Israel Behind the Lens is a special series highlighting some of Israel’s top photographers. Below, photographer Matan Hirsch shares his most memorable photos captured in Israel in 2015 and the story behind them.
Each year around May, Jews throughout Israel celebrate the holiday of Lag B’Omer by gathering around bonfires, singing songs, and roasting marshmallows. I took this photo on Lag B’Omer in 2015 near the Jerusalem forest.
This photo is of a religious Jewish family walking the streets of Jerusalem. One of the most special things of the city is its unique architecture and the way religious people are everywhere side by side with other members of Israeli society.
A few times in the winter, it snows in the Golan Heights, making the area even more beautiful than usual. On the day this photo was taken in February, my parents and I took a day off to go traveling.
One of my favorite places in Israel is the beach. One sunny weekend, my good friend Sofy and I took a trip to the for a fun photoshoot.
A fun addition to the beautiful streets of Jerusalem, these umbrellas were put in the city center over the summer bringing with them some incredible colors.
A cool, relaxing place in the north is the beautiful Sea of Galilee, the Kinneret. Every time I show this photo, people are in shock that it comes from Israel.
Israel’s southern desert, the Negev, extends for miles. With nothing but blue skies and open air, it’s impossible not to appreciate the beauty of Israel’s landscape.
While shooting a “Save the Date” photo for an amazing couple, we happened upon a beautiful field of Sunflowers. Having never been there before, I wanted this photo to remember that special place. This is one of my favorite photos.
As a photographer, it’s always a challenge capturing people in the moment. One evening, my cousin and I went to Palmahim beach (near Rishon Lezion) for a photoshoot. Here she is in all her dancing glory!
A classic activity for Israelis is hiking, traveling all over the country and enjoying the gifts of nature. Here is my sweet dog, Dvash (Hebrew for honey) having lots of fun as she splashes in one of Israel’s ponds. Just look how happy she is!
This building is a historic remnant built in the hills of Jerusalem. It currently stands among a deserted Arabic village at the entrance to Jerusalem. Buildings such as this one represent previous generations who merited to live in the Land of Israel, such as the privilege I have been granted today.
Every year in June, the Holy City of Jerusalem hosts what is known as the “Light Festival”. It’s always a treat to see the Old City in a new way, through the lens of other incredible artists.
Matan Hirsch has loved photography ever since he received his first film camera back in 1996 at the age of nine. Only a few years ago, he bought his first professional camera. Although he graduated from Hebrew University with a B.A., photography has always been his passion. He then decided to turn what he loves into his profession. In 2014, he opened his own photography business.
Shortly after, he began using HDR, an effect which provides photos with more dynamic range. Matan uses this effect because he likes seeing his country in a new, creative way. Currently he works with Taglit Birthright groups who come to visit Israel learning about the country and her history.
Matan’s motto is: “The question is not what you are, but what you see”.
To see more of Matan’s work, or to purchase, click here.
Source: Israel in the News