This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘night’

Enchanted Mushroom Forest

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 7, 2015


OK, it’s really just a long exposure of the stone mushroom sculpture/fountain at Shlomzion and Jaffa. I took this photo while out on a workshop at night. I don’t like dragging a heavy tripod with me, but I needed one to get this shot. I used a small aperture (f/11) to create the star effect of the lights. The exposure was 1.6 seconds. I was lucky that the couple sitting on one of the mushrooms didn’t move. Then I just waited for the train to pass by.

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Pillars of Water

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 20, 2015

Israel Museum in Jerusalem. I like playing with unfamiliar views of familiar objects.

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Our First Night in Prague

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 6, 2013


I should probably qualify this posting by saying that these pictures were taken on our first ordinary night in Prague. We landed the previous night, dropped off our bags, and staggered out at 11 p.m. The following night we walked around and admired the buildings. Prague is so beautifully lit at night. Every corner has a gorgeous view of something old (or old in appearance). The photo above is a typical postcard shot of the St. Vitus Cathedral surrounded by the palace complex. I took it from the Charles Bridge.

The building below is the Rudolfinium, a concert hall and home of the Czech Philharmonic. It’s very close to the Jewish Quarter, between the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Manesov Bridge.


This is the Gothic Male Strana (Lesser Town) tower at the end of the Charles Bridge. (I know I haven’t posted many photos of that bridge yet. Don’t worry–later I photographed it to death!) The Cathedral of St. Nicholas is between the two towers, in the background.


It’s called “Prague’s narrowest street,” but I don’t think it has a real name. It’s a staircase between two buildings, which leads to a restaurant. The traffic lights are functional, since it’s not wide enough for people to pass comfortably in both directions. At the bottom of the stairs is another light and a switch for changing the light. The address is 24 U Luzickeho seminare, in the Lesser Town district, around the corner from the Kafka Museum.


Another view of the Charles Bridge, this time showing the other side, with the Old Town Bridge. The lower building with the gold crown is the National Theater.


This photo was taken near the Manosov Bridge. The Cathedral of St. Nicholas is on the left and St. Vitus Cathedral on the right.


Kafka monument. You can’t walk more than a few blocks in any direction without encountering something connected to Kafka.


Just so you know that Prague isn’t all Gothic spires and cobblestones…. Parizska Street, running between the Old Town Square and the Jewish Quarter, has a lot of high-end shopping. I really liked this Dolce & Gabbana window display. On this street you’ll find Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, the usual suspects.


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First Impressions of Prague

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 11, 2013


Prague is a fairy tale at night. We arrived last Wednesday, on October 2, 2013. After dropping off our suitcases in the apartment on Karlovy street, we wandered out around 11 p.m. to take a few photos. The photo of Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral (above) was taken from the Charles Bridge.

We were across the street from the Klementinum, currently the home of the National Library. This photo shows one of the entrances into the complex, which is the second largest in Prague (the largest building complex is the castle and its grounds). The wrought iron lamps add a romantic touch.


The 14th century Old Town bridge tower is a splendid gothic structure, usually swarming with tourists.


The National Theater, with its distinctive gold crown can be seen from all over the city. It’s difficult to photograph up close because there are high buildings around it and the side facing the river is undergoing restoration.


The Charles Bridge is well-known for its religious statues. These are replicas. The originals are in the Lapidarium museum in Holešovice.



The Rudolfinum, below, is a concert hall and home to the Czech Philharmonic.


On the far side of the Charles Bridge are the distinctive Malá Strana bridge towers.


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Video: Rainbow Lights on Har Hotzvim Tower

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 28, 2013

Har Hotzvim, Jerusalem

I see this office tower (JTP or Jerusalem Technical Park) from my window all day at work. Over the past few months I noticed that sometimes, for no reason that I can fathom, the lights turn different colours. During Hanukkah they were quite festive! The light changes appear to be random, so I haven’t had much success making a video. Usually by the time I manage to get to a balcony on the other side of the building the lights have gone back to their normal blue colour.

On Sunday I noticed that the rainbow effect occurred at 5:47. Because I leave work at 6:00 p.m. and because the days are getting longer, I realised I only had another week or two to record the light changes if I didn’t want to stay late and wait for the sky to get dark. Yesterday the lights started turning funky colours around 5:15. I grabbed my camera and went to the balcony but it was too late. I decided to wait for the rainbow, on a cold outdoor balcony without a coat, and it occurred at 5:47 again.

Normally the lights seem to alternate between dark blue and turquoise. When the roof lights (blue spikes) go off, the rainbow starts. It only lasts for about a minute.

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Tel Aviv, Election Day 2013

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 27, 2013

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

Election Day is a holiday in Israel. After the snow and sleet of two weeks ago, it was a little weird to sit on a breakwater in Tel Aviv. My husband had to work in the morning. I met him at the bus station and we went to Tel Aviv for the afternoon and early evening. The rest of the world seemed to have the same idea, to head for the beach. And the picnic areas and the parks…. We don’t have a “weekend” in Israel, so a vacation day like Election Day isn’t something to waste!

I took the first photo when we were sitting on the rocks of the breakwater. A young couple were sitting very close to the water. I got this shot as a sailboat was going by and underexposed it because I was shooting almost directly into the sun. I cropped out the sun on the right because I didn’t want the brightness to dominate the scene.

The next photo shows a couple windsurfers outside the breakwater.

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

Two of three kayakers outside the breakwater.

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

Wind-surfing school within the breakwater, close to shore.

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

Fisherman showing off his catch.

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

This building, known locally as the Crazy House, is a private apartment building at 181 haYarkon, designed by Leon Gaignebet in 1985. It’s also called a Gaudi building, although Gaignebet rejected the comparison. (Personally, I see it as derivative Art Nouveau, but not particularly Gaudi-esque–maybe they just needed an easy-to-remember name.) The photo below was taken from the beach, so it only shows the top two stories. It does show the roof in more detail than most photos of this building. It’s an interesting, somewhat pretentious design, representing the sea meeting the desert. The eastern façade uses stone and concrete and images of trees. The western façade, facing the Mediterranean, is supposed to represent the sea and sand dunes but looks like a giant sheet full of holes wrapped around an ordinary apartment block.

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

Photographed from across Eliezer Peri at night. Not a good photo. I might try photographing this building by daylight next time I’m in Tel Aviv. Note the fence in front of the building, which echoes the design of the façade.

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

Bench in same style, across the street from the apartment building:

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

Trompe l’oeile painting on Arlozoroff Street (corner of Ibn Gabirol).

Tel Aviv, Election Day 2012

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Venice at Night

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 23, 2012

Santa Maria delle Salute

The photo above is Santa Maria della Salute, photographed from a vaporetto at night. This posting will wind up my Venice photos. It’s hard to believe, looking back on the 19 blog postings related to Venice, that we were only there three nights. We packed a lot into 2.5 days! I calmed down a little in Florence, after the relentless touring/photographing in Venice and the islands. Also, we spent Shabbat in Florence, so that cut out a day.

I didn’t have a tripod, so my night photos are limited to what I could do with a high ISO and steady hand. Below is the Rialto Bridge.

Rialto Bridge, Venice

Detail of the Rialto Bridge:

Rialto Bridge, Venice

Souvenir stand:

Souvenirs, Venice

Pilazzo at night, Venice

St Mark’s Square, looking towards the Piazetta. The Doge’s Palace is on the right.

St. Mark's Square, Venice

I’m not sure what this old ship was doing in the Venetian lagoon but it was a challenge to photograph.

Old Ship, Venice Lagoon

Canal, Venice

Canal, Venice

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Fire at Night

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 11, 2011

Fire near Al Zaim

Handheld, RAW, ISO 1600, 250mm, f/5, 1/3sec, slightly cropped

On my way home along the Maale Adumim highway, I saw a huge fire near Al Zaim. It looked like some kind of chemical spill because it was a long ribbon of flames halfway down a barren hillside. We had had very heavy rain for several days. Three nights later it was still burning, although the blaze was much smaller. I took this photo from my balcony at home. Most of the fire is hidden by the crest of the hill and I was 4 kilometers away.

The tower on the upper right is the Augusta Victoria hospital on the north side of the Mount of Olives. The shot below is the same tower with the moon setting behind it, rather severely cropped. That photo was taken from my kitchen window.

Moon setting over Mount of Olives

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Jerusalem Light Exhibit 2010

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 11, 2010


This past Wednesday (June 9), the second Jerusalem Light Exhibit opened. We enjoyed it very much last year and agreed that it really needs more than two nights to see everything. Because we started with a dinner (belated celebration of my husband’s birthday), we agreed to do the two less crowded routes, the green and red trails. The green trail runs from Tzanchanim Square (the New Gate) to Zedekiah’s cave (a 2nd Temple period quarry) just past the Damascus Gate. The photo above of the San Salvador tower of Terra Santa Custodia was taken a couple blocks in from the New Gate. (Handheld, photographed in RAW).

The Damascus Gate had a colourful animation projected on its facade.


Zedekiah’s Cave was lit with swirling blue and green and purple lights to suggest an underwater cave. It was quite appropriate, considering that this cave always seems to be wet inside. The bubbles emitted by a bubble machine behind a photograph of a diver suggested darting fish. At the far end of the cave was a light installation with  lasers and a digitized, vividly coloured projection of swimming fish. Clear inflatable panels suggesting water were placed between the viewers and the light installation to suggest water. That’s why this photo isn’t very sharp.


The plaza in front of Jaffa Gate was filled with what looked like glowing bullrushes (this display is part of the orange trail, which we hope to do next week).



Along the red trail I grabbed this quick photo of Pyromania, the music, dance, and light troupe, over the fence (this year they are charging for the performance). They were excellent last year. I hope we manage to see them this year.


Light sculptures along the way…


Fish in a net

Zion Gate was turned into a gateway into an airport, with sounds of boarding announcements and moving escalators. Because they hadn’t closed the gate to traffic, the sight of cars driving into an airport concourse was striking.

Zion Gate

Instead of fighting your way to the stands for a map, you can get one from young people wandering around with am illuminated “i” attached to them. Nice idea!

Mobile information booth

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Yeshiva at Night

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 22, 2009

Merkaz haRav, Jerusalem

Handheld, ISO 400, f/4.5, 37mm (35mm equivalent – 60mm), 1/5  sec. Taken from the sidewalk across the street.

Merkaz haRav Kook Yeshiva in Kiryat Moshe, Jerusalem, is one of the largest and best-known Religious Zionist yeshivas in the city.

This yeshiva is a boys’ high school and men’s post-secondary  institute for Jewish studies. I often pass it when I’m in Jerusalem. In the yeshiva world, it is customary for pairs of students (called a chevruta) to study together aloud. A pair of students is visible in the second floor window of the beit midrash (Hebrew: study hall), tipping their “shtenders” (Yiddish: book stands) so that they can read the texts easily.

Merkaz was the site of a terrible terrorist attack in March, 2008, in which 5 boys (students at the high school) and 3 men were shot and killed by an Arab driver who had worked for the yeshiva. Eleven others were wounded, five in serious condition.  The Jerusalem Post has the story. Israel National News has photos and details but be warned: these are pretty graphic.

I was pretty shaken up by the event because my son is the same age and studies in a large, well-known Religious Zionist yeshiva in Jerusalem. Some of his friends go to this school but, thank heavens, they were at the Western Wall at the time and hadn’t yet returned (these are dormitory schools, so the boys sleep there during the week). A friend who lives around the corner heard the whole thing. Had it been the night before our regularly scheduled photography class, I would have been there, too. It was quite a while before I could pass the yeshiva without thinking about the attack.

I had a photography class (not my regular one) the following morning in Machane Yehuda, in the center of Jerusalem. We were a pretty subdued bunch. After the class, I waited on Yaffo street at Davidka Square for a bus home. The police started blocking traffic and clearing the street. The funeral cortège bearing some of the victims for burial on Har haZeitim (Mount of Olives) passed by, followed by busloads of mourners. Everyone at the intersection was very quiet.

This photo shows that life has (almost) returned to normal at the yeshiva except, of course, for the families and friends of the victims.


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