My interpretations of Prague.

16 February 2013


Beggar and Transience

This is an iconic city and somewhere I was excited to be visiting. I was to be there for four nights whilst I attended a conference. I knew that I would have limited time for photography given that I would be at conference during most of the daylight hours so I increased my chances of getting some shots by: researching locations prior, choosing a centrally located hotel, saying an extra day, getting up early and taking a tripod and shooting in low light.
Fortunately it is a compact city, with an easy to use transit system. It also has an excellent tourist website with web cams, so I could look at some of the options and get a sense of what would suit my style of photography. With so little time you have to make some choices and concentrate on a few areas. My main area of focus was Charles Bridge. This stunning medieval structure spans some 13 or so arches is lined with Saints and has to imposing stone gates at both ends. It connects Prague Castle area with the rest of the city. By day it is lined with tacky souvenir stalls and is mostly crowded with people mainly tourists. At dawn it is quieter (though not deserted-i guess it is so iconic ) and I noticed that amongst the stalls were beggars who would crouch stationary for minutes on end. The featured image seems simple at first. A black and white along the bridge from the usual viewpoint. But look closely there are no people (actually there is a faint figure, probably photographing in the distance) and the featured beggar in the foreground. THis image was taken over 30 minutes in the steady winter rain, tripod set up in the middle of a flow of people. Often it was impossible to see through to see the full image of the bridge, but over time only the simple permanent pieces remain, the structure of the bridge and the beggar. The messages in this image are the sadness, loneliness and determination even desperation of the beggar and how much of mankind is passing through. Our experiences and indeed lives are not permanent. Over time the noise is removed and things can be seen more clearly.

Below are several of the images I took at the bridge, they are all intended to be my interpretation of this place rather than iconic masterpieces. I would welcome feedback from viewers about what they like and don’t. THanks!