This was my first visit to Prague and finding our way through the tangle of semi industrial and urban sprawl that seems to surround every European city was easier than anticipated. The historic centre is beautiful, with a fairy tale skyline and wonderful architecture, the 14th century Charles Bridge (Karlův Most) being one of the finest and most popular attractions. …. and therein lay a problem – Prague was crowded – and for the photographer in me that was an issue! I used to go to great lengths to avoid people in my photographs – often not taking the shot at all because they were ‘spoiling’ my picture, until it finally dawned on me that sometimes you need them. People add context, interest, scale, life etc. but to do so they need to add to the composition and be identifiable as the human form. This was just not possible with the seething amorphous mass of tourists that flowed unchecked through the narrow streets and open squares of the old city at any time of day or night. During our stay we had a couple of places we wanted to visit that were far enough away from the centre to escape the bustle, and it was at one of these, atop a plateau that climbs steeply from the Vltava River, that we found a haven of tranquillity in a secluded corner of Letná Park. If I want to capture any images of romantic Prague I think I’ll need a return trip in the depths of winter – any other suggestions?!
(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)