Feb 222012

This is the entrance to the Old Town of Prague. It’s called the Powder Gate because this is where gunpowder was once stored. This intersection may be one of the worst designed in the world. There’s three one-way roads filing into one single lane, and from what I could see no one has the right of way.

Wenceslas Square in Prague, entrance to the Old Town, lit up at night with traffic.

Feb 042012

…at least that’s what I’m calling it. This is a detail shot of the door, and mosaic, beneath the astronomical clock on the Old Town Hall of Prague. This was taken at the same time as the picture in the above link, shortly after I’d discovered that the clock did not spring to life at this time of day. That is probably what the old street sweeper was trying to tell me as he watched me move my camera about in the middle of the road. The twelve apostles, which parade hourly when it’s running, did not appear. However, being there early did mean that, prior to  the sound of Death noting the hour by chiming a single bell, I could hear the mechanisms through the stone wall working away. The clicking and whirring of gears spinning bred anticipation. I thought wow, this is going to be a much better show than the last time I saw it. That time I was surrounded by tourists and paying for overpriced water in a cafe to secure a view. I wasn’t too disappointed at the lack of action though. At least I got to hear something I hadn’t noticed the first time there.

This photo actually took a surprising amount of work. I even converted it to black and white to try to make it look a bit more interesting. In the end I realized that the bricks were an over-saturated orange color, which distracted from the door and cobblestones. Once that was toned back to a more natural level, I was happy with the result.

Oh, and England managed to beat Scotland in the 6 Nations today, despite a pretty poor performance. I’m happy with that result too.

Detail shot of the door, and mosaic, beneath the astronomical clock on the Old Town Hall of Prague.

Jan 312012

On my last night in Prague, nearing the end of my five-hour stroll,  I decided to make my way to Charles Bridge from the Old Town Square. I didn’t want to take the same route I had in the past and took off in what I was sure was the general direction of the river. Luckily, I was right. On the way there, I stumbled across this building and a very busy intersection in front of it. At the time I had no idea what the building was, but decided I definitely had to stop and take a photo. As I stood there shielding my camera from all the foot traffic, it was situated about a foot off the ground, the van driving politician cruised through with his music still blaring.

Since getting back home, Google Maps has informed me that this is the Czech Philharmonic at Rudolfinum, which I think is a great name for a building.

Czech Philharmonic at Rudolfinum in Prague at night with lights and cobblestones.

Jan 262012

For some reason I’ve gotten stuck on producing panoramas. Tomorrow night I am going to ensure that I process a photo that isn’t a panorama!

This is a picture of Wenceslas Square. It’s an odd square as it’s actually a skinny rectangle. As you can see it’s more like a wide boulevard with a divider down the middle. It was originally the city’s horse market. Also, while there I was informed that it was also the location of the fall of communism following student protests.

It’s funny how you can try to imagine how your picture of a place is going to look prior to getting there. I did just that with this location. I had this image of light trails from traffic rounding various bends and going off in different directions. When I arrived this isn’t quite what I found. In fact the first thing I discovered was what I’m sure was a politician stood atop a van with a megaphone. He was yelling excitedly at the crowd of 30 or so onlookers that had gathered. I encountered him numerous times throughout the night. However, on each of those occasions he’d given up on speaking and was just driving around blasting out classical music at an ear-splitting volume – fantastic from a distance, horrible up close. It certainly set a great mood when he cruised through the Old Town Square though.

Wenceslas Square in Prague lit up at night with light trails from traffic rounding the bend.