Category Archives: photographers
In Harms Way – War Photographers Zoriah and Alissa:
visa celebrated its 20th anniversary. dorit and i our 22nd. it was great to get away from everything, take it easy, see beautiful places and enjoy good food!
this was our second visit to barcelona, first time on our own without the children, and the city was different. we had a chance to visit sites that weren’t defined as “attractions”. it wasn’t a race from one “extraordinary” place to another. it was a stroll in the city, allowing the atmosphere to sink in, the people to register in our conciousness, and a chance for us to enjoy all barcelona has to offer.
sangria, barcelona, september 2008
barcelona, september 2008
the next morning we picked up a rented car and started out north along the costa brava. the weather was beautiful and landscapes fantastic. we stopped at roses for lunch and instead of choosing a restaurant on the tourist packed waterfront, we walked into the inner streets through narrow alleys, looking for a place where the “native catalans” eat.
native catalan, roses, september 2008
and we found it!
calamari deep fried with lemon – no bullshit, roses, september 2008
crossing into france we were stopped by french police at what looked like an improvised checkpoint. a short “good morning” in english rewarded us with “you can go!”
isn’t it great when you can’t speak the local language and the locals don’t want to make the effort to speak yours?!
france/spain border crossing, costa brava, september 2008
we made a few more stops along the way and finally arrived to our hotel in perpignan.
perpignan is an interesting city! it’s much larger than i thought but we constrained our wandering to the old city where visa pour l’image was taking place. narrow streets and alleys, colorful buildings, and intersting people in what our hotel owner called the gypsy quarter.
gypsy quarter, perpignan, september 2008
the 2nd week of visa is quiet. very quiet! no crowds at exhibitions. almost no restaurants open after 19:00. perpignan in the evening is a ghost town. we mentioned this to our hotel owner. he said the french worked hard all day, were very tired, and went to bed early. i’m not surprised they get so tired speaking french all day!
visa exhibitions were very interesting! most of them located in old buildings in perpignan, cracked walls, pealing paint, arched halls – what an atmosphere!
ziv koren – canon ambassador, perpignan, september 2008
i was not previously familiar with the work of paula bronstein but found her project of modern day afghanistan (2001-2008), displayed at couvent sainte claire, amazing! not only is it an excellent job of photojournalism, telling a story, but each photo on its own is worthy of artistic merit. graphically captivating images, even if you don’t read the captions and you’re not too sure what it is you are viewing. much like the style of brent stirton in this regard – almost as though she directs her photos and journalism.
afghanistan – a fragile peace, perpignan, september 2008
and on the other hand, axelle de russe‘s “china – the return of the concubine”, displayed in castillet. the photos are good but not breathtaking – not because de russe didn’t do a good job, but because the subject matter has its limitations. but her photojournalism is facsinating! viewing the photos and reading the captions i found myself captivated by very interesting journalism – a strong story very well told!
the roots of heaven – michael nichols, perpignan, september 2008
pierre gonnord‘s “the portrait test” at eglise des dominicains has a striking presence! a small number of huge portraits of extraordinary quality and character portraying the gypsy community of perpignan. i find it difficult to connect gonnord’s work to journalism but enjoyed viewing the photos non the less.
the portrait test – pierre gonnord, perpignan, september 2008
for a day out we drove to collioure. what a beautiful mediterranean town! and it was market day!
spices in collioure, september 2008
baskets in collioure, september 2008
the bay, collioure, september 2008
monochromatic church, collioure, september 2008
collioure, september 2008
abbaye de fontfroide, narbonne france, september 2008
abbaye de fontfroide, narbonne france, september 2008
abbaye de fontfroide, narbonne france, september 2008
bottom line – an educational photographic experience, a fantastic vacation and lovely time spent with my friend and partner in life!
i got his book this week – Israel 60 marks israel’s 60th year of independence with the work of contemporary israeli photographers and their perception of our wonderful country. i had the privilege of taking part with “malki’s legacy”.
the martef theatre in faust, by writer johann wolfgang von goethe, july 2008
performing in a wine cellar at a hostel for young women in distress, the martef theatre was established in 2006 as a social/business venture by the girls at bet hatzabarit shelter. a school for drama was established in the wine cellar of an old templer pub.
the actors are borderline youth. the goals of the school are two; use of drama for self-empowerment of its actors and the creation of quality theater based on the highest artistic and professional standards. professional teachers are employed. student/actors must pass auditions to be accepted and undergo training in drama, voice development, physical abilities and more.
dorit & i will be visiting visa pour l’image for it’s second week in september, casually driving into perpignan from barcelona.
casually – because we have plenty of time for fun, adventure and photography.
so, if anyone wants to make suggestions for ‘must see’ locations along the route, best places to eat, beautiful secluded beaches for a refreshing dip, you’re more than welcome to post your suggestions! actually, i’d be very thankful!
i will also be happy to talk about any photographic needs you may have in and around barcelona, costa brava, perpignan and roussillon.
sharbat gula – do you know her?
sharbat gula is the beautiful green-eyed afghan girl who brought steve mccurry a lot of well-deserved recognition. he definitely got me as a fan!
mccurry recently lectured at the lumix festival for young photojournalists in hannover. and since i am a young photojournalist i found the lecture quite interesting. it was delivered with a slideshow of images and i found it captivating to see some of mccurry’s less recognised work and also a few images that i had seen previously but didn’t know were his. the lecture is pretty long. it starts about 20 minutes from the beginning of the video and i have concluded that i respect mccurry more for his photography than his speaking capabilities. but it’s an interesting watch. and he’s a nice guy – he used the sony 828 at about the same period i did so he gets a few points there. but he then moved on to nikon for which he looses a few
anyway, you can watch the lecture here:
in a great rush to have a multimedia presentation ready for keren malki’s benefit evening on the 15th, preparations are under way to do this in the most professional manner possible.
i look forward to viewing the finished product!
gravity post production studios, tel-aviv
was watching this:
like in most other aspects of israeli life, politics, ego and fund raising have crept up the the taut cables of the santiago calatrava suspension bridge. why? because like in most other aspects of israeli life, someone set aside a budget for building the bridge but no one imagined it would also need maintaining! things happen here, and change, so quickly that long term planning is as mysterious as the kabala.
jerusalem mayor lupolianski woke up one night in the midst of a nightmare – “where am I going to get the money to pay salaries for the people i will have to hire to polish the cables?” very surprisingly it turns out that the cables, the whole bridge as a matter of fact, will need maintenance. unbelievable! what?! 30 million shekels?! “ah! no problem” thought lupolianski. “i’ll do what we always do – find a zionist millionaire sucker to donate the money and we’ll name the bridge after him!”
and he was right. no problem! john gandel, rated number 5 millionaire in australia and new zealand agreed to put up $10 million to have his name remembered to eternity (or until the next scheduled bridge maintenance and fund raising campaign).
what did calatrava have to say about this you ask. “over my dead body! If MY bridge is named after gandel i won’t sign it and i’ll stir up such an international stink that even the americans won’t want to sell you the f35s to to fight syria who pm olmert is now secretly negotiating peace with to deliver the golan heights for establishing an iranian stronghold closer to your border so they won’t need to invest in long distance missiles to deliver their nuclear warheads so that pm olmert’s next police interrogation will have to be delayed until the nuclear fallout disperses and until sharon’s son is released from prison and finally sharon himself may wake from the coma and come up with a solution for maintaining my beautiful work of art”.
gandel heard about the f35s, iranian nuclear warheads and of sharon, he politely excused himself saying the bridge mast was too high and too steep for him to climb safely. he ran back to his private jet and flew back to the safety of oz.
so now we need another donor. this offer is open to all of my readers! either you put up the money or lupolianski is going to charge me! and it’s not like i don’t want to help. i just don’t feel comfortable having my name engraved on a plaque by the bridge. i prefer it displayed on an iconic photo on a newsweek cover or something like that. you think if i offered newsweek the 30 million shekels they’d agree?
i have no knowledge and no interest in politics and this is not a political statement. i am just amazed with the irony. israel is the most crazy place on earth. and the most wonderful! we have hi-tech, satellites, modern agriculture, scientists, artists, a claim on ownership of biblical history, universities, a democracy … you’d think someone would have thought the calatrava bridge cables would occasionally need bolt tightening, stretching and maybe even polishing!
photos to follow – i just had to get this off my chest
after three days in the north and in the judean desert, we hit jerusalem…
a stained glass window and door in the hall considered to be the location of the last supper of jesus and his disciples, now a muslim mosque. january 2008 on mount zion in jerusalem
the church of the latin patriarchate in jerusalem, january 2008
the dormition abbey, a massive structure that rises on mount zion, just outside the zion gate. this benedictine basilica was built over the site where virgin mary is said to have fallen asleep for the last time. it was completed by kaiser wilhelm II at the beginning of 20th century based on plans by heinrich renard. shot january 2008.
priest with burning torch, the church of the holy sepulchre, jerusalem, january 2008
worship, the church of the holy sepulchre, jerusalem, january 2008
eathiopean nun, jerusalem, january 2008
jews and mosques, jerusalem, january 2008
backgammon, jerusalem, january 2008
bedouin children parting from johno, judean desert, january 2008
good-bye johno! i hope to see you again soon my friend!
i am proud to be able to call you that – my friend! you are an intelligent, knowledgable, sensitive, and fun to be with photographer and i greatly enjoyed each of these traits! thank you for your perspective and insights on life, family, history, faith, photography and for your companionship throughout the week!
and what a week it was!
here’s a short summary of the 1st part (more to come in a few days):
touchdown, tel-aviv int’l airport
Megiddo lies southeast of Haifa and at the western end of the Valley of Jezreel. Throughout history it served as a vital strategic site along the road from Egypt to Syria and Mesopotamia and was the scene of many biblical battles. In the New Testament Book of Revelation it is marked as the site of the last great battle of the world – Armageddon. Archeological excavations have revealed the remains of twenty distinct periods from 4000 BCE to 400 BCE.
The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. Traditionally the site of Annunciation of the birth of Jesus. Turned into a place of worship on the 1st and 2nd centuries. Early sources refer to the location as the House of Virgin Mary. This claim is supported by numerous inscriptions on the walls mentionaing Mary, that were left by pilgrims and visitors in early christianity. In the year 427 AD the first Byzantine church was built on site. A Crusade church was built on the ruins of the Byzantine church in the 12th century. The current Basilica was built on the ruins of four earlier churches and was consecrated in 1969.
Synagogue Church, a 12 C AD Crusader Church. Traditionally, the church was built above the original location of the Roman period Synagogue where Jesus first learned, prayed and later preached as a young man.
Monastery of Franciscan Friars on Mount Tabor, Israel.
YMCA Peniel in Tiberias Israel. The building, also known as the Harte Villa, was built for Dr. Archibald Harte, General Secretary of the Jerusalem YMCA in the 1920′s. After Harte’s death it became one of YMCA’s guest houses. Photo displays antiquities and furniture in Middle eastern style.
The Mount of Beatitudes refers to a hill on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret (Ginosar). in northern Israel where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. The present site is also known as Mount Eremos. A Byzantine church was erected near the current site in the 4th century, and it was used until the 7th century. Remains of a cistern and a monastery are still visible. The current Roman Catholic Franciscan chapel was built in 1938. Pope John Paul II celebrated a Mass at this site in March 2000.
Domus Galilaeae, near Korazim, situated above the Sanctuary of Beatitudes, toward the top of the mountain known as the Beatitudes, directly in front of Lake Tiberias, the Sea of Galilee. It serves as an international center for Seminarians to complete their formation before being ordained, for studies and retreat. Construction began in January 1999, with the laying of the first stone, which contained a fragment of the tomb of St. Peter, blessed by the Holy Father. Pope John Paul II visited on March 24 2000.
Capernaum, Kefar Nachum, which was a settlement on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The site is a ruin today, but was inhabited from 150 BC to about AD 750. The town is mentioned in the New Testament: in the Gospel of Luke it was reported to have been the home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew. In Matthew 4:13 the town was reported to have been the home of Jesus himself. According to Luke 4:31-44, Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum on the sabbath days. In Capernaum also, Jesus allegedly healed a man who had the spirit of an unclean devil and healed a fever in Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. According to Matthew 8:5-13, it is also the place where a Roman Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant. A building which may have been a synagogue of that period has been found beneath the remains of a later synagogue.
The Greek Orthodox Church at Capernaum, Kefar Nachum
$4 for a bottle of Jordan River water at Yardenit baptism site near Tiberias. This site is believed by some traditions to be the actual site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3: 13 : “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John”).
Qaser El Yahud, near the Jordan River. Traditionally the site of crossing of the Israelites into Canaan and the site of baptism of Jesus by John. Many churches and abbeys were built to accommodate Christian pilgrims. The site is usually closed off to visitors due to its proximity to the Jordanian border.
An abandoned Franciscan chapel at Qaser El Yahud
Qumran National Park in the Judean Desert. It was at this location that in 1947 Beduin shepards discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls preserved in a cave. The scrolls give evidence of a Jewish sect that lived here seeking spiritual purity.
A glimpse of the Dead Sea through a window hole at Masada National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Judean Desert. A complex of palaces and fortifications built y Herod the Great overlooking the Dead Sea was the location of mass suicide by Jewish fugitives of the Roman Empire.
Neve Zohar hotels reflecting in the Dead Sea
Self portrait at Metzokei Dragot
part 2 in a few days.
oh, and i’m sure johnathan will have a lot to say and show.
tomorrow i am meeting a friend. a friend i have never met before, face to face, but with whom i have shared a friendship dear to my heart for quite a few years now. a friend who has made me think, made me smile, made me look and made me listen. a friend who is traveling a road of the spirit (and also flying over 1400 nautical miles to accomplish it!)
am i excited? yes! very much so! among the many intimate thoughts we have shared over the years we hoped we could one day ‘walk the road together’. that day has come.
what has any of this to do with photography? well, my friend and i share a passion for photography. we ‘met’ on a photography forum. we’re going to ‘walk the road together’ and shoot some photos along the way.
photography has brought me so much satisfaction … even in ways i hadn’t imagined…
shoot you at the airport, friend.
i had a wonderful day yesterday. dorit & i took the day off and we headed down to tel-aviv.
first stop was the 2007 world press photo exhibition;
portrait of clint eastwood by damon winter (b&w on right)
once again about 80% of photos displayed portrayed conflict, war, pain and suffering and although i consider myself emotionally ‘strong’ and have seen a lot in life including situations similar to those portrayed in the exhibition, walking around the hall with huge prints of the world’s worst really caused my stomach to turn. my wife gave up mid-way and promised to send me next year on my own. pain.
israel’s local annual press competition, “edut mekomit”, displayed alongside wpp, was somewhat disappointing this year. all except a big print of oded balilty’s pulitzer prize winner.
dorit & i found consolation at the “eretz museum” at an extraordinary exhibition of photography by maxim solomon (1922-1999). shots of life in israel between 1947-1957, israel’s first years of independence.
beautiful images that serve as a historical document by one of israel’s first independent photojournalists who dared to shoot ‘outside the concensius’ and did reportage assignments for ‘bamachane’ and ‘haolam haze’ in true journalism spirit, as opposed to government biased propaganda.
for desert we enjoyed lunch at the hertzeliya marina but i was too hungry to photograph the dishes before i swallowed
i’ve been approached by a alexis lam, a photographer i know, who is currently in lima, peru. alexis is working with jewish youth in lima to strengthen their ties to israel, to boost their sense of zionism. he is putting together a photo album with images by israeli photographers depicting each of their perspectives of contemporary israel. the book will be a gift to every jewish household in lima. alexis wanted me to join the project with photos from “in spite of!“
1st of all i want to say that i think alexis is doing some wonderful and very important work and i am honored to take part! thank you alexis for your offer!
but i had some convincing to do. deep down it was obvious to me that for a project having to do with modern-day israel, having to do with zionism, with the promise of a homeland for the jewish people in the land of israel, the more appropriate project was “malki’s legacy“. why? that took some thinking and careful wording to convince alexis.
the malki foundation was born of an atrocious act of murder and of the unimaginable personal tragedy of the roth’s. their loss of malki is not something with which to encourage lima’s jewish youth to feel for israel. what is important here, what in my mind signifies pure and generous zionism, are the roth’s wonderful activities in helping the children and families of israel, in a way that is consistent with the legacy left by malki – a story of hate inflicted death nurturing love and giving, nurturing life.
in this regard i had another insight today. what is it about photojournalism in israel that attracts me so much? doing a photo documentary project about israeli society, with all its conflicts and contradictions, the special and the beautiful, is the highlight of my photographic aspirations. it’s a journey of research and discovery into the souls of israelies. it creates an intimacy unknown to outsiders. and there is no better example of the conflicts and contradictions, the special and the beautiful in israeli souls, than malki’s legacy.
malki roth, 1985-2001
after months of planning, discussions and preperations yesterday i began shooting malki’s legacy. it was a very rewarding experience and i look forward to future photo sessions. i invite you to monitor this project and let me know if you want email notifications of project updates.
M at physiotherapy, november 2007
The great Irish joiant, Fann Mac Cuil, lived to be a middle-aged man, without ever meeting his match, and so he was as proud as a paycock. He had a great fort in the Bog of Allen, and there himself and his warriors would be playing soord’ and pot-lid, or shootin’ bowarras, or pitchin’ big stones twenty or thirty miles off, to make a quay for the harbour of Dublin. One day he was quite down in the mouth, for his men were scattered here and there, and he had no one to wrestle or hurl, or go hunt along with him. So he was walking about very lonesome, when he sees a foot-messenger he had, coming hot-foot across the bog. “What’s in the win’ (wind)?” says he. “It’s the great Scotch giant, Far Rua, that’s in it,” says the other. “He’s coming over the big stepping stones that lead from Ireland to Scotland, and you will have him here in less than no time. He heard of the great Fann Mac Cuil, and he wants to see which is the best man.” “Oh, ho!”says Fann, “I hear that the Far Rua is three foot taller nor me, and I’m three foot taller nor the tallest man in Ireland. I must speak to Grainne about it.”
Well, it wasn’t long till the terrible Scotch fellow was getting along the stony road that led across the bog, with a sword as big as three scythe blades, and a spear the lenth of the house. “Is the great Irish giant at home?” says he. “He is not,” says Fann’s messenger “he is huntin’ stags at Killarney; but the vanithee is within, and will be glad to see you, Follow me if you please.” In the hall they see a long deal (fir) tree, with an iron head on it, and a round block of wood, with an iron rim, as big as four cart wheels. “Them is the shield and spear of Fann,” says the messenger. “Ubbabow! says the giant to himself.
“You’re welcome, Far Rua,” says Grainne, as mild as the moon. “Sit down, and take such fare as God sends.” So she put before him a great big griddle cake, with the griddle itself inside, that had a round piece cut out at one part of the rim; and for a beefsteak, she gave him a piece of a red deal plank, with a skrimshin of hard meat outside.’ The first bite the giant give at the cake, he broke three of his teeth; and when he tried the beef the other ones stuck so fast in the deal, he could not draw them out. “By me soord, ma’am,” says he, “this is hard diet you give your company.” “Oh, Lord love you!” says she, “the children here think nothing of it. Let us see if the infant would object.” So she takes the cake over where Fann was lying in the cradle, and offers him the part where the piece was taken out of the griddle. Well, he bit off the bread with the greatest ease, chawed it, and swallyed it, and smacked his lips after it, and then he winked one eye at Far Rua. “Be the laws!” says the Scotchman to himself, “these is wonderful people.”
Well, they didn’t stent him in the drink any way. The jug of beer they laid before him would hold four gallons, and he emptied it out of spite at one offer, as he didn’t get fair play at the bread and mate. “I think,” says he, after his drink, “I’d like to see how Fann and his men amuses themselves after dinner.” “You must see that,” says the messenger. “Step out into the bawn, if it is agreeable to you.” Well, when they wor outside, the messenger pointed to four or five stones, the size and shape of a gate post. “Them is their finger stones, that they do be casting to see who’ll throw them, farthest. It is a good throw when one of them reaches Dublin. But Fann does mooroon (more than enough) sometimes; and you’ll see some of them sticking up out o’ the say where they light after a great fling. Maybe you’d like to try your hand.” He did try his hand, and after winding it round and round his head he let fly, and it went half a mile whistling, through the air, and broke in a hundred smithereens on a big stone in the bog. “You’ll do well,” says the boy, when you come to your full’ growth, and get a year’s practice or so with Fann.” “To the d—-I pitch Fann and his finger stones!” says the big Red Man to himself.
“Well, is there any other way they divart themselves?” says the stranger. “Oh, yes,’ says the boy.’ “Fann and his men does be throwing that handball (the ball was a round stone that ‘ud fill this’ hearth up to the mantel beam) from the bawn here, over the house, and running round and catching it before it “comes to the ground. Every miss counts one lost,” .’ “Wonderful quare people is the Irish,” said the big man. “Maybe if it wouldn’t go over with me at the first offer, it might break down the roof, and that ‘ud annoy the vanithee. I’ll pitch it up in the air here, and you can mark.” So he gave a heave. “How high is it gone?” “Up to the window sill.” “Now?” “Up to the eaves.” “Dickens take it! Now where is it!” “Oh, sir, it is on your head.” And indeed so it was, and levelled him also, and only he had a reasonable hard noggin of his own, it would be cracked in two with the souse the big stone gave it again’ the ground.
He got up, and rubbed his poor skull, and looked very cross. “I suppose Fann won’t be home to-night.” “Sir, he’s not expected for a week.” “Well, give the vanithee my compliments, and tell her I must go back without bidding her good bye, for fear the tide would overtake me crossing the Causeway.”
The Giant’s Causeway, of which there are now visible only some slices at the two extremities. Those trustworthy chroniclers, the ancient bards, affirm that it is the work of the ancient Irish and Scotch men of might, laid down to facilitate their mutual visits.
on july 22nd i wrote about a letter i received by email in which arnold roth rebukes n.y. time’s decision to illustrate the article ‘hot house’ on palestinian prisoners in israeli jails with a glamor style photo of a smiling ahlam tamimi. i don’t usually delve into mass addressed emails but for some reason this one caught my attention. i surfed into the malki foundation internet site and became engrossed and captivated for over a week. thoughts about malki and the foundation haven’t left me since and it seems they have become a part of my life for the foreseeable future.
i had the honor of meeting frimet (mother), arnold (father) and haya (sister) roth in their jerusalem apartment a few weeks ago and i was deeply affected. haya, age 14, malki’s little sister is extremely disabled. over the years the roths have been conducting a brave struggle to love and care for haya in their home. apparently, all government institutions find it cheaper for children in such situations to be committed to institutions. families that do not comply with this policy often find themselves caring for their child on their own, with very little governmental support, if any.
malki had a very special relationship with haya. a relationship that enabled malki to share frimet’s burden of caring for haya at home - neither the relationship nor the burden obvious or to be taken for granted. over the years malki developed an acute awareness for the suffering of others and devoted herself to voluntary care for handicapped and sick children. she was a very special young woman who left behind an undeniable legacy.
since malki’s tragic death on august 9th, 2001 the roths have climbed out of deep grief, combining their private struggle for the care of haya with strength drawn from malki’s legacy and directing these forces for the benefit of families with children suffering from neurological disorders, severe illness and developmental problems. the malki foundation, established in 2001, serves as a living memory to a young woman who dedicated herself to the care of others less fortunate than herself.
yesterday i met with liat behr, executive director of the malki foundation. after careful consideration i have gained approval for a documentary photography project;
malki’s legacy – the story of hate inflicted death nurturing love and giving, nurturing life.
i intend to document the evolution of the project here on my blog in a separate page, all its own, as deserved. the page can be found here: http://niralon.wordpress.com/malkis-legacy/ . i’m not sure how wordpress will handle update notifications of a single post. so, if you’re interested in following the project either enter the page address in your rss reader or send me an email request for manual notifications of updates.