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  #121  
Old November 19th, 2010, 09:06 AM
Ken Tanaka Ken Tanaka is offline
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Ben: I admire your work on this project of passion. It seems a perfect vehicle for you to stretch your visual legs.
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  #122  
Old November 19th, 2010, 09:37 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Default An Overview of a Major Set of Images: A Lesson for us all!

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A return to 6X12, only image from a day up in Tzfat (Safed), you get some days like that, nothing ever seems to work. I had my back to the Abuhav Synagogue one of the most famous ancient (500 year old) kabbalistic synagogues in Tzfat. I was taking a bit of a breather, the uneven cobbled stones of Tzfat's Old City are murder on the ankles! The entrance to the synagogue was behind me and within a school group were singing popular age old Jewish tunes within the confines of a synagogue as old as the tunes themselves. I turned and saw this view and as the sun set with the children singing 'Shalom Aleichem', 'peace be onto you', I took this photograph.


Shalom Aleichem

The Sabbath will soon start here and I too will be in the synagogue singing the ancient song of Shalom Aleichem, welcoming in the Sabbath, the peace and serenity of a return to the day which to Jews for 3000 years has signified a break from the worries and troubles of the week. My thoughts will be with this scene and the children singing in happiness and innocence...
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Ben: I admire your work on this project of passion. It seems a perfect vehicle for you to stretch your visual legs.
Ken,

You have added focus to our admiration of Ben's long term devotion to one small old area of our experience. As you point out, this is
  • a project
  • a physical rendering of personal passion

Ben's work is a template for these qualities.

Asher
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  #123  
Old December 23rd, 2010, 03:10 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Two new images.

Both part of this recent project that I did for a college for disadvantaged youths (broken homes, drug backgrounds). The college under the guidance of the famous kabbalist Rabbi Hillel works on the principle that only the very best will do for these kids and hang the cost. They recently bought some of the oldest buildings in Jerusalem for their new campus and asked me to photograph them. This particular building is small, unassuming from the outside but inside it's an Alladins cave of photographic opportunities. An old synagogue that is used by the students for private study I spent 3 hours in a building not much bigger than 80 square meters, just photographing, photographing and photographing some more.

Here are two images which although I was shooting for commercial usage, stand out to me as fine art.


The Tree of Life Synagogue


An ancient but still used Talmud in ancient but still used surroundings.

Those who will have followed this thread will notice the departure from the norm in that I've used a wide angle lens. I think it does work here however.
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  #124  
Old January 20th, 2011, 04:37 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Shneller in Jerusalem was until a year ago an army camp for the civil defense unit of the army, it's where you went to get your gas masks or to have bomb shelter plans signed off on. It also housed a large medical unit.

The main building in the campus however has two dates on it, 1856 and 1910, I'm not sure what either signify however this is a very old building. Sadly in huge disrepair and almost falling down we took our lives into our hands, literally, in climbing the rotting wooden staircases.

Shneller is off bounds to the public as it is considered a 'heritage' site but due to some wangling with the city council I managed to get in today under strict instructions that I was allowed to photograph the courtyard only and for just 10 minutes. Well the official had to leave and the security guard couldn't care less so I may have spent 3 hours there! :-)

Shneller was built by the turks as an army barracks but interestingly it has a very christian feel with a bell tower and a chapel. The English took it over, again as an army base and I believe it was they who installed the intricate clock and bell ringing mechanism now long rusted in the tower.

I was working on comission for the college for disadvantaged youth who were thinking of buying the area but having looked at it, it would take some $10 million dollars just to become safe nevermind habitable, it's a huge building which a loud sneeze would bring tumbling down!

I intend to post up a series of photos from the too little time I had there but I've been shooting for the college all day till 11pm, it's now almost 2am so here is the picture I shot as an addition to my fine art project, 30 megapixel stitch with an 85mm lens.


I'll post up more when I get round to it.
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  #125  
Old January 21st, 2011, 10:55 PM
scott kirkpatrick scott kirkpatrick is offline
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Default Crumbling history in Jerusalem

Beni, you got me Googling Schneller to find out just where it fits into the tight mix of old buildings downtown. I came up with a short article in the JPost from early last year, which concluded by mentioning many buildings now in limbo between n-th generation use by government organizations and historic preservation and renewal, not just Schneller. Here's a short list:

"A municipal spokeswoman reports that the city is working with the Interior Ministry and the army to safeguard Schneller from vandalism after it is vacated and adds that the ministry and army are responsible for the compound’s maintenance.

The spokeswoman also notes that there are no plans afoot to demolish the Kaminitz Hotel, Navon Bey’s mansion and the Pasha’s Villa, and that the city is gathering information about them to decide their level of preservation."

The article also tells some of the background of the ludicrous "Palace Hotel" shell that has stood unfinished at the bottom of Agron St for many years.

Although I sense that your main motivation in photographing the lovely and restored Yemin Moshe district is the continuity and tradition that it affirms, there is probably a complex and fascinating story of the past 150 years to be told in the remaining bits of the Old Turkish/Jewish/British/Israeli Jerusalem.

Let's organize a tour or search party to see what else is around.

scott
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  #126  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 12:44 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
Beni, you got me Googling Schneller to find out just where it fits into the tight mix of old buildings downtown. I came up with a short article in the JPost from early last year, which concluded by mentioning many buildings now in limbo between n-th generation use by government organizations and historic preservation and renewal, not just Schneller. Here's a short list:

"A municipal spokeswoman reports that the city is working with the Interior Ministry and the army to safeguard Schneller from vandalism after it is vacated and adds that the ministry and army are responsible for the compound’s maintenance.

The spokeswoman also notes that there are no plans afoot to demolish the Kaminitz Hotel, Navon Bey’s mansion and the Pasha’s Villa, and that the city is gathering information about them to decide their level of preservation."

The article also tells some of the background of the ludicrous "Palace Hotel" shell that has stood unfinished at the bottom of Agron St for many years.

Although I sense that your main motivation in photographing the lovely and restored Yemin Moshe district is the continuity and tradition that it affirms, there is probably a complex and fascinating story of the past 150 years to be told in the remaining bits of the Old Turkish/Jewish/British/Israeli Jerusalem.

Let's organize a tour or search party to see what else is around.

scott

Scott,

If you do the work, you might even help to save the buildings from further neglect and decay! It will be fun. Wish I could help!

Asher
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  #127  
Old January 25th, 2011, 08:18 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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OK here comes the other stuff. First though I'm going to show the pics I was shooting for the client to give you an idea of the building. Please forgive my atrocious HDR attempts, they let us in a 2pm mid middle eastern sun (we didn't really have a winter this year) and I don't as yet have a polariser for my 16-35LII with its huge 82mm filter. If anyone wants a B+W MRC Slim polariser in 77mm, I'm trying to move it on!


The front of the building (only so much photoshop can do with such a wide angle shot and converging verticals but they weren't paying me enough to bring the Cambo 4X5 or to buy a 17mm t/s!)


Entering through the front gate.


The bell tower from within.


The bell tower from the roof and boy did we take our lives in our hands, old rotten stairs were literally collapsing beneath us as we climbed and the floor and walls would have fallen with a single sneeze! This old decrepit and almost untouched building with the backdrop of modern Jerusalem does indeed look incongrous, mostly infact due to the European architecture which seems even jarring to the eye used to ancient middle eastern architecture as a backdrop for the modern in the city.

OK, next post will be the art that I managed to accomplish while shooting the boring wide vistas the client was asking for! Give me a minute or two to get it up.
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  #128  
Old January 25th, 2011, 08:32 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Ok here we go:

First is the picture already seen which has already been added to my art website:

1)

2)


3)


4)

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  #129  
Old January 25th, 2011, 08:34 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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5)


6)


7)


8)

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  #130  
Old January 25th, 2011, 08:34 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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9)

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  #131  
Old January 26th, 2011, 12:50 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Just had baby boy, our 2nd child, today. Please forgive if I don't answer immediately...
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  #132  
Old January 26th, 2011, 12:56 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Default Congratulations!

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Just had baby boy, our 2nd child, today. Please forgive if I don't answer immediately...
Hi Ben,

That's great news! I hope the mother is doing fine as well. I hope she recovers quickly so you both can enjoy him all day, and night ;-), long.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #133  
Old January 26th, 2011, 01:16 PM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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E
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Just had baby boy, our 2nd child, today. Please forgive if I don't answer immediately...
congrats Ben.
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  #134  
Old January 26th, 2011, 08:18 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
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Just had baby boy, our 2nd child, today. Please forgive if I don't answer immediately...
Mazal Tov! He should be healthy, strong and a good son! wish you wife a speedy recovery from childbirth. It's a mammoth process for the female body to accomplish!

Asher
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  #135  
Old January 28th, 2011, 11:05 AM
scott kirkpatrick scott kirkpatrick is offline
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Mazal Tov, Beni

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  #136  
Old January 28th, 2011, 11:42 AM
Valentin Arfire Valentin Arfire is offline
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Mazal Tov, Ben

good health and luck for you all
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  #137  
Old January 30th, 2011, 01:42 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Many thanks guys!

Noticed last night that I'd hit 25 on my Jerusalem series with this latest picture from Schneller. I'm rather proud of that achievement!

http://www.timelessjewishart.com/jerusalem.html
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  #138  
Old February 20th, 2011, 11:20 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Some more work with the Schneller project. The idea is to make it into a huge library and museum of sorts apparently as well as a studying resource for the students. I've been shooting the colleges collection of old (some hundreds of years old) Jewish literature. They have a huge collection of handwritted manuscripts and books which have been bound for protection. Here are just a few of their book collections, the images to be used for inclusion into a prospectus to be presented to the City Hall.

1)

2)

3)

4)
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  #139  
Old February 20th, 2011, 11:21 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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5)

6)

7)

8)
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  #140  
Old February 20th, 2011, 01:13 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Ben,

but what lenses? Are these stitched?

Asher
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  #141  
Old February 20th, 2011, 01:26 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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No stitching, no time to be honest, it was a crazy run from one mad location to another, all 16-35L @ 16mm and I would have killed for live view, the rooms were tiny, the lens not wide enough, the tripod at crazy angles and me breathing in as tight as possible to the wall while trying to squint into the viewfinder. I don't often miss LV but this was one time I would have killed for it!

I do of course have the 8mm fisheye but they needed photos for a prospectus so it was rectilinear shooting I'm afraid.
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  #142  
Old February 20th, 2011, 03:45 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
No stitching, no time to be honest, it was a crazy run from one mad location to another, all 16-35L @ 16mm and I would have killed for live view, the rooms were tiny, the lens not wide enough, the tripod at crazy angles and me breathing in as tight as possible to the wall while trying to squint into the viewfinder. I don't often miss LV but this was one time I would have killed for it!

I do of course have the 8mm fisheye but they needed photos for a prospectus so it was rectilinear shooting I'm afraid.
Simply defish in autopano pro. If you wish, stitch two adjacent pics. It's the fastest. It will stitch in 6 seconds!

Just keep things vertical. In APGiga, you first designate that it's fisheye then crop and the program will stitch perfectly.

That's the way to go!

Asher
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  #143  
Old February 21st, 2011, 01:08 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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When you're doing 360 degree pano's (I was meant to do some yesterday but there was a ferocious storm) then I can see it but when you are trying to compose images for a prosepectus which have to be maximum quality, you have no idea what your images will look like post de-fish, you less than halve the megapixels de-fishing and I had the 16-35 which I could bolt my polarizer on to reduce the harsh glare on the reflective surfaces.

Most of all though, when they wanted multiple angles of each room (these are only a fraction of the pictures), you need to be able to see to compose unless you're a better photographer than I am and given that I use a 5Dc, I needed the megapixels which post de-fish and crop to composition I just wouldn't have.

If I find a bit of time today I'll try a shot of my dining room using the 16-35mm and fisheye de-fished with a 2 frame stitch, cropped to the same composition and compare here, should be interesting!
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  #144  
Old February 21st, 2011, 05:49 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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OK, here we go. First image is how I composed in camera, with polarization for the windows on the bookcase at 16mm. When the distortion corrections are made to correct for keystoning the subsequent file is 10.6 megapixels.


This image is stitched from 3 frames shot using the 8mm fisheye vertically, stitched in autopano using sperical stitching (only one which would work) and cropped to the same ratio. The image is far from rectilinear and is only 6.4 megapixels and not a particularly sharp 6.4 megapixels at that (lens is very sharp but lot of distortion correction mangling a lot of pixels).


The 2nd image of course does cover around 140 degrees which is far wider than the 16mm and of course the reason you can't have a rectiliniear image by definition. It is though far better than I'd suspected and I will be able to use this method for certain uses that I'd not as yet thought of.

Yes it's useful for what you suggest, it will certainly be in the bag next time I have to shoot something similar, I still think however that I used the correct tool for the job yesterday regardless of the limitations. Thoughts?
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  #145  
Old March 7th, 2011, 10:42 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Back on subject..

My cousin teaches in a college next to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. I was there visiting him last week and on the way passed through the square of the Baatei Machsei building built by Baron Rothschild over a century ago (now a elementary school) whose entrance and arches I have photographed and are included in my collection. I must have walked through that courtyard a hundred times or more but never seen this small alleyway leading off it to the right but this time it leapt out at me and I promised to return with my camera. I went back today and this is what I got. Breaks almost every compositional rule but works for me...

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  #146  
Old June 5th, 2011, 10:28 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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I met up with Asher many months ago and we wandered through the alleyways of Nachlaot, an incredible area and one of the oldest in modern Jerusalem. As we passed by an alley he darted away and pointed towards this archway. I had to admit to having ignored it but he pursuaded me of its photographic potential (was I blind?). I took a few shots there but nothing to write home about but when I got home and saw the potential that had been there I promised to return. Well it's been far too long but after talking to Valentin until 2am about my pano problems I was pursuaded by a cheeky friend that sleep was far overrated and I should get up early to finally do this picture. I slept just 1.5 hours once I finally got to bed and risingm traveled to Nachlaot so that I'd be there at the exact same time that we had stood there all those months ago.

This is the result, just as I've imagined it all this time. The 3rd shot I took and although I remained a further half hour, I knew in my heart that I'd nailed it just minutes after setting up as this old man hobbled painfully down that road from his morning prayers. I was there with him at every painful step, I know it only too well, I hope his determination will be mine too as things get tougher...

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  #147  
Old June 5th, 2011, 12:14 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Ben, I saw this one today in another place.
The simplicity is what draws me to your work.

That and the old gentleman trudging along seems so..not a happy photo for me.
But a very good one. Drawn to it.

And Asher gets a free ad!!

Best.
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  #148  
Old June 5th, 2011, 12:21 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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It wasn't sad or depressing, it was uplifting if anything, the determination was an inspiration to me.
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  #149  
Old June 5th, 2011, 12:30 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Quote:
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It wasn't sad or depressing, it was uplifting if anything, the determination was an inspiration to me.
In that case sir, you should see me trudging along.

Not only will you be inspired, a fire may be lit under you!!
High Octane stuff, of course.

Regards.
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  #150  
Old June 5th, 2011, 12:47 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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I have screwed up feet and ankles and often every step is painful and even agonising for me. For me it was very real in fact watching his determination just as in another image of mine - http://www.timelessjewishart.com/Dreamhtml/Old_Man.html which worked for me in the same way. Mind over matter. Without it I'm sunk so I'm inspired when I see it!
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