So here's something of a marked contrast. The first city is Bilbao; all the photographs are of or from Frank Gehry's monumental Guggenheim museum, and all made in a three day period in October 2018. This wasn't the first time I'd photographed this building, and neither is it the only Gehry-designed building I've been pleased to spend time on and in. In 2003 a commission I was working on resulted in my booking three days at a nearby hotel with the intention of photographing just that one Bilbao building. And I did that - well sort of, because on the first morning I tripped and damaged a knee quite badly. Result was that I spent most of those three days on my bed with the ice-cold contents of the minibar stacked around my knee. I was able to hobble down to the Guggenheim twice each day for an hour and managed a few decent photographs.
So Bilbao has been unfinished business for fifteen years, and I'm pleased to say that this time I had no mishaps either to me or my cameras, and no real weather issues either. I had imagined that I'd want to photograph other things in Bilbao too, but though I found the city pleasant I saw no other subject that appealed, so we walked, ate tapas and photographed this one building. Inevitably most of the photo's are details and indeed I've never seen a building with such a range of angles and scales to work from, and three days passed quite quickly.
Bruges is very different, and that difference goes beyond the obvious fact that the Bilbao photographs are of a modern building whereas the Bruges subjects are buildings centuries older. Its also the case that for this photographer there was one thing to occupy me in Bilbao ( though it's indeed a very fine thing) whereas in Bruges there's an entire large historic centre with a broad range of buildings and views to cover.
My first visit to Bruges was well over fifty years ago with a school party en route to southern Holland. I've been maybe ten times since, and the city hasn't changed markedly in that period. Though all the photographs here date from early 2019, they could have been made at any point in my lifetime without looking materially different. Ok there are touristy streets now, but there were the same touristy streets then too.
So two very different sets of pictures, though both were equally enjoyable to compile.