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April 30, 2010

 
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Long exposure of the Nottebohmzaal room at the Hendrik Conscience Library. - Antwerp, Belgium - Daily Travel Photos
(Antwerp, Belgium)
f/8 || 25s || @20mm || ISO100 || Canon 5D || Canon 17-40mm f/4 Embed Code

Long exposure of the Nottebohmzaal room at the Hendrik Conscience Library.

The stacks in the photo are not just aesthetically pleasing. I'm told they hold some important works by local and European authors. Unfortunately, mere mortals are not allowed near the books. Books on the first floor are blocked by subtle barricades or locked behind fashionable display cases while the entire second floor is closed to the casual tourist. However, I was happy simply to have a chance to photograph this unique space. The library is generally closed to the public except by special tour request. Those rules were temporarily tossed out the stained-glass window for this past Sunday's Heritage day.

Perhaps I'm a bit biased but I think my alma mater's A.D. White Library (Cornell University) is as equally (if not more) beautiful as this one.

Maps at far end of the Nottebohmzaal room at the Hendrik Conscience Library. - Antwerp, Belgium - Daily Travel Photos
(Antwerp, Belgium)
f/9 || 20s || @20mm || ISO100 || Canon 5D || Canon 17-40mm f/4 Embed Code

Maps at far end of the Nottebohmzaal room at the Hendrik Conscience Library.

Books held in glass display cases are works by more renowned authors. I was too busy photographing to pay any mind to the Dutch-only display signs in the cases. With a steady flow of tourists in and out of the room, I was particularly mindful of starting my long exposure at just the right moment. By timing the exposure to catch people moving instead of standing in place, I was able to blur out most of the tourists in the room.

A bust within an enclosure of the Nottebohmzaal room at the Hendrik Conscience Library. - Antwerp, Belgium - Daily Travel Photos
(Antwerp, Belgium)
f/10 || 20s || @20mm || ISO100 || Canon 5D || Canon 17-40mm f/4 Embed Code

A bust within an enclosure of the Nottebohmzaal room at the Hendrik Conscience Library.

These are the subtle barricades I alluded to earlier. I tried to go into the recessed area but the employed sentries hastily put a kaibash on that dream. Each recessed area has a bust of a famous Flemish or European author, so I'm told... I was at the mercy of Dutch translators all day for there were few signs in English.

Oh and in case you were curious, Hendrik Conscience was a Flemish writer and advocate for the minority Dutch language during a time when most of Belgium spoke French. Voila!

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