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Paul Burger | profile | all galleries >> Czech Christmas tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Czech Christmas

This started as an idea for my first project for the A-level course. However, after I returned from the Czech Republic and developed the films I realised that it wasn't complete. There just was not quite enough to show the complete story, but I was a good learning experience for my first attempt at social documentary.

The old lady in the shots is my wife's Grandmother, in the weeks runing up to Christmas she bakes hundreds of sweets ready for the festive period. The fish you can see is Carp. This is traditional Chrismas Day dinner over there instead of our Turkey. In Czech though, as in much of Europe, it is eaten on Chrismes Eve. Unfortunately Carp are bottom feeders and it usually shows in the taste when cooked! The carp are kept alive in buckets where they are sold in the couple of days coming up to Chrismas eve. When brought they are killed and placed in a bag to take home. Some poeple take them home alive, often kept in the bath and killed much closer to when they are to be eaten in an attempt to keep them as fresh as possible.

All the images were shot on the Canon EOS 5, mostly with my Sigma 28-135mm lens. Once scanned I have only cropped to trim away the edge of the negatives and some have had a tweak of the level to improve the contrast.


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