This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘sunrise’

Desert Sunrise near Mitzpeh Yericho

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 6, 2015


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.


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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Happy New Year! (Better Late Than Never)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 10, 2012

First sunrise of 2012

First sunrise of 2012! In Israel, January 1 is just an ordinary working day, so no parties, champagne, carousing for me last night. I got up early for a walk and got this photo of the sun peeking over blocks of flats in the Nofei Sela neighbourhood of Maale Adumim. I’ve been very busy at work with courses (one in UML and the other in HTML5), so I haven’t had much energy for creative projects.

I did remember to photograph my blooming cactus. A piece of cardboard is propping up the branch. The background is a scratched-up magnet board (I really need to buy a piece of black cardstock). The light is an ordinary fluorescent desk lamp. When you push up the black levels, the scratches and dust on the magnet board disappear! 🙂

Christmas Cactus

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Moonset, Sunrise

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 11, 2011

Setting Moon

I missed last night’s lunar eclipse. I had no idea that it was going on until I saw some of my Flickr friends post their eclipse photos. 😦

I got up this morning at 6 a.m. and saw that the moon was close to setting, so I took a couple photos. I was surprised how well manual focus worked. I tend to use my right eye to look through the camera, which is odd because my left eye sees much more clearly. So I switched eyes and it was much easier to focus. I don’t think I could ever switch over completely to using my left eye but it’s good to know that it helps with focusing! The first photo was underexposed in order to show the details of the moon. It was actually quite light by this time, although the sun hadn’t yet cleared the horizon. I used a 55-250mm lens at 220mm, handheld.

Setting Moon

About half an hour after moonset, the sun rose. I took this photo with a point-and-shoot (Canon PowerShot S95) while on my morning run. I retouched it slightly to get ride of a plane that happened to be flying by. A point-and-shoot doesn’t allow very tight apertures. I was only able to stop it down to f/8, but it was sufficient to create a little sunflare between the buildings of Nofei Sele, Maale Adumim.


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Sunrise over Amman, 2010

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 5, 2010

Twin Towers of Amman

I woke up at 4:30 this morning. My alarm was set for 5:15 but I often wake up early if I have to get up for something. Last August, I photographed these towers with a Canon PowerShot S5IS, because I only had the 18-55mm kit lens. Since then, I’ve acquired a 55-250mm lens, so I set up my tripod and took the same photo again. And this time the sun actually lined up with the towers!

These photos were taken on Rehov haGilgal, Mitzpeh Nevo, Maale Adumim, Israel. The distance between Mitzpeh Nevo and Amman is about 70 kilometers.

In the cropped photo below (taken just before sunrise) you can see that they replaced the crane on the south tower, which collapsed almost a year ago (May 16, 2009), at a height of 200 meters. The buildings are still under construction. I have no idea how many stories they are now.

Twin Towers of Amman

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Reflection of Sunrise on Twin Towers, Amman

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 7, 2010

7/365 - Across the Jordan Valley at dawn

Boy, some days I really wish I had a monster telephoto lens (or knew someone who could lend me one). I’m not sure whether it’s possible to rent a lens in Israel but this was one of those spur-of-the-moment shots.

Yesterday, I was walking around with my new Canon 55-250mm lens, hoping to get a shot of hyraxes. At 6:45 I glanced over towards the east and saw the rising sun shining off the southern tower of the Amman twin towers. The shots I took with the Canon Rebel XSi were disappointing (no tripod!), but I got somewhat better results this morning with the old S5. The result was a bit noisy, but okay. It was cropped considerably (hey, an S5 is a point-and-shoot, after all).

I used a Slik mini-tripod. I find it a lot easier to use the S5 with the small tripod because I can flip out the LED viewfinder and adjust the composition, instead of bending over close to the ground to peer through the viewfinder. Yes, I know I could use the Rebel’s Live View feature but that sure eats up the battery fast and I don’t use it often enough to switch to that mode without checking the manual.


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Palm Tree at Dawn

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 2, 2009

Palm Tree at Sunrise

Yesterday morning I went out for a run around 6:30 a.m. I was just warming up when I noticed the most beautiful light shining on a palm tree, so I ran back to get my camera. Twenty minutes and many frames later….

Palm Tree at Sunrise

Sun flare

Palm Tree at Sunrise


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Sunrise over Amman, Take 2

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 7, 2009

Sunrise over Amman, Take 2

Canon PowerShot S5 (72mm, f/4, 1/1000s, ISO80) on a tripod. If the focal length seems odd, it’s because this is a point-and-shoot. The 35mm equivalent is 454mm.

The sunrise and buildings are aligned better but not quite perfectly. This was taken at 6:01:49. It was an interesting experiment. I set up my tripod on the street between the first two Afikei Nevo buildings in Mitzpeh Nevo, Maale Adumim. I was lucky to get a clear shot. Some of the other buildings have stone walls running along the street and there’s no way to get to the other side, unless I want to climb over a fence and hike halfway down into the wadi. Because the extreme zoom eliminated the buildings and fence, this location was good enough.

You can see Israel in the foreground and Jordan in the background, on the horizon. The Israeli part is the hills near the Jordan valley, far beyond Maale Adumim’s Nofei Sela neighbourhood and Mishor Adumim. The Jordan Gate twin towers are 57 km from where I took the photo.

If you want to see what the sun and buildings looked like when they were aligned, here’s a small version of a shot taken at 6:03:22. It’s a pretty bad photo. Looks like the Jordan Gate is being nuked.

Crane on the south tower

The Jordan Gate Towers is a luxury commercial and residential project, still under construction. On May 16, 2009, the crane on the north tower collapsed from overload, with no injuries although the Egyptian operator was treated for shock. (CraneBlogger says the central jib crumpled in several places and that dismantling the crane at the height of 220 meters would be very tricky. His blog has a photo of the damaged crane.) The crane was dismantled in June, 2009. My photo shows the crane still standing on the south tower. To view it, click the photo to go to the Flickr page, click All Sizes, and choose Large or Original.

The finished size of the buildings has not been determined but several sources estimate 180 meters, higher than the 31-storey Le Royal Hotel in Amman. The developers are based in Bahrain. The north tower was built up to the 44th floor when the crane collapsed, so that gives you and idea of the current size.

Time to get some sleep.

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Sunrise over Amman

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 6, 2009

Sunrise over Amman

I woke up at 5:20 a.m. today to get this shot. It was taken from Maale Adumim, facing Jordan. The buildings to the right of the sun are the Jordan Gate twin towers in Amman, about 60 km away.

So why was I up at that hour? Because I received an email from R, a neighbour and member of the Israel New Moon Society. The Israel New Moon Society was formed to revive the ancient Jewish custom of observing the new moon at the beginning of each lunar month.

Dear Avital,

Towards the end of the week (I think Thursday or Friday) at 06:00 you will be able to see the Sun rise over the Jordan Gate Twin Towers, Amman from next to the Up Shul. I would recommend trying your old camera with the longest telephoto and manual exposure to minimum aperture and minimum exposure time.


Dear Avital,

I checked the position of the Sunrise this morning and calculate (I hope that I am correct) that the best artistic effect would be this Friday at 06:01½ with most of the Sun above the horizon. If not then Thursday 6th May 2010 at 05:52¼.


It took me a little while to notice that the second time was in 2010. 2010?! Better mark it down in my calendar!

Today was actually a dry run, since the date he mentioned is tomorrow (I’m not sure how much the sun will have changed its position in 24 hours, though).

I took both cameras, the Canon S5 and the Canon Rebel XSi. The photos taken with the XSi weren’t very good — I don’t have a lens for that camera that is the equivalent of the 10x zoom of the S5. (Take note, all you folks who have point-and-shoot cameras and are pining for a DSLR! You’ll find that to get the same quality of zoom and macro lenses as a good point-and-shoot costs a lot of $$$$.) The S5 was on a tripod.

If I do this tomorrow, I’ll take the S5, a tripod, and bug repellant.

Update. Just got another email. I guess I’m setting my alarm early again!

Dear Avital,

The Sun will be 20′ to the right tomorrow putting the left of the left tower at the center of the Sun when it is at that height. If you move 90 m to the right (if you were at the Up Shul, move to the parking lot by the migrash) then the towers will be centered on the Sun. Note that the towers are 57 km away so you can check my calculations if your wish.
Good luck.



Here’s a map showing Maale Adumim and Amman. Originally I tried linking to the Google map but the link did not show the roads and cities on the Israeli side of the border.

Map showing Maale Adumim and Amman

Map showing Maale Adumim and Amman


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