Jan 24, 2010

Squarely in the middle

Few things can work more inspiring than a little discipline and some self-imposed restriction. For that reason, I recently started to take along my camera and just one or two primes whenever I am going off to a potentially interesting location. That and the firm determination to come back with a good batch of pictures.

_DS76020w This time, a meeting appointment brought me to downtown Antwerp, near the main railway station. Antwerpen-Centraal
- known by the locals as the “Middenstatie” - was constructed between 1895 and 1905 to replace the original terminus of the Brussels-Mechelen-Antwerp railway. The main building features a vast dome and 8 smaller towers. The colorful interior is lavishly decorated with more than 20 different kinds of marble and stone.

_DS75954wBehind the spectacular waiting room hall: a huge iron and glass vaulted ceiling (185 meters long and 44 meters high) covering the platforms and tracks, originally all on one level.

_DS75963wIn 1998 large-scale reconstruction work began to convert the station from a terminus to a through station. A new north-south tunnel and platforms on two additional underground levels allow fast domestic InterCity trains and the high-speed Amsterdam-Brussels connection to travel through Antwerp Central without the need to turn around. The major restoration and expansion works were completed by early 2009. Today, the station has 4 levels and a total of 14 tracks.

_DS75969All of the above images were shot handheld using a single 24mm prime lens. One is a 4-frame HDR, another a pseudo-HDR built from a single RAW file (challenge: can you find out which ones?). Just for the fun of it, I decided to go for pure square crops, an option that frequently pops into my mind. Perhaps I am missing my 6x6 film days…

Gear notes: D700, 24/2.8

Click on the image(s) to see a larger version

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