Category Archives: Towns and Cities

The red door….

Photography and words by
Red door in a backstreet in Antwerp, Belgium

Red door in a backstreet in Antwerp, Belgium

A door in Antwerp…not much of a subject!! But I liked the grunginess and small details of the door and concrete surroundings. There were loads of flats and other buildings in a terraced row that all had letters hanging out of the letterboxes.

I have no idea if these dwellings were commercial or residential, but they looked deserted and there were no people around. It was a quiet sidestreet and it fascinated me with all the envelopes stuffed into letterboxes, none of which picked up by anybody…..

From a photography point of view I put this through Nik’s HDR Efex pro 2 even though this is a single image. I was able to emphasise the detail, even-up any unevenness in the exposure and dull down the colour a bit whilst upping the contrast a little, all in about a 30 second post processing session…That’s why I love Nik software!!

Reflection on a Cobbled road,Bruges, Belgium

Reflection on a Cobbled sidestreet,Bruges, Belgium

Bruges in Belgium has some wonderful side streets, full of independent shops selling everything under the sun..!

But for this photo all I needed to do was to look down!! In winter there are always puddles on cobbled’s a certaintly. So look down as well as up!

Although this is a single image, I put it throught HDR Efex Pro, because I wanted to emphasize all those intricate little details from the cobbles and the reflection.

Communist era monument  as seen from the town of Shumen, Bulgaria

Communist era monument as seen from the town of Shumen, Bulgaria

Apartment block, Shumen, Bulgaria

Apartment block, Shumen, Bulgaria

I visited the town of Shumen in Bulgaria a couple of years ago to have a look at the monument that you see in the distance in the left hand photo. I was just passing through on a bike and so this is my first view upon arriving into town, so I am still straddling the bike having stopped as soon as the monument itself came into view.

When I take images like this, they tend to get forgotton for a while after I’ve taken them…like a year and a half in this case! Their lack of spectacularness doesn’t impress me much! And that’s why I never delete an image. Never, never, never!!

I read a blog post recently about a photographer who deletes most of his images in a brutal editing process, so all that he ends up with are his keepers (at least what he considered to be keepers immediately after a shoot). The conclusion being that over time he never missed the deleted images and it saved hard drive space.

I personally never take an image unless I think it has certain aesthetic qualities, I never guess a composition, everything is slow(ish) and deliberate. So I take relatively few images and never delete a single one. Most of them are left lonely and unloved on a hard drive somewhere. Had I deleted these two ‘lonely and unloved non-keepers’ in a similar, brutal editing process, I would have forgotten them, not missed them and moved on. But scanning back through my hard drive in an idle moment, I re-discovered them, felt completely differently about them 18 months on, liked them much more than originally, and now they have been rediscovered I am very relieved I never deleted them permanently!

Anyway, back to the photos…After I took these I sat in a cafe for a while before cycling up to the monument itself, and the images are in a small gallery here….

The monument itself is huge and tells the story of the history of Bulgaria in a series of huge mosaics and sculptures.