Thursday, July 31, 2014


This is one of the most intense portraits I have seen on Flickr, enhanced further by the magnificent (yet not dominating) backdrop of the Mexican volcano. A masterpiece by my Flickr friend (Rodolfo Anzaldua) and a well-deserved hit on Flickr Explore. As always, all rights reserved by the original photographer.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mahler's Ninth Symhony

Mahler's ninth symphony is one of my favourites (it would make my top10 symphonies), and the linked article by Tom Service for The Guardian is an insightful piece about it, taking into account both the symphony itself and the various interpretations over the years.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vogue April 1929

Even among such stiff competition as the back-catalogue of Vogue covers from the Jazz Age, this cover stands out as one of the best. Unfortunately, I could not retrieve information about the illustrator.


Monday, July 28, 2014

World War I in photos

One century ago today, one of the worst wars in human history started: the ill-named Great War. Ultimately the lives of more than 16 million people were lost. The Atlantic has posted a ten part series of photographs from this conflict, ranging from the well-known western front trenches, to aerial warfare and war at sea, concluding with a series of present day shots on this theme. Disturbing images, but essential to get a better view of what happened back then.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

The Ultimate Banksy Gallery

Prolific street artist Banksy could well be regarded in times to come as one of the more important artists of this century. Whatever you think of the intrinsic quality of his art (I am still on the fence myself), his imagination is exemplary and many of his works have a considerable impact. The linked recent post in Twisted Sifter brings together 127 of his creations. The collage above is by myself, using the mosaic tool at BigHugeLabs.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Exploding fireworks

Another beautiful shot by my Flickr friend peggyhr. In her portfolio, several types of shots really stand out for me, and her take on goatsbeard seedheads is one of them. This is surely one of the very best in that category, with a fantastic point of view. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Another green world

One of my own favourites of the year, and although it was never close to Explore, it has steadily gathered a respectable amount of views and faves. Reactions on it have varied quite a bit. Two of my long-term Flickr friends, both very accomplished photographers, posted "Another brilliant abstract" and "The image feels unbalanced with all the structural interest in the lower right quarter", respectively. I love it, and had it printed large on canvas for display in our gallery. It is actually a green plastic cover, shot through the window.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.0062 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Firn ice cream

Summer has well and truly arrived in the Netherlands, with tropical temperatures for the second day in a row. A suitable early Art Deco poster for Firn ice cream, designed by Carl Moos in 1922.

Vintage Posters

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Love before breakfast

From the days that several countries commissioned their own movie posters for Hollywood's products. This is the Swedish version of the 1936 Walter Lang movie Love before breakfast, starring Carole Lombard.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

La Silhouette

Once more one of my attempts at digital art based on my own photographs, created with the free software SuperPhoto that came with my new laptop. This is a photograph taken in Paris a few years ago, given a stained glass like treatment to a rather striking effect. The link leads to the original photograph.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Motion Picture Classic January 1920

The magazine Motion Picture Classic has featured on a number of occasions in my blog already. Here is a rather early issue, featuring a drawing of movie star Marion Davies, perhaps best remembered as newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst' mistress.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Abstracting reality part 2: distorted reflections

Of the recurring topics in my photography, abstract images tend to stand out. This has inspired me to write a series of blog posts on the subject, as seen through my lay-man's eyes (I never received any formal training on photography). In these posts, I will tackle the following six (not mutually exclusive) themes: distorted reflections, architectural abstracts, wear and tear, zooming in, abstracted art, and miscellaneous situations. A general introduction was posted here.

Distorted reflections (the first of the themes) are a great way to create abstract photographs. In my experience, reflections on water surfaces are by far the most useful for this type of abstractions, and we will mainly deal with them in this contribution. There are a few things one needs to take into account. First of all, one has to encounter the right conditions. The water surface should not be too calm (which leads to insufficient distortion of the primary image), nor too wild (which leads to insufficient reflection). Secondly, there should be something of interest to reflect, sometimes shapes, but mostly colours. This can range from buildings, to sunscreens, to parked cars, to graffiti, and so on. Thirdly, unlike any other type of abstract photography, you will be dealing with an ever changing subject. The movement of the water, whether it is caused by the wind or ducks swimming by, makes for a different scene every single moment. It is crucial to take a series of shots of a promising situation, to be able to pick the best one at home behind the computer. In terms of final processing, be bold in pushing the natural colours, and don't forget to try different orientation (flipping upside down is an obvious one, but also 90 degrees rotations can be quite effective). Please click here to see 12 selected examples from my Flickr photostream with some background information.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tage wie diese

Tonight is the first time in my life that I will be a supporter of the German national football team in a major final. They have played the best football by far in this fascinating world cup, and they deserve the ultimate reward. For the occasion, the greatest hit scored by my favourite German band, Die Toten Hosen. Tage wie diese (Days like these) made it to #1 in 2012. Enjoy. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).


Thursday, July 10, 2014


A gorgeous album cover for the 2011 album by Celtic fusion band Ion. The photograph that it is based on is by my long-time Flickr friend Carmen Gonzalez (Solea).

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Stained glass abstraction

In recent weeks, I have had a string of shots in Flickr Explore, the 500 most interesting photographs of the day. Here is another one, the 67th in all to receive that distinction. Shot at the same location as Taking leaves, but through a different window.

Camera: Canon IXUS 115 HS, 12 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.0016 sec (1/640)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0


Monday, July 07, 2014

Mountain town

Another masterpiece by that relatively unknown artist I discovered in 2012: Paul Adolf Seehaus (1891-1919). The painting shown above from 1915 is another cubist masterpiece, which for some reason alos reminds me of works by Escher. More on Seehaus in the German wikipedia article linked to below (there is no English version).

Sunday, July 06, 2014


All good things must come to an end - unfortunately also the marvelous series of Iceland photographs by my Flickr friend cormend. Here we have one more, because I really love this shot. He captured the Gullfoss falls in the early morning with a fantastic sky above them. As usual, all rights retained by the creator.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Costa Rica

Tonight, the Netherlands is playing Costa Rica in the FIFA football world championship for a spot in the last four. Keeping my fingers crossed. This vintage travel poster is by Matt Schnepf, and probably dates back to the seventies.

Vintage Posters

Friday, July 04, 2014

America (Yes cover)

For the 4th of July: one of the most beautiful songs ever written about the USA, Simon and Garfunkel's America, but in the prog rock cover version by Yes. The original was blogged before here. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).


Thursday, July 03, 2014


Innerviews, run by Anil Prasad, is a great site with over a hundred in-depth interviews of (mainly) pop and rock performers. Among artists and groups featured are many of my personal favourites such as Tori Amos, Fish, Steve Hackett, Loreena McKennitt, Sarah McLachlan, Riverside, David Sylvian, Steven Wilson, and the Kronos Quartet. Very warmly recommended.

web site