At the beginning of last year I did a trip to Israel and just lately I realized that I haven’t really posted any images – except a couple of pictures that made it into my Mitakon 50/0.95 review. I was there for a couple of days and stayed almost the entire time in Tel Aviv. The only exception was a tour to Petra in Jordan and a day trip to Jerusalem. The excursion to Petra was my personal highlight but it was a pain in the butt, since it involved some serious effort to get there. In a future blogpost I am going to explain why and of course I will include pictures as well.
From a street photographers perspective I think Israel is a rather interesting place to go but at the same I am pretty sure I won’t go there again any time soon. Let me explain why… First of all it is a very diverse place with an unbelievable cultural and historical background. That being said, the difference between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is like day and night. Tel Aviv is very modern with lots of young people that live a rather westernized lifestyle. When you go from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem it’s like traveling to another galaxy. That was absolutely amazing but at the same time I didn’t feel welcomed at all.
As a photographer I like to walk around places and explore them as much as possible. In Israel this was rather difficult because of all the check points and the many times I had to explain myself and what I am doing. I can understand why they are doing this, but for me it was rather annoying. At the airport they sent one of my lenses three times through the x-ray machine even though you could clearly see that it is only made out of metal and glass and there is now way to hide something inside. Then they wanted to do the same with my A7s without a lens attached and that was a big no no for me. Eventually I convinced them that it was a bad idea
In Jerusalem at the western wall I noticed some tourists taking pictures of the people praying there. The way they were doing it was absolutely rude and disrespectful. They were holding there big telephoto lenses right in the faces of people and even though they received clear signals not to so, they didn’t bother at all and kept shooting. Obviously there are no written rules when it comes to taking candid photos of people out on the streets, but there are certain boundaries and using common sense is highly recommended. When I am out and about I stop shooting if I notice that people are not comfortable with having their picture taken.
Enough words, here are some of the pictures I took in Israel: