The Middle Eastern country of Israel is probably best known as the home of some of the holiest places in the world. With its diverse land surface consisting of a lengthy Mediterranean coastal plain, highlands, the Negev desert, and the Great Rift Valley which likewise traverses it, Israel boasts of beautiful environments on top of its rich culture rooted in the country's extensive history.
In this edition of Around the World in Analogue, we take a look at Israel through community member Radka Smolíková's (@smolda) lens. She recently visited Israel and took images using a Diana F+, an Olympus Mju II, and a few rolls of LomoChrome Purple film which gives these images of the historic country a unique twist.
My name is Radka and I’m 35 years old. I work as an event manager in Prague. I started shooting film in 2014 when I discovered Lomography’s Diana F+ and I was so curious about it that I bought one right away.
What I love most about shooting film is the possibility to experiment, making double exposures and working with different specialty films. The creative possibilities is what’s keeping me with film.
The main reason for taking a trip to Israel was to visit my family there. But when there, of course a road trip would take place. I visited Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, there were a few stops along the way, like Caesarea and Akko. I also traveled to Ramallah, Jericho and Bethlehem. And I also couldn't miss Masada and the Dead Sea.
I’m not a religious person, but visiting all the places connected to Jesus was very fascinating, from Bethlehem to Jordan river and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Also can’t forget to mention visiting the Western Wall Tunnels and Masada and Jericho, all historical sights of unimaginable value.
Experiencing a completely different culture from one I know from Prague and Europe would be the most significant thing. But also the reality of different religions existing together in one place, Jerusalem, for thousands of years was truly captivating. It’s a huge pot of so many different ingredients.
Choosing LomoChrome Purple for Jerusalem and also the desert around Masada was very intentional for me this time. I knew I wanted Purple to capture the Arab Souk in the Old City, it was a perfect place to take advantage of it’s properties. Everything there is colorful which ensures very cool color shifts with Purple.
Also Jerusalem is built with yellow limestone which makes it perfect for the whole Old City to turn pink. Similar applies to the desert and Masada. I wanted to reach that "out of this world" quality that Purple brings and paint the desert with a different pallet.
Be always mindful about safety and actual situations in the area. I haven’t encountered any problems but you should be cautious. Checkpoints and controls are everywhere.
Be prepared for x-ray machines. I only took the necessary films for the day with me. Not the whole lot.
I always tried to show the security my films in a see through bag. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t and they put it into the scanner. My films got x-rayed many times during the trip and nothing bad happened with them, so don’t worry about it too much.
Other than that I don’t think it’s very different to other places. People were nice and if you smile at them and ask, they let you take their picture.
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