One of the best things about landing in Israel has to be the sight of the Tel Aviv coastline unfolding before you as the plane descends toward the airport.
But with a global pandemic standing in the way of air travel, marveling at Israel from a plane window is not really an option – which is why these images by photographer Eyal Asaf are even more special right now.
“I’ve been photographing from a very young age. My family has a photography business, so from a very young age I’ve really connected to this field,” Asaf says. “From second grade, during vacations, I’d help out at the store and take photos at events.”
“Nowadays I photograph our country. I photograph only in Israel to show it to the world in the most beautiful way,” he says.
The father of two resides in central Israel but travels up and down the country to capture his images. His favorite area is the north because of its abundant greenery and water.
“I usually wake up very early and leave around 3 or 4 AM to make it in time for sunrise and before the crowds arrive in order to photograph nature without too much crowding,” he says. “I usually photograph alone. I enjoy being alone with nature; that’s how you reach the best results.”
Asaf uses both traditional cameras and drones to capture his shots of Israeli nature and landscapes. Drone photography, he says, has greatly advanced in quality recent years.
“It’s already getting closer to professional cameras – it’s not there yet, but it’s getting very close. You can get really nice results.”
The coronavirus crisis and lockdowns in Israel, he notes, have predictably impacted his work.
“I’m of course not going out and taking photos because there’s lockdown and it’s prohibited, but I’m still uploading and publishing materials I haven’t shared before. I have more time to go over my very, very extensive archives,” he explains.
Looking forward, Asaf is keen to get out and photograph more sites across Israel.
“I always have a note on my phone to which I keep on adding places to photograph. The next place I think I’ll go photograph after lockdown is Ein Afek, a nature reserve in Haifa. But I have a pretty long list that I keep on ticking off,” he says.
“There are also places that I return to in different time periods,” he notes. “Whenever you go back to the same place you find different angles. It always photographs differently and looks different.”
Asaf encourages budding photographers to just get out there and keep snapping, because “experience will do its thing” and there will be steady improvement.
“Of course, you also need to be familiar with the most basic rules of photography,” he adds. “And always keep up to date about the best editing software and the best equipment.
“But just take photos. Take photos and with time you’ll know exactly what it is that you’re seeing,” he concludes.
Asaf’s photographs can be viewed and purchased via his website.
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