Brussels, Belgium – Town Hall – HDR

Brussels, Belgium - Town Hall HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

I was in Brussels, Belgium recently and only had 1 day…so a quick stop over.  It was my first visit to anywhewre in Belgium.  I’ll give you more details on Brussels in future posts.  But I must say it is very beautiful place!  Who am I kidding…most everywhere in Europe is amazing! 

My hotel was a 20 minute wlk to this lovely square.  It is called the Grand Place.   They say it is the most beautiful square in the world!  It was breathtaking!  I walked down during the day and took alot of daytime shots, then walked down at nite with my tripod and waited til sunset.  It was a Satruday nite…so anytime was ok for me.  The sun finally set at 10 PM!  So this shot was around 10:30 at nite!  Unreal!

Such a festive square!  Restuarants fill the corners of the square with outdoor dining.  Lots of people are walking around and taking pictures.   As I sat down and waited til sunset a small church choir started to sing inthe middle of the square.  A crowd gathered and they sang for about a half hour.  I was amazed that some songs were English!   It brought a smile to my face to see such enjoyment in the world.   I do not think I will ever forget this nite.  You know that feeling you get when you travel…how it seems so sureal. 

I’m sure I will have a few more posts from this square for you.  This trip is almost over and I think I took 90% of my shots in HDR!  This nice sun setting shot was my usual 5 exposures, tripod, cable release – post processed in Photomatix.  As the square was large…I brought out my 12-24 wide angle lens in order to get more in the photo.   

It was funny as soon as the sun set…I walked into the square with my tripod and some older lady came next to me with a tripod and she followed me around and copied my shots for about 10 minutes.  I’d move to a new location – look up after checking out my shot in the viewfinder and strangely there she was 5-10 feet away.  Hope she got some good pics!!  I think I did.  Photographers are funny people indeed!  Have fun!

Lenses: Discussion #1

As an avid photographer and partial world traveler, I always carry lots of euipment with me on my busniess trips.    My bag typically weighs 30-40 lbs!   Often I ask myself what are the perfect lenses for traveling?  I usually take landscape and architecture photos….occasionally some macro shots if I know of a Botanical Garden or their is a possibility of local flowers being beautiful. 

As most of us are not wealthy photographers (for me its a fun extra hobby), we cannot afford the best lenses (top quality glass) available.  Most of my lenses are very good…but not the best.  I currently use the following lenses are my travels:

1) Nikon 18-200 VR F/3.5-5.6 ED (DX)   2) Nikon 12-24 f/4 ED (DX)    3) Nikon 105 VR F/2.8 ED-IF 

The lenses run from $600-$900 each.  Not cheap and but decent!  As a Nikon shooter, I regularly watch the DTown TV podcast with Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski – DTownTV  They just aired episode 16 regarding lenses.  It was their best show yet.  Filled with good info.  For those who use Nikon equipment – please watch it if you can! 

Both Scott and Matt noted their favorite lenses.   After watching, I wanted to post what would be my dream lenses to have if I was traveling (my bag would weigh alot more!) The higher end lenses definately have more weight!  Here is my list:

1) Nikon 70-200 VR F/2.8 ($1900)   2) Nikon 12-24 f/2,8 ($1750)  3) Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 ($2000)

Ah to dream.  I have used the 70-200 and was amazed!!  I have not tried the 12-24 or the 24-70.  If any of you have them…let me know how they are!    Watching the show it made me realize that the future for my camera usage will be a full frame sensor.  Maybe the D4 when it comes out?   My D300 will soon be obsolete….even now I heard the D300s is coming soon with video.  But my current lenses work on the D300 DX body.   I better start saving now!

You can definately spends lots of money on your equipment!  I know there are tons of lens options out there.  If you have a good lens for traveling…tell me what it is and how you like it?