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Prague and Argus

Thursday 10/20/2005 5:06 PM

I haven't posted a Prague picture in a while, so here you go. When Candy and I were in Prague in September of 2003, I sent an e-mail message every day or so to friends and family back in the States. Along with the message, I included an image of the day that I had taken. Today's image was one of those.

In Old Town, near where Charles Bridge crosses the Vlatava River, there is a very busy street that passes through a tunnel. Instead of both lanes going through one tunnel, though, each lane passes through its own. And we're not just talking about cars — trains run along the street as well. If you look closely at today's image, you can see train tracks embedded in the cobblestone on the right and left.

So much to the chagrin of my wife (who was not looking forward to summoning an ambulance in a foreign country as a consequence of her idiot husband and his brilliant idea for a photograph), I rushed halfway across the street with my camera and tripod in hand. I quickly flattened my back against the dark and grimy stone wall between the two tunnels of traffic and carefully set up my tripod. As long as no one lost control of their vehicle and pulled a Wile E. Coyote with me sandwiched between them and the wall, I figured I'd be OK.

The next problem was these weren't going to be point and shoot and run away pictures. We're talking long exposure. Don't just click the camera remote and hold it, but, rather, click it and slide the lock over the trigger to keep the shutter open because we were going to be sitting there for 30, 60, maybe 90 seconds at a time.

So with Candy watching me from the safety of the curb about ten or twelve feet away, I'd stand there with my back to the wall, patiently watching the second hand of my watch. At the same time, I'd make mental notes of the different cars and their headlights, running lights, etc., and try to imagine how the photograph would turn out. Now, you might get the idea that I'm some sort of camera wiz, but, truth be told, I had no idea if any of these shots were going to turn out well or not. The first of many long exposure, no flash, night shots while we were in Prague, this was experimentation at its finest.

After I had taken 2 or 3 pictures and was about to call it a night, I saw a train approaching in the distance. There was a lull in the traffic and people were crossing the street. I yelled out to Candy, "One more," and I pointed to the train coming toward me on the left. She looked up the street and then back at me and said nothing. The last pedestrian got across and I clicked the remote to open the camera shutter. The train passed by along with a plethora of cars to my left and right. Imagine my delight when I saw how well the image turned out, and it is now my happy privilege to share this picture with you.

Oh, and if you think this picture turned out well, just wait 'til you see my long exposure night shots from Vysehrad Cemetery.

And in other news, Argus had his two-week check-up regarding his heartworm treatment. Doc says he's doing great. We also stopped at Petsmart to get a custom ID tag made for him (the machine was broke when Candy and I stopped there last time).

Argus can hardly wait another 14 days before we can start letting cut loose a little bit.

File Under: Argus; Photography; Prague
Music: Kaizer's Orchestra "Ompa til du dør"

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