Happenings in the Hallerbos

It’s almost that time of year again! It’s almost time for the wonder that is the Hallerbos (Bois de Halle or Halle Forest) in the spring, when the bluebells bloom and the forest floor is transformed into a carpet of gorgeous purple.  But although at this time last year the flowers were all abloom, and a few purple flowers have braved the cooler temperatures of this spring, we are still a week or two away from the big show. My husband and I took a stroll through the forest today to check the status of the flowers and were delighted to witness a sort of pre-show.

Hallerbos Pre-Show

Hallerbos Pre-Show

In the week or two preceding the bluebells, the forest floor is first carpeted with the blooms of the wood anemones. While it doesn’t have quite the same effect, it is still very beautiful. The forest itself is peaceful (usually!) and makes for a great day in the outdoors no matter what time of year you visit it.

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Twilight!

No, not the teen vampire movie.  The time of day.  One of the coolest times of the day to be taking pictures, and one I can’t for the life of me seem to be in a position to take advantage of very often.  But on a recent trip to Ghent we were actually out after dark with our cameras and I was able to snap off a couple of shots while the sun was falling fast below the horizon.  I love twilight. I love Ghent. And apparently I love St. Nicholas Church.  I can’t seem to get enough of it.

St. Nicolas's Cathedral at Twilight - Ghent, Belgium

St. Nicolas’s Cathedral at Twilight – Ghent, Belgium

Ghent Light Festival 2015

This past weekend was the 3rd installation of the Ghent Light Festival.  A bi-annual event, artists, groups and schools put together various exhibits using light and videography and install them throughout the very walkable city center of Ghent. I am still working on night photography skills, but even so, I was able to catch a few lovely shots of this lovely art form.  Check out these new additions on my Belgium page!

Art installation on Mageleinstraat in Ghent 2015

Art installation on Mageleinstraat in Ghent 2015

October

Hello! It’s been awhile, but it’s been quite the busy month for me, with club activities, volunteering, learning French, yoga, and just trying to keep clean clothes in the closets.

The Tri-Mission Photography club had its first outing in Watermael-Boitsfort early in October. It was a rainy day, but following the advice of my more experienced peers in the Viewfinders Club (Brussels’ English speaking Photography Club) I decided not to cancel. And what a great day it turned out to be. Not only does the area offer a lot of variety in subject matter, with its architecture, historical sites, nature, and the Sunday farmers’ market, it was on the route for the Brussels Marathon that day!  Sadly for me, I was unable to really capture any great shots of the runners and the African drummers cheering them on, but it was a great lesson for me that I need to work with my shutter speed a little more, as well as relaxing and focusing on what I want to convey a little better (which is easier said than done with moving targets and oncoming buses…). On a coffee break (because the rain was just too much at one point), we talked a bit about our camera functions, locating the f-stop and shutter speed controls, and a little about white balance.

 

All in all it was a great day and a lot of fun. I’m hoping that even more club members will be able to join us for the next outing!

This month’s meeting of the Viewfinders was very inspiring for me.  Several of the club’s members presented their work and it was great to see so many different approaches to photography.  One of these days I’ll be confident enough to get up there and present my own work! Check out the Viewfinders here.

Another exciting development is the opportunity in early November to sell my work to our friends and colleagues at the Embassy.  I am so excited to be offered this opportunity and I’ve spent quite a number of days battling that demon of doubt and uncertainty.  But the more I stop, breathe, and open myself up to the opportunities coming my way and allow myself to appreciate my work while still being able to see the areas in which I can improve, the more the opportunities keep coming and the more I love what I am doing.  Here’s to chasing our dreams and not giving up the ghost!

Have a Happy Halloween and keep on clicking!

 

PS: I’ve added more pictures to the Belgium album, and I promise to work more on my New Zealand portfolio soon!