A guide-turned-photographer’s perspective on Israeli sights and scenes
There is an array of hues and views in “From The Beginning,” a first exhibition of photographs by newcomer Moshe Gold at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.
The 14-photograph exhibition which opened on June 3 and runs through June 23 is from the tour guide’s collection of photos taken in the wild across Israel, mostly last year, when he had time to walk even more than usual.
The photographs represent sites in Israel, from the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea to the Cliffs of Acre, a famous lonely tree in the Ruchama Badlands to the south, and the starry sky of Mitzpe Ramon.
Each photo is centered on a focal point, whether it’s a man sitting in a chair on the Sea of Galilee, a fantastic spider web caught in raindrops, or surfers catching waves in the Mediterranean Sea.
“Moments don’t come on their own, sometimes you have to look for them,” Gold said. “Each photo is a moment, it’s a story.”
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There are photos superimposed on the light, taken at different times of the day, Gold said. While all of the photos were taken in Israel, they encompass moments not everyone necessarily sees.
“I watch the interactions,” he said. “It’s boring for me to just look at nature, I like to see what’s going on around a particular place.”
So there are photographs where the image is shaded by the fog that sets in at sunrise, contains contrasts of green fields with a blue sky, or offers an aerial view of the sea with an emerald green tint.
“You come home and discover this treasure when you look at the photo afterwards,” Gold said.
There is something particularly apt about the combination of a tour guide and a photographer, Gold said, although he usually doesn’t photograph anything when guiding a group.
“I’ve been hiking my whole life,” said Gold, a guide certified by the Department of Tourism. “But I always had a camera in my hand.”
He never planned to exhibit his photos, but the last year and a half of the pandemic has canceled all of his work and unexpectedly offered opportunities he hadn’t anticipated.
Gold and his wife, Vered Noa Lipschitz Gold, were married during the coronavirus, and she pushed him to work on the exhibit compilation.
There have been other changes this year including Gold’s Zoom Tours and Photographic Tours in which it offers tours of the Old City of Jerusalem for families celebrating their events and photographs them along the way.
Fittingly, the exhibition was named to mark the last year and a half in Gold’s life, when he had to start from scratch – in his work, his professional life and with his photography.