Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Photographing the Holy Land

The first thing that needs to be said about any trip to the Middle East in the current world environment is to be sure to use the appropriate precautions. This includes checking with the United States State Department to see if there are any travel warnings issued concerning the country or region you wish to visit. Be sure also to check on the requirements for a visa to avoid problems later.

When everything is squared away concerning travel restrictions and other things you need to know about foreign travel, be prepared to shoot some incredible photographs in Israel and the Holy Land. There are endless things that draw the attention of photographers, so it will be a good idea to know which areas you will want to visit before your trip.

The city of Jerusalem is a sacred one for believers of three major faiths: Islamic, Judaism, and Christianity. Visitors need to be mindful of this fact and show due respect when spending time in the various districts and quarters of the city.

You will find many areas that will be backdrops for remarkable photographs, but some of the major "don't miss" attractions and places to photograph include:

(1) The walled "Old City" is where you will find much of Jerusalem's history as well as the marketplace. There are numerous shops within Old City.

(2) The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is believed to be on the site where Jesus was crucified.

(3) The Mount of Olives is where you will find not only some lovely views of the surrounding countryside, but also the oldest Jewish cemetery in existence.

(4) The Garden of Gethsemane is still an area where ancient olive trees thrive.

(5) The golden Dome of the Rock can be seen from all around Jerusalem. This is a holy site to Muslims since it is where Muhammed is said to have ascended to heaven. In Christianity it is where Abraham is said to have taken Isaac for sacrifice.

(6) The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea and will provide still more amazing photographs.

(7) You may decide to photograph the Via Dolorosa. This is "The Way of the Cross" and is the path that Jesus walked on the way to His crucifixion. You may want to walk the path and photograph various points of interest along the way.

(8) There is a charming zoo with scenic landscape in Jerusalem. It is one of the world's most beautiful zoos.

(9) The Wailing Wall (also known as the Western Wall) is where Jewish people have their daily prayers. Visitors are known to put written prayers into cracks in the wall.

(10) There are many outdoor cafes and marketplaces around this area. Guests need to keep security issues in mind when making decisions about which of these places to visit.

(11) The "little town" of Bethlehem is found only a few miles from Jerusalem, but is situated in the Palestinian area of the country. If you wish to go into that area (again, be advised of the security issues) you will be passing a checkpoint. There are many photo ops in this biblical area, the first of which is Manger Square.

(12) There are many places in this area that you may wish to photograph. A few that were not specifically mentioned so far are Nazereth, the Garden Tomb, and Tel Aviv.

No comments: