Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bleach Bypass

These were all processed with a "Bleach Bypass" method (aren't you proud that I know what that means Nathan?), albeit in photoshop...

A door in the Bedrock...

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Tense Day in the Old City of Jerusalem

Well, today there was more tension in the Old City, and the entire city was closed to visiting Palestinians in the afternoon.  I'm not quite sure how they worked that, but they were checking papers and it looked like women, children, and men over 50 were allowed into the city while others were turned away.  All the gates had between 15 and 100 soldiers around them, and there were large groups of soldiers all over the Old City.  I didn't feel unsafe at all, but it was interesting to be at the center of what was a fairly tense situation.

In addition, I discovered a new photoshop plugin, Topaz Adjust, and I got the free 30 day trial installed.  Basically its an easy way to make a lot of different color and exposure adjustment to images.  You can make them all HDR-ish and overdo it, but it also makes it super easy to make images have a slight pop to them.  All of the following images were created using it, some with only slight adjustments, and a few with pretty intense adjustments (tho I don't think they are overdone).

Herod's Gate:

Damascus Gate:

A random street, this one is the heaviest use of HDR-type processing, and I'm quite pleased with it.  For handheld shooting with no tripod, or for people or animals that will move between shots, I think I have found my favorite new plugin!

A main intersection inside the Old City near the Western Wall:

A doorway on a rooftop near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre:

The King of Jerusalem:

A Cute little kid with an owie, having a grand old time near his home in the Old City:

Soldiers Everywhere, but still lots of tourists and about half the shops open:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Goats, Plants, and Scribes

Today we went to Neot Kedumim, a nature reserve that offers tours and explanations explaining about the many different aspects of nature that appear in the Bible.  It was really interesting to try to herd sheep,  see the many different plants mentioned in the Bible, and just generally be out in nature.  The only bad deal was that it was around 85 degrees and 110% humidity.  I was not made for such weather...  but I guess I can't complain, as it IS still March...

We ended the the day with a scribe who showed us how they make ink and parchment for the Torah and other religious texts.  He demonstrated some beautiful Hebrew calligraphy and then showed us a 200 year old Torah scroll.  It was really cool to look at it and actually be able to read it in the original Hebrew!  (though I don't yet know what the words mean, I have learned the Hebrew Alef-Bet, so that is really cool...)

A new fig putting budding, although this branch doesn't have any fruit... hmm...

This was the plant that people think the crown of thorns was that was placed on Jesus' head by the Romans.

Another fig, this one unlikely to be cursed, because it bears fruit in its season!

This guy is a scribe and also a chief gardener at the nature reserve.  It was really cool to watch him write in beautiful Hebrew script.

This is a 200 year old Torah scroll that was saved from being burnt in a pogrom in Poland in WWII