Tagged: color

close-up of a digitally created stained glass world map, featuring Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranan and the North Atlantic

A Stained Glass World Map

It’s certainly not the first time I make a world map, but I’ve never made one in stained glass. Our planet played a part in the virtual stained glass window that I made of the famous Earthrise photo, but that is not the same. So it was about time to fill this gap in my collection. And here’s the result! Virtual glass The map is made of 1440 pieces of colored glass. Virtual glass, of course, because this artwork was made entirely with the help of Photoshop and a tiny bit of Autocad. Despite the abstraction, the elements that make… Read More

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 make a map using blocks. 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 and… Read More

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. Where leaves, flowers and other natural phenomena turn into geometric artworks. 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… Read More

World map mirrored in a reflective and slightly undulating water surface

The World in a Water Mirror

The Dutch word for water level is waterspiegel, which literally translates as water mirror.  Such a great word! Because under the right circumstances – not too many waves, but certainly not too few – water gets magical reflective properties, distorting objects until they are barely recognizable. Ideally, the waves create a kind of impressionistic oil painting that can only be captured with fast shutter speeds. Reflectifications I wrote earlier about the reflections of Rotterdam buildings in the old harbor basins. Here is another interpretation of the idea: a water level world map. 3ds Max How do you create a water… Read More

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… Read More

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

Christmas: a Festival of Light and Color

Christmas is in the grayest and darkest part of the year. As far as nature is concerned, because with Christmas lights and decorations, that lack of light and color is generously compensated nowadays. In this blog post I present two maps that therefore fit very well with the Christmas season: the Light map and the Color map of Rotterdam. Solstice 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:… Read More

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… Read More

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

What do graffiti and coffee have in common? Not much, I suspect, except that the average street artist will occasionally drink an espresso or latte. And that they both formed the inspiration for a world map. Cartograffiti More or less at the same time, I finished the work on the World Map Graffiti and the World Map Coffee Beans. They’re 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… Read More

A mole's world view: a world map seen from below, mirrored, made in digital bronze

A Mole’s View: a Mirrored World Map in Digital Bronze

A few months ago I published a world map based on the perception of a penguin. A polar projection with Antarctica in the middle and the other continents grouped around it, some of them severely distorted. I do not intend to make a tour of the entire animal kingdom, but there was another species that asked for a cartographic interpretation: the mole. Talpa The mole (Talpa europaea) is a small subterraneously living mammal of the family of Talpidae. So now we know where media tycoon John de Mol, creator of The Voice, got the name for his company Talpa (you… Read More

Perspective image of a world map made of 30.000 mosaic tiles, zooming in on North America, with the other continents in the distance distance.

Mosaic tiles and peeling paint: three special world maps

Does it happen to everyone or only to map-o-philes like me? You see a ship hull with rust stains or an old wall with peeling paint and you think, hey, that looks like a map. Oceans, continents, mountain ranges, archipelagos, with a little imagination, you can discover a complete fantasy world on such a weathered surface. Okay, most people will pass by without noticing. But for those who want to see it, there is a lot to enjoy. Peeling world map I decided to turn it around and created an image on which peeling paint patterns really shape the continents of… Read More