Film & First Family Trips

Father Friends 1024x691 Film & First Family Trips

Father & Friends (BsAs, Argentina). My father celebrating the graduation of a friend (in the hat). My father is the one pouring the tea.

Every good blog post must begin with an apology.  I have been dormant for several weeks and for that I do apologize.  One of the aspects of my day job requires me to travel a little bit and this time of year is always hectic.  I have not picked up a camera is several weeks which is highly unusual for me and I have two rolls waiting to be processed including the first roll I put through my Nikon F3!

So instead of boring you with some semi-recent images, I have decided to go back a few decades into some images that were captured on film.  These are negatives that have not seen the light of day in many years including some that my father took back in his photographic days.

The wonderful thing about film is that it is more difficult, costly and time consuming to create.  A digital camera is absolute speed and efficiency but much like the microwaveable dinners it is not always about efficiency.  When it comes to art something faster is not always better.

One advantage of the film process is that every image is valuable and hence you do not throw them away.  So while going through my things I decided to pick up some old negatives and scan them to see what treasures they hid.

The first picture above is of my father and his friends celebrating the graduation of the friend in the hat.  My father is the one pouring the Argentine tea called mate.  This candid picture taken of a group of friends was brilliantly done.  The odd composition due to the small balcony that apartments in Buenos Aires have.  But the candid expressions and shear happiness captured really makes most of my digital captures pale in comparison.

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Recovered Image Notre Dame

This next image was taken by me back in my film days (digital did not exist back then).  It was a spontaneous shot meant to capture the wonderful day we were enjoying.  It was taken at the beginning of winter in Paris and represents the first international vacation my wife and I took alone.  We were young, rather short on cash but filled with excited energy.  I remember the hotel we could afford had a grandiose name but it was a room that was the exact size of the bed.  You could not stand anywhere in the room.  The bathroom was such that you had to sit on the toilet to shower.  We loved it all because instead of complaining about the room (or lack there of) we shrugged it off as part of the Paris experience.

These images captured so long ago bring back the rush of memories unlike the thousands of digital images I have sitting on my hard drive.  I love digital but at times it is just too easy.

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First Grandchild

This final image is of my grandfather with a cousin of mine.  It was his first of 12 grandchildren.  The picture was taken by my father who clearly has more talent than I ever will.

The Post Man Cometh…

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Postman Delivering Mail: Shot in 1912 by Harris & Ewing. Photo obtained from Oldpicture.com.

I am prone to overdo the things that I love.  This includes food (a constant struggle) and my hobbies.  If I love to do it then I want to dive into it.  It is why I am very careful when I choose what I fall in love with.  The addictive personality can be a very dangerous thing.

That early, foggy morning on the Charles Bridge in Prague, I fell in love with the sound of a shutter.  That shutter was an old Hasselblad camera that a photographer was using.  When I turned and saw him looking through the waist level viewfinder just as he fired another exposure, I remember that sound reverberating through the fog.  I knew it was love.

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Hasselblad Ad

That love has taken me down a very interesting path in a very short period of time.  It started in Prague with the helpful encouragement of my father, pushed me to buy a wonderful Hasselblad 500 C/M.  I then returned home to try to find a waist level finder for the camera.  While searching through Ebay I stumbled on a Olympus OM-2.  Finding that everything would work on my OM-1 pushed be to purchase it.

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OM-2 Ad from 1975

My OM-2 came with four lenses including a 28mm, 35mm, 135mm and 70-135mm.  It looks wonderful except that the exposure counter does not seem to be working well.  The viewfinder is clean and clear and all seals have been replaced.  A great little camera.

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Nikon F3 Ad

During my search I came across the wonderful Nikon F3.  For those of you who do not know about this camera please do not study it.  It is an amazing piece of equipment and I must believe it is the perfect 35mm camera.  I say this because the viewfinder is very bright, making focusing easy, the aperture and shutter speed can be seen when looking through the viewfinder and all the ergonomics seem to be intuitive.  I am currently through the 24th exposure of a roll of 36.  It appears to be almost mint.

I will be adding some thoughts on each of these cameras in due time.  I need to play with them a bit more to get a handle on them and figure out what I like and what I do not.  I would not call these reviews simply because the cameras are no longer being made.  But it will give those budding film enthusiasts some food for thought.

I have made a very conscience decision to stop purchasing cameras on Ebay.  This is difficult because they are such a real bargain.  You can purchase a professional camera for USD 200 or less.  This is a near mint camera that when originally sold would have cost USD 1,000 or more.

I cannot believe I can buy such great engineering for such a relatively small sum of money.  As an added benefit these cameras were so expensive the owners took very good care of them.  Many are near mint and while they all need some tender loving care many can give you years of fun and good service.

0 The Post Man Cometh...

The video above is a short one but I like that Matt goes through some great cameras very quickly with one or two details each.  If you like the look of any one of them you can look them up individually.

I agree that a camera can be very personal.  I have my father’s old OM-1 camera and it will always be near to my heart because this is what I learned on and I still have some great pictures that my father took with it.

A Whale, a Hunt and a Tram

Street Tram Track Prague Czech Rep 1024x1024 A Whale, a Hunt and a Tram

Street Tram Track (Prague, Czech Rep): D800 24-70mm shot at 66mm, f/5.6, 1/500sec & ISO 100.

Looking over the pictures I processed this weekend we have had a terrific time lately.  It all began with a photo I have been working on from Prague.  This is one which I did a little bit or post processing on and then set it aside to pick it back up later.  I am happy with how it turned out…the trick was the crop.  It did not seem to work in any other composition until I cropped it.

It was taken in Prague of their famous tram system, by setting my camera on the track and taking a few shots.  The angle is the critical part.  Once that was nailed the rest was easy.

A Whale of a Time Rottnest Australia 1024x683 A Whale, a Hunt and a Tram

A Whale of a Time (Rottnest, Australia): D800 70-200mm shot at 200mm, f/8, 1/500sec & SIO 100.

We also went whale watching with some friends.  Some may recall that a couple of years ago we went whale watching and enjoyed it.  My wife got pretty sea sick and was a bit timid about going again….she was right to worry as she fell ill again.  I think that is the last time we go on a boat in some time….

A Whale of a Time BW Rottnest Australia 1024x683 A Whale, a Hunt and a Tram

A Whale of a Time B&W (Rottnest, Australia): D800 70-200mm shot at 200mm, f/8, 1/500sec & ISO 100.

This trip out we did not see much but I did manage to capture the image above near the light house on Rottnest island.  It is the only piece of whale flesh I saw all day.  I was lucky to capture it with the lighthouse in the background.  Not sure which I like more the color or B&W image.

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Gabriel & Snails IlfordDelta100 (Perth, Australia)

The final one is of my youngest son with a snail.  They went into the backyard and had a snail hunt.  No snail was harmed in any way.  They were caught, studied and released (after the kids begged me to let them keep the snails as pets).

The Need to Develop is Near…

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Kids & Snail IlfordDelta100 (Perth, Australia): This is some great film. After shooting ISO 400 and higher it was such a pleasure to see these come out. Shot with the Hasselblad 500

My search through the analog world has led me down an interesting and exciting path but I seem to have found the same fork in the road, that so very many others before me have found.  To develop or not to develop…that is the question.

Let me explain.  Over the past couple of weeks I have been learning as much as I can about film cameras, shooting and the like.  I have even broadened my camera collection.  In terms of film cameras I now have:

  •   OM-1 (my fathers old camera from 1971)
  •   Hasselblad 500CM from 1986 (purchased in Prague after falling in love)
  •   Nikon EM (a dear friend gave it to me)

And over the past couple of weeks I have purchased:

  •   OM-2
  •   Nikon F3

The reason for this expansion, is that as my understanding of film photography evolves I begin to want to try the cameras that introduced new technology to the hobby I enjoy so much.  As I search on Ebay I am surprised at the reasonable prices to be had.  If you are willing to have an ugly but useable camera you can purchase some for well under $100.  Considering that many of these went for thousands when released it is a bargain that is hard to pass up.

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Lucas CloseUp IlfordDelta100 (Perth, Australia): Taken with the Hasselblad 500.

The problem is that all these film cameras means shooting with more film and this is beginning to cost me a pretty penny.  I mostly like to shoot B&W film which is relatively easy to develop at home.  It is a simple process involving three chemicals and with a bit of practice, can be mastered relatively quickly.

Before I could try this I need to ensure that my post developing workflow is working.  I have been trying to improve my “scanning” technique and have struggled a bit.  Finally this past weekend, I was able to create a scanning tool which may just solve the problem.  I will give it a try next week.

Gabriel the Pirate IlfordDelta3200 Perth Australia 1024x980 The Need to Develop is Near...

Gabriel the Pirate IlfordDelta3200 (Perth, Australia): Shot with the Hasselblad 500. I had a high ISO film and thought that given the time of year it might be fun to give it a try.

The downside to developing my own film is really one of convenience.  Having chemicals in a home with young kids is usually a recipe for disaster.  There will be a learning curve with some wasted film as well as the accompanying frustration.  I know because I have gone through this with my scanning workflow.

The shots above were all processed at my local lab called Fitzgerald in Perth.  They are a good bunch of people but local labor is very expensive so they have to pass those costs on to me.  This is what can turn an inexpensive hobby into a real drain unless I start to develop film myself.

Sabrina Painting IlfordDelta3200 Perth Australia 1024x943 The Need to Develop is Near...

Sabrina Painting IlfordDelta3200 (Perth, Australia): Hasselblad

Looking beyond the cost concern, I must admit that I love shooting film.  There is something nostalgic and wonderful about the process.  I can also see the number of missed shots dropping as I learn proper focusing techniques.  I even took my Nikon D800 and tried practicing with manual focus.

Will film replace my digital hobby?  Nope.  But I am convinced that if I can find the right price point, film will become an integral part of my hobby.  After all who can say not to a two hundred dollar professional camera that is built like a tank and still functioning wonderfully?

Still Working on Prague

Golden Man Prague Czech Rep 1024x767 Still Working on Prague

Golden Man (Prague, Czech Rep): D800 70-200mm shot at 165mm f/2.8, 1/750sec & ISO 400.

As mentioned in a previous post I shot some amazing number of pictures in Prague.  While most will never see any post processing attention given to them, many will.  It will take me a few months to go through them all and I will enjoy every minute of it.

So here are a few of the shots that I worked on this weekend.  I shared the modified Zone system from Mark Wallace on Monday.  The story about that post was a desire to learn something new.  I wanted to freshen my workflow a bit and this seemed like a perfect one to try.

After those B&W images I needed to dive into some color.  The first picture in the post is of these golden street performers in Prague.  I find that the best way to take pictures of them is to give them a donation and then snap away.  They will pose for you and will appreciate the payment.  I see too many people trying to take their picture without making a donation and this is wrong.  If you appreciate what they are doing enough to take a picture, then you should drop a few coins for them.

Green Lamp Prague Czech Rep 1024x768 Still Working on Prague

Green Lamp (Prague, Czech Rep): OMD 45mm shot at 45mm, f/1.8, 1/2000sec & ISO 200.

The picture above was taken just out of the apartment that we rented.  I loved the colors of the building but needed something to make the composition work a bit more.  The lamp gave me a change to through something solid in the frame that would not blend in with the soft colors of the building.  I like these shots for their simplicity but pleasing style.

Dead Horse Prague Czech Rep 683x1024 Still Working on Prague

Dead Horse (Prague, Czech Rep): D800 24-70mm shot at 48mm, f/2.8, 1/250sec & ISO 800.

The final image is a bit of a laugh.  A local artist decided to show a historical hero of the city on a dead horse.  His argument can be debated and the artistic value could be questioned, or you could take a picture, have a laugh and move on.

Zone System for a Digital World

Lightbulb BW Prague Czech Rep 1024x683 Zone System for a Digital World

Lightbulb B&W (Prague, Czech Rep): D800 24-70mm shot at 40mm, f/2.8, 1/45 sec & ISO 800. I used Mark Wallace’s 5 Zone system to process this image.  Comparing it to my previous processing attempt I must say I am happy with this workflow.

There are some things that intimidated me when I first began getting into photography including, film photography, film processing, night photography, flash photography and the “Zone System”.  This was not a childish intimidation of based on fear but rather a conscious thought that those things were a bit beyond my reach.  So I left them, with the “expert” and “professional” photographers while I came to grips with aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

Since those early days I have overcome several of those intimidating subjects while others I have left alone, to be conquered another day.  A couple of years ago I decided to tackle Ansel Adam’s Zone system.  I read a few (very few to be honest) good blog posts and websites and slowly pieced together the basics.  There was allot of vague concepts which were left unexplained and plenty of references to film processing techniques that are still beyond me.

I will not try to add anything intelligent to the discussion of the applicability of the zone system to a digital world.  I will point you to a source that has done a brilliant job of pulling the zone system into a digital camera explanation.  Just go HERE and enjoy.

I will suggest that we pick up the concepts that we can apply to improve our photography and leave the rest behind, giving full credit to those that created it.  Instead of adding to the dialogue of “how”, “why” or “if” it should be done lets jump to a workflow.  The philosophical discussion can be left to those so inclined to have it.

Now that we have agreed to keep this simple why should we read a blog for a full explanation and why not see a quick video that covers it all?  Enter Mark Wallace and his excellent ability to bring complex discussions to simple, methodical steps.

0 Zone System for a Digital World

Thanks to Mark and Adorama for the above film.  Adorama is a great place to buy all things photography related and I have used them a bunch over the years. To be clear they do not pay me one cent or even know I am alive.  But they have answered all my questions, resolved any issues quickly and professionally and have always delivered what they promised me.

What I like about Mark’s description is that he ties the workflow to Lightroom playing with the five zones available there.

The first shot on this post I used the system and reprocessed this image from Prague. I then compared my initial processing attempt and the new one and must say that I like this workflow better.

Jaz Street Band Orig Prague Czech Rep 1024x768 Zone System for a Digital World

Jazz Street Band (Prague, Czech Rep): OMD 45mm shot at 45mm, f/3.2, 1/1250sec & ISO 200.

Jaz Street Band Prague Czech Rep 1024x835 Zone System for a Digital World

Jazz Street Band (Prague, Czech Rep): OMD 45mm shot at 45mm, f/3.2, 1/1250sec & ISO 200.

I tried it again on the band image above which was captured with the amazing OMD-EM5 camera.  What an amazing street photography camera!

I have shared the original image and the B&W conversion all done with Lightroom.  This method of conversion allows you to focus on each of the zones which can be done completely using Lightroom.

Screen Shot 2014 11 01 at 7.08.14 AM 1024x581 Zone System for a Digital World

Screen Capture from Adorama Video with Mark Wallace

Above is a screen capture from the video which is the key steps to the process.  I believe that the first step is the most beneficial to my way of processing.  Usually I would leave the midtones just as I shot the picture and just adjusted the black, white and shadows.  The problem is that as I look at the images carefully I realized that the midtones were just a bit off.  It turns out that both shots were about half a stop off.  Once this was nailed it was simple to make the remaining adjustments.

Sometimes it pays to go back to the basics, it certainly did for me.  So put aside the discussions on the validity of the zone system and see how you can use the post processing tools at your disposal to get the best results.

Analog Technology in a Digital World

 

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Three Umbrellas (Prague, Czech Rep.): 500cm, Ilford Delta 400 PRO

In todays day and age there is limitless data just a few clicks away. Everyday our lives become more intimate with technology. It started with entertainment and quickly entered our office space, our social networks and our family and friends.  It was unavoidable and will continue with its benefits and drawbacks.  But that unrelenting, unalterable direction we are being driven down sometimes upsets me. There are times that I want to go back in time, to tell the world that there was value in the way things used to be done.

This desire to go back to traditions quickly seeped into my photography.  I love my digital cameras and am amazed at the quality they can capture.  Processing my Nikon D800 images, I am shocked at the dynamic range it has.

So this love/hate relationship I have with technology has taken me down a frustrating road. I love Lightroom and Photoshop and I have no idea how to process film so my options were either to accept the processing that the photo lab does or I find a way to push my analog images into the digital world!

My first stop was the photo lab where a very kind lady explained that they had two levels of negative scanning, low res and high res.  The problem is that the low res is very low and the high res is very expensive.

That took me to the internet where I found out that it is possible to use my Nikon D800 and my Macro lens to digitize my negatives.  Great!  Wait…while it is very simple it takes a bit of work to get a good quality result.

0 Analog Technology in a Digital World

With a light source, tripod and a macro lens you can take a picture of the negative and process it.  I could go into the details but this YouTube video does a much better job.

I am still perfecting the process but slowly I am able to get my negatives on my hard drive where I can dive into the high tech world I had escaped from.  Now this is NICE!

Falling in Love with a Sound

One Roll of Film…what an amazing concept…simple, clear and without fluff….in the words of Zach Arias it would be all signal and no noise!  It is the name of a photography project which is brilliantly filmed on YouTube below.

0 Falling in Love with a Sound

If you follow this blog you know that I have been having a particular desire to return to film…my photography actually began in the digital world but I still remember shooting my father’s Olympus OM-1.  He was kind enough to give it to me so I have been learning how to shoot with film.

Charless Bridge in Fog Mono Prague Czech Rep 1024x683 Falling in Love with a Sound

Charles Bridge in Fog Mono (Prague, Czech Rep): D800 24-70mm shot at 44mm, f/11, 3sec & ISO 100. This is the morning I fell in love with a sound.

Everything was going well until a fateful morning on the Charles Bridge in Prague.  On this particular morning there was a great deal of fog and there was a line of photographers taking some pictures of the amazing view.  We were happily clicking away, enjoying the harmony of all the electronic beeps, chirps and clicks of the digital cameras when a thunder clap silenced it all. We all turned to each other and all eyes fell on a Hasselblad 500.

The proud owner of this camera had set up a solid tripod and considered his shot quietly as the other twenty photographers fired away.  But when he pressed his shutter the sound that carried over the damp bridge, down to the cold water below and all around us was mesmerizing.  It was as if all these young children were playing around and the grandfather walked in to teach them all how it is done. I was in love…  

As soon as I got home I looked up the Hasselblad 500 and fell in love with it.  A couple of days before leaving Prague I walked into a photography store and saw one laying there.  It was made in 1989 and came with a digital prism/light-meter attached to it.  The camera looked to be in good shape and the shutter seemed to work well.  So I dropped a rather sizable chunk of cash and walked out with a medium formate Hasselblad 500cm and a couple of rolls of film.

Screen Shot 2014 10 26 at 4.29.06 PM Falling in Love with a Sound

Hasselblad 500 CM: This is my camera. Mine came with a digital prism instead of the waist level viewfinder.

If you watch the video you see one of the photographers that walked the streets of Hong Kong for six hours to shoot 12 exposures!  On digital I would fire through 12 shots in about 30 minutes and think nothing of it.  These guys are exhausted, having drained all their energy into the creative process of shooting the best 12 exposures they could.

The camera is all mechanical (no batteries to worry about) and it has a double shutter, one in the back and another one in the lens.  This is what gives it the classic thump, thud sound.  The film is loaded on a cartridge in the back which allows you to switch from one type of film to another mid roll.  This is great is you have different ISO films you can alter based on the amount of light you have.

Everything feels solid, with the right tension on all the knobs and pressing the shutter is like firing a missile.  It is a heavy camera, especially with the prism on top.  I will need to find a used waist level viewfinder to really get the feel of the camera.

Lucas Hassy Tower sm Prague Czech Rep. 1021x1024 Falling in Love with a Sound

Lucas Hassy Tower (Prague, Czech Rep): Hasselblad 500 CM Ilford Delta 400 PRO

I tried to burn through one roll of film while in Prague in order to come home and go straight to processing.  The day we were leaving I still had six exposures left to take so I went out in the rain and burned them.  The goal was just to test to see if the camera was working, if there was any light leaking into the film cartridge and finally to make sure that I loaded the film properly.

The shot above was one of my first images with this camera and I am thrilled with the results.  I am leaving the boarder in the image to distinguish it as I learn about the different types of film.  Once I got back and had the film developed I found that all shots came out fine.  There was a small issue with focusing which affected a couple of the shots but that was my fault.  My goal was not to capture the images but just to see if it worked well so I got a bit sloppy.

Prague Rain Prague Czech Rep. 1024x1017 Falling in Love with a Sound

Prague in Rain (Prague, Czech Rep): 500CM Ilford Delta 400 PRO

The challenge that I had was that the scanned negatives were rather small in size and limited in terms of quality.  After a few minutes on the internet I saw that there was a way to use my Nikon D800 to capture a digital image of the negative for storage and some digital post processing.  But I will leave that for another post.

 

 

 

Prague Day Ten & Eleven

 

Prague Street Early Prague Czech Rep 1024x735 Prague Day Ten & Eleven

Prague Streets Early (Prague, Czech Rep.): D800 24-70mm shot at 62mm, f/6.7, 1/750sec & ISO 100.

Our last two days in Prague seem to be the ones where we decided to take it a bit slow and absorb the last bits of this wonderful culture and its colorful people. We woke up nice and early and walked our way to the tram stop to go up to the Prague Castle again.  A few days before, we had walked through so quickly that we wanted to go up again and just absorb the place again.

Globe Monk Library Prague Czech Rep 1024x683 Prague Day Ten & Eleven

Globe Monk Library (Prague, Czech Rep.): D800 24-70mm shot at 50mm, f/2.8, 1/90sec & ISO 1600.

The advantage of this second visit, was that we were able to visit the old monastery which is just above the castle (another two tram stops).  It was worth it just to take a peek into the libaries which are amazing.  For these monks the libraries were the only source of knowledge and they decorated it to reflect its importance.

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Icon Maria (Prague, Czech Rep.): D800 70-200mm shot at 70mm, f/2.8, 1/90sec & ISO 1600.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then walked through the castle, I was able to put my camera down and just enjoy this amazing place.  I did take a few pictures, I can’t help it, but mostly relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere. One image I really wanted to capture was the one above.  I took my time and framed it well to capture this Icon Maria image.  I love the colors, and light.

The Horse Prague Czech Rep 674x1024 Prague Day Ten & Eleven

The Horse (Prague, Czech Rep.): D800 24-70mm shot at 70mm, f/3.3, 1/180sec & ISO 100.

As we walked the streets I was able to capture some of the details that make Prague such a unique place.  I wanted to capture this image of a horse carriage going by but the tourists in the back always ruined the shot so I cropped it differently and focused on the horse.

These last two days were some of the best as we were comfortable and were just picking up some of the things that we had taken a glimpse at earlier in the week.

Lucas Climbing Prague Czech Rep 683x1024 Prague Day Ten & Eleven

Lucas Climbing (Prague, Czech Rep.): D800 24-70mm shot at 70mm, f/6.7, 1/125sec & ISO 400.

I got to turn the camera on the family and capture some of the shot of them as they absorbed Prague as well.  We walked, talked and ate (we also drank some beer) and slowly began accepting that we would have to leave Prague in a few hours.

Gabriel Grandfather Prague Czech Rep 1024x1024 Prague Day Ten & Eleven

Gabriel & Grandfather (Prague, Czech Rep.): D800 24-70mm shot at 36mm, f/4.8, 1/250sec & ISO 100.

All told, it was a great trip and we learned a great deal about Prague and its people.  We got to spend time with each other and I got to shoot some images.  I will be processing many of the images for several months.  The final tally….

  • 3,133 images
  • 257 shot with the 14-24mm
  • 2043 shots with the 24-70mm
  • 441 shots with the 70-200mm

This boils down to about 223 images per day.  While the entire trip was legendary I have to admit that I am a bit burned out.  I was taking so many images because everything was so beautiful, new and memory building. But all those shots dulls a persons creativity.  The good news is that I found the solution to this rut while in Prague.  I gave you a hint about it a few days ago and in my next post I will tell you what I found.

Prague Day 9… Back to Prague and Back in Time

Karlstejn Castle Prague Czech Rep. 683x1024 Prague Day 9... Back to Prague and Back in Time

Karlstejn Castle (Prague, Czech Rep.): D800 24-70mm, shot at 28mm, f/2.8, 1/750sec & ISO 100.

After an amazing day in Dresden we had a tour lined up for the Karlstejn Castle.  This castle was built in 1348 by Charles IV in order to protect the crown jewels.  He felt that Prague Castle was difficult to defend as it was built on a small rise by the river.  So about a days ride (back then today it is a couple of hours) outside of Prague he found a suitable site and had a castle built.

Charless Transport Prague Czech Rep. 1024x645 Prague Day 9... Back to Prague and Back in Time

Charles’s Transport (Prague, Czech Rep.): D800 24-70mm shot at 24mm, f/2.8, 1/500sec & ISO 400.

We had to climb up the mountain through a village and we opted to take the horse drawn carriage in order to make it up in time for the first English speaking tour.  This turned out to be a fantastic idea as the experience was a unique one and the heavy blankets helped keep us all warm in the early damp cold.

Screen Shot 2014 10 19 at 11.05.42 AM Prague Day 9... Back to Prague and Back in Time

As you can see from my GPS devise we went up the only road and you can see the view of the castle from the first image on this post.  Aside from the umbrellas advertising amazing Czech beer, the town has not changed since it was built.  A little gem of history hidden away in the Czech hill country.

It was clearly built for defensive purposes and photography is forbidden inside but it was a wonderful tour.  They have refurnished it using furniture of the period so it gives you a feel for what it must of looked like in the 14th century.

The Castle saw the use of biological warfare when during a siege dead bodies and dung was catapulted over its walls to infect the defenders.  Never the less the Castle survived and has gone through a few changes as the populations needs changed.

The town leading up the road to the castle was established to build the castle and there it remains today.  There are some restaurants, shops and local caretakers who live and work along this road.

Karlstein Wedding Pictures Prague Czech Rep. 1024x1024 Prague Day 9... Back to Prague and Back in Time

Karlstein Wedding Pictures (Prague, Czech Rep.): D800 24-70mm shot at 70mm, f/5.6, 1/90sec & ISO 100.

Because of its age and wonderful state it is a popular place for wedding photographs. This young Russian bride was there that morning.  We saw her later that day back in historic Prague.  She had a massive bridal party with her and there seemed to be all this movement around her but I managed to catch her in a moment of peace before being dragged for another shot.

Medieval Door Prague Czech Rep. 1024x683 Prague Day 9... Back to Prague and Back in Time

Before leaving the castle I manage to sneak a shot of the massive medieval door that was hanging by the new replacement door.  This thing was massive and an amazing work of art.

Karlstein Bride at Clock Prague Czech Rep. 683x1024 Prague Day 9... Back to Prague and Back in Time

Karlstein Bride at Clock (Prague, Czech Rep.): D800 70-200mm shot at 165mm, f/5.6, 1/180sec & ISO 100.

The above shot was taken during the second encounter with this bride and it gives you a feel for the size of her bridal party. This shot was taken while I was hanging out the window of our apartment trying to capture some street shots from a unique perspective.