Birthday in Bruges

My wonderful girlfriend Polly is pretty good at birthday presents, the most notable being a helicopter ride sat on the floor with the doors off taking photos over Manhatten. This year she took me away for a surprise weekend to Bruges. 

Bruges is a beautiful Medieval city with interesting architecture, lovely canals, wonderful local beer and tasty chocolate. We spent 4 days sightseeing, sampling the local food and beer and of course I got a few shots in here and there.

For kit I decided to take my 12-24, 24-70 and various filters for the 24-70. It was a mistake not to take my 70-200, that will be coming in future.

 This is the shot everyone takes in Bruges and I was joined here by several other photographers taking a variation on this theme. Sunset was a bust due to a cloudless sky. I will note with this picture I had sampled a few strong local beers and some Flemish stew so was a little wobbly!  12-24 f4 at 12mm, f22, 30 Seconds ISO 50

This is the shot everyone takes in Bruges and I was joined here by several other photographers taking a variation on this theme. Sunset was a bust due to a cloudless sky. I will note with this picture I had sampled a few strong local beers and some Flemish stew so was a little wobbly!

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f22, 30 Seconds ISO 50

 Room with a view. This is my girlfriend Polly looking out at the top of the Belfry of Bruges in the main square. The view is pretty amazing and its not that far up to the top. You get to stop a few times on the way but it is a little narrow. Get there early as we queued for over an hour and we got there at about 11am. It is a lot higher than it appears in the film.  24-70 f2.8 at 43mm, f2.8, 1/500, iso 100

Room with a view. This is my girlfriend Polly looking out at the top of the Belfry of Bruges in the main square. The view is pretty amazing and its not that far up to the top. You get to stop a few times on the way but it is a little narrow. Get there early as we queued for over an hour and we got there at about 11am. It is a lot higher than it appears in the film.

24-70 f2.8 at 43mm, f2.8, 1/500, iso 100

 This is the other shot that everyone takes in Bruges. It is a little bit further away from the main square but well work finding. They were also erecting an interesting sculpture that you can see in the later night shot.  24-70 f2.8 at 31mm, f22, 4 seconds (6 stop filter and a polariser in use) 

This is the other shot that everyone takes in Bruges. It is a little bit further away from the main square but well work finding. They were also erecting an interesting sculpture that you can see in the later night shot.

24-70 f2.8 at 31mm, f22, 4 seconds (6 stop filter and a polariser in use) 

 I've been wanting to do some shots like this for ages but just not got round to it. Bruges is full of cyclists so I thought I would have a go. I ended up with a lot of blurry shots but a few that were in focus.   24-70 f2.8 at 31mm, f8, 1/20

I've been wanting to do some shots like this for ages but just not got round to it. Bruges is full of cyclists so I thought I would have a go. I ended up with a lot of blurry shots but a few that were in focus. 

24-70 f2.8 at 31mm, f8, 1/20

 One afternoon after a days sightseeing we wandered a little bit further out to one of the fantastic parks. This is one of the very well tended flower beds with beautiful tulips.   12-24 f4 at 16mm, f8m 1/60, iso 100

One afternoon after a days sightseeing we wandered a little bit further out to one of the fantastic parks. This is one of the very well tended flower beds with beautiful tulips. 

12-24 f4 at 16mm, f8m 1/60, iso 100

 The earlier shot but at night. Possibly got there a little late for the perfect light but that's debatable. Would have been better to have some clouds with movement in the sky. For the sculpture in the distance, they had more or less finished erecting is a dolphin or whale made from plastic bottles coming out of the canal- a great piece of sculpture..  24-70 f2.8 at 26mm, f11, 4 Secconds iso 100

The earlier shot but at night. Possibly got there a little late for the perfect light but that's debatable. Would have been better to have some clouds with movement in the sky. For the sculpture in the distance, they had more or less finished erecting is a dolphin or whale made from plastic bottles coming out of the canal- a great piece of sculpture..

24-70 f2.8 at 26mm, f11, 4 Secconds iso 100

 On one very sunny day we rented bike to escape the crowds and look at a few windmills. We rode down the river to the nearby picturesque village of Damme. This is Polly on her bike on the way to Damme. Don't be fooled by the picture it took about 4 attempts to get this right she had to keep going backwards and forwards a few times.  24-70 f2.8 at 24mm, f8, 1/30, iso 100

On one very sunny day we rented bike to escape the crowds and look at a few windmills. We rode down the river to the nearby picturesque village of Damme. This is Polly on her bike on the way to Damme. Don't be fooled by the picture it took about 4 attempts to get this right she had to keep going backwards and forwards a few times.

24-70 f2.8 at 24mm, f8, 1/30, iso 100

 This is us stopping on the way back from Damme, the path was a fantastic tree lined road. Sadly I didn't have my 70-200 to take advantage of this with compression! That lens is now coming with me every time I travel.  70-200 f2.8 at 59mm, f2.8, iso 100, 1/2000 iso 100

This is us stopping on the way back from Damme, the path was a fantastic tree lined road. Sadly I didn't have my 70-200 to take advantage of this with compression! That lens is now coming with me every time I travel.

70-200 f2.8 at 59mm, f2.8, iso 100, 1/2000 iso 100

 A few interesting buildings in the main Bruges square, probably not dark enough for this shot but it was late and I was tired. It also took ages to get it this free of people.  12-24 f4 at 14mm, f4, 1/15, iso 100

A few interesting buildings in the main Bruges square, probably not dark enough for this shot but it was late and I was tired. It also took ages to get it this free of people.

12-24 f4 at 14mm, f4, 1/15, iso 100

 A wide view of the main square.  12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, 1/15 iso 100

A wide view of the main square.

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, 1/15 iso 100

 A man on a bike talking to one of the hard-working horses. The horse seemed to like him, it didn't like other people but was quite receptive to this guy.  12-24 f4 at 13mm, f9, 1/125, iso 100

A man on a bike talking to one of the hard-working horses. The horse seemed to like him, it didn't like other people but was quite receptive to this guy.

12-24 f4 at 13mm, f9, 1/125, iso 100