Church of Our Lady Bruges, Belgium

A dramatic exterior view of the Church Of Our Lady in Bruges, Belgium. This version of the image features a heavy bluish tint, which I've added for mood.

The Church Of Our Lady Bruges is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the old town of Bruges. It’s where you’ll find Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child statue.

Bruges is one of my favourite cities. The old town is easy to explore on foot and every side street offers the traveller with the chance of a new adventure.

The sun had well and truly set by the time I'd found this interesting viewpoint at the back of the Church of Our Lady Bruges.

I stayed about a minutes walk outside the entrance to the old town and very much enjoyed my time exploring the beautiful architecture and quiet back streets of Bruges.

 

A sepia tone black and white photo of Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child statue in the Church Of Old Lady in Bruges, Belgium.

 

How To Make Amazing Photos In Bruges, Belgium

I hope to base myself in Bruges at some stage for a more significant photographic project. Ideally it would be in summer.

While summer does attract many thousands of tourists it’s easy to avoid many of them and make a lot of photos relatively easily. Here's a few tips that may be of help to you.

  • Photograph early or late in the day when most tourists are in their hotels or enjoying some of the cities excellent restaurants.

  • Walk around until you find yourself beyond the boundaries of the tourist circuit. In Bruges this is quite easily achieved and it’s exactly what I did.

  • Decide what's most important your photography or eating meals in line with your normal routine.

  • Try to break away from that routine and you'll likely find yourself photographing in less crowded environments.

A dramatic exterior view of the Church Of Our Lady in Bruges, Belgium. This version of the image features a black and white rendering with a warm tone added to the highlights.

How to Photograph the Church Of Our Lady in Bruges, Belgium

The light was quite mirky when I photographed the exterior view of the Church Of Our Lady Bruges. As a result the original color file was quite flat and colorless.

However, as anticipated, the textural qualities of the structure were well suited to rendering into black and white.

While it looks like a pretty straightforward scene it contains a number of architectural elements which can compete for the viewers attention.

The way to make the viewing process more enjoyable is to use composition to guide the viewer’s eye around the frame.

Make More Photos from a Low Angle of View

I was happy with the low angle of view from which I made the photo because it allowed me to use composition to enhance the message in this image.

The distortion associated with photographing upwards, at such an extreme angle, allows me to utilize the lines of the church’s turrets and steeple to lead the viewer’s eye through the frame.

This technique also enhances the sense of three dimensional space within the frame.

Adding Color to a Black and White Photo

You’ll notice the different color tones of each black and white image in this post. I opted for a sepia tone black and white rendering of my photo of the famous Michelangelo Madonna and Child statue.

In the case of the exterior view of the Church Of Our Lady Bruges I’ve included two very different black and white versions of the image. One features a subtle warm tone while the other displays a heavy blue tone.

Please note: The word tone can be used to refer to either the brightness of an image, or areas within an image, but it can also be used to refer to color that’s been added to a black and white image.

Toning allows you to add color to a black and white image. When applied subtly the image still appears black and white to most folks, but the color tends to shift the mood of the image and, with it, the emotive response of the viewer.

 
Moored Boats, Bruges, Belgium

About To Travel?

 

Bruges | A Great Town to Explore on Foot

The Church Of Our Lady Bruges is a beautiful architectural structure and should definitely be on your list of the best places to visit in Bruges.

If ever you get the chance to visit Bruges I'd certainly recommend a few days to explore this beautiful city.

Just remember to stay in or on the edge of the old town.

It’s illegal for visitors to drive into the old city. But by staying where the action is you have the ability to explore the splendour of this most picturesque town, on foot, with your camera whenever the light beckons.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru