It was a desperately long train journey. A mother was sitting opposite me, caressing her little baby who was crying for hours and hours. It totally exhausted me. Just like her brother, occupied with his toy computer, incessantly whining and shrieking meanwhile. I needed a break, so I went to the dining car. A young couple was all over each other there, and it just ruined my appetite. I went back, the mother had already left, and I was almost starting to feel relieved. Enter a policeman in blue uniform and an elegant manager. They were arguing in a loud, violent manner, like buffoons on an empty stage. I was happy to finally arrive at the station. I entered the customs office. A shabby old man was sitting there with spectacles on his nose. He carefully read through all the pages of my passport, and then on the very last page, he stamped the word ‘Oblivion’.
In his inspiring book, The Art of Photography, Bruce Barnbaum writes:
Before moving on, it would be worthwhile to study your photographs slowly
while considering the questions posed in the first chapter, in order to better evaluate your own work. I feel that such an evaluation is extremely valuable and
should be done periodically.
It’s been one and a half years since I stepped up my photographing activity, when I confessed to myself that this is something truly important for me. From this spring, after the acquisition of a new camera, I’ve been constantly taking photos. Continue reading “Bad shots”
A feather a day lost, we walk our merry way,
but are there any feathers left on our own final day?
Josef Kazda. A name I never heard before. I was walking in the beautiful little alleys of the Zlatá ulička (Golden Lane), part of the awe-inspiring Pražský hrad (Prague Castle). Number 12. was unfortunately closed, but it somehow called attention to itself. There was a caption with this peculiar name, and that he was an amateur film historian. I really wanted to at least peep through the window, but I couldn’t make out anything with my pure eyes, it was too dark inside. The idea suddenly struck me to take a photo through the window with a relatively long shutter speed. I could finally take a look at his face, after all.
This is where I would stop usually. But right now, researching for the post, I had to wonder once again. Not only did the camera help me discover something that was hidden from my eyes, it also uncovered a fascinating little piece of history. As I have read it in Camerasharp magazine, Kazda was an amateur film historian, who, in the very house in front of which I was standing, saved scores of pre-WW2 Czech movies by hiding them away from the Nazis. Should you once walk down the Golden Lane, you’ll see that Number 12. somehow manages to radiate that it has a mysterious history. And this shot looks like one frame from the movie about the curious case of Josef Kazda.
I travelled more than 1000 kilometres in the last two weeks, from my new home to some places I already know well, and to some that I’ve only seen a couple of times, like this little village – Balc/Bályok, Bihor County, Romania –, hidden away from the buzz of modern life. (Although on the streets elderly people keep talking about their Facebook-presence.) Becoming a mountain man is something new for me, something I’ve got to adopt to, so it was reassuring to see a scene that was hundreds of kilometers away in a village that I saw for the first time just a year ago, a scene which nonetheless could have come straight from my childhood in my village. When was the last time you walked the streets barefoot?
Probably the last sunny Sunday of the year, with so many people enjoying themselves. Feels like being part of a vibrant painting.