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single snapshot

Snapshot: Popularly defined as a photograph that is shot spontaneously and quickly, most often without artistic or journalistic intent. Common snapshot subjects include events of everyday life.

A baby snail. I found this little guy in the fresh mint that I was about to wash for a dinner dish. They are considered one of the smallest and slowest moving creatures in the world. Or so its says on the internet :-) He wasn't too happy being exposed; he persistently moved toward the protection of the leaves as I attempted to take this photo. Afterwards I released him into the wilds of my "backyard", which literally consists of a few bushes just beyond the kitchen window.

This post is linked to Our World Tuesday
a place to visit many interesting blogs around the world! And the photography is great too!


focus on life series - week 17: colour or color

Sally says:

Whether photographing a full shot of amazing colors or small pops of color against a muted background, this week break out your camera and capture some color. Think about how the colors of the shot effect your mood, feelings, perception of your surroundings! Focus on how the colors impact your decision to take a particular shot. 

I'm not sure how much color makes a difference in where I aim the camera, but I suspect more than I realize. I do know my mood is greatly affected by light vs dark. I appreciate subtle color tones as much as vivid shades. Black and white vs a rainbow of color. I'm equally attracted to soft romantic hues (peaceful and calm) as I am to a medley of bright bolds (cheerful and upbeat). 

I love the contrast of the mono-toned city, at a lower elevation and further away, with the hot pink flowers. See the bit of orange blossom? This shot feels romantic and dreamy! How does it feel to you?

 A peaceful haven in shades of white... can you spot just the littlest bits of purple peeking through? This shot feels calm and restful. If the blossoms were rainbow shades instead, I think it would feel gay and lively.

 By chance I found an interesting page that compares our eyesight to that of a camera. 

 Visit color through the camera lens at The Studio Sublime

You may notice I'm posting larger photos this week. I'm trying it on for size, but haven't decided which format I like best. Big or small...?



Butterflies are on my mind these days, I don't know why. I found a few recent butterfly pics and a cute yellow one I shot while still in Colorado.



bokeh by chance

Bokeh:  "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light", according to Wikipedia. I was practicing using the macro setting on my camera to take this leaf with rain drops when I shot the second photo completely out of focus. I unintentionally produced one of my favorite light effects, bokeh, naturally.


focus on life - week 16: take a walk

Sally says...

 "Grab your camera, open the door and step outside into the fresh air. Take a walk! Whether you walk to your favorite chair on the porch, walk a few miles down a rural road or a busy city street take a moment to be aware of the beauty of the world and let its grandeur energize your soul, inspire your mind and jump start your creativity. Step back and look at the wide world around you and capture a shot of the landscape in front of you!"

I live just steps away from the beauty of the Baha'i gardens and the Port of Haifa which is on the Mediterranean. I feel surrounded by beauty most especially when I'm in the gardens facing the bay on a balmy day and the water is a bright ocean blue.

My neighborhood is in an older part of the city and it's acceptable for trash to be lying around and pets to leave "presents", but today I'm focusing on the more pleasant parts of the street I live on.

There is also beauty in the plants, shrubs and trees around my neighborhood. I think just about every green thing here has its own season of blooms! It's especially breathtaking right now, in the Spring. An absolute treat for me, a Colorado gal, to see so many luscious flower blossoms in every shade Mother Nature could invent.

Street entry to my building flat

Sidewalk guards

"Modern" highrise across the street. Solar water heaters on roofs in foreground.

Haifa Bay

Public stairs near my flat connects to street above. 100 plus steps!

Bahai gardens

 You are welcome to tour more of Haifa and Israel, through my lens, at "Around Israel". Otherwise please hop on over to Sally's blog, The Studio Sublime, to see more neighborhoods. I can't wait to go visiting!


single snapshot

Snapshot: Popularly defined as a photograph that is "shot" spontaneously and quickly, most often without artistic or journalistic intent. Common snapshot subjects include events of everyday life.

I noticed this colorful display of laundry drying while walking home from the office after a hectic and tiring day. The rainbow colors were so cheerful I had to stop and take a shot.


2nd reveal for the 7th bead soup blog party!

 It's time to reveal our Bead Soup creations!

This is the bead soup I received from my swap partner Solange of Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry. Lori of Pretty Things, hostess of the Bead Soup Blog Party, said we must use the focal bead and clasp in our finished pieces. All other beads in the soup are optional, but encouraged. My original attempt was to include most of the beads in one piece, but that soon proved to be too much! I let the beads determine what would be best. I made three necklaces, three pairs of earrings and one bracelet. I'm pleased with them all! Thank you Solange!!

And the finished pieces...

Necklace: abalone, adventurine, freshwater pearls & Czech glass beads
Necklace: ceramic bead by Happy Fallout
Bracelet: metal & adventurine beads
Earrings: vintage Lucite drops
Necklace: shell & freshwater pearls
Earrings: jasper gemstone
Earrings: polymer clay birds by Leah Curtis

Here is the bead soup I sent to Solange in France. To see what she has created using my bead soup, please visit her reveal post at Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry.

The 7th Bead Soup Blog Party wouldn't have been possible without Lori Anderson of Pretty Things! Thank you, Lori, for your hard work and dedication in connecting beaders and jewelry enthusiasts from around the world! To see how diverse a group it is you can visit the Bead Soup Blog Party Map that Lori made. See hundreds of REVEALS at Lori's blog the Bead Soup Blog Party link list. And this is just Part Two!

focus on life: aged beauty

Aged pieces have a beauty all their own, a beauty that draws us in to look a little deeper into a past time.  
This week focus on the aged beauty that may be an old building or an aging vehicle in a parking lot, items in a local barn, flea market, garage or in your jewelry box and snap a shot of a vintage beauty!  

It's week 15 of the Focus on Life year long photo series and I'm having so much fun being a part of this wonderful group! I don't have any vintage or old items in my possession currently, but I am surrounded by "aged beauty" in Israel! I am in awe when I think of how incredibly close I am to the relics and ruins of lives of people from thousands of years ago, well before the time of Christ.

Last month I visited the ancient coastal city of Caesarea, south from Haifa (where I live) and north of Tel Aviv. Caesarea was built during the Persian rule, between 586-332 BCE, by the Phoenicians. This port city has a long and interesting history of rulers and time periods. It felt almost reverent to be stepping along the same stone walkways as a local might have done so long ago. Who were they and where were they going? What was their day-to-day life like and what did they think about as they moved through the day?

One of my favorite websites, Sacred Destinations, has a nice page describing the historical events and prominent people of Caesarea. 

I have many more photos and hope to post a collection of the best ones in the near future. Today I chose a few of my favorites.

Fortress wall built by Arabs or Crusaders.
Detail pattern of floor tile in a bathhouse during Herod's time.

Ruins of a (luxurious) public bathhouse

Structural relic

Remains of an "artificial" harbour

 I can't wait to see what my fellow bloggers will post about this week's prompt! Please visit The Studio Sublime to see!


a favorite photo

Random post of a favorite photo. Rain drops caught in a spider's web.


focus on life: up close

Start exploring the details of the ordinary up close and
glimpse a world that you may never have noticed until you observed it magnified!

 That's our prompt for week 14 of Sally's Focus on Life series!  This theme was not as easy as I thought it would be. All week I remained indecisive on what subject to focus my camera on. "Up close" felt intimidating as I haven't learned the ins and outs of my camera's macro mode, although I use it regularly, in ignorance mind you.  :-)

Hoping inspiration would strike, I emptied my handbag of all personal everyday items, looking for the "ordinary", and there it was. Money. Israeli banknotes with lots of color and design! I had no idea how colorful until looking through the lens at all the patterns and shapes, in shades of rust, purple, green, sepia and more. Each note represents some aspect of Israel's history (or men!), much like printed paper money in most countries, I expect.

As I was snapping away, noticing details I wasn't aware of until now, I wanted to learn more. Not having time to do the research, I found basic information on Wikipedia, entitled "Israeli New Shekel".

 Most of the time I use 20, 50 and 100 shekel banknotes. As of this post, 20 shekels is about 5 US dollars, 50 shekels about 13 dollars and 100 shekels would be just over 27 dollars. Israeli banknotes are slightly larger than American bills and feel a bit different. In the photo above, the number "50" printed repetitively inside the gold "50" is barely visible, if at all, on the full size note.

That's probably more than anyone reading this post wants to know about Israeli money! At least I cut my final photo selection in half before posting. You've been spared, as I really got into it! 

Once again, a big THANK YOU to Sally for giving me the opportunity to see the unique in the ordinary! Please check Sally's blog, The Studio Sublime, for more of the ordinary "up close"!



Bahá'i gardens: garden path near the Shrine

I was out wandering the terrace gardens, just below the Shrine of The Báb, on Saturday, and this cheerful patch of bright flowers caught my eye. The Spring flowers are putting on quite a show in the Baha'i gardens right now. I came home with over 100 photos. One of the most exciting moments is the viewing of my downloaded pictures for the first time. It's like opening a present. Lots of presents! I'll post more garden photos soon.


around israel: grand canyon mall

I rode the bus to the largest mall in Israel, the Grand Canyon Mall in Haifa.  Before I entered the mall, my bags were checked by a security guard while I walked through a detector.

Once inside, there were three levels...the choice of shops almost overwhelming. 150 in all!! One noticeable difference compared to malls in the states - most of these shops are small, and more specialized, but like most malls, there were plenty of clothing and shoe shops. Some even share the same space, with the merchandise set up in a way to visually separate the two.

The lighting immediately caught my attention!

As did the food venues and cafés! Note the comfy seating.

I walked. I ate. I walked. I saw food everywhere!

This was a lot more fun than our typical fast food courts at home.

  The donuts were tempting but I resisted...

The kitchen shops were my favorite and there were plenty to browse in! I found a gourmet shop with spices and teas in baskets, attractively arranged on counters. A feast for the senses!!

Most labels are in Hebrew which is the official language in Israel, followed by Arabic and Russian. Every once in a while I come across print in English. Less than half of the Israelis I encounter speak English fairly comfortably, or at least enough to communicate. Every place I stopped in, the clerks were very helpful and attentive. A few have a table set up outside their entry just for wrapping your glass items or gifts.

It's a great place to take some time to wander around on a rainy day and sit at one of the cafés for a rest and a drink before getting back on the bus. :-)

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