For the last few years, or actually since my blog exists, I am trying to keep up with the tradition of writing a summary of my previous year in terms of my work and travels. Looking back at my previous posts from previous years (2012, 2013, 2014) is a great opportunity for me to see my growth personally and professionally.
2015 has been quite a busy year for me.
I’ve been traveling to Europe, the US and Africa. The latest has been an eye opener experience I will not easily forget. And while I was back in Tel Aviv, I was busy shooting stories in the city for various magazines in Europe. Tel Aviv seemed to be a popular destination to write about.
In January I have travelled with my boyfriend to Val Gardena, in the Dolomites of South Tyrol. As a semi pro skier, he wanted to teach me how to ski. Since I have never skied before (not even when I was living in New York) and after three try outs that failed to keep me standing still on the snow, I have preferred to take pictures and document others skiing, then sliding the snow slopes myself.
“I was 16 years old when I first visited Florence. It was a “Sweet 16” trip to Italy and the tour guide took us to Florence, just for a day. All I remember from that day was the statue of David in a blur. 20 years later, and I went back to Florence for the second time, but this time as a Photographer.
Florence was glorious. A bright Renaissance gem in North of Italy, where I spent 6 days and observed more than just the statue of David. Florence for me was running up the hills all the way to Piazzale Michelangelo, just to see the city waking up soaked in a morning dew. Florence for me was climbing up 412 stairs up the tower of the Duomo, for the sake of taking beautiful pictures. Florence for me was all about chocolate and coffee. Florence is walking through Santa Croce’s busy courtyard or feeding pigeons in San Marco Square. Florence for me was visiting the Academia at via Ricasoli on a busy day, paying only 4 Euro to see the masterpiece of David, and sneaking pictures of him when the museum guards were not watching. Florence is visiting Galleria Uffizi and observing The Birth of Venus, The Primavera or the Neptune statue in full glory. Florence is having Ricotta Cheese and Figs for lunch and chocolate and ice cream for dinner. Florence is walking in cobble stone streets with funny names such as Via de Tornabuoni or Via Maffia. Florence is having an afternoon stroll in Giardino di Boboli, or drinking water from Fontana dello Sprone. Florence is watching men in their best tailored suits riding their bicycles. Florence is visiting the Towers of Donati or the great halls of the old synagogue in Via Farini. Florence is watching the sunset over Ponte Vecchio while you are holding a bottle of wine in one hand and your loved one in other. Florence is doing and experiencing all of the above. Over and Over again”
To see more of my Florence images and read more about it, please click on this link.
Issue no. 7 of SisterMag is all about Italy. I was so excited when Thea asked me to contribute to this issue, and I already knew that from all Italian cities I’ve traveled to, I would choose Florence.
If you love Italy, than this SisterMag issue is for you. Flip through the colorful pages and read my article on page 54.
Florence is one of the most romantic cities I know. Let’s face it.
I was 16 years old when I first visited Florence. It was a ‘Sweet 16’ trip to Italy and the tour guide took us to Florence, just for a day. All I remember from that day was the statue of David. I remember how my parents got excited to hear I saw the statue of David, and my sister was shocked to hear he was naked. It took me 20 years to go back to Florence for the second time, and honestly, I don’t know why it took me so long.
Last year I got the urge to visit Florence. But Florence only. Was it because of a Travel article I read or just my imagination and curiosity to focus on Florence only, I don’t know… but eventually my instincts were right! Florence was glorious. A little Renaissance gem in North of Italy. My trip was mostly focused on photography and my wish to see more of this city than the statue of David. I walked a lot, as walking is my favorite way of discovering a new place and I got into some great neighborhoods beside the touristic attractions.
Florence for me was running up the hills all the way to Piazzale Michelangelo, just to see the city waking up soaked in a morning dew.
Florence for me was climbing up 412 stairs up the tower of the Duomo, for the sake of taking beautiful pictures.
Florence for me was all about chocolate and coffee. Better have a coffee for two at the mythological Cafe Gilli, or drinking coffee cream at Caffe Scudieri with a chocolate ice cream right with it.
Florence is walking through Santa Croce’s busy courtyard or feeding pigeons in San Marco Square.
Florence for me was visiting the Academia at via Ricasoli on a busy day, paying only 4 euros to see the masterpiece of David, and sneaking pictures of him when the museum guards were not watching.
Florence is visiting Galleria Uffizi and observing The Birth of Venus, The Primavera or the Neptune statue in full glory.
Florence is having Ricotta Cheese and Figs for lunch and chocolate and ice cream for dinner.
Florence is walking in cobble stone streets with funny names such as Via de Tornabuoni or Via Maffia
Florence is having an afternoon stroll in Giardino di Boboli, or drinking water from Fontana dello Sprone.
Florence is watching men in their best tailored suits riding their bicycles.
Florence is visiting the Towers of Donati or the great halls of the old synagogue in Via Farini.
Florence is walking through Piazza San Lorenzo markets, Piazza Del Republica or passing by Palazzo Pitti.
Florence is watching the sunset over Ponte Vecchio while you are holding a bottle of wine in one hand and your loved one in other.
Florence is doing and experiencing all of the above.
One of my closest friends tends to measure her Birthday and the year that passed by the number of places she has visited and the number of people she fell in love with. In other words, a good year for her will be a year well travelled (to some new destinations) and a year she has experienced love or fell in love at least once. When she shared with me this information, I smiled and paused for a second but just because I had to think about her great idea and evaluate my past year according to her standards; Love and new destinations.
Looking back at where I was and what I did and how I celebrated my previous Birthday and having a check point to where I am at now (few days before my birthday) I must admit I have covered quite much of the plan. Yes, I’ve been traveling quite a lot for work or to catch up with family and friends and I met some interesting people.
Last year on my Birthday I packed my camera bag and another Gemini friend (Sharyn) and we went to Nassau, the Bahamas. We both wanted to escape New York for a while. We didn’t want to deal with velvet ropes or high priced drinks as we did in previous years on our Birthdays. Obviously the Bahamas was a great escape, even though I experienced a semi-Tornado storm on the day of my Birthday for the first time in my life.
On the day of our Birthdays we both wrote our goals for the next coming year (sort of a habit we keep). I think Sharyn wrote hers on a piece of paper and shoved it in a beer bottle and then she threw it to the water. I wrote mine on the back of a Murakami’s book I was reading back then. Whereas I am not sure how much did Sharyn complete her list, I think I covered almost 60% of mine.
It has been an exciting year for sure, and even though 60% of my goals were covered, I’ve managed to achieve some extra new ones I didn’t plan before;
I have traveled to some new destinations and came across different and various cultures. I made some new friends. I might even lost some. I tasted new kinds of food I would never imagine I try, not to mention where I found it. I learned how to translate my thoughts and ideas into pictures and words. I struggled with lighting equipment. I started to like negative space. I met and photographed famous people. I got nervous before doing that. I tried to decide what should be in focus. I took blurry pictures. I probably bad worded something up. I got confused more than once because of a guy. I considered getting off facebook few times. I finally gave in to Twitter. I found my name printed in some global websites and magazines. That was exciting! I got impatient so many times. I fell few times while running. I tried to be courageous. I talked to myself while taking the Subway. I took a 24 hour flight (almost non stop). I took a night train all the way from Hanoi to Sapa just to realize there was too much fog for a shoot. I took the midnight train back at the same day. I left my camera bag in the middle of a Starbucks in Tokyo. I watched a lot of French movies. I searched mostly for natural light. I took pictures of the interiors of other peoples homes and actually kind of liked it. I had some second thoughts regarding my unconventional life. I tried to forgive and forget. I had days based on coffee and dark chocolate. I tend to say YES to opportunities that came across and I freaked out when time was moving too fast.
And even though I feel I was quite slow paced the last couple of months, I can’t wait for the new ones to come.
I don’t really remember when and how exactly I found out aboutSkip Town but I do remember quite well how much I liked it instantly. Its simple yet sophisticated design, the useful and detailed information and the diversity of the featured photographers, made it all so appealing. At least for me. Moreover, its title ‘the online resource for creative travelers’ grabbed my intention right away, but let’s face it; when it has to do with traveling, I’m quite biased.
I was first featured in Skip Town on April 2011, when Jess saw my ‘Intimacy Under the Wires’ project somewhere, and I got all very excited when I saw it online. But now I’m even more excited to be featured for the second time, in the blog’s category ‘Through their Eyes’ where pro photographers share their travel snaps. Read all about it.
Here is a little confession: When I first saw Dalit Katzenellenbogen Viva Italia blog few months ago, all I wanted was to be her. Meanwhile I’ll do with being a guest blogger on Viva Italia. Here is a short interview with me and featuring some of my photos from my trip to Florence. Here is the link to read the full article. Sorry, but the text is only in Hebrew (but the photos are not)
“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.
It is not so hard to locate and find laundry in Florence. I was staying in Via del Campuccio street in Florence, a walking distance from all the places to see and visit in Florence. I must say that a friend of mine, who visited Florence a week before, told me he hardly if ever saw laundry hung outside the windows. Boy, he was wrong. Laundry is almost in every window. I didn’t come across clotheslines reached across buildings or hung over alleys, as I saw in Venice, but laundry could be easily seen. The combination of the yellow colored brick walls with the green shutters and the vivid colors of the clothes, made it all so unique and beautiful. A celebration to the eyes.
Drinking Italian coffee first thing in the morning, Running up the hills of Florence just to see the city waking up soaked in a morning dew, Piazzale Michelangelo, cutting lines in Galleria Uffizi, the old Synagogue in Via Farini. Temptation to have a snack at the Tripe and Lampredotto food vendors. Santa Croce’s busy courtyard. The Towers of the Donati, the Academia at Via Ricasoli, only 4 euros to see the Masterpiece of David. Sneaking photos of David when the museum guard turns around.
Yellow Buildings, Green Blinds, Red Wine and Blue Cheese. Ricotta Cheese and Figs for Lunch. Chocolate and Ice cream for Dinner.
Gucci, Pucci, Salvatore Fergamanno, Gianfranco Ferre and Sergio Rossi. Via de Tornabuoni, Money and Beauty exhibit, Men in suits riding their Bikes. Socks at Emillio Cavalini, Coffee cream at Caffe Scudieri, another round of chocolate ice cream. Piazza San Lorenzo Markets, Piazza Del Repubblica, Palazzo Pitti. The Birth of Venus, the Primavera, Neptune statue in full glory. Narrow cobblestone alleys, Santo Spirito vibrant restaurants, watching the rooftops of Florence every morning. Coffee for two at the mythological Cafe Gilli, watching the sunset over Ponte Vecchio and drinking water from Fontana dello Sprone. Saturday afternoon stroll in Giardino di Boboli. Jazz music under the trees, Climbing 412 stairs up the tower of the Duomo for the sake of taking pictures. Feeding pigeons in San Marco square, walking everyday in Via Maffia, shooting tons of pictures and doing La Dolce Vita….Priceless!