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Thread: 6X12 in Jerusalem

  1. #101
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Beni, the images just keep filling me with awe and respect. I literally cannot wait for the show here in Davis, CA in 2012, it will be a real milestone here. We have already started the PR process. I think it will be a huge success. Joe

  2. #102
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Joe, can't wait!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  3. #103
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Herodian, an artificial hillock built some 2200 years ago as the site for Herod's palace about 8 miles outside of Jerusalem and near Hebron. Just underneath the hill is a tiny cheese making community where this picture was taken. I didn't realise it until afterwards when I saw it on the screen but subconsciously I had produced an image inspired by a tiny painting my father in law has on his dining room wall. I had noticed it some 7 years ago and although it's cheap mass produced junk with little artistic value, many of the compositional lines are the same as in this image.


    I'm not sure whether to add it to my Jerusalem collection on my website (Hey Herod thought it was close enough to the capital ), it's less urban than my previous work in this project though I think it would qualify for the term 'timeless' which is my yardstick. Thoughts?

    BTW here is the colour version, it's good, very good, perhaps I'm just a B&W snob...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com
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  4. #104
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    This is a new chapter for me of my 'Dream Project', shooting very shallow DOF landscapes. I have two versions of the first picture in this series, the first shot with a simple and cheap 50mm @ f1.4 and the second shot with about 50 frames stitched using a 150mm lens @ f3.5, not sure whether the incredible tonality of the 2nd outweighs the convenience of the first for regular print sizes.

    Single shot, 50mm @ f1.4



    Stitched shot, 150mm @ f3.5



    To be honest I think I prefer the first. Opinions?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com
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  5. #105
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Ben, it is difficult to tell the total impact of the tonality with such small images. The first seems to have a bit more contrast in the leaves.

    The first one isn't as shallow as the DOF on the second one if that is your goal, but the compositional balance of the first feels better to my eye with the top left corner containing more image.

    Marc

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Try the zoomify versions Marc, easier to get an idea when you can zoom right in on the image. The DOF of the second is equivelent to f1.2 rather than the f1.4 of the first but using a longer lens results (IMO) is a more sudden focus fall off in general. The composition difference was due to me screwing up the stitch .

    I'm not actually trying to compare the final images, as you say due to the composition the first is a stronger image. I'm just wondering whether the 'look' of the tonality and focus fall off in the 2nd is worth the bother.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Try the zoomify versions Marc, easier to get an idea when you can zoom right in on the image. The DOF of the second is equivelent to f1.2 rather than the f1.4 of the first but using a longer lens results (IMO) is a more sudden focus fall off in general. The composition difference was due to me screwing up the stitch .

    I'm not actually trying to compare the final images, as you say due to the composition the first is a stronger image. I'm just wondering whether the 'look' of the tonality and focus fall off in the 2nd is worth the bother.
    Double clicking on the posted shots does nothing on my Browser Ben.

    I just dragged them to my desktop and increased the res to 155 ppi. It's good enough to get a better idea.

    I think the stitched one softens the lantern and doorway just a tad to much so you struggle to make out what it is ... however with just a slight contrast boost, the foreground element looks more 3D in the stitched version than the straight shot. More of a feel like an old view camera with a brass lens than the slightly more clinically correct straight shot.

    Marc

  8. #108
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Woops, reason they aren't there is that I forgot to put them, sorry Marc!

    www.studio-beni.net/Psalms.html
    www.studio-beni.net/Psalms2.html
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Very nice, Ben. I also prefer the first version. I like the slight softness of the background, but agree with Marc that the stitched version is a little too soft.

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Here is the 2nd from this new rendition of 'The Dream Project' using a 50mm lens wide open rather than the lenbaby but aiming for the same kind of feel. This image taught me that I'd got very lucky with the first image with a perfect blend of lighting and subject distance to make me think my Canon 50mm f1.4 can do wide open well. The wall through the arch in this image is very 'crunchy' due to the busy bokeh of this lens whenever there is a highlight anywhere near the frame and the focus to out of focus rendition is less than smooth. I've treated myself to a Takumar 50mm f1.4 Super for it's combination of amazing bokeh and dreamy wide open rendition to hopefully cure this problem. Hey for $70 it was worth the try and the prices on these old gems are only rising! If that doesn't work then the smooth king is the Sigma 50mm f1.4.

    I showed this picture to my friend, a Yemenite Jew who grew up in the old back alleys of Jerusalem. He said "It takes me back to going to the synagogue with my father holding my hand, the quiet alley, the small doorway, the dim lighting, the old men and the smell of books".


    Taranto
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com
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  11. #111
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    2 more images from the Dream Project (part 2), using a Pentax Takumer Super 50mm f1.4 wide open on my Canon 5D. It has a very nice rendition with the OOF highlights, the 2nd image would have looked very ugly with the canon 50mm. It isn't quite as ethereal though and doesn't have quite the amount of sudden focus fall off of the canon.

    This old house stands on the corner of a street dominated by large apartment blocks. It has a lot of space around it, is a single story building and as I sat opposite eating a croissant I asked the barber sitting outside what the story was of this georgous house which hadn't been snapped up by the developers. The story goes as follows. The house belongs to an 80 year old lady who had never had children and lives there alone. She walks stooped over with her cane but goes out every morning to volunteer in the nearby hospital. The college nearby offered her 3 million dollars for her house and her lifetime in the best old age home in the country. She told them that after her death they could do what they liked with it but until that time, it's her home and she's not moving.

    My respect for a little old lady who I've never even met is incredible. I hope the college and property developers are gritting their teeth over her continued refusal for decades to come!

    Her home:






    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    2 more images from the Dream Project (part 2), using a Pentax Takumer Super 50mm f1.4 wide open on my Canon 5D. It has a very nice rendition with the OOF highlights, the 2nd image would have looked very ugly with the canon 50mm. It isn't quite as ethereal though and doesn't have quite the amount of sudden focus fall off of the canon.

    This old house stands on the corner of a street dominated by large apartment blocks. It has a lot of space around it, is a single story building and as I sat opposite eating a croissant I asked the barber sitting outside what the story was of this georgous house which hadn't been snapped up by the developers. The story goes as follows. The house belongs to an 80 year old lady who had never had children and lives there alone. She walks stooped over with her cane but goes out every morning to volunteer in the nearby hospital. The college nearby offered her 3 million dollars for her house and her lifetime in the best old age home in the country. She told them that after her death they could do what they liked with it but until that time, it's her home and she's not moving.

    My respect for a little old lady who I've never even met is incredible. I hope the college and property developers are gritting their teeth over her continued refusal for decades to come!

    Her home:






    These are sublime Ben.

    So, where is the photo if the little old lady? I just imagine her walking in one of these shots.

    -Marc

  13. #113
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    I never even met her , these were taken from the street. I was told the story yesterday went back there today.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  14. #114
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Another image from the Dream Project (part 2). This is an image which the Canon 50mm would have ruined outright due to it's bokeh but the 1962 Takumar has handled beautifully.


    Shabtai
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com
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  15. #115
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    A momentary return to my old project for this image. I had originally shot it last week with the intention of it being part of the dream project, shooting with the Takumar wide open. It was a nice soft picture which made the most of the contrast but the moment I saw it on the computer I knew it needed proper treatment, stitching, resolution and huge amounts of tonality. The latter was incredibly difficult actually, I've never had an image so difficult to process. The image called for midday winter sun for that soft shadow from the tree and bright but still low sunlight. Trying however to keep the tonality on the building soft has taken up the entire day! The stones are filled with hundreds of tiny pits which all collected their own little shadow rendering the wall either harsh and dirty looking from the contrast or grey from lack of it. I'm believe I've gotten there in the end however. I shot the frames for the stitch leaving the floor for last. While I was doing the rest of the frames there were birds aplenty on the ground but when I got to that final frame they had all flown off. It took 20 minutes of waiting until a bird finally walked into the frame but it was walking too fast for my 1/15 shutter. I was about to dispair when it suddenly turned to profile, froze for enough time to get one shot and then flew off. Heaven!


    Amiel

    There is a print in the orthapedic clinic across the street from me where I get my shoe inserts which although a bad print of an horrific painting, has always interested me. Not for the picture itself but for the juxtoposition of strong light streaks and a doorway. I'd always imagined that it just would never work for a photograph (it doesn't particularly work in that painting for that matter). I was wandering back yesterday from an appointment through the old narrow alleyways which lead up to the shuk in Jerusalem when I saw this doorway and the light streaking around it. I knew I had to come back and shoot it for the Dream Project. This small alley is just one of the most incredibly photogenic streets/alleys in Jerusalem (the first image was also shot in this area), places where if you don't come out with portfolio quality images then you're just not trying. I'm very pleased with both of these images, they encompase the quiet splendour of these narrow alleyways which have been Jerusalem for time immemorial.


    Gaon
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com
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  16. #116
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Ben:

    Wonderful series. Thank you for sharing with us. Your comments about, and images recorded with, the 1960s vintage Takumars is inspiring me to use some of my copies.

    Tom

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Go for it! It really is a georgous little lens. I bought an EE-S focusing screen to help me out with the focusing but then found out that I needed to shim the viewfinder, I did that last night with the aid of 3 layered strips of scotch tape on the edges of the focusing screen (looks real ugly in the viewfinder!) but now the focus is accurate to what I see. Or at least it would be if I wasn't the worlds worst manual focuser due to an eye condition. Oh well, I'm getting 1 in 2 in focus now rather than 1 in 5! The struggle is worth it I believe. I could use my viewfinder magnifier but that means using a tripod and I was trying to move away from that need to be honest for this specific project, bit silly to need a tripod when your shutter speeds with a 50mm lens are usually over 1/1000 due to shooting wide open.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  18. #118
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Couple more from this morning for The Dream Project (part 2). A bright cold day with a low sun that gave georgous light. I'm getting about 1 in 2 in focus with my scotch tape shimmed viewfinder and manual focus at f1.4 though I get consolation from the fact that the AF on my 5D ain't even as good as that! Both images from my old radioactive 1962 Takumar Super 50mm f1.4 shot wide open.

    I underwent an operation on my foot two months back, I'm still not walking very well post operation and after the images above (the last two) I could hardly walk the rest of the day. Infact I shot a 2 hour job the next day and couldn't walk for 4 days after that! Yesterday however I managed to get hold of the right pills (I'd run out) and loaded up with a zillion types of pills I went out this morning. I had a great walkaround of the Nachlaot area of Jerusalem, I'd had far more 'keepers', good photos though more street photography than the stuff I was looking for but evenso, having two which fit into the project for a mornings work was very very acceptable!

    The area is riddled with tiny alleyways, rarely named and not marked on the map, you walk down the streets and alleys always with the thought at the back of your mind that you could never manage all of them, who knows what gems are lurking down the alleys you just didn't have time to explore! Each one is a treasure and I only managed a fraction of them before making my way out of the maze. Just a few meters away from this scene a teenager out from school on his lunch break sat down on the steps, with his books on his lap and a steaming coffee next to him he was oblivious of the photography and even the cold, he belonged to a different world surrounded by the pathways of history.


    Givon

    Pipes and electricity cables crisscross the walls and air spaces above the alleys but with some judicial composition you can avoid the worst of it. Sticking to a single FOV/Focal length as I've done since the very beginning of my work in this country, a 50mm, does train one to make the composition work for you, to only use the elements and geometry which are necessary to accomplish the artistic goal of the image.


    Yosef Haim

    I had a young aspiring photographer with me, I take him with on my walkarounds sometimes, he finds it educational (heaven help him if he thinks I'm someone to emulate! ). I walked past this scene as we headed back for the bus stop, I literally span round 360 degrees and shouted out to him 'Jonathan, how on earth can you continue walking past this!'. The winter bare tree was backlit beautifully and the windows and stairway were just perfect for the composition. I took this picture as in the background of the square, old Russian men called to each other as they returned from their mornings shopping in the nearby shuk and a group of chefs from the surrounding resturants carried boxes of food to the walls and then grouped together for a lunch of showing off their latest creations to each other. Cold and bright with a low winter sun even at midday, that light was just inspirational!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    I went out today to shoot in the area where I'd found the 'Gaon' and 'Amiel' pictures above. Possibly the most photogenic set of alleyways in Jerusalem this small area is across Jaffa street from the Machanei Yehuda Shuk. I went back there today flushed with the success of yesterdays shoot and itching to make my Takumar shine again but it was one of those days when however hard you try you just don't seem to be able to take a photograph that works, you just can't create and the harder you try the less it seems to work. Instead of getting fustrated however I just enjoyed the experience of walking through these georgous alleyways, quiet and serene for all the distant noise and bustle of the shuk some few hundred yards away. The air was cold, the sun warm and it was a privilige to walk through one of the nicest areas of this incredible city.

    and then I got home and discovered that, quite by chance and without ever thinking that it would work when I had raised the camera to my eye, I had managed to pull this one off!


    Charity Box

    It's hard to try and picture compositions which with every fibre of their being say 'Jerusalem'. Many pictures could have been taken in any number of old Mediterranean towns and villages. These shutters however are quintessentially Jerusalem, specifically the older parts of Jerusalem and with the charity box on the wall, the same charity boxes that have adorned the outer walls of so many of these tiny synagogues throughout the city, unspoiled and unvandelised for a century or more in many cases, this picture is indeed Jerusalem.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  20. #120
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Just a BTW with that same Takumar which has been making all the recent pictures above, me with my son last night.


    Fustrates the heck out of me that my wife can focus that lens accurately and consistently at f1.4 even in light like this (1/30 f1.4 iso 3200) and I can't get it right in broad daylight. Oh well, one day I'll be able to afford the 50L....
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  21. #121
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    I've been somewhat saving the best for last with this new project, I hadn't been to photograph in the Old City yet knowing that it would provide the bulk of the final work. I went out today, took a bunch of pictures which are necessitating a further visit and better treatment but this one worked out nicely.


    Sephardic Square

    As you enter the Jewish Quarter of the Old City from the carpark/bus stop, there is an incredibly narrow alleyway which leads off to the side. It gets so narrow that with the drainage channel running down the middle, there is no part wide enough for both your feet so you kind of limp down the alley with one foot on the floor and one in the drainage channel, holding onto the walls on either side so that you don't sprain your ankle. Off to the right halfway down this alley is the Sephardic Centre, an old Spanish style square surrounded by buildings which was the center of life for the Sephardi (Eastern Jewish) community in Jerusalem for 300 years. The buildings around this square housed the Sephardi Rabbinical Court and a Kabbalistic college. This picture shows the entrance to one of the buildings from the square.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Getting a lot of dislike for the picture above which I find rather surprising actually. Any opinions?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  23. #123
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Following a long talk and review with my father who is the real artist in the family (has training which is far more than my seat of the pants version of art ) I've renamed 'The Dream Project' and it's now called 'Contemplation'. His point was that the pictures were not abstract enough, or at least a large portion were not, to fall under the concept conjured up by the term 'dream'. Actually using the title 'Contemplation' does give me more scope. We'll have to see where I go with that.
    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 7th December 2011 at 09:31.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Hi Ben,

    I thought it was _your_ dream project, i.e. the project you had dreamed about, but 'contemplation' is a fine name for the series.

    wrt the previous image -'Sephardic Square', I think the disturbance is caused by the dark 'fern like' plant in the alcove of the archway. For me it works better with that cropped out - at the moment it is sort of leering round the edge, shouting 'me too, me too'

    Best wishes,
    Ray

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Hi Ray,

    Problem is in this web sized version you can't see the pot those right hand plants are in which makes them look far less foreboding.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    I saw this metal gate/door through the branches and bushes as I whizzed past on a bus last week, it was pretty far away so looked tiny and I only saw it for a split second but I knew I had to return and capture it eventhough all I'd seen was the gate and not the walls, geometry and light which makes this picture work so well. I had imagined the gate framed by the trees as I'd originally seen it, infact that's how I first shot it but then walking about a bit I saw the possibilities. With the late afternoon winter sun and just the right angle, I'm rather pleased with this one! First picture in the newly renamed Contemplation (part 2) project since slightly changing the direction of the work. Shot with the Takumar.



    The Doorway


    Interesting story about this place, this is a doorway leading off the Bell Park in Jerusalem and leading to the back of the Jerusalem Theatre. My abiding memory of this part was from over a decade ago when I was in the army. I was seconded to a police anti-terrorist unit and as we came back off patrol in the south of Jerusalem a call came through as there had been a reported dead body seen in the park. We arrived, jumped off the jeep and there indeed seemingly wrapped around the tree was the dead body of a man. The officer gingerly turned him over (gingerly as we were worried about needles!), I was volunteered to check through the pockets for some ID when at that point the dead man stirred. He hadn't been dead, just a tramp who was very annoyed at being woken up from his nice comfortable tree at 3am! We apologied profusely and very embarressed left the park.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  27. #127
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    A return to the Timeless Collection for me with an image which somewhat fulfills a 6 year wait to capture an image within the Old City of Jerusalem which would encompass Chanukah for me. I've had an image in my mind for those 6 years but in the end I came away with something completely different.

    For over a thousand years the Jews in exile lit their Chanukah lights indoors out of fear of their neighbours. Although the tradition of lighting in the house prevails still in the Diaspora, in Jerusalem today the residents proudly light 'Petach Habayit', at the entrance to their house as the custom was originally conceived some 2 millenia ago after the events leading up to the Chanukah miracle. I chose to celebrate that in this image.


    Petach Habayit

    This image looks wonderfully serene but taken on one of the busiest and most ancient streets of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City it was certainly anything but! Being the last night of Chanukah the place was overrun with tour groups, tourists, people on the way to the Western Wall and residents coming out to light their candles. I knew I'd need the maximum tonality I could get out of the street lighting and was shooting at iso 100 with a 25 second exposure (X10, this is a 44 megapixel stitch!). 25 seconds never takes quite as long as when you have literally over 200 people passing between the time you first set up your tripod until you finish and pack up. It was agonising trying to time the gap between the various tour groups, honestly, 25 seconds is sooooooooo long! .

    Rather flat yellow street light combined with an over contrasty 85mm lens made for a lot of work to try and keep the tonality looking 'right'. I hope I've managed even after such a drastic resize and the 'save for web' compression.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Excellent photo and story Ben.

    Is the top right of the arch holding tone in the original?

    -Marc

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Yes it's both gradual and soft, took a lot of work that corner
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Wow, looking at the last picture I realise just how long it is since I've had the chance to go out shooting project work!

    I now teach in a local art college once a week. The college was going for a weekend trip to the town of Hebron, famous for being the burial place of the Patriachs and Matriachs and revered by 3 religions. Photography was not high on their agenda but I was invited to join them on friday and never having been to Hebron before I willingly agreed.

    We got to the Cave of the Patriarchs and the guide told us we had just 7 minutes for photography. My job was both to direct and help the students as well as fulfil the request of the head of the college to give them a pro pic or two as well as a favour (they were paying me very well for this trip). You can imagine how hard it was to find somewhere to shoot, direct and help the class all within that time frame. Added to that, in a masochistic mood I'd brought just my 5D and my little Pentax Super Tak 50mm lens with. Most of my gear is in NY, on loan to a friend shooting a wedding there and I did want to drive home a point I'd mentioned in the last class about gear really not being that important.

    For almost a millenium Jews were only allowed to ascend to the 7th step at the south east entrance to the structure (which is huge!) to pray. They were not allowed to enter or even come any closer than this small, sloping and uneven step to pray at what is the longest standing and 2nd holiest site in Jewish belief. Now of course the structure built originally by Herod is accessable to Jews. Ever since I saw a picture of the 7th step in an old encyclopedia I'd wanted to visit it, to feel the melancholy history embodied by that small rock surface. I had just 6 minutes and most of that I was helping others but I managed to get this picture of the 7th Step, now empty of people but with a dusty lectern still there should anyone wish to come and pray.


    The 7th Step

    Next item on the agenda was the burial place of Ruth, of the 'Book of Ruth' in the Old Testament, the head of the family of King David and the line of royalty of the Jewish people. The burial place has a synagogue built over it with an area to light memorial candles however I started to wander around and found the entrance to a cave. It was very small and lots of building work was being done there, walling up the inside of the cave. It appears that this was the site of the ancient synagogue that had been on the site. I took this photo towards the back entrance of the cave. For me it tells a powerful story from the life of Ruth but I won't bore you with historical details! This time I only had 5 minutes at that site.


    Ruth

    So, 11 minutes in total, never been there before but I did have a strong awareness of the history which helped me in finding what I wanted to portray even in such a short time. I shot just these two pictures. Literally.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Ben, These are wonderful - they are evocative and give a feeling of being there.

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    I had never been happy with the first version of this picture seen above and here:



    The light wasn't right and the canon lens I used didn't have the rendition I had imagined for the image. It was actually this image which inspired me to buy my Takumar 50mm f1.4 Super.

    I've been back a couple of times, never seemed to get it to work. I took the day off work today for various reasons and took the opportunity to go back and try again. I'm finally happy with the image. The rendition is as I imagined, the composition and lighting finally suit the scene as I envisaged it. Took 4 hours in 30 degree heat but I finally have the picture I wanted.


    Taranto

    Just to recap the caption I wrote with the original image:

    I showed this picture to my friend, a Yemenite Jew who grew up in the old back alleys of Jerusalem. He said "It takes me back to going to the synagogue with my father holding my hand, the quiet alley, the small doorway, the dim lighting, the old men and the smell of books".

    I teach my students this and any true photographer knows it like they know their apertures and shutter speeds. Go back, again and again and again until it's perfect!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Excellent Ben.

    Not only the subtile re-rendering of light and shadow, but the inclusion of a person gave it scale and depth that was lacking in the first ... the area is much larger than first impression.

    -Marc

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    It was that band of light on the street which made it to be honest, that and as they fixed the roof above the alleyway the eye wasn't drawn up to the light there creating subtle inbalance.

    The lens did help as well, the rendition is so much more pleasing at the transition from focus to out of focus and dark to lights. Modern lenses could do well to learn from the lessons of the earlier 2/3rds of last centuries offerings. Sharpness and contrast is all very well but too often it is at the expense of a pleasing rendition.

    Think you may be fooled by the scale, the girl and the street are 3 steps down from the path which does give a lie to the depth apparent.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    ..having been following this thread for a while its time to leave a few words..(and it was the reason to register here..)..this is absolutely outstanding work, ben..not only is it inspiring to think about going to jerusalem and visit this beautiful (and of course highly interesting from a historical point of view) city but also revisiting my photographical techniques..keep it going..best regards, erik..

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Stay around Erik! This is the friendliest photo forum on the web!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Not from Jerusalem this time, the results of 15 minutes stopped by the side of the road somewhere in County Wicklow, Ireland in the pouring rain. I travelled to Ireland for a 3 day break taking just a 5D and the Canon 50mm with a vague idea of trying out landscapes shot wide open. I have to admit the concept was mostly inspired by me not being bothered to take any gear like a tripod . Ireland to me (my fathers family emigrated from Ireland during the famine some 5 generations back) is a a land of deep history, mystery and darkness and that is what I have tried to convey. It was Halloween that night and I have a feeling that subconsciously it was having an effect . In any case, for those who like images which dwell in the darks and midtones....











    As I have explored before on this thread, the Canon 50mm f1.4 is awful wide open. However it's awfulness is caused by specular highlights. In late October in Ireland there wasn't a specular highlight to be seen and the lens worked perfectly at giving its ghostly rendition wide open.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    The wife says it's a bit nothingy, what do you think?


    The view as I eat my breakfast outside the bakery across the road from work in the 'Hungarian' area of Jerusalem. Pentax Takumar Super 50mm wide open at f1.4.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    I took my class to the area opposite the Machane Yehuda Shuk in the centre of Jerusalem today and when I set them loose for 40 minutes to complete an assignment, I took the opportunity to visit this doorway which I have been trying to put down 'on film' for two years now. I think I've finally got it.

    Canon 50mm 1.4 wide open under the only circumstances where wide open on that lens works, i.e. overcast skies and not a hint of a specular highlight. Even so the contrast is still far above my Takumar and the coma/halation nowhere near as strong as the glorious Tak. Oh well, it was the lens I had with me at the time...

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem


    A different lens this time, 16-35LII at about f5.6. It really is a very nice lens for all that so many dislike it. I've now discovered that on my new 5D3 it's even better than it was on the 5Dc (this was shot with the older camera).

    I always say 'look behind, the best photos are often behind you'. Literally the case coming down the steps in the Old City of Jerusalem with a couple of my students a few weeks back.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Finally one from the 5D3 and 50L.


    Haturim area of Jerusalem right near the shuk.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Took my class to the Bet Zayit reservoir in the Jerusalem Forest to teach them landscape photography. I taught them the concept of getting into position, choosing a composition and then waiting for the light to be right. No great sunsets or anything today but I had to show them something landscapey so I took this. OK job done.


    The usual f16, tripod, mirror lock up, yada yada boring usual.

    But the picture I really wanted was this one, f1.2 on the Canon 50L.

    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Walking in and around the Municipality buildings around 8pm last night. Funny to think about all the hassle people get photographing anywhere near government buildings in the US or UK but in Jerusalem where the security threat is far more immediate, me and my students could walk around the entire complex photographing, the only security guard to come up to me was a guy I had been in school with 15 years ago back in the UK who recognised me and came over for a chat For anyone in Jerusalem City Centre at night I can highly recommend a stroll through the municipality complex, beautiful architecture cleverly lit, a very peaceful stroll.


    Iriya

    Canon 5D3, 50L @f1.2 iso 3200
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    I processed the above picture in full from the RAW file, about an hour of tweaking and layers in PS. Then I realised I'd opened it as an 8 bit file. In the past I've gone back and done the whole thing again from scratch. This time I didn't bother. It works, the gradations are gentle and pleasing. To be honest I'm just not going to bother being anal about it.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    opinions please? I think the light is wrong, thinking of going back when the shadows are longer under that rock then hope to heck a kid walks past

    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Ben, I am not sure the light is bothering me. It is not soft like the others in the series, but it does have that luminous quality. I think the plane of focus is creating something disconcerting. The wall seems in focus, but also the foliage in the tree in front of the boy, but the foliage has the effect it is closer like the wall. My mind is just having a hard time with it.

    As far as the boy, since he is out of focus, you could just put a cardboard cutout there.

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    So I hadn't been out shooting for waaaay too long, I had a really tough day in work today, at the end of it I said 'screw it', hopped on my bike and rode to the Old City. Spent about 2 hours there, got home really dehydrated but I got some pictures I'm pleased with. This is the first of them...


    Zion Gate
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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Here is another I like. Hardly needed any work, it just came out perfect, great light will do that, it becomes almost a sin to dodge and burn.


    Remembrance Steps
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem


    Private. Old City Jerusalem. Please excuse horrendous jpg compression on the sign.
    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 27th August 2013 at 22:37.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: 6X12 in Jerusalem

    Today arguably the leading Rabbi of the Jewish people, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, passed away. The burial ceremony was to take place some 100 yards away from my studio and with an estimated million people coming to the ceremony (yes I said a million, police reporting over 10% of the entire country there!) I skedaddled about 3 hours before the start otherwise I would have been stuck there till midnight. I biked over to David's Tomb in the Old City of Jerusalem, the site where King David is said to be buried. There have been extensive renovations at the site over the past couple of years and the architect was a genius of lighting. The tonality and lighting they have created there is to die for. I need to spend far more time there but until then...


    David's Tomb, Lensbaby Composer, f22, handheld at a 1/100 iso 6400 on the 5D3 which is remarkably film like. I could not believe just how much I could pummel that iso 6400 file and still hold the tones. We are blessed to live in this age of photography IMO.
    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 7th October 2013 at 12:17.
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