June 15, 2009

Photo of the Week: June 16, 2009

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: There are some places, which, like people, are highly photogenic and seem never to look bad no matter when they are photographed. The old city of Jerusalem is one such place, but even after years of studying its moods and personality, it's a challenge to find a new angle on its unique beauty. The past week, however, the city has been celebrating "Light in Jerusalem 09," a first-of-its-kind in Israel artistic event. Several world renowned light sculptors and designers traveled to the city to meld their artistic vision with the city's ancient gates, walls, and plazas. The opportunity for fresh imagery was ripe.

This shot, taken below Jaffa Gate, features a solar-powered installation called Garden of Night designed by Israeli artists Gaston Tzahar and Meirav Eitan of the O*GE Interactive Gallery in Haifa. Giant lotus flowers open and close while tulips and balls of dew sparkle and all the lights change color every few seconds. But the lights in the flowers were not the only ones changing. The event began at 8 p.m. and I knew from experience that the walls would look more impressive lit against the last blue light of day instead of the dark black of night. Because the electric lights were changing color so rapidly, I fired off several shots over about a half a minute and accumulated a selection of differently colored flowers. While several were appealing, I chose this one because I like the contrast in color between the flowers and the blue sky and the walls. The event drew large crowds to the old city, so getting there early also gave me an opportunity to shoot without any human obstruction. The show continues through June 16 and is free.


Gaston Zahr said...

Thank you very much for the article.
Our intention was to create an enchanting night garden with different kinds of flowers which come alive only at night: Giant Lotus Flowers, over four meters in diameter, intermittently opening and closing, and changing colors at a subtle pace; while delicate tulips, illuminated by one color of varying intensities; and masses of gently glowing dewdrop flowers, create an poetic ambience of tranquility, sensual beauty and pure serenity.

In a nutshell: Less Vegas more poetic tranquility. In the context of the LightFestival this garden offers a different pace and a space for rest, to lay down on the grass, watch the flowers and listen to this amazing Hang music by Andy Isler and Ravid Goldschmidt.

Left to say that the garden is powered by solar energy. The 4 solar panels seen in the end of the garden produce enough electricity during the day to light up the garden at night. In that way we hoped to demonstrate that by using alternative energy, not only are we safeguarding our environment, but, we are also creating a poetic, magical experience.

We hope you enjoyed it !!! For us it was definitely a pleasure. :-)

Avitalp said...

I forwarded your blog URL to Gaston. He'd suggested that I come by on the last day of the exhibit to photograph his installation but now there isn't much point. Nice shot.

Yehoshua Halevi said...

Hi Gaston,
Thanks for the additional insight into your work. I think you succeeded in creating a sensual environment that indeed went way beyond just the visual elements. I didn't comment on the music because I had no idea what Hang music is, but I just read up on it so thank you also for introducing me to it. I think it was also an excellent choice to complement the color and relaxing feel of the exhibit. I walked through almost all of the other installations, but I enjoyed yours the most.

Yehoshua Halevi said...

Shalom Avital,
People sometimes ask me, "why should I hire you?" Along with some practical reasons, my response includes a remark that I'm the only one who does what I do, who sees the world like I do. That's true for everyone involved in a creative process, no matter what level of skill. So if you haven't gone to the exhibit, certainly do go. And certainly bring your camera along and create your unique take on what you experience.