Friday, June 11, 2010
Urban exploring at Port of Ghent
During my last visit to Belgium, I tried documenting life around the Port of Ghent, Belgium's third largest port after Antwerp and Zeebrugge. The port connects to the North Sea, through the Western Scheldt and the Ghent-Terneuzen canal.
I didn't want to do a classic big boat shoot but concentrated more on details and live around the port, going around like an urban explorer.
Railways criss cross through the Port grounds. This train was waiting to be loaded at the Van Heyghen Recycling. Beside recycling all kinds of metal like cars, the company also dismantles large ships like the "City of Berytus", a large cargo ship used to transport cars, which caught fire end of 2009 in the Port of Antwerp. The dismantling is done in layers while the ship is still in the water.
Above is a detailed shot of the main propeller of the +1500 ton giant.
One of the highlights of the afternoon shoot was the disused concrete factory, "Inter-beton". There is some great graffiti art at the site!
A mecca for HDR and urban decay photography!
Even though one can easily go inside the building, you'll need to be very careful and preferably not go solo! I'm not totally sure what will happen to the factory... Quite a few old hangars and buildings are excellent candidates for LOFT living.
Another place we visited was the development of "Loods 22" (Hangar 22). One of 5 hangars built between 1885 and 1900 which was used to store cotton that arrived by ship from all over the world. Hence street names in the neighborhood like America and Africa avenue.
Two of the cranes used to unload the goods have been restored to their original condition and a developer is now selling casco Lofts on site.
Beside the original 22 building, a second building has also been cleaned up and it looks like it will eventually also be sold as office space and/or lofts. An excellent idea and a great way of living if you ask me!
End of July, I'll try to go back to the Port of Ghent for a second shoot concentrating on some interesting things like locks and second World War bunkers, etc...
Last but not least, a great thank you to the person that organized the Port of Ghent photography authorization letter ...You know who you are!
All of the Port of Ghent images can be found here.