Ein Qiniya Field Notes IX

Ein Qiniya Field Notes IX

We’ve had some rain lately so I’ve been hitting the olive fields of Ein Qiniya more often looking for greenery and early buds in the ground. This also happens to be the season for olive harvest in Ein Qiniya and in Palestine at large, so farmers can be found all over the fields with their families sharing an age-old tradition. Ahmad, below, is one of these villagers from Ein Qiniya who I met while he was harvesting some of his family’s trees. If you ever get to read this, Ahmad, thank you for the good conversation and for letting me take your picture

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Ein Qiniya Field Notes VIII

Ein Qiniya Field Notes VIII

In this part of the world summer seems to last for an eternity. When you are the type of person who ‘requires’ photography as part of their daily self-therapy your senses atrophy after a while from walking the same landscape and photographing the same shade of light falling on the same dead-dry thorny bush, or a boulder that might start to look remotely interesting if you stare at it long enough. However sometimes I tell myself that the difficulty of shooting in this type of fixed landscape for an extended period of time might  just be the challenge I need

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Ramallah Walks VI

Ramallah Walks VI

I can’t say that I’ve quite figured out how I feel about Ramallah after living here for nearly 2 years- the last time I had lived here was 17 years before my return. To be sure, this town has changed. The people are foreign to me- I’ve heard that Ramallah’s population shrinks by two-thirds over the weekend, which is a testament to the unnatural urbanization that Ramallah is undergoing. New buildings are replacing old, and the small-town feel I was familiar with as a child is all but gone now. When I walk these streets with my camera in my

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The Greek Islands

The Greek Islands

It’s been a long hiatus for me from the blog as I’ve been busy this summer with personal matters, but my recent vacation to the Greek Islands of Santorini and Mykonos has provided me with the relaxation I needed along with a good chance to dive back into photography and test my newest lens, the Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/25, with which all these pictures were taken. This is a rather new lens from Carl Zeiss and the widest focal length I’ve ever used. Simply put it’s the best of the four Zeiss lenses I own (2/35 Distagon, 2/50 Makro-Planar, 1.4/85

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Ein Qiniya Field Notes VII

Ein Qiniya Field Notes VII

Getting out in the open fields of Ein Qiniya, a small village on the outskirts of Ramallah, has lately become a near-weekly ritual for me which if skipped leaves a palpable gap in my life. More than ever I feel the need for roaming the open fields and letting myself drift with nature. The urban life of Ramallah can be suffocating and the sights and sounds of cars, people, and ever-replicating white-stone buildings become overwhelming at some point that an escape is mandatory for maintaining sanity. When I walk in these fields with my camera on my side I let myself wander freely.

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Palestine Field Notes V

Palestine Field Notes V

Spring is finally upon us here in Occupied Palestine, which means I’ll try to increase my outdoors time as much as possible to soak it all up. I used to think there was nothing like Fall in Minnesota, and now I think there’s nothing like Spring in Palestine. As I walk in the ancient fields of shepards and farmers I’m constantly reminded of how incredibly beautiful and diverse this land is. In this blog post, and the next one which I’ll post next week, I’ll try to highlight some of this beauty as I see it. I hope you’ll enjoy it

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Ein Qiniya Field Notes IV

Ein Qiniya Field Notes IV

Spring is not here quite yet in Palestine, more rain and frost are expected for the region this week, but that doesn’t stop me from hitting the fields whenever I get the chance. In Palestine one does not need hiking trails, they’re already carved out by sheep that have been sheparded in these fields for thousands of years. One just has to find the beginning of the path, and follow it to the next, and so on. What saddened me during today’s walk were signs of new construction around this pristine area called Ein Kinya, just outside of Ramallah. This

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Ein Qiniya Field Notes III

Ein Qiniya Field Notes III

Another olive harvest season has passed and yet Palestine remains in solitary confinement. Like any prisoner, Palestine is walled off from the outside world, literally. She is land-locked, sea-locked, air-locked. The air she breathes is tightly regulated. She is alone, stripped of freedom but never of pride. One only has to walk in her fields and smell her earth to know she is still alive, heart pounding as strongly as ever, waiting for time to pass and history to fold another chapter. (Technical details below) Technical Details: Canon 5D MkII Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/35 ZE Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/50 ZE

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Ein Qiniya Field Notes II

Ein Qiniya Field Notes II

This is the first part of an officially new series I’m calling “Ein Qiniya Field Notes,” comprised of my pictures of the Palestinian landscape from my walks in the fields around Ramallah and other parts of Palestine. In the past I’ve combined these types of images with my street photographs but it makes more sense to combine them under their own theme. In this post you’ll find recent photographs from the Ein Qiniya area around Ramallah taken at sunset on 3 different trips. The stone structures you’ll see in some of these images are called “Qasr” and they can be

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Ramallah Walks V

Ramallah Walks V

These pictures were made over the past couple of months during my casual walks. They were mostly taken on Ramallah’s streets, but there’s one (last picture) that was taken right outside Al-Quds (Abu Dis) University showing the Israeli Apertheid wall destroying the beautiful Palestinian landscape and displaying it as a reminder of occupation to the thousands of students attending University every day in spite of all the difficulties it imposes on their lives (all land on the left side of the wall is stolen and confiscated). Then there are two or three images towards the end that were made during a

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Twin Cities Camera Walks (Sequel)

Twin Cities Camera Walks (Sequel)

Pictures from a summer month spent in my beloved Minneapolis! All color images were taken this summer on Kodak Portra 400 with a Leica M6 TTL and various old school lenses. All B&W images were shot in Oct-Dec 2013 on Ilford HP5+ and just recently developed. All images were developed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab in California. You can find the rest of the series here: Twin Cities Camera Walks.  *  *  *

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Iowa Farm Life

Iowa Farm Life

I got to spend two special days this summer at my friends’ farm in Iowa, it was thoroughly rejuvenating. The farmhouse has been standing for 100 years. The farm had sheep, a chicken coop, bee houses, a large vegetable and herb garden, and a recently-installed solar panel to generate electricity. I’m sure maintaining a farm like that involves hard daily work, but I certainly can see why some people are drawn to this way of life. The farm stood in contrast to the otherwise homogeneously-planted and over-fertilized land extending as far as the eye can see. I got to learn

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Boundary Waters Canoe Area 2014

Boundary Waters Canoe Area 2014

I recently had the fortune of spending a couple of nights at Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), this was my 7th trip. We entered at Sawbill Lake, portaged to Smoke Lake, and again to Burnt Lake where we set up camp for the rest of the trip. These are some of my impressions of the trip. (Technical details below)   Technical Details: Canon 5D MkII Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/50 ZE Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/35 ZE

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