Category Archives: JUST LIFE

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The Israel Trail, week 1: the Upper Galilee for beginners

The Upper Galilee doesn’t hold pity for those who walk it. It’s face is scarred with shoe loving rocks and trees that will gladly reach for your bag. However, it also holds a blissful abundance. Each day of the trail is worthy of a story, but Wadi Amud has left a very powerful mark. In spite of having hiked it in the past, somehow I underestimated its force and grandeur.

_MG_8327 Once you hike down from Meron and walk into the creek’s ravin, its upper part starts very gently, with pools to wade in and waterfalls to photograph. An easy and pleasant walk in the shade of the terebinths and the Oriental Plane Trees slowly turns into a difficult and challenging walk. The wide gorge turns into a canyon: the paths, paved with local chiselled stones, turn into a climb where you have to hold on to rocks and branches to keep going.

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However, when you pause for a second and look around, you notice the abundance I mentioned before, as it can’t be ignored: Pomegranate trees, olives and figs, carobs, hyssop and countless medicinal plants, flowing water teeming with fish. No wonder that all along the trail there are signs of life from other eras: in the 16th century, jews expelled from Spain applied new technology for processing wool by fulling it. The fulling mills established along the creek contributed to making Safed the financial capital of the Galilee and one of the world’s main fabric manufacturers. Over the years, 18 flour mills were built along the creek’s upper part, some of which were used until the beginning of the 20th century. This is the largest concentration of flour mills ever found in Israel.

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The creek is even more unique because of the findings in its caves: the largest humanoid skull ever found was discovered in the Zuttiyeh cave and it’s considered to belong to a species that was a transition between the Neanderthal and the modern Homo Sapience.

One of the things I find myself doing over and over again is imaging how everything looked before we harnessed nature to our needs- when water still flowed in natural river beds and trees and bushes supplied all our needs. Wadi Amud, this deep scar in the landscape around it, was probably heaven to this “Galilee man” that lived in the cave.

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The trail is long and we left it right before the evening set. When it did, nature regained hold of the place: the manmade noises dimmed and faded as chirping, howling and rustling took over the space. Swallows were leaving the Amud cave for their aerial stunts while in the background jackals howled to the crescent moon; the insect feeding microbats squeaked their sonars right over our heads, hunting annoying bugs with considerable virtuosity. For a moment, with no cars, lights and modernity, we were that “Galilee Man” that lived there about 300,000 years ago. Beyond sight and hearing, we’ve actually felt what nature should be or could be in the Amud reserve.

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In light of this realization, I could actually appreciate the massive road work being done under route 65, in spite of the disturbance to the landscape and visitors. In the 70′s a huge dirt mound was placed there in order to pave the road, without taking into consideration the environmental impact it may have. Who knew? After all, it was a time when people still thought smoking is cool, that eating meat and dairy is good for you, and made asbestus roofs. The mound was critically destructive to the creek- it disturbed the water flow, cut off wildlife populations and effectively disconnected the lower part of the creek from the top part. Now, along with broadening the road, the National Roads Company of Israel and the Committee  for National Infrastructure, which are in charge of the project, decided to bring down the mound in spite of the immense cost and right the wrong.

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Oddly enough, this brought forth my frustration with Israel. Why? Since we can’t really suspect our governmental companies with being too concerned about ecology and wildlife wellbeing. This act, of putting so much into an environmental project (and not a military project or anything that has to do with “national security”), testifies to the obvious: where there’s a will, there’s a way. Here’s my hypothesis: someone influential realised what was the right thing to do, put his foot down and made it happen. The right, obvious, moral and ecologically-sound thing happened. Would any Israeli expect that? Would any Israeli expect any governmental body to do anything that doesn’t fall into its people’s interests or “national security” needs? I think this is one of the things that make me most furious- I truly believe there’s a high rate of talented, intelligent and sophisticated people here. but the ruling norms are wrong: “Me first. Then my family and associates and the hell with everything else. To do the work I’m paid for? Only if I have to- I’m no sucker!”

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Due to construction work, this pipe is a hikers’ paths between the upper Wadi Amud and the lower part.

It all starts with the higher ups: we no longer have any expectations from our politicians. They steal, they cheat, they lie, they only do for their own. And us? We keep voting them in. We keep saying “there’s nothing to do” and “that’s the way it is”. We accept all the crap they shove in our faces and get mad at anyone that dares to claim there is a different way and that it’s actually not the way it works everywhere else. As long as our solution is going with the flow and only taking care of our own; to steal, cheat and lie to make it because that’s what everybody does, instead of rising up and screaming that that’s not how you build a country or a society- as long as this doesn’t happen- Israel will stay the way it is.

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Filming the President

I’ve recently started volunteering with an organization called Yala Young Leaders- it’s not yet another Israeli/Palestinian peace initiative, but a much more realistic and viable movement that (I believe) can actually make a difference in this ongoing conflict. Plus, it gives me hope (a true commodity during these pre-election days).

Anyway, Yala have recently held an online conference on Shaker (if you don’t know it you definitely should- very cool concept) and had President Peres address the participants. In order to film the President, Nimrod BenZe’ev (who works for Yala and took these pictures) and myself drove to Jerusalem to the President’s residence. After going through security (which makes airport security look like fun game time…) we were escorted into the main building. It was a media day for Peres and we had to wait till an Al Jazeera crew was done filming.

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I must say- it was a little intimidating following that crew, which was fully equipped with a few cameras, mics, rails- the whole thing. Gladly, I found out that the lighting gear they used (several Kino Flos- high quality and easy to use lights) actually belonged to the President’s residence- a great relief, as I was already running some ideas on how to make the short video look good with the room lights. Once Al Jazeera left with all the fancy gear, we were rushed in to set up.

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Another nice surprise was that we were given free range in the room to move things around and stylize however we saw fit. I wanted to keep the frame relatively clean and not too busy- after all, it was about the President, not the surrounding. On the other hand, I didn’t like the drape too much. I did keep the Menorah since it was Chanukah and, of course, the Israeli flag (which I made sure for slightly to the side of the President and not sticking out of his head). The left side of the frame was filled with some flowers and the empty table with a glass of water, to balance out the frame. A shutter set to f/5.6 kept a relatively small depth of field and slightly blurred out the background objects (had I known that he would hardly move his head while talking I could have kept it at f/4 and blur the background even more).

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I had to determine is which way the president would be facing. This was going to be a personal address, which made me decide that he should face the camera and speak directly to it. I had Nimrod sit in for the Peres (Yael, the President’s social media consultant, assured me they were more or less the same height) and I set up the lights using two Kino Flos. I didn’t do anything too fancy since I was eager to be done as soon as possible- the President was about to get out of a meeting at any moment and we needed to be ready. The kino Flos are large, so the light was rather soft and nice, which definitely suited the mood I wanted for the video.
Once I set the camera and sound, I could relax. However, then came my perpetual inner conflict: I spotted two other lights in the back of the room. So, if I only take 10 more minutes I could create a really nice lighting setup, with some backlight and a distinct separation to the background… Oh, the temptation! However, I took the responsible route and decided to leave the light as is and be ready.

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When recording sound, one should always have a backup, so I kept my little recorder on the table just out of the frame. Sound quality would have been very poor- strictly for emergencies…

Once he finished his meeting, Peres walked in, sat down and was all ready to go. He knew the drill and helped me set up the mic and test the sound (he needed no instructions on both- he knew exactly what to do). Without hesitation, he gave his address- one take, perfectly done. Mic off, a picture with Nimrod and he was off to the next meeting. What a pro!

P.s.

This post was originally named “Shooting the President”. I thought it might not be such a good idea after all…I’ve recently started volunteering with an organization called Yala Young Leaders- it’s not yet another Israeli/Palestinian peace initiative, but a much more realistic and viable movement that (I believe) can actually make a difference in this ongoing conflict. Plus, it gives me hope (a true commodity during these pre-election days).

Anyway, Yala have recently held an online conference on Shaker (if you don’t know it you definitely should- very cool concept) and had President Peres address the participants. In order to film the President, Nimrod BenZe’ev (who works for Yala and took these pictures) and myself drove to Jerusalem to the President’s residence. After going through security (which makes airport security look like fun game time…) we were escorted into the main building. It was a media day for Peres and we had to wait till an Al Jazeera crew was done filming.

 

 

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Visiting Bethlehem. Yup, that’s in Palestine…

Every places has its own prejudices and superstitions. If you don’t live in Israel, most chances are that you don’t know ours. One of them, which we’ve been brainwashed with for years and years, it that all Palestinians hate us. All of them are terrorists, all of them want to kill us. A lot of people believe that and currently, so does the government (or at least that’s how it acts). This is not a political post- I wasn’t even about to mention politics. However, yesterday, our Irish ambassador decided to post something for Christmas on the embassy’s facebook page, along the lines of “had Jesus and Maria been living in Bethlehem today, as Jews they would have been lynched right away”… Very smart coming from an ambassador who’s supposed to upkeep our relationship with a not-so-Israel-friendly-Ireland. Not only did he manage to offend the Irish by using their symbols, he managed to make their Christmas about us and, the cherry on top- just igniting more hate and unjustified fear. Good job, diplomat!

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The first souvenirs shop was at the parking lot, where it was very dark. I used my external flash to bounce light off the ceiling and fill the frame with beautiful diffused light.

That’s it for politics, from now on- pretty pictures and stories.

My siblings and I joined a tour organized by IPCRI (anyone can join, by the way) to Bethlehem. The day started at (what they claim) is the most expensive parking lot in the world- 58$ for one hour of parking (!). We walked towards the main square and the Church of the Nativity, where it’s claimed the Jesus was born. On the way they had several stands and shops, but the most interesting one was this one in the photo below. Look at what they’re selling.

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Look at what they’re selling in their main stand… Chanukias for Chanukah! I do wonder who buys them cause we didn’t see many Jews walking around there…

At the entrance to the church, we encountered several groups. The ones that I liked most were a group of Eritreans from Israel (asylum seekers who took a day off from their miserable life) and a group of Indians who were wearing Santa hats. I found the situation hilarious and it seemed that the locals did as well. I became obsessed with taking a good photo of an Indian with a Santa hat and ended up liking this moment where the two locals are staring at the two pairs. I had to be far enough to get all of them in frame, opened up to f/8 in order to get them all sharp enough and used the leading lines (bricks, tiles, pillars and the locals’ eyes) to direct the viewer’s focus to the two pairs.

The Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity

Inside the church, as is often times the case in churches, I had to bump up my ISO to 3200 and slow down my shutter significantly to about 1/40, which required me to shoot wide to disguise camera shake and be very accurate while shooting moving people (in order to not make them look blurry). We were rushed through with the other groups (of course, I wanted to stay and shoot for several hours), but I managed to find a few nice spots that weren’t overcrowded with people. Shooting to the ceiling certainly helped…

The Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity

Once done at the church, we ma?e our way to the market. We passed the Christmas tree and the Nativity scene (gets a whole new meaning when it’s in Bethlehem, doesn’t it?…) and I had fun watching the people (locals and tourists) being all tourist-y and taking phone pictures of the whole thing.

Nativity scene and the Christmas tree in the main square

Nativity scene and the Christmas tree in the main square

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Markets are definitely my thing. When they asked us if we waned to walk through the jewelry stores or the actual market, I didn’t hesitate for a second- market it is! Markets are both hard and fun to shoot in- they’re colorful, loud, there’s a lot happening and lots of people. On the other hand, the light keeps changing (light and shade), they’re loud, there’s a lot happening and lots of people… Whenever there are frequent light changes, switch my camera from M (full manual mode) to Av (aperture priority). That way the camera takes care of exposure and I can concentrate on the surroundings. Markets are often times similar, so I try to find the things that make them unique: the people and the way they dress, the unique produce and moments.

I did my best to try and strike up conversations with people. Many of the shopkeepers (like anywhere else) try to call you to their shop or just start talking in hope that you’ll buy something. The most common dialogue was:

“Where are you from?”

“Israel?!”

“Welcome!!!”

The Bethlehem market

A shallow depth of field and using several layers in the frame (the main subject, the man in the front, the people in the back) give the picture depth and make it more interesting- they make the viewer’s eye wonder around for a bit before settling back on the child.

The Bethlehem market

Beautiful diffused light from a cloudy sky. No matter what’s in the frame, it’ll look nice. I did want to focus on the almonds but again- wanted to give it some more depth. I waited until a face showed up in the frame to place it in my background.

The Bethlehem market

Women in the market- I’ve seen/taken this picture dozens of time before. The concept isn’t unique at all, but the nice composition and the fact that it gives us a sense of place make it a picture worth taking.

The Bethlehem market

Sitting so perfectly in front of this amazing door, accidentally arranging his belongings to create a very balanced frame and having a friendly face- I had to take this picture.

the last part of the trip was about the barrier wall. What can I say? I don’t think it matters what your political views are- when you see this wall from the Palestinian side you can’t help wondering how Israel can even pretend that it’s trying to make peace…Regardless of the fact that its effectiveness is questionable (ask 10 Israelis and you’ll get 10 different answers- some would say it’s the only reason we have quite and others would say it’s a load of crap), the psychological effect is certainly unquestionable: it creates hate. No doubt. What else can you feel when you’re put in a walled ghetto against your will? When you’re house is surrounded by a 9-meter-high (27 ft.) wall from 3 sides (true story)? When your livelihood is taken away because someone decided to block the main highway with a wall? I’m not even saying if it’s right or wrong, just the mere facts. If you were walled off against your will you’d hate whoever did it. That’s all I’m saying.

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An Israeli outpost on the other side of the wall

The barrier wall

The barrier wall

Abed, a lighthearted musician from a neighboring village, joined us on the tour. After taking a bunch of grave photos of the wall, I wanted to shoot something else. Caught him as he was lighting a cigarette with this funny look on his face, a stark contrast to what’s behind him.

The wall is all covered up: graffiti, posters, art and hate speeches- they’re all there. A series of posters called the “Wall museum” tell stories of locals that relate to the life behind the wall.

I didn’t want to end on a sad note. So, in spite of the fact that I’m ending with another picture of the wall and a very sad poster title, it does carry a positive message. Most of the people in the frame are Israeli, listening to a Palestinian tour guide. I don’t think all of them completely changed their views after that day, but at least they were there. At least they know that the ambassador in Ireland is wrong. At least they have a better understanding of what it’s like to be a Palestinian. Don’t get me wrong- I’m not delusional and I’m fully aware that there are people in Bethlehem that would want to kill me for being Israeli. But they’re an extreme minority- we have those as well. The day they’ll stop determining our policy and diplomacy, we might actually be able to live here freely.

The barrier wall

Every places has its own prejudices and superstitions. If you don’t live in Israel, most chances are that you don’t know ours. One of them, which we’ve been brainwashed with for years and years, it that all Palestinians hate us. All of them are terrorists, all of them want to kill us. A lot of people believe that and currently, so does the government (or at least that’s how it acts). This is not a political post- I wasn’t even about to mention politics. However, yesterday, our Irish ambassador decided to post something for Christmas on the embassy’s facebook page, along the lines of “had Jesus and Maria been living in Bethlehem today, as Jews they would have been lynched right away”… Very smart coming from an ambassador who’s supposed to upkeep our relationship with a not-so-Israel-friendly-Ireland. Not only did he manage to offend the Irish by using their symbols, he managed to make their Christmas about us and, the cherry on top- just igniting more hate and unjustified fear. Good job, diplomat!

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Photographing Maine- a lesson in exposures

Levi in his highly-stylized, vintage-looking living room

I’ve always wanted to visit Maine. I’ve heard so much about its wild coastline, the foliage and lush forests, seen many (many…) pictures of the turning leaves and the beautiful coves and really wanted some pictures of my own. So, when I was hired for a job in Los Angeles I decided it was a great excuse to make a side trip and go visit in Maine. Levi, my former roommate from school, a close friend and an incredible creative, lives in Camden- a quiet little beach town that gets a lot of tourists in the high season. It wasn’t that busy when I visited in spite of the Camden International Film Festival that took place over the weekend.

The first picture I took of Levi was underexposed, but I really liked it. So I opened up the shadows and increased exposure in Lightroom, which brought on a lot of noise. I played up the noise and turned it into grain and made it B&W to suit the overall feel.

The day I got there Levi introduced me to town- lots of art and artists, nice vibe, pretty wooden houses and somehow it seemed that an invisible hand takes care of all the yards daily. The docks posed a few photo ops and some challenges: trying to measure exposure is difficult in the shade when white surfaces and deep shadows live side by side. I overexposed because I didn’t want to loose detail and while correcting in Lightroom, the typical cyan cast gave the pictures a look really liked.

Camden docks

Camden docks

Day two started with a hike to a great lookout over town. Dark trees, sun in the sky- HDR was the natural choice to shoot this one.

 

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Three wise men

Actually, I don’t really know these men. They were reading a newspaper in Tel Aviv’s old central bus station and I watched them from above. I was fond of the angle and the little story I made up in my mind: they meet every morning to read the paper, discuss (and successfully resolve) the world’s problems and then go on with their day…

Actually, I don’t really know these men. They were reading a newspaper in Tel Aviv’s old central bus station and I watched them from above. I was fond of the angle and the little story I made up in my mind: they meet every morning to read the paper, discuss (and successfully resolve) the world’s problems and then go on with their day…

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Same experience, two extremes

Last Thursday was an interesting day. It started in Jerusalem and ended in Tel Aviv, Israel’s two largest cities. They both make me feel like a tourist most of the time.

The day started with a random encounter of the Muchtar of the Assyrians in Israel (google it)- a tailor and a lovely person who was more than willing to talk and share. Then, a meeting with the vice chairman of the Waqf in Jerusalem (google it), also a lovely man who was keen on talking about the conflict and his eagerness for tranquility. Then, some Humus, some views, some more people- the usual for the holy city.

Tel Aviv had its “White Night” that same day- a bunch of events and performances that took place all around the city. Somehow (and only god knows how) they got Nouvelle Vague (youtube them) to play in front of a crowd of no more than a 1000 people in a little square in Tel Aviv. They were amazing (and I had no clue they’re all former models and such- good surprise!).

Last Thursday was an interesting day. It started in Jerusalem and ended in Tel Aviv, Israel’s two largest cities. They both make me feel like a tourist most of the time.

The day started with a random encounter of the Muchtar of the Assyrians in Israel (google it)- a tailor and a lovely person who was more than willing to talk and share. Then, a meeting with the vice chairman of the Waqf in Jerusalem (google it), also a lovely man who was keen on talking about the conflict and his eagerness for tranquility. Then, some Humus, some views, some more people- the usual for the holy city.

Tel Aviv had its “White Night” that same day- a bunch of events and performances that took place all around the city. Somehow (and only god knows how) they got Nouvelle Vague (youtube them) to play in front of a crowd of no more than a 1000 people in a little square in Tel Aviv. They were amazing (and I had no clue they’re all former models and such- good surprise!).

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Workers

I’ve shot in a few events lately, where my main focus was on the design and decoration. However, from time to time, there are moments that I just can’t let pass by me without capturing.

I’ve shot in a few events lately, where my main focus was on the design and decoration. However, from time to time, there are moments that I just can’t let pass by me without capturing.

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Gay Play

I went to a play today, which is already cool. However, this play was performed by people who belong to a gay community center. It was written by them and inspired by their lives, which were, for the most part, pretty harsh. One guy (who considers himself a girl- excuse me for not getting the terminology right) was kicked out of the house and lives on the streets, another lost his whole family once he came out. I can’t imagine what it’s like to expose yourself like this on stage, in front of complete strangers, but they all spoke of how helpful the process has been for them. Well, drama-therapy it is, then.

I went to a play today, which is already cool. However, this play was performed by people who belong to a gay community center. It was written by them and inspired by their lives, which were, for the most part, pretty harsh. One guy (who considers himself a girl- excuse me for not getting the terminology right) was kicked out of the house and lives on the streets, another lost his whole family once he came out. I can’t imagine what it’s like to expose yourself like this on stage, in front of complete strangers, but they all spoke of how helpful the process has been for them. Well, drama-therapy it is, then.

 

A good day with Sea Lions

Some days the universe just decides “today you’re going to have a great day.” Yesterday was one of them. Woke up to a dreary, windy morning and a day that was supposed to comprise mostly of sitting in front of the computer. In a swift turn of events, I found myself on a cruise boat going to San Jorge Island, a two hour sail from Puerto Peñasco. It’s nicknamed “Bird Island” because of the hundreds of birds that nest there, but it’s also home to a very large Sea lion colony (wikipedia says it’s the largest in Mexico!). As soon as we anchored and silenced the motors, the air was filled with the sea lions’ howling and barking, bird quacking and the the occasional wave. We got into kayaks and paddled around the colony. After a couple of minutes of paddling, every kayak had a group of young sea lions following it, playing in the water around it and puffing air every time it came up. They always remind me of Labrador puppies. They came almost within a hand’s reach and examined us, the funny creates with the long sticks in their hands, very closely. If we wondered a little too close to land, a bull would slide down to the water, explaining to us that this is his turf and we can hang out as long as we know our limits…

The Island is actually a small group of Islands

Stupid picture of me, but look- the sea lion are smiling at the camera!

Girls falling from the sky!!!

Yes, that’s why they have all those gorgeous Latinas– they just fall from the sky. Don’t believe me? Look:

They just all wait in this one location where girls fall and the rule is that whoever gets the girl’s left foot, gets to keep her…

So, it was Carnaval here as well. Not quite like Brazil’s, but still fun. Parade, floats, beauty queens and a little theme park with rides for the kids (that all the adults ended up using…). Enjoy the pictures!

Encounter with a scorpion

Went back to El Desemboque, the little village where I spend most of my time, and was preparing to make dinner. Right above me, in perfect stillness, was a small scorpion. It seemed friendly enough, but I didn’t feel very comfortable around it… The poor scorpion probably thought he would either be dead very soon or at least let loose, but little did he know that the guy who put him in the pot was a photographer…


 

I spoke to a hummingbird

It’s been a while since I’ve written- a crashed website and travels got the best of me.

In this current trip in Mexico I’ve already had a few interesting encounters, but they all pale in comparison to the one I had on Thursday. I went to visit El Pinacate, an immense National Park with cool sand dunes and petrified lava flow. The universe smiled at me and I happened to visit during the first blossoming period the park has seen in the last 5 years! But that’s not all: I started my day with a sunrise over the El Elegante crater, taking pictures and listening to the silence. The sun came up, gave me some great HDR photo-ops (sorry, non-photo-geeks, not going to explain that one…) and I was taking my time. On my way back to the car I stopped to read one of the informative signs (and if you really wanted I could now tell you what a maar crater is, but I doubt that you do) and all of a sudden heard a very loud SWOOSH sound right next to my ear. It was like an enormous fly just went by. I look to the side and it’s a hummingbird. In the middle of the Sonoran desert, a little hummingbird was a foot away, staring back at me. It hovered in its place and tilted its head sideways, like dogs do when they’re curious.

“Hey,” it said, “what are you? I don’t I’ve seen something like you before.”

“I’m just a human, hummingbird,” I replied.

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

It caught by surprise right there. “Well, it depends… There are…”

“Sorry! Got to run. I’m hungry and it’s going to get hot soon. Catcha’ later!”

It flew away, leaving me grateful for that 2 second talk we had and with a vivid mental image of staring at each other’s eyes, animal to animal, equally curious.

And now: pictures!

 

 


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All good things


Just wanted to share some joy with the world because this past month has been pretty exciting in many ways.

First and foremost– I’m almost done with school. I’m on my last session and back in Israel, interning with an amazing photographer (want to get inspired? Check him out: zivkoren.com. Phenomenal work).

Second, before I left I had the privilege of having my work displayed in three different galleries in the school, all opportunities I’m very grateful for and that wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for Jesse Groves, Brooks’ gallery curator. The image to the right shows the lonesome child from Rwanda and the one below shows two nature images that I really like.

 

 

 

 

Shortly before I left, I was fortunate enough to have my own gallery featuring my Rwanda project.

 

 

 

 

Lastly, some good news I got this week: an Israeli travel magazine published my Rwanda story. I even got the cover!

 
 

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Playing with 1000 year-old technology

I’m taking a photo history class and luckily they made us do a little experiment at home: turn a room into a camera obscura. The projection that you see is the outside projected into the room through a little hole in the wall. Science is cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris was sitting still on the fence outside!

 

 

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The Newseum

One of DC’s newer museums, the Newseum offers some insights into the world of journalism (and photojournalism). They currently have an exhibit about the Pulitzer prize, with many (or all?) of the previous winning pictures featured on the walls. Pretty amazing to see all these world-changing images in one place. The best surprise I had was to find one of my teacher’s work on the walls: Rick Rickman won the prize with two more phtogs from the Orange County Register in 1984. I just had a class with him a couple of months ago!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DC: week II

First week in DC over successfully, second week starting. In spite of the fact I still have a million things I need to do, I’m almost in tourist mode (which means I can just wonder around a take pictures). Got to just hang out with a couple of people I met while they were fishing and heard more about fishing than I’ve heard my entire life. Here are a few new pics from this week, while walking the city to my heart’s content:

 

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In DC

Trying to keep it short…Arrived in DC yesterday morning and my excitement of being a tourist for a little bit was surpassed by the realization that I have to wait in the airport for three hours until the buses start running.

After getting unpacked and settled in the house I’m staying in, I went out to get acquainted with downtown a bit. My (very distant) cousin Anat showed me around and pointed out the cool places I’ll have to visit. Being a tourist rocks– just taking pictures cause it’s fun and the place is new and because I like taking pictures. I was the most excited about the metro– I love the fast trains, the waiting people, the loud annoying people, the pretty lady you’ll never see again… Just like it. You can have a look at some pictures from the last two days here:

http://heardthebuffalo.com/udigoren/dc_take_i/

Had to pass by the Nat Geo building to make sure I know where I need to go on the first day of the internship. I’ve seen the building several times in movies and on TV, so I got a little excited and decided to take a stupid touristy picture in front of it. I never do it, but I figured this time I’m allowed.

So, this is it: tomorrow is the first day of my internship with “Dangerous Encounters” on the National Geographic channel. Two and a half years ago I came to study in the U.S. for the mere chance itmight get me closer to NG and tomorrow I’m going to walk into the building. Happy days…

Emily

Fiesta 2009

Emily

Once a year, Santa Barbara pretends it still belongs to Mexico and celebrates its mexican heritage (which today is mostly mexican food, mexican labor and mexican gangs). During Fiesta, the city puts on a mini carnival and people from all over Southern California come there to get drunk and happy.

A year and a half ago, when I was still living there, Tuca and Emily came to visit and drink. That was when I discovered I take much better pictures when I’m tipsy (although they tend to come out blurry).

 

 

 

Random girl

Tuca and Emily

It wasn't a truly good night unless someone gets arrested

Emily and the girls

Tuca and the beautiful light