Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fun and Photos in Brugge

During our stay in Brussels we set a day aside to explore the picturesque city of Brugge, only an hour away by train. Being that the city is quite beautiful, we decided to tag along on a photo walking tour during the morning hours, hoping it would not only help us get acquainted with Brugge, but also provide a glimpse at some of the less-touristy areas of the city and add to my (limited) knowledge base of all things photography related.
Brugge in the sunshine

The morning of our visit we arrived to cool temperatures and drizzling rain. However, as they say in Brugge, "if you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes", which proved to be true as we experienced the entire gamut of weather conditions in just one day. From bone chilling rain and gray skies to glimpses of sunshine and a break in the wind just long enough to capture some great reflection shots, the weather in Brugge is truly unpredictable. 

Reflections along the canals
Just one of many bridges

Another thing I could not have predicted is that our tour guide Andy would turn out to be a fellow Canadian (although he is from Montreal which many Canadians may argue is like being on a different planet). In addition to his roots, Andy quickly won us over with his easy going approach to photography and the tour guide role. 

Some of the many canal-side homes in Brugge

Brugge's windmills offer a fun photo opportunity

Unfortunately the sky wasn't too helpful this particular day

Fall colours (and rain) in Brugge

iPad in hand, Andy started the tour by asking about how comfortable I was with my camera, my knowledge level, equipment, experience, etc... and then continually provided advice specific to my needs, instead of advanced knowledge I won't be able to use for a few years. He also gave me suggestions on interesting ways to compose shots, and was always willing to provide very kind critiques on shots that I had taken. 

We couldn't leave without sampling a few chocolates

Beautiful champagne display in a store window

While I snapped some photos of Brugge's lovely canals, historic buildings, and hidden details, Andy and Travis were able to cover every topic under the sun from travel and our trip to real estate, work, and life in general. Andy was also willing to give insights into his experiences with different cameras, lenses, software, and other photography related topics.

Andy said to look out for lions...
... as Brugge is covered with them.
Wait, that's not a lion. I only wish I could remember this guys name.

When the timing works out...

Although I was the only one "shooting" that day, it was great that Travis and I were both able to participate in the tour, and for a very reasonable 20 Euros total (which I think we made back in following some of Andy's advice for cheap places to eat and buy chocolates). Especially considering we had just the one day in Brugge, it was great to be able to experience it together and, when I'm struggling to remember some of the pointers Andy gave me, Travis can help me out!

 Although this photo tour was just 10 days ago, I feel like the stuff I learned during it has been easy to put into practice, and most importantly, I have seen a noticeable improvement in the quality of my photos. 

The website for Photo Tour Brugge can be found here, and Andy's photography site (which has some great photos from around the world) can be found here.

Oh, and as with the Berlin Photo Tour, these are just the jpeg's without any real editing. We will let you know when those go up.

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Hey there!

Calli and Travis returned from a four month trip through Europe more excited than ever to hit the open road. Who knows where they'll end up next...

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