For the last year and a half, we drove by an open field peppered with what looked like sculptures, saying sometime we should go see what it there. Last Saturday, the first sunny winter day in a while, the three of us ( the dog was more than happy to join us) finally did it. I did not expect much, and maybe because of this the combination of the huge sculptures made of natural materials combined with the mid-day light filtered by the clouds took me by surprise. The world seemed ready for me to just click the shutter. And I did.
black and white photography
I have a problem photographing strangers. I feel uncomfortable asking permission (I would not like strangers to photograph me …), and “stealing” an image without permission is a no-no. Treating others as ‘strange beings’ photographed like animals for a National Geographic features - also makes me cringe. So usually, when photographing on a trip, I stick to places and things. And yet, sometimes ….
September 2018, Greece. The mountainous part, small to tiny villages, some of them untouched by tourists yet. We are a small group travelling together for 10 days, sampling the tastes of rural Greece. It’s afternoon, we are on our way to the hotel, stopping for a short break at Kastoria, a village on the lake shore. We spend some time in an old house turned museum. Just next to the entrance, an older lady is knitting. She is just beautiful. Timeless. Untouched by the 5G antennas that no one knows how will they impact us, from the Supreme Court nominees. From the everyday noises that fill our lives. Every hour does seem to have 60 full minutes here, and she seems to make the best of each one of them. I want to take a picture of her, but there are 20 people with cameras around me, I am not going to turn her into a zoo animal. So I give up, and go into the house. When we come out of the museum, the knitting lady is not by herself, two other people joined her. They make such a beautiful picture. Temptation mounts. Our group starts walking down the alley. I stay behind. In a wordless pantomime, I ask them if I can take their picture. The woman nods, seems surprised by my question. I click the shutter then smile bowing my head, thanking them. “You don’t take a photograph. You ask quietly to borrow it.” So true.
The very first image I created in the darkroom was a photogram (image created by placing objects directly on photographic paper - no camera involved). This was the winter semester at SMC (Santa Monica College) in 2016, and we spent the mornings, 3-4 days a week in the darkroom. I remember thinking I could play with photograms forever, but of course after one week we moved on and there was never time to go back and play. The second semester, in the advanced darkroom class I saw my first Lith print and it was love at first sight. The silent waiting for the image to emerge, watching the developer tray for 5, 10 minutes, sometimes more, not really knowing what will appear. The closest thing to magic I ever experienced.
When we returned to Israel, we improvised a home darkroom (my pedantic French professor from Photo 1 would kill me if he saw it ...). Part in the studio, part in the bathroom, moving between the rooms with prints in a light proof bag....unconventional - but it works. There was nothing preventing me from playing with photograms now ....but I didn't. Waiting for "interesting" ideas meant I was doing nothing. A few months ago I placed a few weeds collected on the morning walk in a set of 5 small glass bottle, and I remember thinking this may be nice to photograph. Yesterday, after finishing the initial Lith print tests of two new images, I grabbed the bottles and placed them under the enlarger. Why not try? And here it is, at long last, a Lith photogram. Unforced, unrestrained, unpredictable, unique. Reality as real as it gets, yet unrecognizable despite the fact we look at it daily. "The only journey is the one within" said Rilke long time ago, could this be the start of a new one for me?
3 days in the forest with the camera. I don't this I will ever get tired of photographing the woods. Thickets of trees, that allow only few rays of sun to penetrate, or trees that break your heart with their naked, desolate posture.
And if the gods of the forest smile at us, magical encounters might happen.
Dancing as a dialogue.
Between black and white. Between body and mind. Between the dancer and the costume. Between the dancer and its reflection. Most of all, an opportunity to let the body speak. Without words.
Not a portfolio, not an occasional image. Rather, a short story. The story of one dancer who at the age of 17, a shy girl who disliked her body (and how many girls at this age love their looks?) met a dance teacher. A belly dancing teacher who changed her world.
Now, years later, she is teaching women of all ages to free their bodies, love them, love themselves.
Short stories. I like the idea of 'writing' short visual stories. Let's see where this will lead ...
What is left, what shall we leave behind. A subject that comes more and more to the forefront of my thoughts. No idea what I want to do with it. For now, just aware it's there and it is important.
On impulse, when I heard of someone who scans photographs at a good quality, I had a bunch of old family photos scanned. My grandmother, the one I shared a room with until I was 10 years old, suddenly comes to life. Here she is with her younger sister, Fanny, which I have a very faint memory of. She did not live in the same city. I remember her coming to visit once. I remember a table full of small presents for me. She never married, I was probably her granddaughter as well.
Another photo of my grandmother, Liza, here as a young woman. I wish I knew her then. Talk to her and know her as a person. Not just as the comforting, stable presence in my life I knew as a child.
There is this famous question, ' if you could meet anyone, who would you want to meet'. Well, for the first time, I know the answer. I wish I could meet my grandmother when she goes out of the photographer studio that day. Sit with her in a cafe, ask her who is she, where is she going, how is her life. Introduce myself, as her only future granddaughter who would love her so much.
The power of photography. To let me know those parts of me I never knew existed. To ask questions. To know answers
It's March 19th, 2 days after election. Frustrating election day, there is a high price to pay for democracy sometimes. But life continues, the sun keeps shining, the dog needs its walk and ....the strawberry fields are ready for picking.
More than their color, its the field geometry that caught my eyes. This picture could have been photographed 20 years ago, maybe even 150 years ago. Still here today, March 2015.
Strawberry fields forever as the famous song goes.
After 3 weeks of courtship, the pier and I start to know each other.
I watched the sunset lighting the sea while sitting under it. I know how confident the birds are, perching on the pier benches, watching me as I watch them.
I start understanding the relationship between the waves and the pillars. Trying to look at them from a small bird's point of view.
Really looked at the pillars, saw the inclination angle carefully calculated to bear the weight of the structure. From certain angles, the columns looked like a multi-legged elephant walking into the sea.
I saw the reflections in the wet sand and sparkling water.
I'm yet to feel the fishermen's joy when catching a fish. Understand their patience while waiting.
To see the pier really early in the morning, on a foggy and rainy day.
I need to take a closer look at the sea shell colonies on the foot of each pillar.
The best is yet to come.