A couple of weeks ago I went on a short euro trip with a friend. We took the Eurostar to Paris and after a short stay there we hopped on another train and headed to Belgium, where we spent a few days travelling around, mostly by train.
Along the way I learned a few things:
- Belgium is full of amazing places to photograph.
- Belgium is really cold in February. A good pair of wool fingerless gloves can help keep your hands relatively warm while still allowing you to operate your camera.
- Belgian beer is really good, and if you are not careful it might go to your head.
- When beer goes to your head you are more likely to lose things.
- Belgium feels even colder during February when you are trying to take pictures without gloves, which you left behind in a bar in Brugues.
Overall it was a fantastic trip and I was fairly successful at ignoring my freezing fingers and staying focused on the first point of the list. Frequent stops to go inside somewhere warm and have a hot to drink were a big help. There's nothing like the feeling of wrapping your cold hands around a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate after being out in the cold.
The overcast weather probably wasn't the best for architectural photography, as it resulted in having a flat and overexposed sky for the backdrop of a lot of the shots I took during daytime. It would have been lot better if I got some blue sky breaks inbetween the clouds, but all things considered I'm still pretty happy with some of the shots I got. In some cases the gloomy weather actually helped bring a certain mood to the shots.
Ghent was probably the nicest surprise of the whole trip. I have to admit I knew little about it before going there. Now I have to say that even though I would definitely return to all the places I visited during our trip, if I could only choose one to go back to it would be Ghent, hands down.
It was a great trip and we had a really good time. It was also good to take my camera somewhere different. I live in London, which is an amazing place to photograph, but after you've lived somewhere for a while your eyes get used to it and sometimes it's a little harder to get inspired. Travelling allows you to see everything with new eyes, making it easier for that inspiration to resurface. Even when you can't feel your fingers anymore.