Taking a walk through Brussels, Belgium

Walking in Brussels Belgium with the Fuji X100 and M9

Brussels Belgium, what an interesting and beautiful place. I have been here for about 4-5 days now and it is starting to feel like my home. I’m even heading down the street to a laundromat to wash some clothes, lol. Every day that I have been here I have taken walks but almost every day it has been rainy and grey outside. I am looking forward to getting some sunshine soon on this tour…maybe Italy or France? Maybe Russia? Who knows, but I am looking forward to some sun!

With the new firmware update loaded on the X100 I have been motivated to take it out for a spin, so I did just that yesterday and today. The camera still operates the same, but Fuji did add some new features and sped up the menu screens a bit. I also brought along my M9 because there was no way I was leaving it behind in the room to be lonely.

I will be leaving Brussels tomorrow morning but am looking forward to the next stop in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Oh, and to Ernie, it was great meeting you last night! Your book is AMAZING and I will have it back to you in the AM before we head out. Thanks!

Before I left for my walk I snapped this from my Hotel window. Fuji X100 – I converted it to B&W using Silver Efex Pro II

Another couple of X100 shots where I used Silver Efex Pro , which is a great B&W converter plug in.

This is part of a shopping mall, with storefronts on both the left and right sides.  X100.

The town Square has some beautiful architecture. This is the stuff I have only seen in movies, and now I am actually here!




All of the rest of the photos are with the Leica M9 and 35 Cron, 50 Nocti or 24 Lux

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  1. Next time tell me you are visiting my hometown, and I will show you things that are hidden for most people. By the way, I don’t know if you have seen the famous Couleur Café festival (named after a song of Serge Gainsbourg), which is always on the last weekend of June. Nice shots anyway. Thanks. I use leica M6, on my way to my work, downtown. At the moment there are three photo exhibitions: Jeff Wall, Sarah Moon and Larry Fink. In case of bad weather. ;-). Maybe another time. Good luck in Petrograd.

  2. Steve,
    Wanted to let everyone know that I located a dedicated hood and adapter ring for my X100 on Ebay
    from Rainbow imaging.Its superb quality and sells for only 29.95.

  3. Another great photo day! love that little girl and town square shots. Thanks for telling me what you use to convert to BW. I just love the tones!

  4. Thanks Steve for sharing. I have to say That the updated Fn button on the x100 is something now, holding it for 3 seconds opens up a door of options that saves u scrolling through endless menu screens.

  5. @Paul. Yes you are right, at least that explains the odd tasting pizza I had in Brussels a few years back!

  6. what is a lot of money… how many people are saying a fuji is a lot or a leica is a lot, yet drive a new car? just wondering… could be a poll of the week.

    as for the shots, all are wonderful. I like the look of “joy” from the chocolate store girl – ha, its the normal looks I get with my photos… I thought it never happened to other people. hahahaha.

    but the M9 still would be providing just that slight bit of… wow? I said slight… Hate me. I want one.

    enjoy your travels Steve!!

  7. Nice shots, Steve! Love the colour and DOF of your Leica pix.
    When staying in Belgium, do not miss to visit Bruegge and Antwerps, too.

  8. Hi Steve.
    I take a photo in Madrid 3 months ago, and I think he is the same painter. Curious…
    The walking painter.


    See you soon in Valencia, Spain. Seal show July-18.

    José Enrique.

  9. Truth serum time Steve.

    Are the images you get out of your $10K – $20K Leica kit THAT much better than those you get with the Fuji X100?

    I have been fascinated with the Leica M9 since its introduction, but when I see images from the M9 and X100 image quality seems marginal at best.

    What say you?

    • Hi Glen

      I got the X100 and I’m loving it. Nevertheless I have no doubt that there will be some quality advantages to justify (at least partially, as we know that price formation has many reasons other than just quality of results) the price difference and it will be more likely to be seen in big prints than in a web post.

  10. Hi Steve,

    a pity I did not know you were spending some time in my hometown. Next time, let’ s share some belgian beers, and some thoughts about the leica picture taking machines.

    Keep on with the fascinating work.

    • Agreed – it would have been nice to drink a couple of Belgian beers together on a terrace with a packet of frites + mayonnaise. Watching the world go by discussing cameras and the world in general. Ah the next time perhaps??

    • I second or third that.

      Had no idea you were coming to Brussels and now I imagine you have gone!

      A shame you have missed the one day of summer promised this week – 90F outside as I write.

  11. Great shots…really no need to carry around an M9 😉

    @Stephen B: The “pizza girl” is actually a “chocolate girl”.

    • At first glance I thought it was pizza too. LOL! She looks like someone I know here in America. I would love to go into that chocolate shop!

  12. I was in Bruxelles last winter to visit my family, a really interesting and diverse city.

    The same gallery, at night 🙂


  13. Steve – it seems like everyone is jumping on the X100 bandwagon – I love the idea behind it, but as a portrait photographer as well, I wonder about being stuck with a 35MM equivalent focal length. $1,100.00 is a lot of money not to have some flexibility such as Olympus’ E-P2.

    I know many do not want to bother with film, but a serious alternative to the “retro rangefinders” are the great Olympus 35 RD, RC, SP, or the ECR. These rangefinders have incredible optics and the meters are spot on. I use the ECR on a regular basis, and despite there are no controls other than an ISO setting an focus, it routinely makes great pictures I am happy with. Just my 2 cents for those out there who can’t swing $1,100.00 for a camera that will be worth $500.00 in a couple years!

    I would be loving the X-100 if it had interchangeable len’s – a 50 or 85 equivalent in 35MM.

      • Yes, JR you’re right but just thunk the 24 fantastic definition costs as much as 4,5 times the X100, and you could buy 10 Fujis with the same amount money the Noctilux costs. Such a difference has to mean something and after buying the body to use them (another 5,x Fujis) you just have to realize if the Law of Marginal Gains works for you or not.

  14. Steve
    Why don’t you use polarized filter with your photography? This is not a challenging question but trying to understand your mindset behind your great works…

    • Steve,
      On the subject of filter, do you use any filter at all? UV? Skylight? To protect your lens? Or your philosophy is to get maximum color from every lens? Love to hear your sharing. it has always inspired me to think about photography.

      Have a great trip in Europe as I have been through exact route so far about 9 months ago..


      • This could make for a good topic/article… as a UV & pol often seem to come down to personal preference.

  15. I used to live there as a boy and these images bring back fond memories. Have you tried a gaufre (a waffle bought streetside)? It is a piece of heaven.

    My one time back in Brussels I stayed in the Hotel de Ville at the top of the town square (Grande Place) and had a great view of the square. Well worth staying there during the tulip festival!

  16. Glad you’re enjoying my hometown! Great shots – you must be happy with today’s GORGEOUS sun then 🙂

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