3Develop image blog Blog

Digital painting of a street in downtown Reykjavik, with colorful houses, shops and bars and in the background the famous Hallgrímskirkja

Impressions of Iceland Revisited

This week it’s been two years since I was Iceland, together with travel companion A; I wrote this blog post about it back then. It was great to see our beloved Reykjavik again but frankly speaking: the weather could have been better. Especially on the first days of the trip, our equipment and mood were severely tested by lashing winds and prolonged rainfall at temperatures just above freezing. Photogenic In other words, the conditions were not ideal for photography. But Iceland, in only slightly better circumstances, is so photogenic: colorful towns, picturesque harbors, rugged landscapes. Volcanoes, geysers, glaciers. Fjords, mountains,… Read More

Kruisplein square in Rotterdam, covered with compact snow and in the background the Central Station on a sunny day in the winter of 2021

The brief harsh beautiful winter of 2021 ★★★★

For a few years now, I have made it a habit, some time mid-March, to look back on the past winter, and especially on the photographic aspects of it. Unfortunately, since I started doing that, there has hardly been any real winter weather in the Netherlands. In 2014/2015, the winter lasted only two days. In 2016/2017 I had to go to the far east of the country to take beautiful pictures. In 2017/2018 there was some cold at the beginning and the end, but the rest of the winter was grey and rainy. For the winter of 2018/2019 I could… Read More

Nieuwe Maas river, Waslijn sculpture, Willemsbridge and Noordereiland in Rotterdam, The Netherlands under a spectacular sky at sunrise

A January Morning in Rotterdam

The month of January, and especially the first half of it, is the perfect time to take photos at dawn. The sun rises around a quarter to nine, so you don’t have to set the alarm inhumanely early and walk around with a jet lag for the rest of the day. Therefore in 2019 and 2020 I undertook several photo expeditions through an awakening Rotterdam in this time of year. This year I hesitated. Photos during the blue hour look cool mainly because of the multitude of light sources, from glimmering daylight to headlights, street lamps and especially interior lighting.… Read More

Aelbrechtskolk canal in the neighbourhood of Delfshaven, Rotterdam during the blue hour on a windless evening

Countdown: the Best Photos of 2020

I probably speak on behalf of most of us when I say that 2020 was a miserable year that we would rather leave behind us as soon as possible. Let’s hope that 2021 will be better; at least there are some reasons for moderate optimism. Photographically it was also a somewhat different year. Foreign travel was not an option and even within the Netherlands the possibilities were limited. I always traveled carelessly all over the country by train and bus, but that suddenly became rather difficult. After the “train service in national interest” this spring, and the very urgent advice… Read More

Thirteen pieces of space art by Frans Blok, framed and ready for an exhibition

World Maps and Space Art Exhibited

Over a year ago, I was asked if I wanted to have an exhibition of my work in the entrance hall of the RIVM, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven. At that time, I had only a vague idea of the existence of that institute. But then first the emissions of nitrogen by agriculture and industry created a kind of national crisis in which the institute played a pivotal role. And after that the covid-19 pandemic came upon us. By now, there is probably nobody in the country who has never heard of RIVM.… Read More

Close-up of a large number of bottle caps of Belgian and Dutch beers on a white wooden floor, together making a world map

Bottle Caps on a Wooden Floor: the Beer World Map

Since I wrote an article about beer photography on this blog last year, I own a colorful collection of bottle caps. Its numbers are growing because my friends keep collecting caps for me and I also like to open the occasional bottle myself. I had the idea for some time to make a world map of all those beer caps. And the partial lockdown we’ve had in the Netherlands for a few weeks now was a good reason to implement that plan. As a kind of moral support for the Dutch bars and restaurants. Not that it really helps them,… Read More

Interior of a fictional museum with large photos of rusty schip's hulls on exhibition

The Rust Museum

Let’s talk about rust today. In other words, about corrosion, the decay of metals caused by electrochemical reactions. There is a rule of thumb that says that with every scientific formula in a text you lose half of your readers. So for the detailed chemical explanation I refer to Wikipedia. But the bottom line is that iron is converted into iron oxide through the influence of oxygen and water. Bad news Rust is usually considered bad news. A rusty hull is regarded by the ship owner as costly and cumbersome damage. That’s understandable: the lifespan of a boat, or a… Read More

Detail of a world map made of facemasks, carelessly thrown away on the pavement, showing the distinct shape of North America

Toilet Paper and Facemasks, Icons of the Pandemic

In March of this year, in the week we discovered that the corona pandemic would not pass the Netherlands completely unnoticed, I saw someone walking with three mega packs of toilet paper. And moments later another person with the same commodities. And another one. It was a trend. And although there was still plenty of toilet paper in warehouses, the shelves in the supermarkets were mostly empty for a while. I’ve heard many explanations for that sudden toilet paper hoarding. Maybe it was because people ran out of their supplies faster because they worked from home. Perhaps a shortage of… Read More

World map of a tiny section of a hypothetical Flat Earth, with the known oceans and continents in the center surrounded by various other land masses and bodies of water

The Flat Earth

One of the most bizarre conspiracy theories has to be that of the Flat Earth. There is even a society with hundreds of members who gather at conventions to discuss the “evidence” that NASA and other agencies, with malicious intentions or out of ignorance, maintain the idea that our planet is a sphere orbiting the Sun. But the mere fact that it is not day or night everywhere at the same time suggests that the Earth is not flat. When the sun is shining in Europe, it should be visible from New Zealand as well, on a flat Earth. Even… Read More

Block's little Block, a tiny houseboat in a green environment with forest, water, shrubs, reeds, grass and geese

A Tiny Houseboat: Blok’s Blokje

About a year ago I designed Blok’s Block, a kind of tiny house XL. A compact home for adventurous urbanites, to be placed on roofs of tall buildings. One of the reactions I received on the Block: it is not really a tiny house. There seems to be an unofficial upper limit of 50 square meters for this. Although the Block is relatively compact, it still has a floor space of 65 square meters. Would a smaller variant be possible that does fit within this 50 m² standard? Tiny The dimensions of the Block are based on the two floor… Read More