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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?

Oh the frustration of trying to be a thoughtful photographer!

Back in November, we went for a walk around town. I have taken to relying on my iPod for much of my pootling-about-town photography over the last year, but on that particular day Amélie was wearing a hat and Charlie wanted to wear his shades and so I was brave and decided to bring my big beast of a camera along for the ride. I was lucky and managed to get a few good shots of the monkeys. Then, as we were walking home, we took a small detour and came upon this building (on the left). I though to myself “ok, this could make a good picture…”. I chose my settings carefully. A smaller aperture to ensure everything was sharp and a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the crazies’ constant movement. I thought about where I was going to stand to get the best composition and framed the shot really carefully. In other words, I was deliberate and took the time to think the picture through. I gave myself a few attempts to get something interesting from my “models”.  And this was the best shot I got (again, on the left). Then we walked on. I was holding Amélie’s hand. We were a little ahead of Hanno and Charlie. When we got to this pedestrian crossing (picture on the right), it was green for us to cross but changed to red before we reached the other side. We turned around to see where Han and Charlie were and realised they hadn’t made it. We laughed at each other a little, and then, just to tease them, I held up my camera and snapped a shot. Didn’t change any settings, didn’t even try to compose or frame the shot, didn’t really think at all. Just snapped. And then the light turned green again and they joined us and we continued on our way. And, of course, the totally random snapshot on the right is at least a gazillion times better than the really carefully thought through picture on the right. Dagnammit! I give up. From now on, I’m just going to close my eyes and shoot at random.

31 December 2013 - 2:29 PM Emilie - It's crazy how we can see things differently in beautiful pictures! I walk by that square quite often and I've never really payed attention. Now that I see your picture, I find it really beautiful! Next time I walk around there, I'll be more curious :)

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