In Bruges

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Tony-S, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    I'll be in Bruges, Belgium in a couple of weeks and plan to take my Fuji GA645i with a few rolls of film. Any pointer on places to visit for some nice photo ops?
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    You lucky guy! I once had a friend who grew up there, and after a couple of years in So Cal she went back. She made it sound like "heaven on earth" where a great photo could exist wherever you point a camera. Take lots of film and let us know if there is any truth to what she said.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Tony,
    Brugge is a small place. So within about two hours or so you come along everything...
    It is marked by architecture, old and fake old. And tourists. Lots of them. You might go for the contrast beetween crowdy and silent which is extreme.
    Don't overlook the countryside around.


    You might read that book by Rodenbach though...
     
  4. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I haven't been there in a number of years, but from what I remember, the best answer to your question is "the whole place". Compact, walkable town, picturesque in the expected ways, overcrowded with tourists.

    I agree with "don't overlook the countryside around". On the train there from Antwerp, I remember seeing a number of places that made me consider just getting off the train and seeing if I could buy a house on the spot and settle down. :smile: It's really a lovely region, and Brugge itself is an aesthetic gem of a town. Take LOTS of film and have fun using it up!

    -NT
     
  5. Marc Leest

    Marc Leest Member

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    If the weather is bad you could visit the Groeningemuseum
    with a large collection of Flamish masters. You should try the beer called 'Rodenbach'. Very special for the american taste. :D :D
     
  6. Brac

    Brac Member

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    I was there last month and although it was mid-week, it was packed with tourists (including me of course). It's almost impossible to photograph anything without including other tourists. Presumably it's even worse at weekends, particularly July & August. As AgX said, some of the architecture is fake, it looks medieval but dates from the 19th century. Even so there is certainly much to see. I found it very useful to go on a tour mini-bus, we covered in about 50 minutes far more than I could ever have seen on foot. Next time I'd like to go on a canal trip. Just as interesting, in my opinion, is the city of Gent. Lots of fascinating buildings there and it is far, far less crowded than Brugge. Anyway have a good time and don't forget to try the Belgian chocolate!
     
  7. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Walk past the tourist areas to the residential sections of town (I went north.) The main body of visitors will be in a central section of the old city, but the entire area is beautiful. You might also want to visit Ghent, a few train stops away. It's a very interesting mix of modern, university town and medieval city.
     
  8. film_man

    film_man Member

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    Bruges/Brugge is really small. I've been there a few times and you can easily walk around all of it in a few hours.
     
  9. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    Couple of things. Firstly Bruges gets busy, and the way to get solitude and the best reflections in the canals is to get out at daybreak and get you serious photography out of the way in the centre before breakfast. At this time of year too you have long evenings and with the exception of the restaurant/bar areas near the Markt areas the place quietens down very considerably once the tourists have decided its dinner time or beer time. So the basic strategy is to photograph in the centre early and late and use the time in the middle for eating, sightseeing, and walking in the areas away from the centre.

    Second, the people who say that you can see the whole of Bruges in a few hours haven't really seen it. Sure they've been to the touristic centre, maybe taken a crowded launch trip along the main canals , but when I go to Bruges its for three days at a time because I walk the back streets and cover the area inside the canal ring pretty comprehensively. I have hundreds of photographs in Bruges and I don't think any of them have random tourists in them, and Bruges is a year-round destination because its a short break centre, so there isn't really a quiet time of year except a bit of a lull in winter. Interestingly you'll get better, people- free photographs in summer because you can get up early and photograph till dusk to miss the crowds. In spring and autumn you can't do that.
     
  10. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    At about 10 a.m. the buses show up and unload tourists. This continues in cycles until late afternoon. That leaves early morning and long evenings to photograph -- the best times -- with no tourists! It's a marvelous place.

    Peter Gomena
     
  11. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Bruges is famous with Gothic Architecture. Look for big , thick , Belgian Gothic books and learn where you can hunt for photography.
    I found there were many books on Belgian Gothic at my university and they were matchless.
    I think carrying a SLR with a power tele will close you to document atchitectural details and fill the colummns fill the frame. If you can rent a Leica , you could be the happy man if you are interested in dıocumenting quality with quality.
    Belgium have a extremelly wide palettes of beers and learn the list of oldest and best abbeys to taste and photograph the environment.
    They have extensive needle work tradition and you can want to document it.
    And their philatelic history is so great.
    Instrument museums and art museums are worth to document interior decoration of a Ruckers clavichord or photograph a Bruegel the Elder.
    I dont think you can have time and oppurtinity to take these masterpices details and prepare some money to acquire art history books . I dont think your photographs will match with these catalogs.
    If I were you , I put my expensive air ticket money in to buying books. It will take couple of years to learn their history , art history , traditions , language , literature and than you can make your trip.
     
  12. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    OK, thanks for all the hints and tips. I'll be there a few days so I should be able to explore the town in great detail.
     
  13. Uncle Goose

    Uncle Goose Member

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    Go to Ghent, that's a far more interesting city then Bruges and less tourists. I call Bruges Little Tokyo because of all the Japanese who go there. Being from Ghent myself I know that my home city is much more interesting because it's larger, less fake and less overcrowded. And it's only about 30miles from Bruges.
     
  14. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Is the train access to Ghent pretty easy?

    Thanks for the tip!
     
  15. Marc Leest

    Marc Leest Member

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    If you take the intercity train direction GenK or Tongeren Ghent is 1 stop further and Brussels 2 stops. Runs every hour.

    -m-
     
  16. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    It's also decidely less "picture postcard beautiful" than Brugge.

    Which is why the tourists all flock to Brugge, 'die scone', of course.
     
  17. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

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    ***Word of Warning***

    Avoid the pubs... at all costs.:D:D
     
  18. RTMoynihan

    RTMoynihan Member

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    I'd recommend watching the film 'In Bruges' before going, it's hilarious. But also take lots of film it's better to go over prepared and have to bring unfinished rolls back then run out halfway through your holiday! maybe try taking photos that aren't the postcard cliché and get something new! It's all up to you really :smile:
     
  19. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I assume VaryaV meant "DON'T avoid the pubs"... :smile:

    Belgian beer, IMHO, is the best in the world (at the national level; there are a couple of American beers that I like better, but our team performance is dragged down by the lousy mass-produced lagers). There are reasonable people who would argue for Germany or the Czech Republic instead, but...they're wrong.

    -NT
     
  20. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Yes, I have the movie "In Bruges" which is why I titled the thread. :smile: And you can be certain I'll visit a pub or two and sample some of the chocolates. I'm sure I'll come back a bit heavier than when I left.