Sunday, March 3, 2013


Jerusalem, perhaps the most famous and legendary city to ever exist. Wars have been fought over Jerusalem for thousands of years and continue to do so. It has been completely destroyed and rebuilt twice during it's long history, and of course is a key pilgrimage sight for followers of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

With my Wife and I's holiday to Egypt recently, came the opportunity for an excursion to The Holy Land, with the main focus being Jerusalem. We sacrificed a trip to Cairo in favour of Jerusalem, which given the instability of the Middle-East region, was perhaps a sensible thing to do. Jerusalem is not always a safe and recommended place to visit. Despite the recent Revolution in Egypt, the Cairo tourist spots such as the Great Pyramid and Sphinx are unaffected by these troubles. Although we were delighted to visit Jerusalem, we were not big fans of the tour we went on. We were prepared for the hard work, as we were picked up in Sharm El-Sheikh at 9pm and returned midnight the next day (meaning a bus trip through the night), but we were disappointed that there were hardly any opportunities for free time to explore the old city of Jerusalem.

Of course, excursions and tourist tours are not the ideal way to get great photographs, but our experience from previous tours in Greece was very good. They gave us various explanations at places we stopped, but at the same time gave us plenty of time to explore and take pictures. Now we did pack quite a lot into our day in the Middle-East (Jerusalem, Palestine, the Dead Sea) but it was still a bit annoying that any photos taken were pretty much standard ones everyone else could get. This should not take away from the fact though that visiting Jerusalem was a very special and fascinating experience, that if times are good, I thoroughly recommend.

The picture you see of Jerusalem here is taken from the Mount of Olives perspective, which gives a wonderful view over the old city of Jerusalem. I do not want to call this an HDR, if I could invent a term for it, I would call it a semi-HDR. This is because my original picture is a standard single RAW image, but I created an HDR out of this single RAW file, to bring out more colour and detail. The final picture is the original image, with the HDR elements masked into the main architectural and old city parts. The picture was completed by eliminating the many cranes and other distracting features in the background.

Quick note: This is my first picture from the continent of Asia. Having visited as well Egypt (in Africa) and Miami (in North America), I now have pictures posted in 2013 from 4 different continents (including Europe of course)! Despite my fairly low output so far (this is going to change rapidly), I'm very chuffed with that fact!

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