This morning we had our long awaited critiques with Darcy. After the majority of the group had a late night, being able to sleep in was a luxury. Critiques started at 10am and were 15 minutes for each of us. Going into this project I didn’t really have any idea what I wanted to do with this assignment. Our focus: Architectural Photography in Prague using light and shape to our advantage. While we’ve been shooting what seems to be every second that we’re out, it’s still hard to narrow down our photographs to a single topic. For me anyway it definitely is. Normally I take photographs of whatever I find interesting and if some of them turn out to be worthy of editing further – that’s great. I never really have one idea or thing that I photograph, so focusing solely on one idea was difficult. All this morning we were hurrying to select our images that we wanted to show Darcy. Since I didn’t know what topic to narrow down to, I had over 100 in a folder. After my critique, though, I’ve got it figured out!
After critiques finished after 1:30, Darcy and Markéta took nine of us to a photography exhibit in Old Town Square showing the works of Viktor Kolář. He was born in 1941 and is a Czech retrospective photographer whose work depicts Montreal, New York, Ostrava, Toronto, and Vancouver, some of which dates back to 1959. The first images we saw had people, cars, trash, etc. in what would normally be the focal point of the photo. However, that is not Kolář‘s objective. He wanted his work to act as a
“testimony about the devastation of a landscape and of the human soul, a testimony about a person, his encoding and decoding in a given environment, a testimony about relationships, about the factors of alienation and deracination connected with the changeability of social conditions, lifestyles, and of the natures of generations and cultures.”
When I looked at his work overall, I noticed how he somehow managed to capture priceless moments that normally wouldn’t be deemed important by the masses, or moments that can come and go so quickly. A passerby staring through a fence at a stray German shepherd puppy, the stray walking down the street or sitting in a doorway, or the young boy shivering in a thin coat as snow covers his shoulders. A man holding his head in his hands after a car accident as people walk past him, a couple of older women looking questioningly at two younger women walking by them, etc. All these photographs tell a story, but what that story is – the viewer can determine for themselves, as Kolář‘s work was only titled with the name of the city where the photograph was taken and the year. I found myself laughing at some of the moments he captured and feeling like crying when looking at others. I think those of us that went to this exhibit were glad we did so. Thank you Darcy and Markéta!!
As for the rest of the day six of us went back to the Prague Castle. On the way we cut through a secret garden which turned out to be the Senát Parlamentu České Republiky (aka. the Czech Senate). In this garden we met a peacock, found the strange wall that I had spotted the other night at dinner in the vineyard, and saw some owls in an owlery!!
At the castle, I went back to shoot more pictures of statues, searching for some that I might have missed the other day. While the others went to another photography exhibit showing works of a street photographer. We gave ourselves an hour, so off I went – to retake photographs!! It was fun to be able to wander around the grounds taking as much time as I wanted, and just taking in all the wonderful architecture and sights around me. We even saw another bride and groom having their pictures taken! I didn’t really find any new statues to photograph, but hopefully some of the photos I did take will be better than those from the other day. At six we met back up and headed back toward the hostel over the bridge and through the… square. But we took a quick stop at Al Minuto Ristorante Italiano and got pizza. It was delicious!
Now we have the Prague Zoo to look forward to tomorrow!! Markéta says it’s amazing!! So until next time!