I have a little time tonight to reflect back on the seventeen cities I visited and photographed this past month. Once back in NYC I will begin posting more images from Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Brussles, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Oslo, Stockholm, Mälmo, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Berlin, Arezzo, Florence, Venice, Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. I’ve traveled by plane, train, ferry, car, and saved Prague as my last city for Straight Up.
Prague has changed immensely in the past ten years and I was very eager to get a good start on the day. To shoot Straight Up in Prague it’s best to get up early (every city for that matter). It’s even better on the weekends when people sleep in. The crowds of tourists in the past ten years have gotten to an almost overwhelming state, and by 11:00AM Prague was overrun!
This lamppost is an example of cubist architecture and I was very eager to see how it would render among the surrounding buildings and the shape it would create. As always the camera is perfectly level, looking straight up, and I pondered whether the lamp post, and its horizontal plane could be the grounding element. I have a standing rule: something in the frame has to be parallel to the image edge–angles can get crazy otherwise. Luckily the lamppost has both horizontal planes, and acts as a totem centered in the frame. I had just enough time, surprisingly by myself, to make the image before diverging tour groups amassed on the scene. For all my gripes, I think tourism has been good for Prague–the extra revenue has helped preserve some of my favorite buildings and structures, including this lamppost which was in great condition and didn’t smell like the men’s bathroom at a packed beer hall–like it did ten years ago.
Now for something a little different:
I’ve had to run to make almost every train this trip–generally arriving on the platform with two minutes to spare. Tonight was no different, except I made it to the platform 2 minutes and 24 hours early. For some reason I had convinced myself that I was leaving Prague tonight! Wrong.
I was confused that car number 171 wasn’t part of the line-up so I jumped into car 172. I showed the conductor my reservation, we spoke in German, and he scratched his head since the door wasn’t open–normally done to welcome you. He showed me to my single room, confusing me, since I’m supposed to be in a three person shared compartment. At this point the train had left the station. Finally, looking at the ticket we realized I was 24 hours early, that the person whose room I was in would board in two hours, and I would have no place to sleep. He showed me a reclining seat I could sleep in–I thought no way! The train at this point just arrived at the last station in Prague before Berlin and I jumped out at the last second and took the Metro back into town.
This is actually the best news I could have had!
First, I didn’t want to leave Prague, and second, the whole AM photo shoot was done on a compact flash card card that rendered itself completely corrupt around noon. It’s the first time this has happened to me. It cannot be accessed by either the camera or computer. Once back in NYC I will attempt to reformat it in another camera and try data recovery. But with my train mistake, I get to wander my AM route again and do the photos again.
The cubist lamppost is from yesterday.