He goes by the nickname “Krakonoš”, after the Czech mythical mountain deity who protects the wilderness. It’s because of his hat and long beard – the style is identical to that of the deity himself. He’s been confined to a wheelchair for many years, having lost both his legs to diabetes-related gangrene. He lives on welfare and panhandling, although he is no longer homeless, and in the past he served an 8 year prison sentence for manslaughter after killing a man who’d assaulted his wife. Some years ago he also saved an abandoned infant from certain death in winter after he found it in a refuse container, unceremoniously wrapped in newspaper by its heroin-addicted mother and left to its fate. He says he cannot tolerate violence to women, children or animals. Despite his diabetes, he still drinks heavily, and is often difficult to understand – brief periods of lucidity are interspersed with mumbled, disjointed apocalyptic prophecies and stories of his experiences with Jesus Christ back in the day. I haven’t seen him in a few months now and hope he’s doing alright.
An Impressionist take Terez, my fellow dance student. I asked her to characterise herself in three words. She came up with introverted and sensitive. I’d add gentle – she’s studying to work in pediatrics.
Dew Frosted Banded Demoiselle
My name is Pavel, and I’ve been living in Prague, Czechia for 30 years, although I’m originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, where I lived until 1990. I’ve been photographing for about 30 years. I studied visual arts and photography at Johannesburg Art, Ballet, Drama and Music School (now the National School of Arts), and then photography at the Performing Arts Academy in Prague (FAMU), specializing in social documentary.
My main areas of interest in photography include documentary, portraiture and macro, and my preferred medium remains black and white, although I opt for colour when working with macro subjects. I particularly like the way in which one can evoke different moods with black and white, using existing light as much as possible, and when I do resort to using flash, it’s mostly to fill in shadows somewhat when the contrast range of a scene is very high. Although I now work exclusively in digital, one could say I’m something of a traditionalist in my approach – I use zone system exposure principles and don’t like to post-process photographs further than what I remember from the film days (dodging, burning in, tone/colour balance). I try as far as possible to edit whilst photographing and hope that the images I shoot speak for themselves in terms of composition and content. My website contains images from the genres in which I specialize, both colour and black and white. I hope you like the imagery.
To visit Pavel’s website please click here – www.pavelsuba.cz