Tagged: photoshop

Detail of a piece of digital botanic art, entitled Hocus Crocus, based on a photograph of crocusses in springtime

Four Seasons of Botanic Digital Kaleidoscopic Art

Apparently I needed some extra color during the past lockdown winter. That’s the only way I can explain the explosion of colorful works of art that sprouted from my laptop during those months. I already wrote about the Icelandic impressions; also the European flag project and the Rotterdam paintifications were given a nudge in the right direction. But the greatest avalanche of new work came from the domain of Kaleidoscopia. An infinite source of botanic art, made with a “digital kaleidoscope” and based of photos of nature from all seasons. Beautiful shapes The kaleidoscope was invented in 1815 by the… Read More

Artificially aged vintage postcard of Little C, Tuschinski Park and Coolhaven harbour in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Vintage Postcards of Rotterdam in the Twenties

This blog post is made for growth. A few years ago I produced a series of artificially aged postcards of Rotterdam, seemingly from a bygone era but with contemporary landmarks such as the Markthal, Central Station and Erasmus Bridge. In the meantime, a new generation of architectural highlights is under construction or just completed. And that called for a new series of vintage postcards. There are still fences, scaffolding, site huts or other disfiguring elements around a number of those projects, so I’ll have to wait for the right time to strike. I will place the new additions to the… Read More

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

The landscapes and towns of Iceland are rewarding subjects for photographs, but they also inspire other forms of art. After four trips I have a hard drive full of pictures of the island of ice and fire. Thousands of photos, but also a growing collection of what I call digital paintings, for lack of a better term. This week it’s been two years since I was in 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.… 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. In their vision the Northpole is the center of everything and the Southpole is a wall of ice around the world that prevents us from falling into the void. But the mere fact that it is not day or night everywhere at the same… Read More

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

The Drowned Earth: a world map as it looks after the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica have melted, around 4000 AD

The Drowned Earth: 4000 AD, After The Thaw

What happens when all the polar ice melt? What would the world map look like after a maximum sea level rise? And how long does it take to get there? These are interesting questions now that climate change is – finally – on the political agenda. And as a cartographer, I could not resist the temptation to visualize the worst case scenario. Gravity When the Greenland ice sheet melts, the sea level rises 7 meters, when the ice melts in Antarctica it causes a rise of 58 meters. So together that makes 65 meters. But that is an average. Because… Read More

A world map like a dolphin would make it: a network of oceans en seas with some terra incognita in between

A Dolphin’s World Map

Once again I have tried to imagine the point of view of one of the other species we humans share this planet with. After the penguins and the moles this time it’s the turn of the dolphins. How does a dolphin mapmaker see the world? Sympathetic and intelligent Dolphins are known as friendly animals. Are they really as sympathetic as they look or are we somewhat misled because their mouths are permanently in the smiley position? I would not dare to make any firm statements about that. Dolphins are also known as intelligent beings. But how intelligent are they exactly?… 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

"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 this vintage postcard of the White House and the Old Harbour in Rotterdam. An old picture, 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,… Read More