The Euromast and Erasmus hospital appear above the mist behind the Boymans museum, Parkhotel and Depot building in Rotterdam, Holland
Boymans and friends

Apocalyptic


Beautiful images quickly appeared on the internet, shot from high angles. They show the city shrouded in a cloud cover through which the Euromast, the Zalmhaven and other towers poke. Unfortunately, the 3Develop offices are at an elevation of only about 25 meters, so I was not able to take those kinds of photos. But the effects were also breathtaking from street level. In fact, in some places a slightly apocalyptic atmosphere arose, such as on this image made at the Leuvekolk where an alien invasion seems imminent.

Slightly apocalyptic mood at Leuvekolk in downtown Rotterdma on a misty day in autumn
The aliens are coming

Misterious


But the local differences were enormous and the situation was constantly changing. A little further on, at the maritime outdoor museum in the Leuvehaven, the atmosphere was a lot friendlier, though still somewhat, well, let’s call it mysterious.

Leuvehaven harbour in Rotterdam, Holland, with historic vessels and modern highrise buildings on a foggy day in autumn
The Leuvehaven outdoor museum

Sun rays


So this is what it looks like from below, when the sun reflects off the glass of a residential tower that rises above the fog.

Scheepmakershaven harbour and Wijnhaveneiland neighbourhood in Rotterdam, Holland, on a misty day in autumn
Scheepmakershaven and the Wijnhaven island highrise

Combination


Fog in itself isn’t that interesting, photographically. It is the combination with the sunlight and the blue sky that makes these types of photos special.

Ibis bridge ad Scheepmakershaven harbour in Rotterdam, Holland on a misty day in autumn
Ibis bridge and Scheepmakershaven

River


As often happens, the fog close to the Nieuwe Maas stayed around a bit longer than at some distance from the river. The Coolsingel was already fog-free when the towers along Boompjes promenade were still cloaked by patches of fog. The phenomenon is caused by the relatively warm river water, I suppose.

A foggy day in autumn in Leuvehoofd park along the Nieuwe Maas river in Rotterdam, Holland
Little trees at the Boompjes

The invisible bridge


The Erasmus Bridge remained invisible for a long time. The bridge has been photographed thousands, if not millions of times in the twenty-five years of its existence. But this photo is quite unique: a photo of the Erasmus Bridge where the Erasmus Bridge is not visible!

The parking garage entrance near Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam, Holland on a foggy day in autumn
Bridge without a bridge

Shadows


A little further, on the Willemskade, very bizarre effects could be seen: a play of sunlight and shadow caused by the towers on the other side of the river on Wilhelminapier.

A tourist boat on the river Nieuwe Maas in Rotterdam, Holland, passing the cruise terminal on a foggy day in autumn
Lights and shadows on the southbank

The End


It couldn’t last forever, of course. Slowly the fog also dissolved above the Nieuwe Maas river; the towers of Katendrecht and the SS Rotterdam cruiseship appeared. The show was over.

The twin towers of Katendrecht peninsula and the former cruiseship SS Rotterdam on a foggy day in autumn
The Katendrecht Twin Towers and former cruiseship SS Rotterdam

Frans Blok

My work explores the border regions of photography, painting and computer visuals. With my company 3Develop I do work in commission but I use the same techniques, skills and software to make free work. I am originally an architect and I live in Rotterdam; for that reason the architecture of that city is a major (but not the only) source of inspiration. But also travel to countries like Iceland and Britain, or walks in the Netherlands, provide much material. Seeing and showing quality and beauty, that is what my work is about.

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