Bruges, One Of My Favorite Travel Destinations

Brightly colored flowers on a summer's day by the canal in Bruges (i.e., Brugge) Belgium.

I've been fortunate to visit many countries over the years. Of all the cities I've traveled to I'd say that Paris is my favorite capital city while Bruges (i.e., Brugge) is my favorite smaller city or town. Of course my opinion is based largely on photography and both Paris and Bruges provide wonderful opportunities for the enthusiastic photographer.

Bruges Is Beautiful And A Delight For Architectural Photography

Old Brugge is a medieval stone city built, a little like Venice and St. Petersburg, around an intricate canal system. Folks with a love of traditional architecture will revel in the range of churches, bridges, dwellings and cobblestone streets providing fantastic subject matter for your photography. What's more the old town is largely limited to foot traffic. Once away from the highly touristed streets you'll be able to wander around, in relative quiet, and really soak in the atmosphere.

How To Photograph Colorful Flowers In Old Bruges

This photo was made on a lovely summer's day in August. I was preparing to undertake a boat tour to explore the city from the waterline and, with a few minutes up my sleeve, made an image that incorporated one of the many low hanging bridges and some lovely summer color. Once underway I found the boat moved along a little too fast for controlled photography. Nevertheless, I was still able to make a number of good photos.

In such circumstances be prepared to increase your ISO to ensure you end up with a shutter speed of, ideally, 1/500 second or above. As an aside may I say that there's not much point having a large depth of field if movement, either subject or camera related, produces a blurry picture. Just remember to keep that shutter speed up and, with the latest DSLR and Micro four-thirds cameras, increasing the ISO is often the best way to do it.

As far as the above photo was concerned I employed the wide-angle 24 mm lens on my full frame Canon 5D Mark II camera. That allowed me to move in close and fill the frame with the fantastic color of the well tendered flowers, while still retaining the necessary angle of view to include the bridge in the background. The combination of the 24 mm focal length and the narrow aperture of f/22 provides the large depth of field that has allowed me to retain sharpness from foreground flowers right through to the background bridge.  

I have to say I really love Bruges and would like to spend several months living there and building up a substantial portfolio of this most splendid town. Now wouldn't that be something? I'd love to read about your own travel plans and dreams, particularly those that involve a major photography project.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru