The photography exhibit “From the Lowest Place on Earth” – was on display at the The Saturday Cafe, near the Great Stupa, Bodha, Katmandu from August 14th to September 30th 2008.
From the Lowest Place on Earth:
Photographs from the Dead Sea, Israel
420 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea lies in the African Rift Valley between Israel and Jordan–at the lowest place on earth. 330 meters deep, the Dead Sea is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world; it is the world’s second saltiest body of water, 8.6 times saltier than the ocean.
The Dead Sea is shrinking at a rate of 1 meter per year as Israel and Jordan divert the waters flowing into it. The receding water has left huge mud flats with hundreds of sinkholes. These photographs record the Dead Sea through the lens of an artist. They display the pristine beauty of the Dead Sea and its surroundings – Wadi Qelt, the oasis at Ein Gedi, and Ein Boqeq. Even as the world is rapidly changing, as humanity encroaches, these photographs capture nature in a serene moment.
The exhibit explores constrast–between wet and dry, water and desert; the contrast between rock and vegetation, and between the broad horizontal expanse of the Dead Sea and the cliffs and mountains that rise vertically above it; the contrast between nature and human industry. These photographs also convey the solitude of the area–a refuge through the ages for kings, prophets, Jewish sects, and Byzantine monks. The photos are mostly barren of human life, except for a hint of a recluse who ascends ladders, and a few hikers who, traversing the landscape, reveal its proportions.
Light and color are important elements here. The setting sun paints the blue-green water with varying shades of pink and purple. The colors and patterns of shoreline and water create an abstract composition.
The opportunity to show this work in Katmandu–in the shadow of the highest mountains on earth–enables a juxtaposition with the lowest place on earth.
Shmuel lives in Jerusalem just 42km from the Dead Sea and 1170m above it. As a licensed tour guide he travels throughout the country showing visitors the archaeological and nature sites of Israel. Shmuel continues to explore art: drawing, painting, pottery and photography. Shmuel uses photography to frame and capture a scene in an artistic way, to share his love of nature with the viewer.
The set of photos from the exhibit can be viewed online at
To purchase copies of any of the images from this exhibit as fine art prints, please contact Shmuel.