This is part of the #mondayphotopicks challenge. A group of aspiring street photographers select a picture of a master and blog about why they like it. This week Pavel P choose his countryman Josef Koudelka.
I’m going to give you a brief history of Koudelka before explaining my choice.
Josef Koudelka was born in the Morovian region of now the Czech Republic, then Czechoslovakia. His big break came as a result of the Soviet invasion of Prague which he photographed from the inside.
Koudelka has created two classic photo books that should be on every photographers book list
- Gypsies (shot over 9 years when he lived in Roma societies around Europe)
- Exiles (focusing on the life of exiles and my photo pick is from)
As well as other great books too. He is still at work too and shooting new subjects. A true testament to an artist who continues to evolve.
Why I chose this Josef Koudelka image
This image is from Exiles and was taken at Croagh Patrick in Ireland. It is a sight of Irish pilgrimage where pilgrims climb the mountain on the knees as an act of penitence. I love how sharp the rocks appear, you can feel how painful this activity must be, three is also a real depth of emotion in the faces of the three figures. The main central figure resting also reflects the effort that must be involves in the task.
The cluster in the background add some extra depth to the image (when combined with the background) and their looks in another direction add an element of mystery to the image. There’s great contrast between the elements in the image with good clear figure to ground. and the sky isn’t distracting but reinforces the imagery in the picture.
Check out Pavel, Yuri and Brook’s choices.