-- Past Photos of the Week -- 2010


All Photographs © Sam Oppenheim 1997-2013

"Erice Duomo at Dusk" - Erice, Sicily, Italy -- (December 26th, 2010)
  • This Cathedral (Duomo) Was built in the 13th-14th Centuries in the gorgeous hilltop medieval walled city of Erice. It looks wonderful in all light, but Im partial to dusk! Happy Holidays! (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Spooky Foggy Park" - Erice, Sicily, Italy -- (December 19th, 2010)
  • Mina and I arrived in the gorgeous mountaintop medieval town of Erice in the afternoon, and after checking into a tiny suite at a renovated stone-walled hotel, walked all over the cobblestone streets, exploring and photographing. Suddenly after sunset, a thick fog rolled in. Everything became obscured, making our adventures more magical and mysterious. Then we found a park abutting a castle filled with lanterns and statues now that was an awesome, spooky, and unforgettable walk! (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Eye of the Beholder" - Agrigento, Sicily, Italy -- (December 12th, 2010)
  • This is a fun type of photograph that I rarely engage in but do enjoy. How many different perspectives and views does this image represent on tourism and seeing the ancient Greek Temples of Agrigento, Sicily? (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Fresh Organic Sicilian Sea Salt" - Trapani Area, Sicily, Italy -- (December 5th, 2010)
  • In Sicily on the West coast there is a region known for hot dry winds and an ancient industry of salt panning (collecting sea water in large shallow areas and using the sun to evaporate the water until the salt is revealed). When the wet salt is retrieved from pans it is stacked into huge piles to dry completely. Here I directed Mina to sample it for a sense of scale to compose this shot on our honeymoon! While we were there I offered to put some in a ziplock bag to take home, but Mina insisted that was stealing. Meanwhile a family of 4 drove up and took some in a paper cup, their young daughter proceeded to spill while boarding their car! Mina and I bought some at a gift shop instead. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Agrigento Temple at Dusk" - Sicily, Italy -- (November 28th, 2010)
  • Agrigento (in Southern Sicily) is famous for having the best preserved Greek ruins outside of Greece. They are a wonderful open-air museum to visit in the day and absolutely stunningly gorgeous lit up at dusk. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Santo Stefano Quisquina" - Sicily, Italy -- (November 21st, 2010)
  • On our honeymoon, Mina and I researched our ancestry, and drove deep into the central hills of Sicily to find the small town of "Santo Stefano Quisquina" where my great grandfather was from. With help from a local man, Domenico, we found one very elderly distant cousin. Next, Domenico 'adopted us' as family, invited us into his home, and his wife cooked us lunch! Before leaving town, Domenico gave us a tour of the old town center with a fountain and many of the town elders hanging around chatting in the afternoon sun. This is a portrait of one of them. (Photo taken October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Caltagirone Farm at Dusk" - Sicily, Italy -- (November 14th, 2010)
  • Mina and I took our honeymoon in Sicily partly to investigate our heritage and try to find 'long-lost' relatives. We succeeded, and this photograph was taken about 45 minutes after saying goodbye to Mina's 1st cousin once removed, a 92-year old priest who lives in Caltagirone. Leaving town, we took a wrong turn and got beautifully lost in the countryside, where I found this landscape and made this image thinking of my idealized family heritage: great-great-grandparents working the land in the Sicilian hills in the late 1800s. (Photo taken October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Wedding Triptych: Jumping Groomsmen, Solar Flare and Bridesmaids, and B&W Couple" - Mamaroneck, NY -- (November 7th, 2010)
  • Welcome to a window into my recent wedding (In Westchester at the Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club). I don't normally showcase photographs by someone else, but I have received requests to share something from my wedding! The three photographs are by Lynn Saville and the processing (color, retouch, black and white conversions, etc) is my own. Click the image to see a larger version. (Photo taken on 10/10/10) Camera & Film: Nikon - Digital RAW

"Abandoned Sandstone Portal" - Gozo, Malta -- (November 1st, 2010)
  • Im back from my honeymoon! Our first stop was Malta (Small Mediterranean island-country between Sicily and Tunisia) and my favorite stop there was a ghostly-bizarre landscape of abandoned sea salt manufacturing pans carved out of sandstone and this portal behind them, possibly used by salt miners(?) (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Getting Ready" - Buenos Aires, Argentina -- (October 3rd, 2010)
  • When Mina and I went to Buenos Aires, we attended a profssional Tango show. This was a moment during the show that I captured with my camera on low-light settings. (Photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Andean Mountain Railroad" - Chile-Argentina Border -- (September 27th, 2010)
  • This rail line was allowed to decay over the past few decades, but the Argentinean and Chilean government are considering rebuilding it and re-opening it someday. From my hike to the border in the Andes along the highway between Mendoza, Argentina and Santiago De Chile. (Photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Morning Stroll" - Pleneau Island, Antarctica -- (September 19th, 2010)
  • Continuing with the Antarctica Theme - here is the final image of a penguin that I will be featuring as a photo of the week for the foreseeable future! He's walking off into the sunrise as the wind blurs the boundary between sky and land... Fare thee well brave penguin! (Photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"L' Shana Tovah & Eid Mubarak" - Pleneau Island, Antarctica -- (September 11th, 2010)
  • This image was taken a few hours after sunrise began to burn off the fog on the distant mountains, but while the suns' rays still illuminated icebergs with a sidelight that had a magical quality. It speaks to me as an image of hope, and I am going to place it among my favorites in my "Idyllic Landscapes" collection. Happy Jewish New Year and end of Ramadan. (Photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Pleneau Panorama" - Pleneau Island and Bay, Antarctica -- (September 5th, 2010)
(CLICK TO SEE THE WHOLE PANORAMA IN A NEW WINDOW)
  • This is the largest panorama I have ever stitched together (from 32 individual photographs overlapping). Please click the image to view the whole panorama in a new window and scroll left to right. It shows the incredible lighting of dawn in one region of the bay and a stormy dark-grey cloudy area in the opposite direction. If you look carefully, you can see our boat and some other tourists exploring the expansive Pleneau Island. You may also be able to see some penguins on some of the rocky outcroppings where they nest. (Photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Magical Dawn" - Pleneau Island and Bay, Antarctica -- (August 29th, 2010)
  • On one of our last days in Antarctica, we woke up at 5am and made an early morning landing on the cold shore of Pleneau Island. The light as the low sunlight burned off fog and clouds was pure magic. I feel that morning was the richest opportunity for photography during the whole expedition, and almost every shot has an eerily spectacular sky. (Photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Suns Last Rays" - Harriman State Park, NY, USA -- (August 22nd, 2010)
  • Before retiring to our tent we watched the sunset, and then I followed the suns last rays with my camera as it illuminated one patch of weeds and the edge of some trees. (Photo taken in August 2010) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 90 - Digital RAW

"Sun Dappled Forest Glen" - Harriman State Park, NY, USA -- (August 15th, 2010)
  • As Mina and I hiked the Appalachain Trail, I tried to visualize evocative photographs of the summer in the woods, and this calm, cool, breezy glen presented itself to me at about 4pm, and the sunlight streaming through the woods just begged to be captured by my camera. (Photo taken in August 2010) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 90 - Digital RAW

"Jumping Shadow" - Harriman State Park, NY, USA -- (August 8th, 2010)
  • August 8th is my birthday, so I went hiking in Harriman State Park along the Appalachian trail with my fiancee so no Governor Sanford jokes, please! As many of you know, one of my fun photographic tropes is to photograph myself jumping (by asking someone else to click the shutter from a place of my choosing). This photograph was taken by Mina, but it is my birthday and my website, so I think I can use this as photo of the week, right? (Photo taken in August 2010) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 90 - Digital RAW

"Queens Residents" - New York City, USA -- (August 1st, 2010)
  • In an effort to push myself to photograph my own neighborhood I tried to begin capturing moments that interest me on my iphone. This is the first attempt to use a phone camera for "art" and it enables me to be an artist and photograph surreptitiously (usually I ask permission verbally or nonverbally to take a portrait). This shows a group of workers at a shipment but they are at a residential street near an old european Citroen car, and I couldn't figure out why these boxes were there! (Photo taken in July 2010) Camera & Film: iphone 3Gs - Digital jpeg

"1897 Tenement Workstation" - New York City, USA -- (July 25th, 2010)
  • Last week the New York CIty Lower East Side Tenement Museum invited photographers to take pictures inside the museum. Photography is usually not allowed, but they decided to have this event to celebrate the launch of their new photo archive online. So I went with Mina and we had a great time visiting the restored apartments that act as a time capsule representing a particular family that lived there. We also toured the unrenovated apartments with peeled back paint, wallpaper, and 20 layers of linoleum on the floor! This was my best shot, but Mina's photos turned out even better, so I'm jealous! (Photo taken in July 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Lemaire Channel Panorama" - Antarctica -- (July 18th, 2010)
Click the photo to see a larger image in its own window.
  • The Lemaire Channel is also called the "Kodakchrome Gap" because it is so beautiful to sail through and photograph the picturesque canyon walls on either side. We went trhough it twice, and both times it was overcast, but on the return trip we could see more of the mountain peaks, so from the top of the ship I shot a panorama and stitched 8 photographs together today to share this view of cruising in Antarctica. (Photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Even Penguins Watch the Sun Rise" - Pleneau Island, Antarctica -- (July 11th, 2010)
  • The best light of any day on our cruise was the 5 am landing on Pleneau Island. All my photographs from that day have a dawn's early glow. The morning light both burned off misty fog along the surrounding mountains, and illuminated the colors of penguins and rocks alike! (Photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Sunrise Sweeping" - Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, India -- (July 4th, 2010)
  • This image was one of the 19 selected images shown in my "Images of Faith and Devotion" exhibition (On view July 2 - 31st at the "Flying Leap Art Space" in Fairfield, Iowa). I can't thank people enough for the wonderful reception I received at the opening.

    These young monks are sweeping the temple floor, where they had been sitting for an hour-long morning meditation, before breakfast. It was a magical gift to visit (and meditate in) this remote buddhist monastery along the border of Tibet, Bhutan, and India's far Northeast Province. (Photo taken in September 2007) Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Dying Wish: An Elder Pilgrim Ascends toward a mountain-top temple" - Jharkhand, India -- (June 27th, 2010)
  • Two years ago I traveled in robes along ancient pilgrimage paths! ( see my Pilgrimage travelogue ) and took this photograph of an elder Jain being carried uphill toward the holiest temple in his faith. I'm showcasing this image now to advertise my collection "Images of Faith and Devotion" Here online, and available on view and for sale in Fairfield, Iowa at the FLying Leap Art Space during the July 2nd Art Walk! (Photo taken in December 2008) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 70 - Digital RAW

"Pura Taman Ayur" - Bali, Indonesia -- (June 20th, 2010)
  • Bali: One of the most wonderful vacation spots in the world! I'm revisiting this topic because I was just interviewed on the amateur traveler podcast about travel to Bali! You can download and listen here: Amateur Traveler Episode 237 - Travel to Bali in Indonesia
    or stream it right now: (photo taken in May 2008) Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital RAW

"Meenakshi Temple at Dusk" - Madurai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA -- (June 13th, 2010)
  • I re-discovered this gem while combing through my older images to put together a gallery show of my "images of faith and devotion"! (photo taken in July 2006) Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - Digital jpeg

"Oh, Henry" - Riverdale, Bronx, NY -- (June 6th, 2010)
  • The focus of my visit to photograph 2 week old Henry was to create an evocative, adorable, perhaps humorous image of him to be used on the birth announcement. His parents already had two boxes of "Oh Henry" bars that an aunt had sent them, and we decided to make a photo shoot of Henry surrounded by his eponymous candy bar! (photo taken in May 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Memories On Memorial Day" - Long Island, NY -- (May 31st, 2010)
  • Robert Moses State Park on Fire Island National Seashore. (photo taken in May 2010) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot S90 - Digital jpeg

"Family" - Riverdale, Bronx, NY -- (May 23rd, 2010)
  • A few days ago I had the lovely opportunity to photograph the newest member of a family! Henry is only 2 weeks old; a challenge to photograph, but I was captivated by the fresh breath of life in a newborn soul! After 250 photographs, this one is my favorite. (photo taken in May 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"No Omelettes" - Jougla Point, Antarctica -- (May 16th, 2010)
  • Back in December, in Antarctica, everywhere we went there were penguins nesting, and if a photographer waited with some patience, they would stretch and crow! (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Businessman at the City Winery" - Manhattan, NY -- (May 9th, 2010)
  • Last week I had the pleasure of photographing a corporate event in the lovely "City Winery" in downtown Manhattan. I wanted to take this opportunity to remind people that I also do corporate events, bar-mitzvahs, and portraiture! (photo taken in May 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital jpeg

"All Alone" - Antarctica -- (April 25th, 2010)
  • I waited the whole week in antarctica to find a solo penguin on an iceberg, then finally on my second-to-last day found one! (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Suspension" - NY Aquarium, Brooklyn -- (April 18th, 2010)
  • The natural world is beautiful in all its forms. This is really just a snapshot taken in the aquarium, but I like it! (photo taken in April 2010) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot S90 - Digital jpeg

"Remains of Whaling" - Jougla Point, Antarctica -- (April 10th, 2010)
  • The history of the world is one of extracting resources. The first explorers in Antarctica were chasing tail - hunting the seemingly limitless supply of whales which had valuable blubber (used for heating and lighting oil). Just like other oil obsessions, whaling caused environmental degradation; just when whales were hunted near extinction, petroleum production eclipsed whale oil as a source of energy. Still, eerie mortal remains of the hunt can be found on pretty much every island that had an easy anchorage for ships in the Antarctic Peninsula. (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Mina At Sunset on La Rambla" - Montevideo, Uruguay -- (April 3rd, 2010)
  • A lot of my friends who haven't met her yet asked for a photo of Mina this week. So, here is a sunset portrait I took as we walked alog the seashore "La Rambla" in Uruguay's Capital, Montevideo! (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Lost King Penguin" - Aitcho Island, Antarctica -- (March 28th, 2010)
  • It's a scientific fact: some penguins have faulty GPS systems. This adult king penguin is waiting for a mate that will most likely never arrive. His ancestral breeding island is somewhere else, this island has a different species breeding there, but he showed up and is standing there for the whole mating season! Theories to explain "Lost penguins" include that this allows for chances to create new breeding areas, and that its just a fluke in natural selection.

    I chose this image also because for years I was a lonely penguin. But last year I met the love of my life, and this week I proposed with a stuffed penguin and a ring, and she said yes!!! Now we are a happy couple embarking on life's journey together! (photo taken in December 2009, inset taken March 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Peace Prayer" - Tawang, Arunachal, India -- (March 21st, 2010)
  • Sunrise, shining through a window, iluminates a young monk praying. Tawang is a nook of land, a hidden valley in the himalayas, claimed by China, part of India, and culturally part of Bhutan and Tibet. It is currently peaceful there, but they are surrounded by geopolitical forces that threaten their idyllic monastic lifestyle. Tawang is home to the second largest monastic & buddhist coommunity in the world (after Lhasa, Tibet). This is an image from my new "Images of Faith and Devotion" collection. (photo taken in September 2007) Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"I Believe I Can Fly" - Antarctica -- (March 14th, 2010)
  • ... I believe I can touch the sky... (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Handsome Chinstrap" - Antarctica -- (March 7th, 2010)
  • Good looking isn't he or she? I think I've showcased each of the penguin species I saw on my travels to Antarctica now... (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Burmese People: A Review" - Myanmar -- (February 28th, 2010)
  • This week I am officially launching my 'travel slideshows' website section - with two new galleries: Burmese People and Burmese Buddhism! Please click these links or go via my front page and click on the travel slideshows later on! The monk on the left is posing inside the famous, unique, oval windows of the Shwe Yaunghwe Monastery, and the woman is across the street, in a tributary of Inle Lake, gathering algae in her boat to feed home-raised pigs. (photos taken in August 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Napoleon leads his troops" - Yalour Island, Antarctica. -- (February 21st, 2010)
  • Adelie Penguins are the cutest ones who slip and slide all over the snow more than other species and have adorable black faces - they are the epitome of our "idea" of Antarctic penguins! We only got to observe them in this, our southernmost stop on the cruise. This photo really tells the story of how they tend to cluster and play follow-the-leader in an adorable fashion. I also recommend this cute 40 second video I shot of an Adelie belly sliding! (photo & video taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Partners" - Buenos Aires, Argentina. -- (February 14th, 2010)
  • Happy Valentine's Day! This photo showcases the finale of a tango dance routine at "Esquina Carlos Gardel" a professional tango show in Buenos Aires. I snapped a hundred well-illuminated photographs of dancers, but the most evocative image appeared as the main stage lights went out. (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Feeding Baby Chicks" - Port Lockroy, Antarctica. -- (February 7th, 2010)
  • When we arrived at Port Lockroy we were informed that a pair of chicks had been spotted the previous day! We watched patiently, hoping the parent would move and let us see them. Amazing, one parent came and replaced the other and began regurgitating food to feed their baby chicks! It was amazing. You can see both babies in this photo. (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"A Kiss" - Jougla Point, Antarctica. -- (January 31st, 2010)
  • Mating displays between Blue-Eyed-Shags - a member of the cormorant family. The moral is: "Its never too cold for a kiss!" Which is especially relevant as it has been below freezing in New York for a few days in a row with blistering cold winds. (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Holy Iceberg" - Cuverville Island, Antarctica. -- (January 24th, 2010)
  • When conditions and time permitted, our tour included zodiac (inflatable outboard motorboats) cruises. On our second day in Antarctica, we encountered this beautiful iceberg that had been weathered into a window. Thinking of my portals collection, (http://doors.samoppenheim.com/) I begged the driver to bring us closer and he did! (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Cold and Lonely" - Deception Island, Antarctica. -- (January 17th, 2010)
  • It is not uncommon to find a solitary penguin far from his species' usual breeding locations. Scientists debate whether it is because they are young and confused or because the species benefits from some 'explorers' and if more show up on the same beach, it allows for expansion of home territory. Here we found one chinstrap, huddled up, half asleep (eyes opening and closing), as he or she waited for a mate that would not show up this breeding season. Behind you can see the ruins of the whaler's huge cauldrons used to heat whale bones and flesh to retrieve all the fat oils. Deception Island is also an archaeological site and museum to the history of the early 20th century whaling industry! (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Mine!" - Cuverville Island, Antarctica. -- (January 10th, 2010)
  • Gentoo Penguins are notorious for an obsession with pebbles. When they see one it is like shoes to a fashion diva! They collect them in piles and build little nests pebble by pebble. The penguins will take them from the beaches and from each other, even stealing pebbles from nests despite squawking neighbors' protests and even bites! Males and females have each been observed trading pebbles for sex: "Hey baby, I got a spare pebble" may be the Gentoo pickup line of choice. (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Pebble Beach Gentoos" - Half Moon Island, Antarctica. -- (January 3rd, 2010)
  • Over the course of a week we landed at 12 different sites, and saw so many wonderful scenes, icebergs, landscapes, and wildlife! Here's my favorite shot from the very first day, first landing: at Half Moon Island in the South Shetlands, a series of volcanic Islands just north of the curving arm of the Antarctic peninsular mainland. These are Gentoo Penguins. Its a few degrees above freezing and snowing - much warmer than today in New York City! (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Cuverville Panorama" - Antarctica. -- (December 20th, 2009)
  • Last week on a cruise to Antarctica we had only two sunny landings. At Cuverville Island, just off the mainland of the Antarctic Peninsula we hiked up a hill. I created this panorama from 12 photographs stitched together in photoshop! (photo taken in December 2009) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW




All Photographs © Sam Oppenheim 1997-2010