Today is Josef Sudek's birthday. If he were still alive, he'd be 109. Sudek was Czech, and as far as I can tell, he and France's Eugene Atget occupy unique positions in the history of early 20th century photography on the European continent in employing their pure and simple vision using large format photography. To be sure, they weren't the only ones shooting large format ... it's just that they did it better than others at the time.
In the late 1920's/early 1930's while most photographers on the European continent were using small plate cameras and early rollfilm cameras -- and as Leica-mania gained ground -- Josef Sudek, in spite of his grave handicap of being one-armed, was schlepping his large format cameras and tripod through the narrow cobblestone streets and up the steep hills around Prague Castle.
While my post is a bit of a pretext to honor this great, shy and gentle artist, I do have one question: is anyone aware of any other photographers on the European continent during above the mentioned period who used large format as extensively and expressively as the Atget and Sudek (actually, Sudek photographed almost until his death in 1976)? I'm sure I'm missing someone in one the former "Iron Curtain" countries, for example.
Meanwhile, for an interesting bio on Sudek, go to: