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John Einar Sandvand

Early morning photography in the back alleys of Jerusalem´s old city

An old lady struggles her way up a steep alley in Jerusalem´s old city. Photo: John EInar Sandvand

An old lady struggles her way up a steep alley in Jerusalem´s old city. Photo: John EInar Sandvand

PICSPIRATION SUNDAY: An early morning in Jerusalem´s old city gave me a unique opportunity to take different photos than later in the day. 

Travel and photography are like a romantic couple. They walk hand in hand, each making each other glow and look better. And together they create an experience that is much more fulfilling that they have separately.

About the photo

I was in Jerusalem in August for a few days together with my son. The tickets had been bought long before this summer´s war, and after thinking back and forth about the issue we decided to travel as planned.

We arrived at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv at 04:15 in the morning – and was in Jerusalem long before 6 AM. Without a hotel room until hours later we decided that an early morning walk in the old city was the thing to do.

During the day the Old City is crowded by tourists and other people. But this early in the morning it was almost empty. Shops had not yet opened and very few people were in the narrow alleys.

I noticed this old lady struggling her way up the stairs and carefully followed her with my camera. I took a lot of exposures, trying to find the best silhouette. I like the situation with the chairs best, as they somehow tell a story about the rest she so desperately could need.

Technical info

It was not a lot of light this early in the morning – and I had to use ISO 1600 to get a good exposure. The aperture is f/5 and shutter speed 1/60 sec.

There was lot of contrasts in the exposure. In Lightroom I reduced the highlights as much as I could and also lifted shadows quite a bit. I have also used quite high contrast to make the light play well in the many details. I have adjusted the exposure in selected parts of the photo.

As for most of my photos, all editing was done in Lightroom.

Other photography tips

In travel photography I have learned that two very basic – almost obvious – tips really help in getting good photos:

  • Always keep your camera ready in front of you. Make sure to have a proper exposure set so that you can fire a shot immediately if you see an interesting situation.
  • Don´t be shy with people. A warm smile and polite attitude let you take photos of most people if you like. Don´t be afraid to ask!

Photo location

Other photos from same shoot

Two ortodox Jewish boys studying a magazine close to the Western wall in Jerusalem. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Two ortodox Jewish boys studying a magazine close to the Western wall in Jerusalem. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

An ortodox Jew taking a break from prayer next to the Western wall in Jerusalem. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

An ortodox Jew taking a break from prayer next to the Western wall in Jerusalem. Photo: John Einar Sandvand


 

About the author: Communications officer, journalist, author, digital strategist, photographer, traveller…and more.

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