Street and City Photography in Brussels –
Canon EOS R Long Term Review
In this series:
- Introducing the Canon EOS R
- City and Street Photography in Brussels
- Urban Exploration with a Model (featuring the RotoLight NEO II)
- Aviation Photography in Manchester
- Night time Model Photography
- The British Airways BOAC Boeing 747-400
- Living pains with the EOS R
- Studio Photography Life
- Not a conclusion, but the next steps forward
Street photography, city photography, sightseeing photography… it all blends together for me. For me, these tend to be images I shoot on the ground when I’m visiting a city, or out and about with a camera.
As I used some of these for a trip report previously – some of these might be familiar. It’s now time to take you behind the scenes and how I did them.
I’ve chosen once again – the EOS R (Well that’s what this series is about) along with my long-time standing partner along with an RF to EF adaptor.
With that, it’s time to choose a lens – and there’s only one real choice for me – the Canon EF 24-105 f4L series lens.
The Canon EOS R with a Canon RF – EF adaptor, and the EF 24-105 F4 L Series lens.
Why this lens?
It’s a good general wide-to-telephoto lens, that gives me a lot of opportunities when aiming to get pleasing images. Whilst purists might scream at using zoom lenses and that I should use a prime (fixed focal length lens) – there is the simple fact that you use the right lens for the right circumstance.
And if that circumstance means you’re darting around and needing to change focal length quickly – rather than spending time changing lenses and not taking photos, I’d go for the zoom lens any day of the week.
Could I have used the RF 24-105 f4 L Lens instead?
One of the launch lenses was the Canon RF 24-105 f4 L Series Lens, which looks rather mighty in this combination.
Canon EOS R with RF 24-105 L f4.
The RF 24-105 is a mighty lens, which when measured against my combo is slightly more compact, and does take advantage of the EOS R with the RF Control dial on the lens (which can be custom-set to control features on the camera from the lens).
However, a lens like this adds £1000/US$1000+ to the cost of the camera. That’s a serious chunk of change which can be used elsewhere, especially considering I have the EF equivalent to hand and in regular operation.
I do lose some of the native speed, however (compared to the adapted lens) of focus. That’s a balance that you’ll have to work on if you choose to migrate to the RF Platform.
I’ve paired this combo with a Sandisk 128Gb Ultra card (as I was travelling that weekend – and didn’t want to run out of storage on camera). And of course – a couple of batteries… mainly as it was bitterly cold in Brussels that weekend (and cold affects battery life…honest).
For this series, I’m going to talk about the photos I capture, my thoughts on them where needed and where the EOS R helped or hindered the work-flow.
Primarily in this sort of work-flow, I tend to shoot in Program Mode rather than anything else – again, the focus is capturing the image rather than fiddling with settings to get “the perfect image”.
We’ll start inside the black heart of Brussels Midi Station with this mural featuring a famous Belgian. Not a tough shot – but it captures a little of the scene, with no people around its a lot more pleasing.
I was moving at some speed when shooting this. The person heading towards the tram/pre-metro adds to this photo quite nicely.
The front of the Brussels Stock Exchange, with the market in front. A sea of people, and pleasing sight.
With street photography, you have to keep your wits about you, yet keep your eyes open on the next scene. Eyeing this quiet street near Manneken Frites away from one of the busy areas
Shooting into sunlight can be questionable sometimes. I like the long shadows that the sunlight offers in these photos.
As we move into the Grand Market, it’s a place of shadows. The EOS R is picking them out well here, whilst you can make out people too.
We can see the lens is working a bit harder than it likes, with vignetting (dark corners) being present in both of the above pictures. Whilst the centre is sharp. This is actually rather easy to correct in Lightroom (just apply the lens profile). Or if you want to do it in-camera, consider boosting the ISO level that you shoot at.
Moving into Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. its a challenging environment with lots of light coming from above whilst dark tones at the bottom. In this image, its airy above and dark below with the people shuffling around.
I maintain this is my sort of Christmas Tree.
I love the way that the colours of Drug Opera always pop out when walking through the streets of Brussels. Although reading the reviews, maybe looking at it from afar and not going in may be the best bet.
This could be from anywhere… someone selling foil covered helium balloons. I like this sort of photo and how it fills the frame… as well as the person holding the balloons who look like they are about to take off.
During the run-up to Christmas, there was a Nordic celebration in the area – along with smoked salmon being produced in the city. And it smelled tempting. The flame is caught well here, as well as the rich colours of the smoked salmon. Now after editing this photo… I remain hungry.
Heading back to the stock exchange, we can see that the Mouvement des gilets jaunes have got a look in here too, with one of the Lions outside the stock exchange looking nonplussed about having a yellow vest on it. And that yellow pops out nicely in this photo.
As I’m getting used to the EOS R, thinks like focus tracking and focus decisions are becoming a lot easier to handle – and that’s to be expected as I continue to find my way around the Canon EOS R body, as well as the extended length of the lens.
Some of the decisions are… well… questionable, whilst others are on-point.
Is it a please to work with? I’m starting to see the camera to be enjoyable to use. As I’ve stated, if you’re coming from the EOS double or single digit families, you’ll find it instantly familiar – yet very different. This is where a serious time in learning and experimenting really comes into play.
Which is part of this review series.
Join me next week when I introduce a single target into the shoot with a variety of different lenses and different environments…
Join me next where I go for some Urban Exploration with a model… and how the EOS R works when paired with some interesting lenses and lighting situations.
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