The Landscape of Israel... most of it.

I recently returned from my Israel Free Spirit Birthright trip. To those who don't know about this incredible experience where you get to go to Israel FOR FREE be sure to check out their webpage here. If you keep an extra eye out, you will probably find some photos of me on their site. ANYWHO - here are some of my favorite shots from the trip. There are a few more posted in my Landscape Gallery. Israel is beautiful place that some people overlook.

Enjoy! If you dig the pictures feel free to share, comments, etc...

Masada

We are hiking up Masada - the site of an ancient mass suicide to avoid being captured by the Romans.

We are hiking up Masada - the site of an ancient mass suicide to avoid being captured by the Romans.

Bedouin Stars

One of my goals of the trip was to practice astrophotography as much as I could. This was our first night of really being exposed to the incredible stars viewed from the desert. Unfortunately, the clouds/haze really prevented me from really exploring but I was able to grab this shot quickly of jupiter while the clouds parted. This was taken with my 35mm lens at 12 seconds and iso 2400.

One of my goals of the trip was to practice astrophotography as much as I could. This was our first night of really being exposed to the incredible stars viewed from the desert. Unfortunately, the clouds/haze really prevented me from really exploring but I was able to grab this shot quickly of jupiter while the clouds parted. This was taken with my 35mm lens at 12 seconds and iso 2400.

Bedouin Sunrise

One of the first nights of the trip, we stayed in Bedouin tents got to catch this incredible sunrise.

One of the first nights of the trip, we stayed in Bedouin tents got to catch this incredible sunrise.

Ein Ovdat

A spring with waterfalls in the middle of a canyon the DESERT. Whoa. Made for a great little hike too!

A spring with waterfalls in the middle of a canyon the DESERT. Whoa. Made for a great little hike too!

Sde Boker

View of the Desert from the burial site of David and Paula Gurion. 

View of the Desert from the burial site of David and Paula Gurion. 

Life in Mitzpe Ramon

Plant life growing on the side of a gigantic canyon (CRATER) called Mitzpe Ramon.

Plant life growing on the side of a gigantic canyon (CRATER) called Mitzpe Ramon.

Time lapse of Mitzpe Ramon

By this time in the trip everyone saw that I was obsessed with stars/astrophotography but sadly most of the evenings were too hazy to capture anything. I'd sit there in the desert till 4am just to see if the haze cleared away. My trip guides had told me that Mitzpe Ramon is a sought out venue in the country as one of the best star gazing locations and I was feeling pretty defeated not seeing anything.

I had just about given up on the stars and decided to try my luck compiling time lapses during the day of clouds rolling through the desert as well as sunset. This was a success in my eyes as the clouds ended up looking really cool. It was the last night we were spending in the desert and so I wanted to AT LEAST get some pictures. That evening we went out to B'er Sheva to this huge mall and we had to be up early so I was sure I wasn't going to see the stars. Thank you to my incredible girl friend for putting up with me because I was grumpy to say the least at not being to shoot some stars.

We arrive back to the hostel after a night on the town and I look up. The haze had passed and I rushed to get my gear set up. Check out what I got to shoot below; it partially made my trip.

stars mitzpe
orion mitzpe ramon
Mitzpe Ramon Fish Eye

Salad Trail Strawberries

Fresh strawberries. DANK.

Fresh strawberries. DANK.

Tel Aviv

Lovely being at the beach while Storm Juno was pounding NYC.

Lovely being at the beach while Storm Juno was pounding NYC.

tel aviv beach

Mine Flowers

Small flowers right next to the border of an abandoned (but active) Syrian mine field in the Golan Heights.

Small flowers right next to the border of an abandoned (but active) Syrian mine field in the Golan Heights.

Panoramic shot of the Golan Heights

Panoramic shot of the Golan Heights

View Mt. Hermon in the Golan Heights before jeep riding.

View Mt. Hermon in the Golan Heights before jeep riding.

Tiberias/Kineret

Tiberias as seen from across the Kineret.

Tiberias as seen from across the Kineret.

Big Dipper as seen from the Golan Heights. Funny story about this shot; it was almost ruined when I heard foot steps nearby. Footsteps in the middle of the night, in the Golan Heights. I was flipping out and almost turned my flash light on. Stuck it out, turned on my light and saw a cat (they are like squirrels in Israel). I still jumped and gave a little kick to a fellow photographer catching the view.

Big Dipper as seen from the Golan Heights. Funny story about this shot; it was almost ruined when I heard foot steps nearby. Footsteps in the middle of the night, in the Golan Heights. I was flipping out and almost turned my flash light on. Stuck it out, turned on my light and saw a cat (they are like squirrels in Israel). I still jumped and gave a little kick to a fellow photographer catching the view.

Tzfat

tzfat
hills
DSCF4253.jpg

Machaneh Yehuda, outdoor food market in jerusalem

OLD City of jerusalem

walls
Sunlight through some yellow flowers in the Old City.

Sunlight through some yellow flowers in the Old City.

Inside the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem

Inside the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem

A woman gets ready for Shabbat to come. 

A woman gets ready for Shabbat to come. 

The Western Wall.

The Western Wall.

The Western Wall, Dome of the Rock.

The Western Wall, Dome of the Rock.

View of the old city and the hills of Jerusalem.

View of the old city and the hills of Jerusalem.

Sunset

My favorite sunset.

My favorite sunset.

I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse into my trip to Israel and got to see some of the true beauty the land has to hold. The only way to get the full experience is to get to Israel! I posted about 600 more to facebook, including shots with my trip mates as well as some other experiences. 

If you have any specific questions about how I shot any of these pictures feel free to comment or reach out via email!

Ari

FULL ALBUM OF PHOTOS HERE