Picture is worth a 1000 Words
“…If you tell the Truth, you don’t have to remember anything…”
Ho Chi Minn, Vietnam, February 2012
This picture was taken on my second day in Ho Chi Minn. I was just walking around Ben Thanh Market when I saw those two sitting across each other, having (as it looked like) a conversation. I’ve noticed the distance between the two stools and I wondered if it was really a conversation, an argument, maybe a game they were playing. Maybe even some sort of treatment or a game they were playing.
I didn’t want to come closer (even though I was very curious) as I didn’t want to interfere with their dynamics or change the balance. Sometimes, a photographer just need to capture a moment, and the rest is like ‘filling in the blanks’…
What do you think they were talking about?
“If you fail the first time, consider yourself normal. if you fail a second time, consider yourself special for you have what it takes to succeed. If you fail a third time, consider yourself extraordinary, for many people would have already given up”
Montmartre, Paris April 2011
I couldn’t think of a better timing to post these words, as I am currently spending my last few days in the Montmartre in Paris. This picture was taken over a year ago on a weekend afternoon when the area was packed with people, mostly tourists and yet, the images and the words are still so relevant.
I was visiting Paris for few days last April and my friend took me to this area as he knew I would love the view. But not only did I LOVED the view, but also this amazing Street performer, Iya Traore, who is known as the soccer player of the Montmartre and is doing these courageous acrobatic moves while standing on a ledge, overlooking Paris. His performance was quite extreme and I was amazed by his energy and fearlessness. And yesterday, while I was running my morning run all the way to the Sacre -Coeur just to overlook the city and do my stretches, this guy’s presence was missing. And all I could think of was how far can someone go and how extraordinary he could be if he follows his courage.
“No matter how serious life gets, you still gotta have that one person you can be completely stupid with…”
Île de la Cité, Paris June 2012
I was walking in the streets of Paris for hours yesterday with my sister. She came from Tel Aviv and I came from New York to celebrate my Birthday here, in Paris. It was quite a last-minute-plan that worked out very well like a last-minute-plan can work out. My sister hasn’t been to Paris for a while and I am here for a shoot (and I don’t need an excuse to go to Paris) so the timing was perfect for both of us.
Talking about timing. Today I am celebrating my Birthday. And I think the sentence attached to this image, describes very well the essence of an Age. or Aging. or an Attitude towards life. Being able to laugh at yourself from time to time or allowing yourself to be silly or stupid, can be a great thing.
Talking about timing. What makes a photograph to a good one, is timing as well. We were walking in the area of Île de la Cité, right about to cross to the Notre Dame de Paris, when we saw this clown with the aquarium on his head. I wasn’t really impressed or paying attention as I saw him already in my previous visit to Paris but my sister got quite curious so she stood there to look at him.
When I turned my head back to call my sister to join me, I saw this kid. The way these two were interacting was amazingly funny, naive and so….pure. I couldn’t help myself and I took these pictures.
“…Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self. When we don’t see the self as self, what do we have to fear? See the world as yourself. Have faith in the way things are. Love the world as yourself; then you can care for all things…”
Lisbon, Portugal June 2012
I stepped into Belmonte Coffee Club in Lisbon by chance.
I think I was looking for a restrooms or a Wifi connection to check some of my emails when I stepped in. A warm welcoming by the cute and mysterious young manager of the cafe made me stay a bit longer and ask him some questions about the place and the way it designed. Then Fredric, the owner of the place stepped in and I forwarded my questions to him. Apparently, Fredric turned out to be an artist (he made this statue) an avid book reader (he reads a book a day) an ambitious Landscape Collector (who owns the 15th century Palacio Belmonte) and an interesting funny guy. Looking back at this specific day, I can now say my visit to this cafe wasn’t just by chance, and I should have faith in the way things are…Stay tuned for more.
“One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind”
Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam February 2012
As a photographer, I love taking pictures of others who take pictures. There is something very special in being in the moment, looking at the viewpoint and click. When I take a picture, I always feel as the world around me freezes for the second I click the camera bottom. After I hear the sound of the shutter released, it’s like the world can get back to normal again. I was planning to take a picture of Hoan Kiem Lake on a misty morning for a long time. In fact, that was one of the reasons I wanted to go there. It was a fine misty morning on February when I just started my walk and passed through the lake, as I used to do every morning. And then I saw this young woman with her camera, pointing at d Ngoc Son Temple in the middle of the lake and the two teenager boys sitting on the right. I love the green and red color combination, both of her bag, the guy’s coat and the green of the lake and the tree.
When I took the picture, the world around me DID freeze for a second.
“Never allow yourself to become one of those people who, when they are old, tell you how they missed their chance”
Hanoi, Vietnam, February 2012
This picture was taken in one of my latest days in Hanoi. I spent almost six full days in this city and I walked its streets and alleys thoroughly, despite the massive traffic. I had an urge to eat bao buns, these delicious steamed buns filled with either pork or sweet beans, as a vegi-version alternative, for vegis like me. But even though Hanoi is filled with Boulangeries, thanks to the shades of a French past, it took me a while to find what I wanted. But eventually I did!
To make a long story short…in one of my searches for French Boulangerie, I came across this guy, who was sitting on a chair trying to have a nap. His eyes were closed before and he was semi-napping I think, but he has just opened them and looked at me when I took that shot. He didn’t say a word. He just stared back.
“…A smile is the only crooked line that sets a lot of things straight…”
Sapa, Vietnam, February, 2012
I just got back from Sapa in the north of Vietnam, where I was hoping to take pictures of the beautiful endless rice fields and terraces. I say ‘Hoping’ because from the minute I arrived there till the minute I left, it was quite rainy and foggy. Least to say, I was quite disappointed. In fact, very disappointed that I got back to Hanoi at the same day, getting on the first night train back.
However, in between my back and forth train rides I still got a chance to eat the best Pho soup (in an outdoor market among the locals) and walk with two other photographers down the hill towards Cat Cat Village, which is a home to the Black Hmong people.
The only way to discover Cat Cat village and its people is by taking the steep stairs down the rice terraces to see the waterfalls. On my way downward I passed through this little girl who was running up the hills. I managed to pull out my camera very quick and take a picture of her before she ran away. When she saw my camera she made this silly smile. No doubt it was such a nice smile that it brightened up my so far depressive day.
“…Life is a carnival, you need to go on all the rides..”
Venice, Italy September 2011
I’ve spent only few hours in Venice and yet, manage to shoot so much in such a short time.
It seems that almost every other store in Venice sells these special masks and costumes for the well known Carnival of Venice, but CaDel Sol is one of the biggest one with a great variety. Stepping into this store is like stepping into a candy shop when you are five years old and you don’t know what to look for at first, and you don’t know what to choose. It really made me curious more about the Carnival. I haven’t been yet to a Venetian Carnival but this is definitely something on my ‘to do’ list one day.
And yes, Life is a Carnival. Not necessarily a Venetian one. And if we do tend to see our Life that way, so be better need to go on all the rides and not forget to enjoy them.
“Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end”
Giardini di Boboli, Florence, September 2011
One of my weekend morning in Florence was spent by walking in Giardini di Boboli, a breathtaking garden located just a block away from the place I was staying in. This beautiful oasis labyrinth is one of many treasures Florence has to offer to its visitors and residents. There are so many hidden gems and hidden locations in the gardens that one morning or one stroll were definitely not enough.
If Love heightens our state of awareness, then the same goes for Photography. Same goes for Travel.
As a photographer I must keep ‘practicing’ awareness to what is around me, so I can keep capturing eye-opener shots. Same with Love and Travel…I must keep ‘practicing’ awareness to keep capturing eye-opener experiences.
“To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform”
Nassau, the Bahamas, June 2011
This picture always reminds me the Brazilian movie ‘City of God’. Not that I can compare between the two situations (as probably there is no room for comparison) but there was something in the teenagers fast energy, that reminds me the fast-moving energy in the movie I watched so many years ago, but still echos in my mind. The movie tells the story of two childhood friends who grew up in the same violent neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, but each of them took a different path; one became a photographer, the other a drug dealer.
I was watching these teenager boys goofing and playing around, throwing each other to the water time after time. I followed them with my camera as I wanted to grab their energy, not their attention. This image grabbed me immediately; the way they straighten their backs, they way they walk tall and the confident way they carrying themselves. They were walking like that till they got to the edge of the pier and then they jumped.