Friday, March 30, 2012

Lead balloon

I had not considered this recent shot for inclusion in my blog, until it received the honour of being selected for my Flickr friend Rick's composition blog. It is a detail of a sculpture displayed in the office where I work. Rick's comment: "There are no prizes for guessing the dominant compositional element I am going to highlight here. It is clearly the diagonal. And, of course, simplicity (interestingly, the first time in a year I have picked up on that trait). The gravity-defying nature of this part of a sculpture is an immediate draw: it just looks so at odds with reality that one cannot help but question one’s sense. It is easy to make assumptions about how the shot was achieved, yet it is a simple representation of reality, and someone else made it possible. But that is not its composition – that is simply a sharp eye for the unusual, and an inherent ability to frame oddities to make them interesting; one of the key skills for good composition. And this is wonderfully interesting, not only because of the floating of something so heavy, but also because of the textural detail in the ball, and the soft gradient that anchors the image vertically (yes, it is the grey rather than the chain that is the anchor), thereby emphasising the “floating” nature of the balloon. Quite… well, uplifting."

Camera: Canon EOS 400D Digital 10 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/5.0
Focal Length: 51 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Thursday, March 29, 2012

The artist (digital art)

A different side of the artistic talent of my wife. Here she started with a snapshot taken of her in Shanghai, and converted it with digital processing into a gorgeous piece of art.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's a Van Gogh!

This painting in the famous Dutch Kroeller-Mueller museum has long been attributed to van Gogh, but it was never confirmed. In fact, in 2003 the Museum gave up and changed the attrubtion to "anonymous". Recently, special X-ray studies have shown that it is painted over a study of two wrestlers that van Gogh has described in his letters, implying that this is a van Gogh after all. For the full story, click the link. It is worth it  (photo credit: AP Photo/Kroeller Mueller Museum).

web site

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Abstract photographs at Digital Photography School

Abstract photography is a special interest of mine - and I am delighted whenever a site picks up one of my photographs to illustrate the subject. This time it is the popular Digital Photography School site, who posted a series of 31 abstract photographs illustrating the wide variety of angles on this subject. I have created this mosaic with 16 samples from the ones they posted, including one by myself (top left), as well as one by my Flickr friend Jenny Downing (second left at the top row). Well worth clicking through to see the originals.

web site

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Theatre Du Chat Noir

One encounters several posters by the Theatre Du Chat Noir (Black Cat Theater) rather often - but not this one. This is an Art Nouveau gem designed by artist, poet, and graphic designer, George Auriol. Especially selected for today because spring is finally arriving here.

Vintage Posters

Friday, March 16, 2012

Winter girl

One of the most impressive portraits in the wonderful photostream of my Flickr friend andy_57. He really excels at these photographs, and this model (Oksana, from Ukrainian descent, who has featured before in my blog here and here) is simply stunningly beautiful. As always, all rights retained by the creator.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Mother (1927-1992)

Can't believe it is already 20 years ago that my mother succumbed to cancer. This is a portrait of her that I commissioned in 1999 in Singapore, by a young Chinese artist. Since then, that artist has dropped the name Rosina, we started dating, and in 2000 she became my wife.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Water reflections are usually presented "as is" or flipped vertically. I have started experimenting with turning them 90 degrees, which can create really different images. I particularly love this one, which takes on the character of an abstract painting. As a matter of fact, when I start to try my hand on painting later this year, I intend to use this shot as a model for my first effort.

Camera: Canon PowerShot Pro1 8 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 50.8 mm
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Monday, March 12, 2012

Galerie LuS

Galerie LuS is a new blog, a joint effort by my wife (mainly) and myself, at the occasion of the opening of our first gallery in May this year. Galerie LuS will open in the main shopping street in Kampen, an old hanseatic city in the Netherlands. This blog will feature updates, information, and general musings about my wife's art and the history of Kampen. Most posts will be in English and Dutch. Well, go have a look....

web site

Photoplay October 1922

Another beautiful Photoplay cover of the early twenties. This one has actress Alice Brady on the cover - one of the lucky ones who managed the transition from silent movies to talkies without problems.


Friday, March 09, 2012


An absolute beauty, both the album itself and the cover. The 2010 debut of Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel is a fascinating album that is far more complicated and rewarding than one would guess at first listen - and that feeling is reflected in the cover. At first sight, we have a rather boring drab photograph, but upon closer inspection, the retro feeling and the tones really grow on you. And the singer herself is undoubtedly attractive as well in a typical girl-next-door way. Design and photography are credited to Antje Siggelkow, Hans Knobloch and Mali Lazell.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The scream

One of the most iconic images in art history, yet in a version you may have never seen before. This is of course Munch's masterpiece The Scream. Well, almost. It is actually Andy Warhol's take on it, dating back to 1984, in flamboyant colours. A fascinating version. More on Warhol in the wikipedia article linked to below.

Sunday, March 04, 2012


An Art Deco gem dating back I guess to the thirties, this poster for hair colouring aids by the French comapny l'Oreal, which is still going strong by the way. I love how the symmetry of the stylized girl's faces (shades of Modigliani here) is broken only by the slight variation in hair colour.

Vintage Posters