Continuing on the theme of Romantic Images, we have one from Josef Sudek. One of my favorite photographers, Sudek shot images of Prague that transmit its character like few others. It reaches a point that you are not sure if Sudek captured the personality of Prague so well or if he gave Prague its personality.
In this image we have the stairs leading up to the Charles Bridge with faint lights on a foggy night. No one is around and this was shot around the Soviet occupation time. You can feel it, a sadness mixed with an amazing artistic flair. This is Prague.
Even if you have never been, you can feel the weight of the image. The lack of people, the foggy light and the dark barren tree. It is winter but for some reason does not seem too deep of winter. The stairs go up to the right and down towards the center of the image, in parallel. There is light in a few windows on the far left, hinting that it is not too late, some people are in a warm home. It only increases the sense of loneliness and isolation.
I had the privilege of going to Prague back in 2015 and it was one of the best cities I have ever been. Unfortunately I had not discovered Sudek at that time or I would have been able to visit his home, which is now a museum. I did, however, encounter the same stairs and was pulled to them much as Sudek must have.
My take on the stairs was from the front. I was with a fellow photographer friend who was into shadows and wanted to capture the shadows on the stairs. I took one as well and liked the asymmetry.
I took the image at night, not too late if I recall, possibly 10 pm or so. It was almost completely empty but the occasional person walked by. I took another image head on, looking for symmetry. The stairs seem so hard and cold but built in an artistic style that is found so easily in Prague.
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.