The Music City’s Neon Lights

I have totally fallen in love with Nashville! They call it the Music City and I love music. Nashville is obviously the heart of country music. But there so much more. Music streams from every bar and restaurant in the city. Bands playing the honky-tonks on Nashville’s Broadway compete for your attention day and night. Sometimes they even play too loud to have a normal conversation over dinner. But they add to the atmosphere of the city. It is cool to stroll up and down Broadway on a Saturday night, look at the party people, have a drink and listen to the bands wailing under the bright neon lights of the all the bars they play.

Nashville's Broadway Neon Lights

Nashville's Broadway Neon Lights

Nashville's Broadway Neon Lights

Travel Soundtrack

As I pack my bags to leave for a trip to Tennessee for nothing but good food, a lot of booze, country music and time to shoot some photos, I have made a little Spotify playlist that will make them long drives over country roads a party.

There’s so much great music originating from Tennessee: blues, rock’n’roll, a bit of folk and a whole lot of country. I know for sure I will have a blast while I’m out there. YES! I will go visit the Grand Ole Opry!

But before heading to Tennessee, I go to Atlanta, GA to see Faith Hill & Tim McGraw in concert.

Duxford Air Show – Meet The Fighters

The Imperial War Museum Duxford is home to a series of World War II airplanes. It is also renowned for their air shows staring their collection beautifully restored airplanes. You’ll see Spitfires or a Catalina and sometimes Sally B at other air shows. But you don’t often get to see them in 1 show. Going to the September show at Duxford therefore was a treat to me.

I am absolutely mesmerized by the beauty of the PBY Catalina. I’ve been waiting for a few years now to get a couple of nice photos of it. So I was happy to see it fly against a clear blue sky.

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Sally B is the only airworthy B-17 Flying Fortress in Europe. See is the star in the movie Memphis Belle and is based at the museum in Duxford. Her crew is doing an awesome job at keeping her in shape.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

And what would an air show in the UK be without those 2 very famous British-design warbirds? I had not seen an Avro Lancaster “Dambuster” fly for over 10 years I think. And I’m not sure if I have ever seen so many Spitfires take the air at the same time.

Avro Lancaster

Supermarine Spitfire

Flight of Supermarine Spitfires

Inside Tate Modern

Tate Modern in London

Tate Modern is one of our regular stops when my friends and I visit London. Their new wing—with an observation deck in the 10th floor—recently opened. I love the elevator hall on the ground floor. I can see myself doing a photo shoot there: great location for a beautiful model in shiny black latex…

St. Paul’s Cathedral in London

London's St. Paul's Cathedral Seen from Tate Modern

The Tate Modern in London recently opened a new wing which offers a great view of St. Paul’s Cathedral across the river from the museum. When the sun hits the majestic building just right on a cloudy day, it stands out from the rest of the city.

Legoland Danmark

I will never pass up an opportunity to visit Legoland. I loved Lego as a kid, and I am still a big fan. Obviously, Legoland Danmark had to be on our itinerary on our trip to Copenhagen. I can spend hours, possibly day at miniland gaping at those awesome models just made of Lego bricks. I actually don’t care about the rides. Give me my camera and I will be happy as a kid in a candy store.Legoland Danmark

Legoland Danmark

US Capitol at Legoland Danmark

NASA Rocket Garden at Legoland Danmark

Star Wars at Legoland Danmark

Star Wars at Legoland Danmark

The Star Wars models where so cool. I was happy that I had a GoPro and a selfie stick with me. It allowed me to get really close to some of the models and take pictures from angles I would not be able to reach with my dSLR. And I eventually end up doing a photo shoot with the local talents of course. Even when they are made of Lego bricks.

Model Photo Shoot at Legoland Danmark

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Roma’s Monuments

Rome is a birthplace of classical culture. As a kid, I went on one of those school trips in my senior year of high school that are popular in Belgium. I remember being overwhelmed by all those great monuments in Rome. I also remember I had gone through al lot of my film stock before we got to Rome and did not make too many photos. Since then I’ve returned to Rome a few times on business and never had time to make pictures.

Going back there to see Springsteen a few weeks back, was the perfect opportunity to get pictures from those famous places I did not make as a young man. And honestly, I am happy I did not take any of those shots back than since my photo skills were zero in those days.

When we think about Rome, we usually think of ancient Rome, back in the days when Julius Caesar ruled the Roman Empire. Days when the Romans build the famous Forum Romanum, the Coloseum and many triumphal arches.

Piazza Foro Traiano in Rome, Italy

Coloseum in Rome, Italy

Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, Italy

But even in more recent times, man has build marvelous monuments in Rome. The St. Peter’s Basilica of which construction began in 1506 and the Altare della Patria–constructed between 1885 and 1925) are must-see monuments when you get to Rome.

Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy

Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II in Rome, Italy

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A Springsteen Fan in Numbers

I became a Springsteen fan at the age of 14 with the release of the Born in the U.S.A. album back in 1984. So I’ve been a fan for 32 years now.

I attended my 1st Springsteen concert on April 23, 1993. I was too young to go to one of the Born in the U.S.A. shows. And I have always regretted not seeing any of the Tunnel of Love concerts in 1988.

Since that 1st concert in 1993, I’ve attended 41 more concerts in 22 cities and 10 countries including the US. I’ve heard Bruce perform 211 different songs. And since Springsteen almost always plays Born To Run, that is the song I’ve heard the most; 31 times in total. I have heard 49 of his 50 most played songs all-time.

I’ve seen Bruce perform with many guest artists, including Elliott Murphy, Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem, R.E.M., John Fogerty and Paul McCartney at the infamous Hard Rock Calling 2012 show.

I have heard all songs on the albums Born In The U.S.A., Born To Run, In Concert MTV Plugged and Devils & Dust. But I still have not heard all songs on Tunnel Of Love and The Rising–my 2 favorite albums–live so I have to go to a few more shows I guess.

Bruce Springsteen The River Tour 2016

On the 2016 The River Tour, I saw 4 concerts and 61 different songs: Madrid, The Hague, Copenhagen and Rome. And much to my surprise on those 4 shows I heard 8 songs for the 1st time ever: Jersey Girl in The Hague and New York City Serenade in Rome are my most memorable moments on this tour.

(statistics courtesy of bosstime.nl)

Roma Dusk

It get dark surprisingly fast in Rome. Although I’m sure dusk lasts 45 minutes or so, it seems like the sun sets in a matter of minutes. I had planned to shoot a couple of momunents at dusk, but with the sun setting rather quickly I could do only 1 per evening.

On the 1st night, I found out that the Coloseum was not lit as I had hoped.

On the 2nd night I had set up on the hill overlooking the Forum Romanum. Around sunset, I was getting kinda desperate and frustrated as the lights were not turned. And just as I was ready to give up, on came the lights. Just in time to save the photo.

Forum Romanum in Rome, Italy at Sunset

Copenhagen Cityscapes

I always use a Bruce Springsteen concert as a good excuse to travel. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate holiday. And I don’t follow him around on his tour. Just a couple of days off to go see a Springsteen concert and explore the city he’s playing, is all it takes to get me excited.

Nyhaven

Last week, Springsteen rocked the roof of of the Telia Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. So me and a couple of friends bunched up in the car, drove to Denmark, saw Springsteen and wondered around the city with our camera. And I came home with good memories and these cityscape photos.

Copenhagen Opera House

Gefion Fountain in Copenhagen, Denmark

Frederiks Kirke & Amalienborg in Copenhagen, Denmark