-- Past Photos of the Week -- 2006

All Photographs © Sam Oppenheim 1997-2010

"Kanyakumari Dawn" - Tamil Nadu, India. -- (December 24th 2006)
  • Sunrise at the southernmost tip of India. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital RAW

"Diggar Villager" - Diggar Village, Nubra Valley, Ladakh, India. -- (December 17th 2006)
  • After hiking and camping for days, and crossing a very high mountain pass we reached the first village on our trail into the Nubra Valley and met this old woman in the outskirts of the diggar village. She was shoveling gravel off the trail to make it smoother and more of a dirt-path, and was willing to stop her work for a few photographs. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Wedding Detail" - Long Island, NY, USA. -- (December 10th 2006)
  • Congratulations to Mr. David & Mrs. Ellie Beatus! After casually photographing my friend's lovely wedding, I think this detail of his bride's hand on his back during the ceremony was the most beautiful, simple, evocative shot. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Crater Lake Panorama" - Oregon, USA. -- (December 3rd 2006)
  • Recently I rediscovered old sequences of shots I never spent the time to digitally 'stitch' together into panoramas. This is one of the striking images from my brother and my trip to Crater Lake, August 2005. Camera & Film: Olympus SR-1 / Kodak Gold 400

"High Himalayan Sunset" - Above Leh, Ladakh - India. -- (November 26th 2006)
  • Sunset at 4700+ meters (15,000+ Feet) South of our tents was this view of the Himalayan peaks opposite the ones we needed to ascend. Foreground orange-lichen-covered rocks lit by flash Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Ooty Farmer" - Ooty, Tamil Nadu - India. -- (November 19th 2006)
  • This was an unexpectedly nice shot. I only photographed him because he asked, and didn't even look through the viewfinder. Actually it came out great! What a smile, eh? I like how his head and shoulders break the frame, that was serendipitous! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Smile!" - Hampi, Karnataka - India. -- (November 12th 2006)
  • Smile! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Big Feet" - Shravanabelagola - India. -- (November 6th 2006)
  • While visiting Karnataka, I swung by the town of Shravanabelagola where there is a holy 5 story-tall stone statue carved in the round. It is a Jain Tirthankar - Holy saint of Jainism (a meditation & pacifism-based religion that predates Buddhism and may have heavily influenced Buddha himself) The statue is bathed in holy water, milk, flowers, and more every 12 years in a maha-abhiyanga ceremony. I was fascinatingly lucky enough to have my visit coincide with the auspicious festival and stayed the night, seeing the ceremony the following morning. WOW! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Sam as a Yak Cowboy" - Manali - India. -- (October 29th 2006)
  • Happy Halloween!! I did not have any great appropriate artistic photos for Halloween. So I picked this one! Just for fun :D Shot in the Manali forest where touts have Yaks for tourists to ride. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Light" - Meenakshi Mandir, Madurai - India. -- (October 21st 2006)
  • In South India I took some shots in the low-light interior of the humongous holy Meenakshi Temple. This is my favorite take, part of my 'images of faith and devotion' series. The man is touching Hanuman, the Hindu monkey-god, next he will touch his forehead and leave a red mark there, showing that he has seen god in the temple. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Green" - Kanyakumari - India. -- (October 15th 2006)
  • Kanyakumari is the holy pilgrimage site at the tippy-tip bottom of India, where the Indian ocean meets the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. In this photo you can see a woman drying her sari in the wind; a man (her husband I presume) is off camera. In the distance, behind the meeting of waters, is the Tiruvalluvar statue (a famous Tamil poet), and the Swami Vivekananda memorial temple. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Sunita" - Vagator Beach, Goa - India. -- (October 8th 2006)
  • In Goa I befriended the touts who sold trinkets on th beach. Sunita is 18 and married. She modeled for a few shots, and this was the best. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Boy Monk" - Hemis Gompa, Ladakh, India. -- (October 1st 2006)
  • One of my favorite shots of the little Buddhist monk boys wo inhabit all the Tibettan-Style Buddhist Monastaries in the Leh-Ladakh region of North-West India. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Old Man and Child" - Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, India. -- (September 24th 2006)
  • The child's head is shaved for a visit to the Balaji Temple at Tirumala. Tirumala is probably the holiest temple in India. In fact, calculated by the average daily number of pilgrims, it is the busiest pilgrimage spot in the world; it eclipses Mecca, the Vatican, and Jerusalem. Why? The god enshrined there is believed to be Vishnu himself, as he has taken a birth as a stone god for the duration of this era (yuga). Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Tiruvannamalai Cows" - Vellore Fort, Tamil Nadu, India. -- (September 17th 2006)
  • While leaving Tiruvannamalai (Ashram of Ramana Maharshi) I found a 'great wall' and it looked like I was in China for a minute; the ancient walls climbed hills on either side of the road. I had to stop, explore, and found these doe-eyed sublime cows in the ruins abutting village farms. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Grim Reaper" - Gokarna, India. -- (September 10th 2006)
  • When I traveled in South India I rented a car and driver just for opportunities like this: Photographing an old man ploughing his field in the monsoon rain alongside the road. Had I been on a bus I would never had gotten this shot. Yes, the greens are that vivid in India -fresh rice sprouts and bright light. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital RAW

"Zen Stone" - Mahabalipuram, India. -- (September 3rd 2006)
  • This is one of my favorite nature shots from July, in South India. I really like the energy of the abstract shapes and the color contrasts (except for the white sky). Apparently this stone has been balanced there for 500 or 1000 years, and even when people tried to push it, including once with Elephants, it wouldn't move. So although it looks like it will roll any minute (and chase Indiana Jones) it won't. It is revered by Hindus for obvious reasons. Camera & Film: Canon Powershot 70 - digital jpeg

"Boy & Elephant" - Hampi, Karnataka State, India. -- (August 27th 2006)
  • I decided to go with an easy choice that pairs well with the one below: another child from my trip to Hampi. He was a tourist visiting the temple with his father and I asked if I could shoot the boy alone, posing to get the elephant in the background to compare and contrast with the youth. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Siblings" - Hampi, India. -- (August 20th 2006)
  • This is one of my favorite people shots from India so far this trip! Caught them down by the temple ghats while a domesticated temple elephant was bathing and so were the locals. Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Central Park Drive" - New York, NY. -- (July - August Vacation)
  • I bought a new DSLR to shoot in India this summer, this is one of my best shots from my preliminary test run. See how sharp the photo is? I really like this camera. I shot 200 photos in Central Park to practice with the camera. This one shows the effect of following a moving subject, blurring the background while 'tracking' onto him. NOTE: No more photos while I am away in India! Camera & Film: Canon Digital Rebel XT - digital jpeg

"Karnak Reflection" - Egypt. -- (Week of June 25th)
  • I explored the Karnak Temple complex at sunrise. This temple was the pride of the New Kingdom rulers of Ancient Egypt. Each king built additions, added statues and obelisks, and made the pilgrimage spot more grandoise. Who can I thank for the reflecting pool? This is my personal favorite from the photo shoot. Shot near the end after I had seen the whole temple up close, I rounded the quiet deserted pool and just shot in awe. Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital RAW

"Luxor Temple at Dusk" - Egypt. -- (Week of June 18th)
  • When I noticed these two girls, paused in their own world, I waited patiently for the crowds of western tourists to part, for a nice shot juxtaposing the ancient and modern Egyptian world. I imagine they are from Cairo and are studying the temple for a school project, but this is fantasy. Of course, isn't visiting a 3500 year old temple lit by modern colored lights at dusk -- a fantasy unto itself? Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital RAW

"Step Pyramid" - Saqqara, Egypt. -- (Week of June 11th)
  • The "Step Pyramid" is the earliest pyramid, built by Djoser during the 27th century BCE. In my search for alternative views instead of the standard photograph, I found these great snakes on a wall, and was lucky enought to get some tourists in the shot for a sense of perspective and grandeur. Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital RAW

"One Room Crypt with a View" - Egypt. -- (Week of June 4th)
  • These ancient burials looked magnificent at sunset. I hiked out to them from the Bedouin Village in the Sinai Desert. The local Bedouins, however, do not know who built them or how old they are. Someone does, though, they are numbered in white paint by some archaeologists, and seem to be empty (I went inside one). Camera & Film: Olympus OM2s - Fuji Sensa 200 Slide

"Lonely Tree in the Sinai Desert" - Egypt. -- (Week of May 28th)
  • There is something majestic and beautiful about the barren landscape and solitary tree here. In the Sinai Desert a few trees grow, each one alone, in some low area where it manages to barely suck up just enough water. Camera & Film: Olympus OM2s - Kodak Portra 160 film

"Surreal Bedouin Children" - Sinai, Egypt. -- (Week of May 21st)
  • Near the end of my trip I toured a Bedouin Village filled with kids. I photographed them lounging around, sucking lollipops we brought them, and even videotaped them playing hopscotch in the barren desert (One of my favorite video clips). My best shot of them however, was during this surreal moment at sunset when for some unknown reason they began rolling around in the dirt playing for my camera. Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital jpeg

"Bedouin Camels" - Sinai, Egypt. -- (Week of May 14th)
  • My favorite camel shot from Egypt. 'Nuff said. I really LOVED the Sinai peninsula and the Bedouin village. We had 8 hours there and little else to do but play with the kids, drink tea, walk around, and photograph camels! Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital jpeg

"Dual Dining Donkeys" - Luxor, Egypt. -- (Week of May 7th)
  • While hiking along I found this pair of donkeys snacking in the shade. I began shooting from a distance and slowly got closer and closer until I was right in front of them... then they both looked at me at the same time, their lunch still hanging from their mouths. I think they were wondering "Is he going to interrupt our feast?". Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital raw

"Luxor Temple Sphinx Head" - Luxor, Egypt. -- (Week of April 30th)
  • One of my longest days of sight-seeing culminated in a dusk photo shoot at the Luxor temple. This was one of the last photos I took as available light faded and my exhaustion took over. I love the man in the corner for a sense of perspective. At first he bothered me "Dammit, get out of my frame!" but now I'm glad he was there. Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital raw

"Sam at Red Pyramid" - Dahshur, Egypt. -- (Week of April 23rd)
  • I'm just back from Egypt and don't have much time, but I have chosen one of the best photos of me and a generic bit of Egypt - the Pyramids. (of which there are more than 20 or so including smaller ones). This is the oldest, earliest 'true' pyramid built by the same architect as the 'bent' pyramid where the Egyptians figured out what angle to use to build a pyramid. I climbed inside it (Hot and humid, cramped and interesting), and enjoyed my day with the pyramids. Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital jpeg

"Saguaro Study #43: Sunset" - Phoenix, AZ. -- (Week of April 9th-16th)
  • One of the last photos from my "Saguaro Study" Series shot on dueling cameras - Film vs Digital. I chose to share this one because I really like the textures and colors in this image. When comparing cameras for sunset photos, the results are basicaly equivalent, but this one (film image) happened to be best. My basic results showed that I like both media equally, but prefer the convenience of digital, the money saved compared to developing, and the immediate image on the viewscreen. Camera & Film: OM-2s - Fuji Sensia 200 Slide

"Sam 2006" - Bear Mountain, NY. -- (Week of April 2nd)
  • Nothing profound here, Just one of the better photos of me. Taken by my friend Kat while we were hiking to the top of Bear Mountain last month. Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital jpeg

"Sunrise Bird" - New York City, NY. -- (Week of March 26th)
  • This is an older photo I recently rediscovered. Shot in January 2004 when I was visiting New York City, at sunrise in Battery Park after an all-nighter party. We were dancing at a DJ trance loft party in Brooklyn, and I drove us back to Manhattan with a stop for sunrise. That ring is a completely natural glare ring from the sunlight interacting with the camera lens, and the bird is taking off as I snapped, what a capture of the moment! Camera & Film: Olympus OM-2 - Kodak 800

"Rainier Caterpillar" - Washington. -- (Week of March 19th)
  • Returning from a hike I saw this bright caterpillar sharing our log bridge over a stream. Getting down to his level, I saw his shadow in the late sun and the river shining. I was mesmerized, and I shot a dozen photographs of him.

    As a side note, I was interested in the etymology of 'caterpillar' and looked it up, there are two dueling theories:
    1) derived from French "chatepelose" (?), meaning "hairy cat" (cf. "pile", "pilose", from Latin "pilus" = "hair")
    2)from "piller", meaning "pillager/ravager", and "cate", meaning "food" (root of today's "caterer"), as caterpillars devour leaves?
    source: http://www.bugbios.com/ced4/etymology.html Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital jpeg

"Mt. Rainier View" - Washington. -- (Week of March 12th)
  • In Honor of Sean's visit, I present my favorite photo from our trip to Mt. Rainier last August. This huge volcanic summit towers so high that it can be seen from farther away (in good weather) than most mountains, and is therefore one of the features that reminds Japanese residents of Washington of their homeland, viz: Japan and Mt Fuji. Truly a nice thoughtful image for Sean! We drove there from Seattle, his car hit 100,000 miles enroute, and we drove up to the highest motor road with views of the peak, near where this was taken. Later we hiked along the glacier's morraine and up to the glaciers' edge. (Our hike path is actually visible in the center-left of this image, beyond the sliver of aquamarine lake.) Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital RAW

"Butte and Girders" - Sedona, Az. -- (Week of March 5th)
  • This was one of the first photos I took in Sedona. It was taken just off the road north of Sedona, through the Migley Bridge. I really like the way the butte is framed by the girders. This image stands out from all the other images I took in Sedona that showcase only nature, I like the combination of artifice and natural beauty. The more-square-than-usual crop was suggested on a film forum I participate in online. Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital

"Sedona Sunset" - Arizona. -- (Week of February 27th)
  • Last Weekend I spent with my parents in Arizona. This was taken during a day trip to Sedona with my Dad. I broke out my Film camera and shot both digital and film to see which performs better. Test results are not yet completed, but I do like this silhouetted sunset of the famous Sedona Red Rock Canyonlands. Olympus OM-2s - Fuji Sensia 200 Slide

"Snowstorm at Night" - Madison Square Park, NYC -- (Week of February 19th)
  • This is my nicest photograph from last weekend's record-breaking snowstorm (February 12-13th 2006). Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital
  • These three extra photos are additional shots from the snowstorm, click on them for enlargements

"Beach Rock" - Almost Paradise, Grenada -- (Week of February 12th)
  • I really enjoyed this rock. It had amazing patterns around it and worn out into it. When I was framing ths shot Vipin almost stepped into the frame and put a shoeprint there, but you can't see it in this image :). However, if you look carefully, you can see a bare-foot print from someone else, previously. Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital

"Sam In Giant Tree" - Olympic Nat'l Park, WA. -- (Week of February 5th)
  • My final parting shot from my summer tour of Washington's Olympic National Park. This photo was taken by Sean or Zack before I went solo hiking. Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital

"New Tree Clings to Life" - Olympic Nat'l Park, WA. -- (Week of January 29th)
  • A companion piece to last week's "Cut Tree", this highlights new life clinging to the vestige of old. In many forests competition for 'real estate' and sunlight is so fierce, trees face better survival if they grow on a dead tree. This is the only example I saw where said stump was vertical (not horizontal), and you can see this new life is trying to send roots down to the soil as it sucks up nutrients from its rotting forefather. To me, this is an amazing drama of life (helped by the sun). Will the tree succeed? It could end up dying because its foundation rots away and it cannot support itself... Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital RAW

"Cut Tree" - Olympic Nat'l Park, WA. -- (Week of January 22nd)
  • The rainforest is always full of life: new and old, always dying and growing in a cycle. This fallen tree crossed the trail and had to be cut by the forest rangers. I particularly liked that it looked like it was levitating, offering a different perspective. The notable purplish color comes from a season of wet rainforest bacterial growth and decay. Camera & Film: Olympus SR-1 - Kodak 400

"Westernmost Point" - Olympic Nat'l Park, WA. -- (Week of January 15th)
  • My best friend Sean looks toward Japan from the westernmost point of land on the continental (Non-Alaska) United States. We hiked along 3 miles from the trailhead, toward the coast through a small section of rainforest. I love the foggy weather and distant rocky isle. It is rare when I use my friends as models for artistic purpose, but in this case I couldn't be happier with the result. What do you think of the emotional content here? Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital RAW

"Beads of Water" - Olympic Nat'l Park, WA. -- (Week of January 8th)
  • After rain in the rainforest, I explored macro photography of local flora. This is the most satisfying image from the shoot, but some flowers will pop up elsewhere on this website when I get the chance. Camera & Film: Canon PS70 - digital RAW

All Photographs © Sam Oppenheim 1997-2010