How I made the Maritime Insurance Policy

The creative process and how I made the Maritime Insurance Policy image.

In this article I show you How I Made the Maritime Insurance Policy. This image was published on and is one of the images I made for the website of Gebr. Sluyter B.V. 

Gebr. Sluyter is a Dutch insurance broker especially active in the maritime sector. With the fact that they are so active within the maritime sector, I had to come up with an original idea linked to that sector.

The idea

This idea came pretty quick into my head when I was sketching.

First idea sketched on real paper
Because I had to present my ideas, I sketched it a little more detailled in Photoshop

So, after my sketch was approved I was able to plan the photoshoots for all the different parts of the picture.

Photographing the elements

I already knew that I wanted to photograph all different elements seperately. First I went to Hoek van Holland to photograph the sea and the waves that I needed for the boat look more realistic.

While Photographing the sea for this image, I also photographed alot of seagulls. At that moment I knew I had to put sume gulls in this image,

Second part was the sky. I wanted to have some depth within the image, and a good way to do that is using a good portion of clouds. πŸ™‚

A made a serie of images of this particular cloudy sky this day. These where made Bodegraven (Netherlands). Want to use sky images for your composites? Check out here!

Paper boat

Now I had the base images put together and we could start refining the image with the paper boat.

Now that was easy! Just folded a paper boat myself, and used daylight! All behind my desk πŸ˜‰

The easiest part of all, was photographing the self made paper boat, using only daylight (and a little light from my computer screen πŸ˜‰ ). The hard part still had to come…

The containers

First I wanted to put the containers in the paper boat. Rotterdam has got one the biggest harbours in the world, so that wouldn’t be a difficult task to manage. Well, it actually was.

There are a few spots where you can come to photograph containers ships arriving in the harbor. Neither of these spots gave me right perspective of the containerships that I needed for this image.

One of my collegues adviced me to use the app, to find out where and when the major containerships would arrive. That was, after already spend hours waiting… lol

The Tow Boat

Second, I wanted to have a tow boat in front of the paper boat. Just like when real container ships are pulled into the harbors. I have spended many hours on different locations in the harbors of Rotterdam to photograph such a tow boat.

You need to have alot of patience for these kind of composites. So take a foldable chair with you! πŸ™‚

The Tow Boats p2

I’ve tried all images I had made, but it was a) a crime to selected and mask the tow boats, and b) they weren’t in the right positions or lighting to make it fit within the image. It just didn’t worked out. Now I was in doubt of wath to do.

After a while I came up with the idea of one smaller paper boat pulling the bigger one. It can be so simple πŸ™‚

As you can see, I had alot of other ideas for this picture during the process, such as paper planes and paper crane birds instead of the seagulls. Ultimately I thought: Less is more…

The containers p2

As you can see in the image above, I already figured out how to put the containers in the ship. And that wasn’t easy I can tell you πŸ˜‰

I had photographed many containerships during a period of tree days spending on different locations in the harbours of Rotterdam. I needed the right perspective and after playing with many images I found out I had not had any image in the right angle. That was a bummer. It was then, that I decided to use multiple images for the containers and a little drawing. It gave that sketchy look that, in my opinion, makes the image!

The waves and details on the boat

When a boat sails, it breakes the water, causing waves. I wanted to look as realistic as possible. I used images of the containerships for the waves and draw the rest in Photoshop. That took more time than I wanted, but the result is realistic.

The details on the paper boat. For it to look as (sur)realistic as possible I also added details to the paper boat. Such as rust on the part that catches the most water (bottom). And a little rust parts on the part of the letters on the boat. And offcourse not to forget the line between the boats (and the dirth on that line).

And that folks, is how I made this image!

The end result


I posted the final result on and it got curated and published. Then it got published on the website of Gebr. Sluyter.

This image also is printed and hanging on the 17th floor of Beurs WTC Rotterdam, in the office of Gebr. Sluyter B.V. at the reception.

And! The image was selected by Jan R. Smit and Cafeobscura for the Rotterdam Photo Exposition, that was held in Februari 2019.

This image was printed by Jan. R. Smit Fine Art Printing Specialist for the Rotterdam Photo Exhibition 2019.

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