Category Archives: Negev

Photo of the Week – Nahal Zin

Nahal Zin is in the Negev near Sde Boker and meanders along so that you cross it a number of times along highway 40. I was with clients on the way to Eilat and Petra, Jordan, the Nabatean capital, and we stopped for the night at one of the family farms, Carmey Avdat, that has planted a vineyard on terracing that was prepared by the Nabateans some 2000 years ago. In the morning we went to visit the nearby Nabatean city of Avdat and the makhtesh along the legendary Spice Route that led from Yemen across the Negev to the port at Gaza.

This photograph was taken from the lookout above En Avdat a couple of weeks ago on that trip. I think the hills look like the meringue on the top of one of my son Amitai’s lemon pies.

nahal-zin-meringue

The technical details – the photo above was taken with a Nikon 5300 digital SLR camera in October 2016 (ISO 320, 32mm, F11 at 1/500 sec).

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Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in buying or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.

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Photo of the Week – Makhtesh exit

The Hebrew word makhtesh is the word used for a geological formation that is unique to this area, formed when a river hollows out a mountain. This photo was shot from inside and shows the rim of the makhtesh where the river exits the mountain and the colored sandstone. The panorama shows more of the makhtesh but to really experience it you need to go the Negev.

makhtesh-exit

The technical details – the photo above was taken with a Nikon 5300 digital SLR camera in February 2016 (ISO 400, 44mm, F11 at 1/400 sec). The panorama below shows more of the expanse of the makhtesh and was taken with my iPhone 6s, the exit is the dip on the left. I’ve printed this image as a large (40x150cm), high-quality inkjet print.

makpan-smaller

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Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in buying or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.

Photo of the Week – Red Canyon

The Negev is a desert and semidesert region in the southern part of Israel, an inverted triangle with the Gulf of Aqaba and the resort city of Eilat at the bottom tip. The area north of Eilat is great for hiking and photography and one of my favorite places is this small, slot canyon just off highway 12.

Red Canyon

The technical details – the photo was taken with a Nikon D90 digital SLR camera in March 2010 (ISO 220, 18mm, F5.6 at 1/250 sec).

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Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in buying or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.

Photo of the Week – Solomon’s Pillars

In my most recent post about the exhibit at the Israel Museum I mentioned the Egyptian goddess Hathor which Canaanite worker-miners identified with their Ba’alat. Timna is a popular place north of Eilat for hiking. As your guide, I can show you a shrine to Hathor and an engraving of the Pharaoh Ramses III that was found, 1st half of 12th Century BCE.

This week’s photo is of Solomon’s Pillars, tall sandstone rock formations at Timna, one of the places in Israel where ancient Egyptian artifacts were found.

Solomon's Pillars 2

The technical details – this photo was taken late afternoon with a Nikon D90 digital SLR camera in February 2010 (ISO 220, 25mm, F10 at 1/250 sec). Clicking on the image will display it larger.

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Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in buying or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.

In the Large Makhtesh

Unique to the Negev and Sinai deserts, a makhtesh has steep walls of resistant rock (limestone and dolomite) surrounding a deep closed valley that was created when the core of softer rock (in this case colored sandstone)  was eroded and carried away by a stream bed. Here are three photos that were taken in the Large Makhtesh, in an area that used to be called “Petrified Trees” but has been updated to the more scientific description “Quartz Arenite” rocks. Each photo was taken at the same time of year (in January), two on the same day. Photography is about capturing light – what I find so interesting is that the three scenes look so different and express such different moods.

Petrified tree, Large Makhtesh

The technical details – the photo was taken 10 years ago with a Nikon E4300 point and shoot camera in January (ISO 100, 8mm, F7.6 at 1/219 sec).

This month I did a photoshoot in the makhtesh with friend and photographer, Yehoshua HaLevi. We went to the same site and took photos. We had such a great time that we’re offering to take a small number of photographers there on a makhtesh workshop and tour.

DSC_0394

This time a Nikon 5300 DSLR, ISO 400, 20mm, F11, 1/320 sec.

DSC_0367

ISO 400, 28mm, F10 at 1/250 sec.

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Photographs on this website are © Shmuel Browns (unless marked otherwise) – if you are interested in purchasing one of my photos or using one of my photos for your own project please contact me.

Great Makhtesh Photography Adventure

 

Great Makhtesh PAdvSunrise to sunset photography workshop and guided tour

Professional photographer Yehoshua Halevi and licensed tour guide Shmuel Browns host this full day adventure tour of the remarkable Makhtesh HaGadol, the Large Crater, in Israel’s Negev Desert.

Our journey begins before dawn in order to arrive at our first destination for sunrise and the golden hours of first light striking the magnificent Colored Sands region.

We’ll mount our cameras on tripods and sip coffee while marveling at the colorful landscape as it comes alive at the optimal moment. Shmuel and Yehoshua will offer insight into the history, geology, and current importance of this region as well as guided instruction for capturing dramatic photographic images.

Our adventure continues with visits to the quartz arenite rocks, where we will photograph 200 million year old fossilized rock formations and an additional stop at Ein Yorke’am for a short hike and exploration of this desert oasis.

We’ll stay to photograph sunset in the makhtesh and then drive back to Jerusalem.

Details and Cost

This workshop is appropriate for all skill levels. Photographic instruction will cover a broad range of topics and techniques for nature and landscape photography as well as visual skill development, recognizing good light and how to use it and composition.

A tripod is recommended for this tour, but not required.

The workshop is limited to 8 participants in order to guarantee individualized attention and includes feedback and follow-up critique via email.

Fee for this full-day, 12-hour workshop and tour is specially priced at $200. per person (minimum of 3 people).

Seeing Red: Kalaniot in Negev

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die…   Ecclesiastes 3

AnemoneIn Israel the wildflowers follow a pattern. After the Jewish New Year, before the winter rains the squill and Sternbergia flower, then the Steven’s Meadow saffron, the Winter crocus followed by the kalaniot (anemones), the almond trees blossoming, narcissus, iris, lupine, wild tulips, poppies and many others. The red anemone (anemone coronaria from Greek Άνεμος ‘wind’, in Hebrew kalaniot) is a perennial in the buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family.

The season for anemones is January-February and one place to find them is in the south, the Western Negev near Kibbutz Ruhama and Shukeda. In fact, seeing the anemones in bloom has become so popular that there is a festival, called Adom Darom (two Hebrew words meaning the Red South) to celebrate the spectacle. This week we drove down there for a photo shoot and though it is still a little early we found some areas covered with anemones. It was a lovely day.

DSC_0454

Carpet of red anemones, ShukedaThese red anemones may be the most common ones seen in Israel but last year while touring up on the Golan I came across anemones in other colors under the old oak trees at Hurshat Tal.

Flowers are visual, there is color and texture, some have fragrance but the kalaniot also have a poem written by Natan Alterman in 1945, music composed by Moshe Wilensky, sung by legendary Israeli singer Shoshana (in Hebrew a rose) Damari.

The evening comes,
the sunset on the hill burns
I am dreaming and my eyes see:
To the valley a small girl descends
and it blazes with a fire of anemones.

. . .

Yes, generations come and pass without end
but each generation has an anemone in a tune.