At the end of October I headed up to North Carolina to photograph the 2013 South East Animal Fiber Festival. Working in arenas that provided me with little in the way of clean backgrounds reenforced the need to shoot tight and be in close with my subjects. Photography is much more then simply making a pretty photograph. It’s about making a personal connection with the person or persons you are photography. Evan if all you do is say a few words you make a connection with the person. In a way you are asking there permission to photograph them, instead of just shooting and then moving on, never knowing who they were.
The Festival is alive with people from across the nation coming in to do workshops, buy fiber products or the raw fiber. Walking though the arena you walk pass booths that may be giving mini demonstrations on how to use one of their products or you may see knitters and spinners calmly knitting or spinning away along the sidelines as conversation flows about their favorite yarn or booth at the fair.
The lighting can be a little challenging in the arena, it is always fun to go in and see how low I can keep my iso and still come away with a decent sharp image. The reason for this is because the higher you push your iso the lower the quality will be of your image. It is nice that so many of the vendors have small lamps or other light fixtures in their booths to light the products, makes my job a little bit easer. :)
I hope y’all had a very Happy Thanksgiving and have a Merry Christmas season. :)
At the beginning of September, GYCSE (Generation of Youth for Christ SouthEast) asked me to create some photographs that would then be turned into posters to advertise for the upcoming conference happening at Southern, October 9-12th. www.seyc.org After doing a couple different shoots, Eric Louw designed the posters you see below. This was a learning definitely experience for me, working with a large group of models and getting them positioned according to how I needed the shot to look like. Thanks for working with me guys. :)
TasteBuds magazine, published my photograph of one of our Churp chickens running though our pasture, as the illustration for an article on chickens in the latest edition of their magazine. Here is the link to the magazine. http://growchattanooga.org/foodguide
On Thursday, I photographed an event for Gaining Ground Chattanooga called Slow Food Slow Art, at the Hunter Museum in Chattanooga TN. The event which centered around eating healthy and why local foods are better for you, was a nice way to start ending the week with.
A couple weeks before I left on assignment to Israel, McKee library asked me to photograph a few students as models for some new posters they were wanting to put up as advertising a new quiet study area in the library.
After I photographed the students, I turned the photos over to Jessica Spears, who designed the posters around the photographs. In addition to the posters these images will also be made into flyers for additional advertising usage.
We finished up our work at Tel-Lachish this week. It was kinda bittersweet to leave the site for the last time, thinking back to all the 4:20AM get up times, all the dirt and brush we moved, the scene of the sun coming up over the vineyards and the moon setting behind the palace. Next year we will have an easier time starting the excavations since our squares have already been partially dug. I look forward to see what we can find next year.
On Friday, we did a bit a paper work and editing photos on my end. In the afternoon we returned to Jerusalem, after lunch we headed into the Old City. We went into the Old City via the Damascus Gate. As Dr. Hasel, myself and a few others were approaching the gate we saw a very large crowd exiting the city. As I may have mentioned before, it is Ramadan here in the Arab states, so the city is filled with Arabs running around. We fought our way though the bustling crowds. It;s a good idea to keep your valuables aka bags and such in front of you as there are pick pockets in these crowds.
After stopping at a shop to buy some different things, Bob and I went to the Tomb of the Holy Sepulchre. The church is divided into 4 different sections of the main religions in the world. As you can see from the photos the Church is a very dark place, lit only by some low lights and candles that visitors light. It is interesting to see the devotion that people display when visiting the church, Especially, when seeing the supposed rock where the crosses were or the slab where Christ’s body was lain.
Afterwards we went over to the Western Wall as sundown was quickly approaching. After making our way through security, we walked out onto a large plaza area where mostly Jewish men were quickly making their way towards the the Wall as well as the washing station. It was a calm way to welcome the Sabbath watching both the men and women dancing and singing, in their separate groups. On our way out from the Western Wall, we climbed up the hill behind the Wall and gained a nice vantage point overlooking the Wall, The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. As the sun set behind us, the Dome was began to light up, as rays from the setting sun fell on it. (I may be able to visit the Area around the Dome tomorrow morning. We will have to wait and see.)
After leaving the Western Wall, we wound our way through the streets of the Old City. Bob found his favorite baklava shop and we stopped to get a couple pieces of this delicacy. SInce I am on the topic of food, on almost every corner or small alleyway there are shops that will make you freshly made orange juice, pomegranate juice, carrot juice and even a mix of all three. :)
As I sit in my hotel room, I have the large window overlooking the street open. A lot of the sounds that come in are one’s that you would hear in any city in the States. However, at the moment a car is driving by blaring arabic pop music out it’s windows, a short time ago a muslim muezzin was calling the faithful to prayer.
Enjoy the photos.
Photos are being posted to the earlier blog posts, so be sure to check them out.
Now that the excavations have begun in earnest, we leave our Moshav e at 4:40AM and head out to the site. This morning we arrived early enough to catch both the moonset and the sunrise! Pretty awesome. We continue to dig down, finding more pottery and an odd coin or two.
This morning Michael and I flew the drone over Yosi’s excavations, photographing the city walls as well as the path and the well. We also flew over one of our squares and took a few shots. These photographs will be used for the top plans that our survey teams are working on.
Today and tomorrow we will have volunteers from the States. They are Chinese Americans. They worked well with both our excavations and Yosi’s. Looking forward to seeing how much more work we can get done with the extra help. As you can see from the photo below, we have found what we think are the bases of pillars in the middle of the square. Looking forward to seeing what we find in next years excavations in this area.
We have been working on pottery washing, in the afternoons. We work on site during the morning and then after a long awaited nap we head out to wash the pottery in the back yard of the moshav e… That is if some of us don’t sleep though the pottery washing. :)
This evening, I was able to capture a nice sunset from the Moshav e. The first one I have been able to successfully capture while here. Will post them tomorrow. Enjoy the photos.
Yesterday, was a very hectic day. The meeting that was suppose to happen at 9AM happened at 1PM-ish or so. After arriving back at Romote Shapira we were able to just sit around and relax for the morning. At the meeting, Yosi the lead Archaeologist for the Hebrew University along with Drs. Hasel and Klingbehil talked about what they hoped would happen during this weeks dig as well as the purpose of the dig. The evening before in Jerusalem Dr. Hasel had worship where he talked about the some of the 24 times Lakhish is mentioned in the Bible along with some of the context.
On site later sunday afternoon, we started digging our two squares. Soon after beginning to dig we found a coin, with the help of a metal detector. Having been in the ground for so many years there were no markings on it, we also found part of a flint cycle blade. We started dry sifting some of the buckets of fill that we excavate from the site. That is a really neat part of the excavation, at least to me it is. We have several wooden frames with a wire mesh on the bottom. You pour the bucket of dirt onto the screen and start shaking, as you shake the dirt, dust and other fine particles filter though leaving you with the larger stones and hopefully pottery. You can see an example of what dry sifting looks like in the gallery below. The HU, has started wet sifting, I will see about getting a photo of that operation tomorrow.
Today, the exciting find was an metal arrowhead found in the HU’s square! As you can see from the photo it is very small, smaller then I would have thought an arrowhead from that time would be. As I have mentioned in previous posts, pottery is extremely abundant, having only been on site for a few days and thanks to Clay’s and Bob’s help, it is getting easer to distinguish between pottery and stones that are just lying on the ground, as well as those that we find either through sifting, or when we are digging though the squares.
We have started to arrive at levels 2 and 3 in our squares, which would be from the Hellenistic. While Herald was working in his square he found a pottery sherd that had been burnished and was shinny black color. We are thinking that it comes from the Hellenistic period. After looking over the square, Yosi said that it looked like Herald and his crew had come down to a destruction layer. I am looking forward to seeing what comes to light from this observation.
Since being here in Israel, I was thinking about how odd it was that I had seen very few insects and no arachnids and not much in the way of animal life. Well, that changed Sunday and today, when Clay found a 3 inch black scorpion crawling around on some shade cloth that we had lying on the ground, as well as a fairly large spider among some rocks we were moving as we prepared an area for a square. Neither one was very interested in us as they ran for cover. We have also seen a large lizard and around 6 millipedes around the palace area at the top of the Tel.
Tomorrow Michael and I will be working on getting arial photographs our squares! He was able to get an attachment that will allow us to capture stills instead of only video while still viewing the image area through the monitor. He did a few test shots today and the results were promising.
Towards the end of our day, we heard a loud explosion near the Tel. Looking in that direction we could see smoke rising from a missile that had been test fired by the Israeli’s. We were told by one of the guys who lives in Israel that if it had come from the west bank sirens would have been going off warning the surrounding countryside. So on that interesting note we finished our day on the site. Sorry for the lack of photos on the other post, I am working with a little bit of a backlog. Enjoy the photos. :)