The weather gets nicer and it’s time to travel again if you’re lucky enough to be able to. As my sister moved to Bruxelles this year so we paid her a quick family visit in late May.
I packed my trusty M5, Canon 50mm LTM f1.4 and Leitz 90mm f4 to snap, along with some HP5 (my favorite, shot at 200 ISO) and Kodak Ektar 100 that I mainly shot in Gent and Courtrai (I also had an FP4 roll that I have not yet developed).
We had some time first to visit my sister and her cat, and promptly went out to explore the city on foot. Time to shoot!
Most of the shots were snapshots that I took aimlessly, nothing fancy here. I shot through the roll in about two days. Some portraits are fine but most of the landscape shots I consider subpar. See some examples below:
Look at this silly uninspired grainfest.
Walking down to the park, towards the City Hall, I found a funny mural, insipired by (or stolen from?) Bosch:
Again nothing too inspired. I barely had time to snap this as the family group was rushing to the City Hall and the Grand Place. I tried to focus on getting a proper exposure (I’m still trying to make sure I understand it). Next time I will not!
A striking place that I remember vividly is the Pavillon des Passions Humaines. It’s a small temple-like building designed by Horta, the great architect, and hosting a scuplted mural by Lambeaux. Inside the structure there’s very little available light which makes it challenging. I’m happy with this frame:
Our walk took us back to the Musée des Instruments de Musiques (the musical instruments museum), set in the Old England building. A very cool collection, and again an opportunity for the Canon 50 to showcase its excellent handling of low light. See this weird mechanical automatic instrument.
From what I understand the pins on the rolls are like a piano roll, telling the organ what notes to play, both in pitch and duration.
The following day we did walk with my brother to the military museum that he wanted to visit. It’s a huge place with a hangar full of fighter airplanes. Unfortunately the museum is undergoing severe work and most rooms were closed to the public, including the WW1 fighter collection that was Gœring’s personal collection, given to Belgium as war reparations (according to my brother’s encyclopædic memory).
I finished my HP5 roll here, shooting some of the great planes they have in the massive hangar.
Look at the size of this absolute unit (for reference, a Caravelle commercial liner has a length of about 35m and a wingspan of 35m too).
Weekend in Gand
One last night and off we go to Gand (Gent) for the weekend. It’s a 1-hour uneventful car ride. The city reminded me a lot of Amsterdam with it’s small water houses and canals. I had the opportunity to shoot some Ektar 100 for the first time and I have to say I’m not disappointed!
Colors are vibrant and saturated (especially reds), even through the Canon 50mm which I usually find to be on the less saturated side of things. Grain is close to nonexistant. It’s a pleasure.
Courtrai - the béguinage
On the way home we stopped in Courtrai near the French border to have lunch in one of Belgium’s most beautiful béguinages.
Only two frames left here, and I had to switch to an FP4 I had lying around after that.