It has been a very long time since I posted as I recently got back from two back to back 21 day trips to Europe. I was experimenting with a smaller kit, and I was glad I did as the bag became progressively heavier each day. I only filled 2 16 GB cards as I seemed not interested in shooting too much of what I saw. This was the worst of my trips as giant cruise ships seemed to fill any city near a port that they could reach. This was not a problem in places they could not go. It is getting bad enough that I may never visit a large port city again. So it will take me many months to process the few images I took. This is the first one.
Built during the 13th century and today one of the most famous of all the landmarks in Bruges, the Belfort is now featured on the World Heritage List and stands just over 80 metres / 262 feet high. This makes it the tallest brick tower in Europe. The views from the top of this clock / bell tower are quite breathtaking, although the openings are covered with an open mesh that makes taking pictures difficult for all except P&S cameras. Many will find that climbing the 366 steps to the very top is quite a challenge and somewhat exhausting, but I did it with two titanium metal replacement knees.
D700 with 17-35 f/2.8 zoom @ 30mm. f/8, 1/250, ISO 200, hand held.
Thanks, it was that movie that made me want to visit Bruges. I really liked the city as it was NOT filled with cruise ship bodies and I spent 5 days there with lots of time to settle in, visit the museums and just enjoy the food and atmosphere. I would go back again.
Thanks Kathy, My wife told me she never wants to do back to back trips again-too hard on the body. The trips were great, The first a river cruise which covered some areas we have been to before but also covered new places like Bruges and the second a sailing ship around the Adriatic which also had some repeats but many new places. It was the second trip where we encountered all the people from cruise ships with thousands of people flooding cities. Our ship was large by our usual trip standards but only held 240 people and was an actual sailing ship. The worst effect seemed to be Palermo Sicily which we visited in off season about 8 to 10 years ago, where we were able to visit sites and spend large amounts of time. Now those same sites are so overrun that each tour is allotted just about 10-15 minutes before being pushed on because of the hordes of people. It was the same in Venice. I recently read an article that said so many people are going to Venice that it is driving down the actual population because the city is so overrun with tourists.
We were in Italy last month and found the same situation. The Amalfi Coast area was totally overrun with cruise ship tourists. When we went to Pompeii, I got so frustrated trying to take some long views that filled my viewfinder with tourists every time I was just about to push the shutter release. At one point I got so mad I just started firing away at tourists to relieve my frustration! It was actually kind of fun. Fortunately, we used a local driver/guide who was able to keep us as clear of the crowds as possible, but it was still very crowded.
I was also surprised at how crowded both Rome and Florence were. And I think it was cruise ships in both cases. We were there about the same time of year in 2010 and it wasn't nearly as crowded as it was this year.
But, Italy is just so appealing that we keep going back in spite of the crowds.
On the second trip we went to Verona, Venice, and Ravenna before going across the Adriatic. Of the 3 only Ravenna was tolerable. In fact it was a very plesant surprise. I guess because no cruise ships can get there. I too have been up and down Italy many times and I never remember the crush of tourists like I found this year and I sent in October on the sailing ship. When I went to Pompell about 10 years ago, the only tourists I saw were the ones with me on the day trip-how times have changed. I think the answer is you have to go places most people don't go like Iceland. Do land tours away from major sea ports and/or do small riverboat tours of 120 or less. I am so glad I have traveled all my life as I fear it is going to be very difficult to go to any popular place anymore without seeing the zombie hords with P&S cameras and backpacks.
We did find a relatively tourist free area at the end of out trip. We spent our final night at a hotel near the Fiumincino airport and spent the afternoon wandering around Ostia Antica. A really interesting find. A little like pompeii without tourists (or volcanos). It's also a pretty place.
James thanks for the comments, but I actually already had made adjustments to the foreground and buildings, but I did it in CNX2 rather than doing it CS6 Extended as it is much easier to do it in CNX2 with a control point, as it just takes a few seconds.
Sat 03-Nov-12 04:47 PM | edited Sat 03-Nov-12 04:48 PM by robsb
James and Hal:
I decided to revisit this image to correct the tower lean and while there I also adjusted the lighting a bit. It took about 2 degrees of adjustmment to correct the lean and I brightened up the building and foreground a bit. Just took a few minutes in CNX2. thanks for your comments.