Urban: The Smoking Man | Prague



And here is my final fave image from the Prague leg of my trip.  He was shot on one of the last night’s while walking the Old Town, in a small corner cafe right near the Astronomical Clock.  Photography is about getting the right moment and finding the right light.  And that is what this image was for me.

As we turned the corner walking down the street, I saw this man just sitting there, as most people do when they find free WiFi, checking his phone and taking a break.  The light from the little cafe was perfect and contrasted so well with the darkness of the street.  I think what I loved most about the scene was the blue wall behind the man.

In reality it captures the essence of my travels.  I know, sounds corny, but it is so true.  Finding a little terrasse you can rest at as you have been walking for hours exploring a city in every random direction, taking your backpack off, lighting a cigarette as you enjoy your rest time.  After watching some people walk by, you decide to check if there is free internet that you can leech a connection off of.  And when you find it, you take a few moments to get pulled out of your travels and get updates from your real life back home… or in my case, spam Instagram with random photos of the day.

I love the end result of this photo and how it now almost looks like a painting.  If I could remove the phone and replace it with a book, get rid of the bag on the table, this could almost (!) have an old school painting look to it.  I’m not one to spend too much time processing images (and this only has 4-5 minutes done), but in some cases, the processing helps tell the right story.

Hope you enjoyed the few Prague images (Watching you, Addiction)!  I’ll have another post full of other random shots coming up, and then I’m getting into the Berlin and Amsterdam photos.


  1. Excellent image, Pierre. Everything clicks here. I wouldn’t replace the phone or remove the bag (although I might desaturate the phone and darken the bag a tad if this was my photo). It has a timeless feel in spite of the phone and bag, which speaks volumes about it.

    (I don’t necessarily agree with “photography is about finding the right light” – In my opinion it’s more about taking advantage of whatever light you have. In particular, this photo would’ve worked for me with different amounts of light (of course the mood would be different in each case).

  2. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

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