Tagged: seasons

Dramatic sky over a farm under spectacular lighting conditions in the polder along the IJssel river near Zwolle, The Netherlands

The wet and chilly summer of 2021

Is summer over yet? According to the meteorologists, summer ends on August 31; according to the astronomers it goes on for three weeks more. So at the time of writing, September 3, we are in a kind of twilight zone, a transition phase. Autumn is in the air, most summer flowers have finished blooming, the first trees are starting to change colour. It’s time to look back at the summer of 2021. Slutty It was a summer that turned out to be just a little less beautiful than hoped, because on closer inspection the pandemic appeared to be not quite… Read More

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

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

Branches and red leaves of a sweet gum tree (liquidambar styraciflua) in the Park in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Autumn in Rotterdam: a Tree Tour

I hardly have to tell the reader why it’s good to have trees in the city. They purify the air, they absord CO2, they make it slightly less hot in the summertime and they retain water after heavy rain showers. And of course they also make things more beautiful. This decorative function is most obvious in two periods: spring and autumn. Trees that in previous months were fairly inconspicuously bare or green, suddenly burst out into a feast of color. Now that the meteorological (and photographic) fall is over, this blogpost aims to give a small, totally incomplete, tour of… Read More

Westersingel canal in Rotterdam in the blue hour before sunset with a very thin layer of snow on the grassy banks

The Lousy Winter of ’18/’19

Now that the magnolias are in bloom, it’s about time for my traditional photographic review of last winter. And what a lousy winter it was … One snowflake on a scale of one to five! I know, weather and climate are not quite the same and you cannot automatically blame global warming for every mild winter day. But still it makes you wonder if snow photography has a future. However, the winter of 2018/2019 also had a few photogenic moments. But one had to act quickly. Christmas The first snow fell on the early morning of December 16. It was… Read More

Almost abstract and multicolored image of the leaves of a sweet gum tree (liquidambar styraciflua) in autumn

Liquidambar Styraciflua, in Other Words: the Sweet Gum Tree

Oddly enough, I never really noticed them until the autumn of last year and now I suddenly see them everywhere: sweet gum trees or liquidambar styraciflua. Time for a photographic tribute to the mother of all autumn trees. America The amber tree originates from the southeast of the United States, roughly from the New York – Houston – Orlando triangle. In addition styraciflua grows in higher altitudes in Central America. Chewing gum tree The English language has a lot of names for the liquidambar styraciflua. Quoting Wikipedia: American sweetgum or simply sweet gum tree, American storax, hazel pine, bilted, redgum, satin-walnut,… Read More

Graphic comparison between light and darkness on one side and the waking hours of the average Dutch person on the other side, when daylight saving time is applied

Daylight Saving Time: a Graphic Argument

For decades it seemed to be one of the untouchable certainties of existence: at the end of March we move the clock one hour ahead and at the end of October we put it back again. Lovely long and light summer evenings, everybody happy. Survey European Commission chairman Jean-Claude Juncker put an end to that certainty on 31 August 2018. He mentioned a survey that supposedly showed that a majority of Europeans want to get rid of the clock shift. “People want it, so we’re going to do it,” Juncker said firmly. Those people, however, turned out to be mostly… Read More

A prunus tree, more specifically a Japanese cherry, in bloom in springtime near Unesco world heritage Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam

Springtime in Rotterdam: Magnolia, Prunus, Robinia

For some photos the window of opportunity is very small. You have to be quick, otherwise your chance is over. Think, for example, of the increasingly rare photos of the city under a nice layer of snow. Or photos taken in the blue hour after sunset, when the circumstances change by the minute. Spring is another of those narrow windows. One moment the trees are still bare, a few days later they are full of blossoms and/or young leaves. And if you don’t act promptly, the spectacle is already over by the time you get your camera. Late Spring was a… Read More

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

Christmas Blog: a Festival of Light and Color

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: even in modern times with its central heating and abundance of artificial light, many people get a little depressed by the short and chilly days. In earlier times, in poorly heated houses by candlelight, this part of the year must have felt even more depressing. So the moment on which the days start getting longer and we begin our long… 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