Tel Aviv in B&W: 2012…

Tel Aviv Art Museum...

Well we’re back home in the States and have begun to settle in. I  have finally gotten a chance to work on my images from Israel and also from Cuba. Part of the problem that I was experiencing  was that my portable external drive ‘froze’ and most of my images are stored on it although some that were ‘backed up’ were saved. Anyways, my friend Brian was able to find the files and is working on restoring them. For that I owe him a big thanks (and probably dinner as well).

Tel Aviv is a terrific city in many ways. As I’ve shared with you in the past, the Bauhaus architecture dominated the city for years (making it a World Heritage Site) but now the city is expanding and the architecture is changing as more and more hi-rise apartment and office buildings dominate the skyline. What I found in ‘shooting’ the buildings in Tel Aviv is that they lend themselves to being shot and processed in black & white. Here are a few of the images from a couple of visits to the city.

Reminder: Click on any image to begin the slideshow…

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The Easter Parade 2012, Fifth Avenue, NYC…

Eileen and I returned on Friday and are beginning to settle in. Took time on Sunday to go to The Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue.  About 10 blocks were closed to traffic and the ‘bonnet’ wearers were out in force. It was sort of like a combination Mermaid/Halloween/Gay Pride parades with genders often difficult to determine. It was a lot of fun to shoot there. The subjects were more than pleased to pose for you and everyone was in good spirits.

Here are some images from the parade. There was so much to shoot, and we were only there for about 1.5 hours, that I had a difficult time deciding which images to include in the blog. So, I included most of them. I hope it gives you a new look at the Easter Parade.

Reminder: Click on one of the images below to start the slideshow…

Eileen & Ellery’s Fabulous Adventures in Israel #9: Hotel Cinema, Tel Aviv…

Hotel Cinema, Tel Aviv...

Eileen and I recently went to Tel Aviv to visit (and shoot, of course) in the Old Cemetery on Trumpeldor Street (founded in 1902), but that’s another blog I guess. We parked the car and headed off to find the cemetery. Along the way we had to walk through Dizengoff Circle which is a bustling area of shops, residences and to my great surprise The Hotel Cinema.

The architecture of Israel is composed of many different styles of building brought in by those who have occupied the country over the ages, and are sometimes modified to suit the local climate and landscape. Fortified Crusader castles, Islamic madrassas, Byzantine churches, Templer houses, Bauhaus-style modernist buildings (found not only in Tel Aviv but in many other cities, including Herzlya where we live), Arab arches and minarets, Russian Orthodox onion domes, and soaring glass-sided skyscrapers – all are part of the architecture of Israel.

The Cinema Hotel, built in 1939, is constructed in an original Bauhaus style building – The Ester Cinema – one of the first movie theaters in Tel Aviv. The building was recently restored and renovated to become a boutique hotel, whatever that is. Inside, I later found out, are some of the original projectors, movie posters and theater chairs scattered around. Guess that gives us another reason to return to the hotel.

I was immediately attracted to this  rounded stone building because of its sleek lines, elegance and the fact that it is in the Bauhaus style of architecture.  Tel Aviv, in fact, in 2004 was named to the list of World Heritage Sites by the UN due to its abundance of Bauhaus architecture. The difficulty in shooting this building is the fact that there are numerous trees on the street blocking most of it, so tree-free sight lines were limited. I figured I’d take a couple of images and then post on a blog about architecture in Tel Aviv.

But, when I got home and processed my images, I was in for a big surprise as these lines jumped out at me in a way I had not foreseen. So, here are a few of the images I came up with. They are all taken from the one image above and ‘slightly’ enhanced with Topaz BW Effects. I had thought about cleaning up the images a bit to get rid of the cracks and lines that show up in the white areas. But, I thought they enhanced them, giving them respect like the lines on an old persons face.

Reminder: Click on one of the images below to start slide-show…

Eileen & Ellery’s Fabulous Adventures in Israel #8: The Christian Quarter and The Via Dolorosa…

The Christian quarter was built around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is the heart of the quarter. Around the church there are other churches and monasteries. As in contrast to the Muslim Quarter there are few houses. Christian buildings stand on much of the quarter. Besides the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which occupies most of the land, the Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox, the Franciscan monastery, San Salvatore and the Latin Patriarchate take up large areas as well. The quarter also contains souvenir shops, coffee houses, restaurants and hotels.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians  is highly respected as the Hill of Calvary, where Jesus was said to be crucified and is also said  to contain the place where Jesus was buried (the sepulchre). The church is  an important Christian pilgrimage destination…

Christians on pilgrimage pose in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre...

…as it is the purported site of the resurrection of Jesus. Control of the Church building is shared between several Christian churches including Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and roman Catholic.

Just inside the entrance is The Stone of Anointing, also known as The Stone of Unction, which tradition claims to be the spot where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial by Joseph of Arimathea. However, this tradition  only exists since the crusader era (1095 AD), and the present stone was only added in the 1810 reconstruction of the Church.

This stone represents where they laid and washed Jesus' body before burial...

The Via Dolorosa  is a street, in two parts, within the Old City of Jerusalem, said to be the path that Jesus walked, carrying his cross, on the way to his crucifixion. It is a distance of about  2,000 feet and is a celebrated place of Christian pilgrimage…


The current route…

…has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions. It is marked by nine Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa…

The fourth station where Jesus meets his mother...

The Church on the site of the fourth station...

5th Station of the cross, Via Dolorosa...

The fifth station refers to the biblical episode in which Simon of Cyrene takes Jesus' cross, and carries it for him...

…there have been fourteen stations since the late 15th century,  with the remaining five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.