Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tesco Supermarket

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I have indirectly mentioned the concept of people watching in several posts from my Prague journey thus far. Photographing strangers is definitely a leap from snapping shots of inanimate objects like cathedrals that cannot chase after you, fist waving in the air, after you shove a camera right up in their face. But that is why anyone can take a photo of a building, and anyone can take a million photos of a building until you decide on one with favorable composition. But with people, sometimes you only have one to three shots to catch emotion, facial expression, eyes open, hands animated, and the presence of personality.

After photographing in the rain, becoming miserable and drenched and cold and grey ourselves, several of us ventured to the notorious underground grocery store, Tesco Supermarket. We descended down an escalator beneath a large department store and found ourselves in an epicurean playground. Aisles upon aisles of fresh vegetables and Czech packaged foodstuffs, along with a large bakery including donuts, and even a section designated for just European wine and beer. All of this just waiting for us underground. Though it was grey above, the colors and scents of Tesco overwhelmed us and we were trapped. In the best way possible, of course.

Here in this place, we began to shop and buy according to the pangs of our stomachs, the loud cries for sustenance. And as Caitlin picked out wine and a loaf of bread and detergent and zucchini, I trailed behind her, holding my camera to my eye, and similarly searched. Caitlin perused the bakery for "the best rolls ever" as per Dennis' recommendation, while I hunted for shots of tiny, elderly Czech women similarly touring the area.

The supermarket became a safari zone. Filled with locals, preoccupied with checking off their grocery lists, it was simple enough to stalk them from aisle to aisle until the desired shot was captured. Thus, while above ground we photographed tourists and their bright, tacky, noticeable umbrellas and yellow slickers, here in the grocery haven, we joined locals and became locals.
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