Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You don't have to put on the red light

Oooo Amsterdam...what a great city. If it wasn't so cold, I might be able to stay for a while. I was so happy to see different people--to see a plethora of colors. The Czech Republic can get a little boring visually when everyone is white and looks like family. And there was all types of food, from all over the world--and it was delicious. Walking down the alleyways I felt I could have easily been in the 17th century and not much would have differed in the town's worldly and liberal mentality. Unlike in Prague, you can tell that old port city knows exactly who it is and isn't afraid to show it. The Czechs don't seem nearly as confident, fearful of tourists as they try to recover from the USSR, much less their tumultuous century.

Any who. I loved it. And what's even better is everyone rides their bike and speaks English =)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Franz Kafka Museum

This trip has pretty much been photography and museum trips. I love photography, but sometimes an excess of the latter can wear on my patience. Yet the other day we visited Prague's Kafka museum, which sparked my interest.

The museum was set up not only to give an account of Kafka, but to also engulf you in his life, with movies, sounds and sets. All in all, it was a rather eerie experience. Creepy background music, ghostly projections on the walls, dark rooms and artists imaginatons of Kafka's storytelling all made for a quite entertaining musuem experience. Enjoy:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And the other towns I cannot pronounce or spell...

Help please!


Five cities in three days. Yes, I'm still recovering. I think Dennis was trying to see every castle in Southern Bohemia and he almost accomplished that. I stopped trying to pronounce the city names after the 3rd one, so don't think I'm even going to attempt to spell them for you here. I'll copy the tags off of another member of "Team Praha" when I get the chance =)

Although it was extremely exhausting, I have to say, the castles were worth it. Cesky Krumlav looked like it was literally a page out of Cinderella. A cross between Baroque and Rococco, the ornate design and vibrant colors had me mesmerized. I wish I could have photographed inside. The masquerade ballroom was enchanting, with costumed party-goers painted on the walls and a series of mirrors to further the intended escapism of the ruling elite. Now, it's high time I throw that masquerade party I've been talking about since high school. Who want's to loan me their house? eh?

I also loved the town...the hills and cobblestones reminded me of some of the small towns I've visited in Mexico and made me realize as well that I better go back soon. We actually got to river raft down the Vltava River, although our group got quite confused and took a lot of extra time...whoops. Just getting our money's worth, right?

Enjoy my non-tourist point and shoot was full and I pretty much refuse to take a lot of landscape shots when I'm shooting raw. They take up too much space when I have assignments to turn in. Sorry.

But you do get a shot of the castle and dawn, Dennis's boys defacing the national photography museum, and a modern day gypsy, running his own restaurant.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The King's Parade

Keeping with the theme of festivals, here are some shots from the King's Parade, where Czech's dress up in medieval attire and process for two days, transporting "jewels." Not my favorite thing to photograph at 9 am when the air smells like horse shit, but here goes. I wasn't the only one who was bored...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Death, Destruction and Extreme Sports

It's been a depressing past few days in Prague not because of the cold, wet weather, but more so because of the plethora of Nazi lectures this week. Today we visited Lidice, the Czech village completely destroyed by the Nazi's in retaliation to the assassination of SS commander Reinhard Heydrich. It was grim scene in pouring rain, yet the museum on site was very moving. The best I've seen the whole trip. We were lucky enough to speak with a survivor, Jaroslava Skleničková, who read excerpts from her recently published book, If I'd have been I boy, I would have been shot. Sadly, I have no digital photographs to show you of Jaroslava. The setting and material seemed appropriate for film.

Yesterday we visited the Church of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, where the Czech paratroopers responsible for Heydrich's execution fought the SS until their last bullet. We actually got to go inside the crypt where they hid for weeks, evading the SS. A little eery, but so empowering. Definitely didn't ever get that feeling at the Alamo. These 4 guys were brave. And they dealt the power structure a tough blow.

When we weren't watching movies about concentration camps, I photographed skateboarders and UNISPINNERS. This is for Max and David =)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gypsy, give me your tears

Apparently, it's festival season here in Prague and my photo blog would not be complete without Khamoro, aka the gypsy festival. It was quite crowed with tourists and photographers and girls younger than me who can shake it much better, but such is life. Enjoy.