I was going through my archives the other day looking through my images from my trip to Israel in 2010. I’m going back to Israel next week and I was trying to remind myself what I shot the last time I was there. That trip took place before I started this blog and when I was just starting to learn about HDR. This was one image that I was never happy with. I had shot 3 brackets handheld but it was very dark and the longer exposure image was blurry and the HDR never came out the way I wanted it to. Of course that was before I was using Lightroom so I decided to process one of the brackets on its own in LR5. All I did for processing was to bring out the shadows and darken the highlights slightly and cloned out part of a railing.
This was taken on the walk down to Hezekiah’s Tunnel in Jerusalem which was dug underneath the City of David. The tunnel dates back to the reign of Hezekiah of Judah in the late 8th and early 7th century BCE and was designed as an aqueduct to provide Jerusalem with water.
Walking through the tunnel itself is an amazing experience. It’s dark, very narrow and you walk through water that comes up to your knees. Yup that’s us in the picture below. Our tour guide took this shot…
When I first go through images from a shoot I mark the keepers (and the ones that I’m going to process), delete the technically poor ones and then there are the ones that are technically ok but just don’t jump out at me. Every so often I go through my archives and see something in an image that I didn’t see before. This was taken a few years back on a trip to Israel. We were in the Judean Hills not far from Jerusalem. It was mid-day and the sun was very harsh so the original image was washed out but when I looked at it again I really liked the way the tree was shaped. It almost looks like its going for a walk. I re-processed the image with a vintage monochrome look and really liked the way it came out. What do you think?
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In the southwest corner of the Temple Mount, in the old city of Jerusalem is what’s left of Robinson’s Arch. The arch was built by King Herod during the reconstruction of the second temple. The massive stone structure was built along the retaining walls of the Temple Mount and it went from the lower market place to the top esplanade of the mount. The arch was destroyed during the great Jewish Revolt against the Romans in 70 C.E. It was only during archeological excavations of the late 20th Century that the arch was discovered.
Today in the courtyard area adjacent to Robinson’s Arch is an open area that is used for weddings and Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations..
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The holiest site in Judaism is the Western Wall (or known in Hebrew as Ha-Kotel Ha-Ma’aravi). Located in the Old City in Jerusalem it sits a top the Temple Mount.
In the year 37 BCE, King Herod order a huge renovation project for the Temple. The area of the Temple Mount was widened and four support walls were built around it. The Western Wall was the western support wall that was built at that time. More than half the wall and many tunnels actually lie below street level. The wall and tunnels that run underground run through both the Jewish Quarter and the Muslim Quarter of the old city.
The second temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70CE and what remained were the four support walls. What makes the Western Wall (and not one of the other three remaining support walls) the most special is its proximity to the location of the Holy of Holies in the Temple. The Holy of Holies is the core and heart of the first and second temples and it is said that The Ark of the Covenant was kept there. The ark is said to have contained The Ten Commandments.
There is a tradition that Jews visiting The Western Wall adhere to. Notes or prayers are written on a small piece of paper and placed in the cracks of the wall. The idea is that one isn’t praying to a wall but that a divine presence lies on the wall. Writing a prayer on a small piece of paper and fitting it into a crack in the wall is like having a direct line to this divine source.
Today we visit the old city in Jerusalem, the Christian Quarter to be exact. The old city is divided into four quarters, the Christian Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, the Jewish Quarter and the Armenian Quarter. Each of these quarters has a uniqueness all its own. The streets are narrow, the architecture dates back to the 1500’s, shopping stalls overflow with merchandise in the markets while vendors are vying for your attention. Through all of this I spotted this lone gentlemen quietly sitting on the stairs of a church.