-- Past Photos of the Week -- 2011


All Photographs © Sam Oppenheim 1997-2011

"Dead Sea Sunset" - Dead Sea, Jordan -- (December 11th, 2011)
  • On vacation in Jordan last summer we stayed at a gorgeous resort (Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea). These guests are at the infinity pool overlooking the sunset and the Dead Sea. Note: Israel is across the other side. (Photo taken in August 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Dog Walk" - Scottsdale, AZ -- (December 3rd, 2011)
  • Visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, My brother Mike brought his puppy Pablo, a Yorkie! Every day we went for walks, and one day I decided to document it in photographs – this was the most interesting view from the day. (Photo taken in November 2011) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 90 - Digital RAW

"Family Ties" - New York City, USA -- (November 20-27th, 2011)
  • I have been thinking about family a lot lately. Weddings, Thanksgivings, Funerals, so many times when we all come together and revisit our family ties. Here is a portrait of Father and Son from a recent wedding. Be well, Be love, Be with family, Happy Thanksgiving! (Photo taken in November 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Autumn Wedding" - New York City, USA -- (November 13th, 2011)
  • On 11 – 11 – 11 I had the honor and pleasure of attending my first legal gay wedding! Two of my very close friends were married at last after decades together in a chilled-by-wind but warmed-by-love brief ceremony in Central Park. (Photo taken in November 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Petra Horsecart" - Petra, Jordan -- (November 6th, 2011)
  • I love how this image came out of a galloping horsecart careening down the Petra Siq. I wasn't trying to take a motion image, but my settings were bracketing multiple shots at different exposures. Lucky break! (photo taken in August 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Hallowed Ground" - Tsfat, Israel -- (October 30th, 2011)
  • Trying to think of a Halloween image, I remembered a mystical night-time experience I had in Israel at the Graveyard in Tsfat where many kabbalah mystics are buried. At night, every night, devotees and family light yahrzeit candles in memory of the deceased and the whole graveyard glows and twinkles. I did not capture that on film, but I did take a daytime snapshot of the hillside graveyard below the gorgeous tiny hilltop city of Tsfat. (Photo taken in August 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Hudson River View" - Milton, NY -- (October 22nd, 2011)
  • The Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa has breakfast and high tea served daily indoors or on a patio with this view overlooking manicured gardens, a pond, and the Hudson River in the distance. Mina and I shot many images at dawn, dusk, and mid-day with this view. The morning fog is also gorgeous, but this image captures the many layers of natural beauty best. (photo taken in October 2011) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 90 - Digital jpeg

"Autumnal Swan Lake" - Milton, NY -- (October 16th, 2011)
  • There is an idyllic little Inn & Spa in the Hudson River Valley called "Buttermilk Falls". Mina and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary on a getaway weekend there, and were blessed with foggy mornings, sunny days, and fall colors. The property includes llamas, a farm, a spa, reading nooks, a waterfall, this quaint bridge, swans, tennis courts, the aforementioned spa, and many other lovely accoutrements for guests! (photo taken in October 2011) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 90 - Digital RAW

"Rays of Hope at Days End" - Caesarea, Israel -- (October 1st, 2011)
  • The wall in the foreground is the original 13th century crusader fortress wall surrounding Caesarea. While revisiting the famous Archaeology site and open-air museum where I lived and worked in the summer of 2000, I was so happy to see this fortuitous moment before sunset. (Photo taken in August 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Dysfunction Book Cover" - Sandy Hook, NJ, USA -- (September 25th, 2011)
  • This week’s image is another cover art design for my brother’s book – this time his first novel – a 3 Day Novel contest project. He wrote the short novel over labor day weekend in 2006 and it’s now available print on demand from amazon here! I took these photos in 2005 at Sandy Hook in NJ at the Gunnison Battery, an abandoned military fortification built by the US Government in the 1800s. When Mike asked me if I had anything that would fit the scope of his post-apocalyptic-people-stuck-in-shelter-underground theme, I immediately went to this photo shoot from long ago that I always wanted to find a use for, I hope this is a successful application! Canon PS70 - digital RAW

"Baby Doll – The Book (Cover Art)" - Havana, Cuba -- (September 18th, 2011)
  • A few years ago, Mike was writing his second novel, Baby Doll (The Book), and we took a vacation to Cuba. Outside the window of our Great Aunt’s apartment I saw this view (on the left side) and told Mike: “Hey look – it’s like your book about they guys who find the magical head of a Baby Doll”. So he said that was very cool to notice, and maybe I should take photos! Now a few years later, his book is done and published and my photography is the cover art! How cool is that? For more information and to buy the book visit mikeyopp.com. (Photo Taken in December 2008) Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Petra Portal" - Petra, Jordan -- (September 11th, 2011)
  • Similar to last week’s image, this is in the carved cave city of Petra, this time from the inside looking out. This one home had both a portal entrance and an extra opening above. The view out includes houses above the Petra Amphitheatre (concentric lines) built by the Nabateans with an eye toward Greek and Roman inspiration. (Photo taken in August 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Hues of Petra" - Petra, Jordan -- (September 4th, 2011)
  • The red rock canyons of Petra are gorgeous and multi-hued like places in the American Southwest. This window in a cave-house looked gorgeous and showcases the many hues of Petra quite well! (Photo taken in August 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Entering Petra" - Petra, Jordan -- (August 28th, 2011)
  • Most tourists (and many caravans throughout history) enter Petra through the Siq – a sinuous crevasse of red rock in many hues. At the end of the canyon, just like in Indiana Jones, is the gorgeous facade of the so-called “Treasury” building. Here I captured that moment of awe as Mina looked up and snapped the facade at about 8am after walking through the shaded, breezy Siq. Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Caesarea Revisited" - Caesarea, Israel-- (August 21st, 2011)
  • This is the sunset view as tourists pass through the 12 century Crusader fortress entrance after passing over a moat. Caesarea is a famous archaeological site on the Mediterranean coast of Israel where I lived and worked as an underwater archaeologist in the summer of 2000. This vacation was a homecoming of sorts. (HDR Image from photographs taken in August of 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Hotel Signum, Island Paradise" - Salina, Italy -- (August 13th, 2011)
  • While researching the Aeolian Islands (Think of Hawaii in the Mediterranean off the coast of Northern Sicily), I discovered this gem of a hotel which has converted old traditional homes in the outskirts of a small village into a 5-star hotel. http://www.hotelsignum.it.Of course it didn’t hurt that we had perfect weather, went wine tasting, and rented a scooter to tour the volcanic island’s beauty as well as enjoying the hotel Spa and pool. (Photograph Taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 90 - Digital jpeg

"Erice Castle Fantasy" - Erice, Sicily, Italy -- (August 6th, 2011)
  • This HDR image (created from multiple exposures combined digitally) shows the view as you walk along the cliff face toward the castle at the edge of Erice. To me, it presents an exciting fantasy dreamscape of what castles are in the imagination. (Photograph Taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Vesuvius Over Pompeii at Dusk" - Naples, Italy -- (July 24th, 2011)
  • Just as the bells clang to announce the closing of Pompeii Archaeological park and museum, preparing to leave, I positioned myself to make this photograph of Vesuvius looming over the once-doomed and now ghostly recovered landscape of a fallen city. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Platinum Sunset on the Pollara Coast" - Salina Island, Italy -- (July 17th, 2011)
  • This coastline on the Island of Salina serves as the backdrop for many scenes in Il Postino, which was filmed there. This photograph was taken at sunset from Pollara beach during my honeymoon. I have created an HDR image combining 3 exposures of the same landscape to add contrast and extra texture, and converted it to a silvery black and white for an eerie, more moonlit ambience. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Enter Stage Right" - Sicily, Italy -- (July 10th, 2011)
  • This Portal opens onto the stage area of the Taormina Amphitheatre. Behind the Amphitheatre is the Tauros mountain for which the city is named, and on which the city is built. The amphitheatre dates to the 3rd century BCE and is in ruins but is still beautiful and has amazing views to the coastline. (Photograph taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Civilizations Ruins" - Agrigento, Sicily, Italy -- (July 4th, 2011)
  • Traveling in many parts of the world grants a different perspective on time and the human effort to build civilizations. These ruins are of Greek temples in Sicily, and could be seen by Greek ships coming into the harbor below, at the time a sign of their culture’s greatness, and now perhaps a reminder to us of the effect of time. (Photograph Taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Storm King Triad" - New Windsor, NY, USA -- (June 26th, 2011)
  • Storm King Art Center (A Private Sculpture Garden/Museum) consists of variations of wonderful manicured landscapes, managed wilderness, and large installation sculptures. With 500 acres, each sculpture has enough room to be enjoyed on its own, but they also create interesting interplay between each other if viewed from far enough away. This shot shows one of many meadows that reward the patient stroller. (photograph Taken in June 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"All your bass are belong to us" - New York City, NY, USA -- (June 19th, 2011)
  • Public music performances in the Spring and Summer make New York City even more enjoyable. A few weeks ago during a casual photography class, I came across a Bassist in Central Park under the overpass at the Bethesda Fountain. His music echoed wonderfully below the tiled ceiling, and bellowed out from the arched entryways, calling to visitors like a siren song. As I photographed, numerous people congregated, thanked him, left money and walked on their way. It was a wonderful New York City moment, inside a New York City monument. (Photograph taken in June, 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Little Man" - Union, NJ, USA -- (June 12th, 2011)
  • Sometimes children do the darndest things. Sometimes kids look like kids. I am always fascinated by those moments when little ones suddenly seem older and wiser, evoking a contradiction, and allowing you to see some personality beyond that of a general playful happiness of childhood. Perhaps these are reflections of their parents’ personality, perhaps it is a chance capture, but perhaps it is a glimpse into their future. (Photograph taken in June 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Walkway Over The Hudson" - Poughkeepsie, NY, USA -- (June 5th, 2011)
  • A few years ago, the State of New York created a new park by converting an old railway bridge over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie to a wonderful walkway. It’s an unusual idea for a “park” but it’s very enjoyable to stroll above the Hudson, over 200 feet above to be exact! (Photograph taken in May, 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Memorial Day 2011" - New Windsor, NY, USA -- (May 29th, 2011)
  • Memorial Day 2011, a heat wave rolls across the northeast granting a reprieve from weeks of rain and clouds. Mina and I traveled north of the city into Westchester and beyond, including a day at "Storm King Art Center". This is a huge beautiful outdoor sculpture garden museum that houses very large installations of post-war abstract sculptures. Visitors can walk, ride bikes, or take the trams to explore and enjoy the varities of landscaped areas that feature numerous works of modern art. The visible piece in this image is perhaps less dramatic than others but an intriguing and beautiful addition to the landscape nonetheless - the triangular metal on the ridge is one of a series of four like it which are collectively titled "Schunnemunk Fork" by Richard Serra. (Photograph taken in May, 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"New York's Finest" - New York City, USA -- (May 22nd, 2011)
  • Authority. Protection. Bully. Hero. Blue Collar. Civil Servant. Uniformed Pig. Soldier of the Peace. Enforcer of the Law.

    A New York City Police officer represents many things to each person, and are nothing if not a powerful symbol. Two weeks ago I was at Battery Park as a large organized protest was underway and some police officers were in reserve on horseback in case things got out of hand. (Photograph taken in May, 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Youngest Guest" - Marblehead, MA, USA -- (May 15th, 2011)
  • Last weekend at my cousin’s Bat-Mitzvah there was this extremely adorable, photogenic, and sweet girl who seemed very comfortable and fun-loving even though there were no other guests her own age. I couldn’t help photographing her at numerous points throughout the night, and perhaps the best shot was while she sat on the dance floor. Since her dress and hat were already black & white, decided to convert the image to monochrome as well! (photograph taken May 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Happy Mother's Day" - Marblehead, MA, USA -- (May 8th, 2011)
  • This past weekend I went to Massachusetts to celebrate my cousin's Bat-Mitzvah and attended a huge family reunion. Incidentally, It was also Mother's day so this week I'd like to honor all the wonderful mothers out there and celebrate their sacrifices and hard work. Here's my mom enjoying the party! (photograph taken May 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Modern face of the Maya" - Chichen Itza, Mexico -- (May 1st, 2011)
  • Went to Chichen Itza, and our guide pointed out that most of the people selling souvenirs are descendants of the Maya, who, despite popular mythology, never “disappeared.” This young girl was relaxing in the shade, I think unaware of how well framed her face was between the eyes of the luna-sol designs. After asking her permission, she smiled and I snapped! (photograph taken April 2011) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Lantern and Bell Tower" - Sicily, Italy -- (April 24th, 2011)
  • This was another view I captured in my early morning walk around the medieval town of Erice, which is dearly preserved and charming in all the different lights of day and patterns of weather. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Erice Morning" - Sicily, Italy -- (April 17th, 2011)
  • One morning on my honeymoon, I awoke early and photographed the deserted cobblestone streets of the medieval town of Erice. This is an HDR image made up of 3 separate exposures made simultaneously and combined on my computer to create the extra vibrant ‘pop’ effect. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Kaipunesut Portrait" - NYC, NY, USA -- (April 10th, 2011)
  • This statue of Kaipunesut always speaks to me whenever I visit the Egyptian galleries at the Metropolitan Museum. He is displayed at eye level, and you see his better preserved side first, then approach and find he is missing half his face. This partial destruction, erosion, and cracking of the wood just describes time and age and makes the experience of time travel through museums exhibitions so tactile. It is rare that a wood statue is preserved for 4,530 years, but it is fitting that Kaipunesut is remembered in wood: He was the royal carpenter! (Photo taken in March 2011) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 90 - Digital RAW

"Bodhi Staff" - NYC, NY, USA -- (March 27th, 2011)
  • Last weekend I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Egyptian, Asian, and Music sections of the museum and they are having a photo contest: "Get Closer" wherein one must photograph a detail of one of the works of art in their collection. This is my entry – a hand grasping staff and the shadow of the buddhist icon on the top of the staff. Here is my accompanying text:

    The mood in the Asian galleries is calm and meditative. I found the low light and spacious arrangement of statues to be very relaxing - a real break from the hubbub of the city. This Bodhisattva's hand grasps his staff with a casual grip, the index and pinkie fingers relaxed, full of faith and empty of tension. The staff's shadow however, lingers outside the grip of the hand, just as ephemeral as Buddhism teaches us that happiness is.
    (Photo taken in March 2011) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 90 - Digital RAW

"Ice Sculpture Buddha" - NYC, NY, USA -- (March 27th, 2011)
  • Megu Restaurant in NYC has an ice Buddha installed every day melting slowly into a pool filled with floating rose petals. Mina and I ate there and were seated next to this speechless but gorgeous dining companion. I was of course compelled to photograph the beautiful sculpture, unfortunately I had only brought my iphone! (Photo taken in March 2011) Camera & Film: iphone 3Gs

"Sicilian Sunset Drive" - Sicily, Italy -- (March 20th, 2011)
  • If this doesn’t make you want to take a long drive into the sunset, you have no love of roadtrips! (Photo taken on drive between Caltagirone and Catania in October, 2010) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 90 - Digital jpeg

"Catania Fish Market Film Still" - Sicily, Italy -- (March 13th, 2011)
  • This image was taken during the pre-dawn hours when these men were first setting up the fish market. It reminds me of a film still, and, at least for me, evokes an old world feeling despite the LED signs! (Photograph taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Elder Fishmonger" - Catania, SIcily, Italy -- (March 6th, 2011)
  • Mina and I woke up at dawn to visit and photograph the famous Catania fish market. I decided to process this digital image so that it feels like an artifact of the past, which evokes the emotional quality of the experience of the traditional fish market. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Lava Eruption" - Stromboli, Italy -- (February 27th, 2011)
  • One of the highlights of the "Adventure Tourism" part of our honeymoon was an evening hike to the summit of the active volcanic island of Stromboli (also featured in Roberto Rosselini film of the same name, and the source of the dessert of the same name). Neither of us had ever seen lava, and this Island is one of the few places on earth, like Hawaii, where eruptions occur so frequently you can schedule a visit around seeing lava nearly every day! (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Saguaro Sunset" - Scottsdale, AZ, USA -- (February 20th, 2011)
  • I wanted to try and capture the beauty of the desert here near my parents house in Scottsdale, Arizona (Outside of Phoenix). This weekend visit has included the most gorgeous light at sunset after rainstorms. Finally got a good few shots off today in their back yard of Saguaros capped by birds! (Photo taken February 20, 2011) Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 90 - Digital jpeg

"My Valentine" - Salina Island, Italy -- (February 15th, 2011)
  • This is my favorite artistic photograph of Mina from our honeymoon. It was taken as dusk approaches on Pollara Beach, where scenes from "Il Postino" were filmed. This is the same Island as last week's photo. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"SignumSunrise" - Salina, Italy -- (February 6th, 2011)
  • A gorgeous sunrise in the volcanic Aeolian Islands of the Mediterranean (Between Sicily and Mainland Italy in the Tyrrhenian Sea). This view was taken out of our bathroom window(!) at the Hotel Signum. It is a view of the next Island in the archipelago, Panarea, from the Island of Salina.. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Fairytale Mountainside Castle" - Erice, Sicily -- (January 30th, 2011)
  • When mina and I woke up and toured Erice for a second time, we found the gorgeous medieval castle built on the ruins of an old fertility temple to venus. This is the same location as last week's portal to the Tyrrhenian Sea, but a different view, looking down onto a romantic tiny castle built into the mountainside. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Portal onto Tyrrhenian Sea" - Erice, Sicily -- (January 23rd, 2011)
  • Inside a castle atop Erice, on a precipice overlooking the Northwestern coast of Sicily, This view and doorway caught my eye and I maneuvered to capture this portal for my collection. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Desert Dancer" - Rajasthan, India -- (January 15th, 2011)
  • This week Mina and I attended a Rajasthani music and dance show at Symphony Space, and it reminded me that i have some nice dancer images I have not shown as photo of the week! This dancer was dancing in circles during a parade at the Pushkar Mela held every year in November in Rajasthan. (Photograph taken in November 2007) Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350 - Digital RAW

"Azure Window" - Gozo, Malta -- (January 9th, 2011)
  • This is one of the famous "postcard places" on Gozo that tourists are drawn to to bear withness to the majesty of nature. Despire warnings to the contrary, people still hike out over the natural stone arch, turning this normal tourist shot into a better photograph by their presence. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW

"Caltagirone Church" - Sicily, Italy -- (January 2nd, 2011)
  • Mina and I explored Caltagirone to find her father’s cousin – a 91-year old priest. We also enjoyed the beautiful architecture of yet another ancient cityscape of classic Italian beauty, including this church, during a light rain. (Photo taken in October 2010) Camera & Film: Canon EOS 40D - Digital RAW




All Photographs © Sam Oppenheim 1997-2010