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. Beautiful shapes The kaleidoscope was invented in 1815 by the Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster. He devised a tubular instrument with pieces of colored glass on one side, a viewing… Read More

Kunstmatig verouderde "vintage postcard" van de Leuvehaven in Rotterdam, met historische schepen en kranen, het Maritiem Museum en het nieuwe Port Pavillion en de moderne hoogbouw van de binnenstad

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

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

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

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

I have already made quite a few special world maps, but never a version 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 our world… 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 would the world map look like if all the polar ice would melt? 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 something else plays a role: gravity. Such… 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 do something with the block theme. 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… 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. 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 these springtime patterns have an essentially different atmosphere than the autumn… 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 the picture below of the White House and the Old Harbour in Rotterdam. An old postcard, 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

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