Tuesday, January 24

Israel Smartphone Photography: 'All Along the Watchtower, Princes Kept The View...'

(Device: Nexus 5)

Cue Jimi Hendrix... this moody #blackandwhite photo of the ancient Nimrod's Fortress Mamluk (13th Cent.) stronghold in northern #Israel is the first of a series I'll be posting in coming days on making the most of your #smartphonephotography and #mobilephotography. While my main #Smartphone is an #LGV20, these images were shot on a #nexus5x and #Nikon #D750 and edited in #SnapSpeed and #Lightroom, and Lightroom Mobile.


Make sure to follow my channels to get the inside info on how to rock your #androidography #LG #Samsung #Nexus, #iPhone #iphoneography and other #smartphone models: www.davidbrianbender.comhttps://www.instagram.com/davebrianbender/https://www.facebook.com/davidbrianbender

(Camera: Nikon D750/Tokina 11-16)
 (Camera: Nikon D750/Tokina 11-16)
           (Camera: Nikon D750/Tokina 11-16)
 (Camera: Nikon D750/Tokina 11-16)
(Device: I'm shooting with my LGV20, but the photo itself was shot with a Nexus 5)
 (Camera: Nikon D750/Tokina 11-16)
 (Device: Nexus 5)

Monday, January 9

Smartphone Photography: 'Mediterranean Sunset'

Smartphone Photography: 'Mediterranean Sunset' en route from Israel to Cyprus and Rhodes. #LGV20#SonyQX1#Nikkor 70-200, manual, rough edit in #SnapSpeed, and #Lightroom Mobile for NR.
Pls follow my new Smartphone Photography blog: https://israelsmartphonephotography.blogspot.co.il/ 
FB: https://www.facebook.com/davidbrianbender/ and Instagram: 
https://www.instagram.com/davebrianbender/



Sunday, January 8

Welcome to my Revamped, Refocused & Rejigged Smartphone-DSLR Photography Blog and Websites!

Me, along the Syrian border in Israel's Golan Heights, with Mt. Hermon in the background (Photo: Russel Harris)
Welcome, new visitors and old friends!

After more than a decade, I'm morphing my dusty, musty news and politics blog into a showcase and calling card for my SmartPhone and DLSR photography, both here in Israel, and elsewhere worldwide.

The changes here come in parallel with a two new websites (now under construction):

Thr first, a professional photographic sales and marketing site hosted at www.photoshelter.com/ will be hosting my photographic portfolio, and feature a built-in, easy-to-buy and print/frame or download my Israeli landscape, nature, event, and street photography,

The second, www.davidbrianbender.com, will focus exclusively on Smartphone Photography and host my latest exclusive photos, shooting tips, full-on lessons, photo essays, live shots, and much interaction with you, the viewer.

Lots more to say and display, but, for the moment, pardon our dust and stay tuned as we clean out the cobwebs, tune up the pages, and show you my best!

Tracing Torah: a ‘Seeing Israel’ Smartphone Photo Essay


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As night gathers over the birthplace of Kabbalah, a devout Jewish scribe readies his tools alongside a nearly-completed Torah scroll (Click on the photos to view a full-sized image in a new browser window. All photos: www.davidbrianbender.com, All Rights Reserved. “Behind-the-scenes” photographic notes follow).
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As he prepares, cool, pine-scented air wafts through the painted arches of Safed’s striking 16th Cent. Abuhav Synagogue.
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Mulling the task ahead, Meir Biton carefully scans the Biblical text.
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Alongside the unrolled scroll awaits a compact, ornately decorated Sephardic-style wooden enclosure.
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Biton’s ink-stained fingers deftly carve, and then attach a nib to a split bamboo stylus, and he takes a seat at a cloth-covered table along the bima.
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Biton and others present intently study the quality of the hand-lettering, previously prepared by another scribe.
In the sacred silence, Biton whispers an ancient blessing to help focus on his crucial deed; one misspelled letter would invalidate the entire scroll.
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“I have placed God before me, always”
 (Ps. 16:8), emblazoned above the opening to the Aron Kodesh, where the scrolls are kept
This is the second such Torah donated by the Elishkovs of Rishon L’tzion, both occasions marking the Bar Mitzva of sons of the Georgian immigrant family.
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One after another, Biton gently rests the hand of the son, then, father and then guests upon his own, as he repeats the sacred act, painstakingly inking letter after letter.
Each Jew is enjoined to write their own Sefer Torah; this ritual allows them to partner in the holy moment, and become living links in the chain they themselves forge.
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Pen inks parchment, as the faintly traced Hebrew letters become the last word of the five Books of Moses: Israel.
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After the ceremony, the scroll takes its place among the other scrolls brought over the centuries from locations across the Middle East, back to their ancestral home.
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A synagogue member kisses a Torah scroll, reposing within the Aron Kodesh.
Photographic notes:
My main camera setup is a Nikon D300 and assorted macro to telephoto lenses, however, impromptu opportunities like this prove the dictum that “the best camera is the one you have with you.”
Initially, I’d just ducked into Abuhav earlier for evening services, and hadn’t known of the planned event.
I shot these images with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, via the Better Camera app. I carefully set the ISO (the sensor’s sensitivity to light), exposure, white balance for the fluorescent lights, and, finally, set macro or standard focus settings, depending on the shot.
But no matter what level camera/smart/phone you may be using, here are two important suggestions:
*Always shoot at the highest resolution possible, so you’ll have more to crop from later.
*Don’t preset in any effects (HDR, “Instagram,” etc.), since they make it near impossible to correct later, and can easily be added in via a stand-alone editing app instead.
Flitting around the action (well, as discreetly as possible…), I tried to get as many angles as possible, at different aperture and focus settings. I tried to avoid the all-too-common Smartphone and DSLR “eye-level-now-everybody-smile-for-the-camera!” shots.
Editing in Lightroom 5, I tightly cropped and vignetted several of the shots, both to draw attention to the specific subject, and to suggest the drama of the moment.
I saved the images in lower-resolution .jpg format, as seen here, as well as far higher .tiff. Both .tiff and in-camera .raw save all the information in the image, thus allowing far great flexibility in editing the image afterward.
I welcome your thoughts and feedback on this first in what I hope to develop into a photo essay series, featuring various sites and events in Israel.
I’ll do my best to share both the story in the photos themselves, and take you behind the scenes of how I got the shots.
In order to foster a two-way dialogue with you, the reader, and beginner and intermediate photographer, feel free to include your photos of the same locales in your comments so we can “contrast and compare” results.
(Click on the photos to view a full-sized image in a new browser window. All photos: www.davidbrianbender.com, All Rights Reserved). Original essay at http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/inking-the-sacred-chain/

Sunday, July 12

Int'l Multimedia Students 'Get To News' in Unique Israeli University-Based Program (Photos, Audio)

Had an excellent 2nd-annual all-day broadcast/online radio reporting and production seminar/workshop at Bar-Ilan University, mentoring and chatting with media students from around the world, on the "Get to News" Training Program.Hosted by the סוכנות הידיעות תצפית Tazpit News Agency, a dozen fascinating, talented and dedicated pupils are here for several weeks gaining hardcore multimedia experience in radio, tv, print, photography, and social media.


Check out some of the audio: https://soundcloud.com/dave-bender/tazpit-radio-interviews

"The Program offers a fascinating, educational and unique experience, as it supplies its participants with valuable tools, knowledge, and 'on the job' experience in one of the biggest media hubs in the world. While guided by the best in their field, and producing exclusive materials, participants will get a chance to supercharge their careers: http://tazpit.org.il/

Besides time on-mike, they'll meet and mentor with experts, learning and reporting about the real Israel, beyond the foreign coverage headlines (all photos: courtesy the amazing Andrew McIntire).

                                                   On-mike with Katerina. (Photo: courtesy Andrew McIntire)


On-mike with Rahul. (Photo: courtesy Andrew McIntire)


Working the board with the radio facility manager, Asaph Nissan.
(Photo: courtesy Andrew McIntire)

Checking out my battered Zoom H4n field recorder with Petra and Steffi.
(Photo: courtesy Andrew McIntire)

Hoping I remembered to save that audio cut...
(Photo: courtesy Andrew McIntire)

Tuesday, October 14

Dave Bender: Latest Reports From Israel: 'Israelis Barred From New York Times-Hosted Iran Tour; Rep Says Advisable to Hide Jewish or Gay Identity'

Articles by Dave Bender:

IDF in Gaza: The Dogs of War (VIDEO)OCTOBER 10, 2014 9:42 AM

IDF in Gaza: The Dogs of War (VIDEO)

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