Playing with Droste (on my iPad)

I have, for a long time, been interested in the Droste effect – a “specific kind of recursive picture… [in which] an image exhibiting the Droste effect depicts a smaller version of itself in a place where a similar picture would realistically be expected to appear. This smaller version then depicts an even smaller version of itself in the same place, and so on” [from Wikipedia]

The effect gets its name from “the image on the tins and boxes of Droste cocoa powder, one of the main Dutch brands, which displayed a nurse carrying a serving tray with a cup of hot chocolate” which in turn repeats the same image (just in small size) and so on… for ever. In fact when I visited the Netherlands a couple of years ago, I made it a point to pick up a box of Droste cocoa power – just so that I could have a box of my own! This is what the box looks like:

Over the years I have tried to play with this but my attempts have been crude at best – more a function of my limited knowledge of Photoshop than anything else. All this changed last Friday, when I found out about the Droste App for the iPhone/iPad. I bought a copy and spent the weekend playing with it. It has been great fun and below are some images I created. Enjoy.


  1. So how deep does it go? i mean seeing the droste repeating itsself 2-3 times is what normal pictures get you, but does it allow depending on the resolution of the camera to go way deeper?

  2. I’m going to download the Droste app and give it a try. sounds very interesting, I’ll have to see for myself that is

  3. Drostes is very cool indeed!

    I am having a book at home, that is filled with Drostes pics – real great stuff and lots of fun.

    And yes, I have to assume, that you can get some pain by using it.

  4. Droste effect would always make me dizzy because of its unconditional effects on the eye. However I am having fun of seeing weird pictures hidden on Drostes’.

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