Prague through my Lens
Courtesy of Alexa H.
This past summer of 2017, I took a trip to Prague for a 19-day photography camp. I met up with 21 other photographers, three counselors, and one National Geographic expert; from there, I began my journey. On the first day, we just experienced the city with our cameras, began to explore, and learned the types of pictures we should be taking – portraits. Over the two weeks we had in Prague, we learned how to interact with the people there and how to frame the perfect shot. During this time, I started to learn my way around the city and found out where everything was located. Slowly, I started to experience the Czech culture, full of art and history. When walking across the Charles Bridge, I often saw painters, photographers, artists, bands, and much more.
Restaurants and street food were available on every corner, especially ice cream. It was really cool to be able to try some of their food that we don’t have in America. At night, we would climb to the top of the tower to take photos, and to watch the sun set. All 21 of us found ourselves in love with the city around us, and the culture. One day at sunrise, we traveled to Old Town Square to take pictures. Without the crowd, we were able to capture Prague’s natural beauty and amazing architecture. During the day we went boating on the Vltava River to capture the city from under the bridge.
Midway through camp we traveled to South Bohemia, the countryside of Prague. We first went to the Detar Lake, which was absolutely gorgeous, and then ate a original Czech dish, goulash and pancakes. Personally, I loved the food; goulash tastes like soup and the pancakes were small pieces of bread. The next day we went to the market to take photos of the culture in South Bohemia, shop around, and meet some locals. Comparing the photos from Prague and the photos from South Bohemia, Prague’s photos were more colorful and lively, but the South Bohemia photos were more scenery and did not feature a lot of the culture. I enjoyed the opportunity to be able to meet and interact with the locals. It really made me feel like I was getting an inside look into the area.
After, we took a trip to one of the small towns located elsewhere in Bohemia, and wandered around to look in the stores and to eat. Inside the stores were everything from flowers to Czech pottery. Compared to Prague, the town we visited was much smaller. The buildings were very interesting architecturally and were closer together than they were in Prague. Overall, South Bohemia had a much more relaxed and calm feel than Prague, which is located in Middle Bohemia. I loved visiting South Bohemia but, personally, I love cities and Prague was a better stay for me. However, if you like to relax on vacation, South Bohemia would be a better location.
For our final day and gallery show, we traveled back to Prague. For me, it became easier as time went on to tell the story of Czech culture and Prague through my photos. Being able to explore and immerse myself in the activities that we did really helped me understand what life is like in the Czech Republic. My experiences are documented in pictures that I will keep forever. Prague was just one of the amazing places I was lucky enough to visit. Looking back on my trip, I know traveling to Prague was an amazing decision and am so glad to say I have experienced Czech culture.