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On Being Boring

I moved from London to Brussels with my husband nearly 10 years ago. When I told people we were moving, the news was greeted with bemusement: why did we want to move to a city that was possibly the most boring place on earth? Ten years later and I can honestly say that I've had more fun here than I ever did living in London. It might not be the most exciting city in the world but it is a fantastic place to live. It is full of hidden treasures that you probably never get to see as a tourist: wonderful shops, amazing food, great museums and galleries, beautiful architecture, a forest (yes, a whole forest), and so much more... And if that doesn't convince you, well, get on a train and you could be in Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne or, yes, London in no more than a couple of hours... Which other city can you say that about?

Les fleurs de ma belle-soeur.

Shot early in the morning while the dew still hung on… or in the evening after my sister-in-law had sprayed the plants with insecticide to get rid of the ants… one or the other (one is clearly more romantic than the other). I honestly can’t remember. Either way, these were shot with a 100mm lens (at f/2.8 if I recall correctly – I could check, but that would mean opening up lightroom again and, with the speed my computer works at, we’d be here for at least half an hour). I was hand holding my camera because Miss Dummy McDummington here forgot her tripod head at home (I remembered the rest of it! Oh yes! I don’t even forget things properly). I’ll tell you something for free: it’s darned hard to keep a shot in focus when doing a macro shot with a hand-held camera. I was using manual focusing to prevent the auto-focus from having a fit and exploding. I’d get the ant’s head in focus, press the shutter release, and… it would be out of focus again. I stood staring (and swearing) at this one ant for about 10 minutes (which is about the extent of my dedication to photography) and this is the best I could do. My advice? Don’t forget bits of your tripod at home if you want to try shots like this.

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