This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

Ruchama Forest 3

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 10, 2014


These photos of the Ruchama forest were taken during the afternoon. The light was very warm at that hour.




Eucalyptus leaves.



Back-lit sheep. All those little white dots are the bits of fluff from the flower seeds.




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Ruchama Forest

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 10, 2014


Last week I took a half-day photo workshop in the Ruchama forest (near Sderot) led by Yehoshua Halevi. Eight of us spent half a day running around the Ruchama forest photographing the anemones (red, poppy-like flowers that bloom in winter). Yehoshua is a gregarious, patient teacher and an experienced photographer based in Efrat. I prefer to be left on my own while on photo tours, so that was OK as well. The lighting conditions were varied, from overcast to sunny.

The two photos below were taken in a commercial almond orchard. Very few of the trees were in bloom, so I concentrated on the tree trunks in the first photo and a bee on a flower in the second.



I’m planning to break into the world of sheep portrait photography. Truly a niche market….



The anemones were a bit past their prime, going to seed, but they were still plentiful.


These anemones were growing around a charred log. Anemones are a challenge to photograph because the brilliant reds often turn out overblown, with little detail. I find that I have to underexpose them in order to see the edges of the petals.


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Manofim: “Like a Plastic Plant”

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 22, 2013


Last night we went to Manofim (Hebrew word for cranes, the kind used for construction), an exhibit of contemporary art in Jerusalem. The exhibits are held at many different venues around the city, for one week only, Oct. 17-24, 2013. Each evening, lectures and performances are held in conjunction with a particular exhibit. There are also workshops, street performers, and theater events. This is the sixth year of the exhibit, and our first time attending it.

Beit Ticho (Ticho House on Rav Kook Street) was the venue for “Like a Plastic Plant,” an exhibit by multi-media artist Einat Arif Galanti. Her photos, still-life (pictured above and below), and stop-motion video explore the relationship between plastic and genuine flowers and vegetation. Last night’s events began with a discussion between Arif Galanti and Avinadav Begin (who looks remarkably like his famous grandfather, Menachem Begin). Begin spoke about the paradox of fruits and flowers that are considered native to this country (for example, pomegranate, olive tree, and local oak), which originate in other places. Arif Galanti compared her work to the water colour drawings of Anna Ticho, the artist whose work is permanently on exhibit at Beit Ticho, While Ticho depicted native flowers in local settings, Arif Galanti’s photos place wildflowers in cultivated European settings, which consciously mimic classic painting styles. (I hope I understood that correctly; my Hebrew isn’t great.)

This still-life is plastic flowers and real fruit encased in plexiglas. The fruit has decayed and covered with mold, while the plastic flowers are pristine.


Einat Arif Galanti (below). I couldn’t get a good shot of Avinadav Begin because I was sitting rather far back.


Pair of Arif Galanti’s wildflower photos, framed by the couple in front of me.


After the lecture, we walked out of the gallery accompanied by the Jerusalem Oratorio Choir (I think they were singing Brahms). We were given plastic roses and invited to “plant” them in the garden behind Beit Ticho.



The choir sang on the stone terrace above the garden. I’ll post a video later. The whole event took about an hour, from the start of the lecture to the end of the choral performance.



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Manchester in the Rain

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 4, 2013


It was cold and rainy most of the weekend–a normal Manchester summer. I took these photos in the Northern Quarter neighbourhood of Manchester, close to the Craft and Design Center.




“Tib Street Horn,” sculpture by David Kemp.




I spotted this building while drinking coffee in Waterstones, Manchester city center.




Manchester is filled with Victorian buildings.


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Photo Walk, Passover 2012

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 11, 2012

Bird of Paradise

I had planned to visit the Ein Hod artists’ colony today but my plans fell through. A friend in Maale Adumim suggested a photo walk together, since she was planning to go out to photograph a few flowers anyway. So we wandered around central Maale Adumim and took a few photos in the early afternoon. Afterwards I walked to the mall to buy some fish for yom tov lunch.

The first photo I got was a young gazelle buck grazing close to haGittit Street. This was about as challenging as photographing a cow at a dairy. He didn’t know he was supposed to bound away over the hills. After a while I started posing the critter, by walking to the other side and making chirping noises so that he would turn his head towards me. I like this photo because you can see his budding horns quite clearly.

Young gazelle buck

Poppies in the ruins of the St. Martyrius Monastery, which I’ve never seen. (Need to find a tour group that’s going there.)

Poppies in the ruins

Succulent plant

Three gerbera

Rose with split toning:


Kalanchoe flowers:

Kalanchoe flowers

Bird of Paradise

Palm fronds

Sun flare through palm leaves

Masses of flowers on the road divider between the mall and the library.

Masses of Flowers

Masses of Flowers

The Death Star. It’s a disco ball hanging in front of a big digital screen with ads running all the time. I underexposed it to make it look a little more mysterious:

The Death Star

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Wildflowers in Jerusalem Forest

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 30, 2012


If you’re looking for a free activity during the school holiday or Passover, the Jerusalem Forest is beautiful at this time of year. These photos were taken last week. I’m not sure of the name of the orchid (above) because I haven’t had time to look it up. If you know what it’s called, please tell me!

If you are traveling by public transportation, get off at the Yefe Nof stop of the Jerusalem Fright Rail. Cross the street so that you are on the same side as the big Yad Sarah building. Walk two blocks down Yefe Nof to Pirhei Hen. Turn right and walk down Pirhei Hen to the gates of the Jerusalem Forest. You will see a map of the area on a large sign. This walk is ideal if you don’t have a car because it begins and ends within walking distance of public transportation (far end of Yad VaShem; walk through Yad VaShem to Herzl Boulevard, at the Har Herzl Light Rail stop).

Yefe Nof Map

Sign with Map of Jerusalem Forest Routes

The blue route is about 3 km, running from Yefe Nof to Yad Vashem. Remember that the end of the Yad Vashem is about a kilometer from the entrance on Herzl Boulevard, so plan accordingly. The trail is well-maintained and fairly easy. It would be a struggle to get through all the way with a baby stroller but it’s fine for young children. There are picnic tables and benches and a lot of shade.

At the Yad Vashem end, the trails branch off in different directions. If you take trails going down to the valley, you will end up at a picnic area by a busy road. Don’t try walking along this road — there is no sidewalk and the cars move fast. When you’ve finished eating, take one of the trails going up the hill. They all seem to end up at the Garden of the Righteous Gentiles, where you can see some of the outdoor exhibits.

If you have a lot of stamina, you could continue through the indoor exhibit halls of Yad Vashem or walk around Har Herzl. It’s quite educational but probably better saved for a second trip.

Another orchid that I haven’t yet identified, with some white cyclamen:



Lots of wild cyclamen grow in the forest but they won’t be there for much longer.


Below, a plethora of pimpernels!


This gives you an idea of the path.


I tried to re-create a photo of the Russian Orthodox Convent Church in Ein Kerem that I took two years ago. It wasn’t easy because the trees had grown, so I scrambled down the hill until I found a spot where I could see between the branches.

Church of Russian Orthodox Convent, Ein Kerem

If you look carefully you’ll see lots of Barbary Nut Irises (called “Afternoon Irises” in Hebrew because they bloom in the afternoon). They’re small, grow in shade area, and they’re not densely packed together, so they’re easy to miss.



This was the only photo I got of a wild grouse. Quite a lot of them live in the forest but you have to be quiet and have good eyesight to find them.


Inhabited cave. I took the photo at an angle because I didn’t think the guy would appreciate being on Flickr.

Inhabited Cave

Monarch butterfly. The Israeli monarchs are not as orange as the North American version.

Monarch Butterfly

These trenches are were built by the Turks, before World War I.

Trenches, Jerusalem Forest

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Not So Wild Flowers (Tame Flowers?)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 9, 2012

White gerbera

The first two photos were taken in my neighbour’s garden. I’m very lucky to have a neighbour who has a well-tended garden right by the stop where I get picked up for work. Photos from his garden probably make up 60% of my Project 365 shots, especially when I’m lazy or don’t have time to look for interesting things to photograph. The flower in the first photo is a close-up of a small white gerbera with a purple center, Osteospermum Daisy. I love the blues, purples, and oranges in the center. Wish I had a macro lens, oodles of time, and good lighting! The flowers are in the shade at that time of the morning.

The second photo is from the patch of lavender by the path. The buds are just starting to flower.


The purple anemone with the sun behind it was photographed in the courtyard at work. A bee flew in just as I took one of the shots. I was going to discard it, then decided to keep it because the bee, although blurry, seemed to add a little interest to an otherwise rather static flower photo. Nice blurry background, though.

I photographed the anemone after taking the boring daily fig tree shot. Something has to happen to that tree soon. It’s spring now, right?

Purple Anemone

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Flowers, Flowers, Flowers!

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 5, 2012


Who would have guessed that after the snow in Jerusalem and sleet in Maale Adumim we would have flowers so soon? I took all these wildflower photos today. The first 8 photos were taken in Maale Adumim with a Canon Powershot S95. I wish I were more knowledgeable about them! There were others that I didn’t photograph because I’ve got so many pictures of them in other years. Some of these were totally new to me, like the tiny red ones in the second photo.







The following photos were taken in a large park close to where I work. It’s not easy to get around because it doesn’t have footpaths. The single-lane road is busy. I think it would be better described as a conservation area than a park. Emek Erezim (Valley of Cedars) is located between Har Hotzvim and Ramot in Jerusalem, right beside the Menachem Begin – Golda Meir interchange. I was breaking my head over a software problem and wanted fresh air, so I took my camera and wandered outside for about half an hour. These photos were taken with a Canon 550D and 18-135mm lens.


Patch of wild cyclamen:

Wild Cyclamen


Red anemone:

Red Anemone

Red Anemones

I saw a larger patch of anemones on my way back to work. I want to try photographing it another day.

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Baby Steps with Adobe Illustrator

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 28, 2011

I’ve been trying to teach myself Adobe Illustrator from on-line videos. I highly recommend I managed to get my workplace to pay for a monthly subscription and have used it to learn Flash, ActionScript, Photoshop, and now Illustrator. Illustrator is a very powerful vector drawing program. I really am a beginner. This is my very first drawing. If I didn’t have a background in Photoshop or Flash it would have taken me much longer to get this far. My husband was visiting relatives in Manchester, so I had a long, uninterrupted block of time last night to practice.

Fruit Basket in Illustrator

Here’s the reference photo, for comparison:

Fruit basket reference photo

One of the neighbours has a little herb patch in his garden. This is French lavender. I never noticed before that the buds spiral. I will have to remember to take some close-ups of the buds before the flowers are finished.

French Lavender

Here’s a quick shot I took this morning from the minibus on the way to work. Usually the camels are on the other side of the road, if they’re there at all.

Camels on Commute

Last Friday I saw eleven, yes, eleven wild gazelles in the wadi. And I didn’t have a camera with me! I had hoped to go for a run, so I put on my running clothes and left the DSLR at home. A few running steps were all that it took to convince me that my foot wasn’t ready for that kind of stress, so I switched to a fast walk. I’ve seen two or three gazelles before, but never eleven. They were grazing and moving slowly, so I was able to count them twice. Gazelles are difficult to photograph because they keep their distance and their grazing habits are unpredictable. I went out with the camera early on Sunday morning but didn’t see a single gazelle. I did startle a fox and managed to grab a quick shot of him running away. He was a beautiful specimen — look at those ears and that bushy tail!

Fox Trot

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Tiny Flowers

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 3, 2010

Tiny Flowers

This is a short posting just to say that I got my camera back! The autofocus has been fixed. I got home and was so excited that I waded into that weed patch we call a lawn, not thinking about the fact that I was wearing sandals. OUCH! In between shots of these tiny, dried out flowers, I was picking thorns out of my feet.

Tiny Flowers

Tiny Flowers


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