This and That

Random bits of my life

Hassidic Busker with Autoharp

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 3, 2016

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I photographed and gave a few coins to this busker at the Mahaneh Yehuda light rail station because it’s unusual to see someone with an amplified autoharp.  Taken with LG G3 phone.

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Running with Cranes

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 30, 2015

Agur Race, 2015

This isn’t the best photo of me but it’s probably the most recent and it’s my fastest 10K race. I’m the one in blue, on the left. Last Friday I ran the Agur (“crane”, as in the bird) Race at the Hula Valley nature reserve up north. The race coincides with the annual crane migration, and we saw lots of cranes flying overhead.

We drove up the night before and stayed at the Tel Dan Youth Hostel (I highly recommend it–clean, quiet, free wifi, kettle and fridge in the room, for 262 NIS/night). Unfortunately, I hardly slept that night. I have a terrible time falling asleep whenever I have an event the next day, but I’ve learned that I can run while half asleep.

My final time for the 10K was 01:01:11 (lots of ones), which is my fastest time yet. In my category, I The course is nice and flat, which makes it popular for people trying to run a personal best.

Here’s a video of last year’s Agur race. You can see me for a split second wearing a black skirt, bright orange shirt,  a little to the left of center, at 1:25 (if you really want to see me, you’ll have to slow the video down to .25 speed and pause it). It was really foggy that day, so the photography isn’t great.

Here’s a video of the Agur race in 2013. The photography is a lot better–lots of cranes!

I haven’t done photography for ages, partly because I was taking a break and now because I had laser surgery on Nov. 9 to correct my vision. Since the operation was PRK, not LASIK, recovery takes a lot longer, with more ups and downs. I can see well enough to run and I can manage to read but my distance vision is still quite blurry. It’s strange to think that now I’ll need glasses to do all the needlework I used to do. I can read if a font is not too small but I will probably need reading glasses at some point. At least I’m not in any discomfort, although I did have a miserable few days before the bandage contact lenses were taken out. The surgeon discovered an eyelash in my right eye. No wonder my eye was constantly tearing and so sensitive to light! As soon as the lenses and eyelash were out, I felt much better. But it will be a while before I can see well enough to take photos.

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Book Cover

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 22, 2015

Book cover with my photo

This book with my photo on the cover arrived in the mail a couple days ago. I had totally forgotten about it! Last March a publisher asked for permission to use my photo of 18 Rama Street in Jerusalem (Nahlaot) for a book on house numbers. The photo she wanted wasn’t very good. It was a snapshot I’d taken while following a friend who was posing for his wedding photos. I said that I would be happy to re-take the photo, since I was going to be in the area anyway.

The location is tricky because the alley in front of the house is very narrow. An awning over the door casts a shadow. If you try to photograph the numbers at midday, the sun bounces off all the light stone of the surrounding buildings and creates an unpleasant contrast with the shadow of the awning. I took this photo at 9:30 a.m., while the sun was still relatively low.

The door is rather shabby, with bits of cellotape on the side and graffiti on the upper part. The graphic artist chose to use the dark blue door for the spine, which works very nicely. I haven’t read this book yet, but it looks interesting!

I’ve been rather quiet on this blog because I’m taking a break from photography. I was in a course that didn’t work out and it left me feeling burned out. I’ll get back to it eventually.

Rama 18, Jerusalem

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Skateboard Shadows

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 9, 2015

IMG_6601.jpgI’m still working on my photography course project. The theme is “Shadows,” which I’m finding harder to do than I realised. These photos were taken at the newly opened Jerusalem Skate Park, in Liberty Bell Park. I was lucky to find three guys practicing flipping their skate boards. Even when they wiped out, they still cast impressive shadows while they were airborne. I started playing with split-toning and funky angles because shadows can get monotonous–lots of B/W, monochrome, and up/down direction.

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Israel Museum Panoramas

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 9, 2015

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A few more panoramas from my class exercise, taken at the Israel Museum. The first photo shows the two dominant features of the Shrine of the Book, the white dome in the shape of a jar lid (the scrolls were found in covered jars), representing the Sons of Light, and the black slab representing the Sons of Darkness.

The second photo shows the famous “Ahava” (“Love”) sculpture from the reverse side, with the nearby Jerusalem neighbourhoods.

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This exhibit was very low, so I wasn’t able to get good shots of the panorama because I didn’t want to lie on the floor in the long hallway leading to the main building. The laser-cut aluminum silhouettes represent technological advances and are an accompaniment to the exhibit, A Brief History of Humankind. If I’d had more time, I would have tried to put one of the more prominent sculptures in the center of the frame, but the hall was quite crowded at the time (another good reason for not lying on the floor).

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Maale Adumim Panoramas

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 6, 2015

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These panorama photos were course assignments. The first photo shows the artificial lake at the entrance to Maale Adumim. It was taken from the security road above the artificial lake. It was very dark and for once I was glad to have a heavy tripod with me.

The next photo was taken from the park at the top of Gilgal. If I’d managed to wake up a little earlier, the sky wouldn’t have been quite so blown out. Some day…..

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Jerusalem and Mount of Olives, taken from the same security road at the end of Katros.
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St. George’s Monastery, Wadi Kelt

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 6, 2015

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St. George’s Monastery, or the Monastery of St. George of Koziba, was founded in the 5th century and largely abandoned after the Persian invasion in the 7th century. The present complex was built in the 19th century. When we arrived, a small group was saying mass at the foot of an outdoor cross on the left side of the photo above (it’s hard to tell that they were Catholics in this photo, but with my 135mm lens I could see two priests and a deacon.

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Steep staircase winds down to the bottom of the wadi.

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Desert Sunrise near Mitzpeh Yericho

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 6, 2015

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These photos are from a photography workshop that I attended near Mitzpeh Yericho. If you look carefully at the horizon of the first photo, to the right of the sun, you can see the Amman Gate Towers.

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Spider just hanging around. We all took turns trying to photograph it. The web was between a rock and a bush, with no place to set up a tripod. This shot was hand-held with a 90mm Tamron macro lens. I don’t use it much and I didn’t think I could manage without a tripod, so this shot surprised me. The spider’s legs are translucent!

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Exhausted

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 6, 2015

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This little girl was ethereally beautiful, with her hair back-lit by the sun, and she looked so tired.

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Look, Ma, No Hands

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 6, 2015

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I joined a street photography meet-up near Jaffa and Shlomzion. It was a great location for people-watching because there are no cars on Jaffa road. This man rode by several times. In the second photo he was helping a friend ride his bike. I was panning with the subject in both photos, so that I could get a slightly blurred background with a sharp subject.

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