BenHaim Winery

BenHaim 1s

I always thought that most of Israel’s wineries are situated in the Golan Heights, so you could imagine my surprise when I discovered that I have a boutique winery just under my nose in Ramat-HaSharon, adjacent to Tel-Aviv north border. I was amazed to realize that I pass right next to the place twice a week when I jog by the road leading from the city noise to the grapefruit orchards of Kibbutz Glil-Yam. So what can one do with a winery by the house? The first thing to do is to knock on the door and ask to have a taste.

BenHaim Winery is a small family business with an interesting history. Itay BenHaim is a big man that rides a Harley, and he’s got a large smile and loud laughter of a man that’s got wine in his soul. Those qualities, most likely, led him to be the vintner. Itay doesn’t waste much time on talking and opens a bottle of a 2007 Cabernet-Sauvignon. Deep into our drinking he starts telling about his great grand-father who built wine barrels in Romania. The oak wine barrel have a very important role in making the wine. It gives the wine the right amount of oxygen that it needs during the maturation process. When the BenHaim family came to Israel in the early 40th, they kept their Wine Barrel production tradition. In those days their barrels were bought by Carmel Mizrahi famous winery, but also by Assis company that used the barrels for their juices.

old photo - s

(BenHaim Wine Barrel Factory. Haifa, 1951)

Many years later, when the wine barrel factory wasn’t profitable anymore, the BenHaim family decided not to surrender and to continue their heritage in the wine industry. They acquired their vineyard on the biblical mount Meron at the Upper Galilee. After the grape harvest the fruits are being broken and chilled next to the vineyard, and only then sent to the winery in Ramat-HaSharon, in order to preserve its qualities. Itay BenHaim emphasizes the fact that they make the wine by the ancient methods and tradition. It means that the wine is being aged in the barrel for 24 to 30 months before it goes for another aging period in the bottles.

Drinking makes you heavy, so Itay makes us stand on our feet, and leads us to the barrel room, where he do most of the work, monitoring the aging process of the wine. Like a good Romanian, Itay has a weak spot for Port Wine. He proudly introduces the barrel where he’s slowly aging a 9 years Port Wine. By the end of 2013 the Port will grow up to be 10, and then it will be launched to the market in a special edition. He gives me a taste of the Port and I’m in heaven. Well, I’m also part Romanian…

We head back to the welcoming parlor. BenHaim Winery is not a big place, but it has a lot of character in the interior design, with outdated wine barrels stacked together from wall to wall, among them all kind of wine bottles from the rich history of the winery. For the main course Itay frees the liquid from a 2005 Merlot. When I ask Itay about the many awards that his winery won, he humbly suggest that that’s not what counts, but by the evening of that very same day the members of the jury of Terra Vino 2012 gave BenHaim winery 6 awards, among them the very prestigious award for the best Boutique Winery in Israel. And so, with the wine filling our body and soul, Itay sits before the piano and start playing a merry/light headed tune. “I’ve also got a Saxophone hiding somewhere” he says, but with all that drinking he couldn’t find it. By the end of the visit my head is light. But no worries – after all I’m not so far away from home…

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The Alpha Diaries – Operation Pillar of Defense

We were called on Friday evening. We left everything – our work, families and daily duties – and went to serve our country. That’s how we live our lives here in Israel, and it has nothing to do with our political believes. Though I can’t say I was eager to fight, I was ready to follow my friends into battle. By Saturday morning Alpha Company was ready to march. This time luck was on our side, and by the end of a very long week, a cease-fire was declared and Operation Amud Anan AKA Pillar of Defence came to an end. I can’t go into specifics about what we did that week, but I did took some photos and video footage so I could later spread the taste of oil and sand. Since it was such a weird experience we’ve decided to make a clip with Bob Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine man as soundtrack. When I’ve uploaded it to YouTube it was immediately blocked due to copyright reasons. I found even more trippy version of the song made by William Shatner, and I think it took it further more into a delirium. Shifting from being a normal citizen and a soldier is such a strange transformation that I think this short clip captured a little of what that could do to your conception of reality. The contrast between an armed soldier and a free minded individual is huge, but that’s exactly what beautiful and unique in being a reserve soldier in the IDF.

If you liked that, take a ride with Alpha Company and watch the documentary “The Alpha Diaries“.

Photo Gallery:


The smooth sound of Samba – Joca Perpignan launches new album

I always thought that Brazilian music has a unique calming quality. It might be the Portuguese language that flows most elegantly in a song, combined with a very enthusiastic rhythm. Since the Carnival is thousands of miles away from here, every opportunity we’ve got to enjoy the Samba is very special.

Joca Perpignan was born and raised in Brazil, but for more than 20 years he lives and creates in Israel, where he specializes in flavoring everything with Brazilian music and rhythm. He’s involved in many interesting projects, contributing his percussionist skills to many talented local musicians, like Idan Reichel, Mati Caspi, Yoni Rechter and many more.

And now, after he already made one album in Brazil, he launches his new album, called: “Manso Balanco”. This album combines Brazilian music with middle-eastern motives, which Joca absorbed during all the years he performed with local musicians. In “Manso Balanco” Joca collaborates with song writers like the great Samba poet Delcio Carvalho, and South-American musicians like the guitar player Marcelo Nami, Percussionists Juares dos Santos and Rony Iwryn, and local Middle-Eastern musicians as vocalist Din Din Aviv and Palestinian-Israeli Mira Awad. The Album was produced by Joca and his two long time partners – Uri Kleinman and Marc Kakon.

The meaning of the name “Manso Balanco” is smooth movement. I believe this name testify, more than anything, for the good nature of Joca’s character, that plays his music in the same smoothness with which he talks and sing. In the following concerts, Joca intends to place the percussion instruments at the front of the stage, a place usually occupied by strings and keyboards.

Here is a small taste of “Manso Balanco”:

The article in hebrew on YNET


My Photographic Time Tunnel – About Leica and Serial Numbers

It was and it’s still is a dream to hold a Leica camera in your hands and use it as a tool for taking pictures. Ever since I’ve started my Photographic Time Tunnel journey I was hearing about Leica cameras, held by legendary photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andreas Feninger and even the Israelis Alex Levac and David Rubinger. One story that captivated my imagination was about a Leica without a serial number. I’ve heard it from Aaron Gurevich, a camera collector I once met, who knew the owner of that unique Leica. The story, that sounds much like an urban legend, is about a Jewish war survivor who lived in Germany after WWII and was treated at the Red Cross hospital near Wetzlar. As a patient who was enjoying the benefits of the Red Cross health care, he was given a weekly amount of cigarettes packages. I believe that in those days they knew less about the negative effects of smoking, so this guy could enjoy the positive effect while relaxing on his balcony. Getting cigarettes in those post-war days was a very difficult thing, so one of his neighbors who had a hard time living without smoking, made a deal with him: The neighbor will receive one package of cigarettes a week, and in return he will give that Jewish patient a part of a camera, that he will steal from the factory where he was working. Luckily for the both of them, the patient didn’t need so much cigarettes and he thought that a camera could be a cool thing to have, so he agreed to go forward with his neighbor’s deal. And so the weeks passed, when one could smoke again, and the other collected camera parts. After a few months the neighbor requested a double package of cigarettes and in return he delivered the outer shell of the camera – the body. At the following weekend, with all the camera parts in hand, the neighbor sat and assembled the camera, exactly as he was doing at the factory. The camera was a Leica, and since it didn’t leave the factory doors as a product, it didn’t held a serial number. Many years has passed and the Jew left Germany and moved to Israel. By the late 70th he sold the camera to a photographer and camera collector by the name of Ezriel Kalman.

When I’ve heard that story I set a goal to meet Ezriel and get to the bottom of the tale. Ezriel Kalman has a little camera shop at King George Street in Tel-Aviv. I knew this place with its little display window, stuffed with old cameras, but it was always closed. I assumed it was one of those places frozen in time, waiting for some legal lawsuit to be settled between the children of the owner (I know a camera shop up in Herzliyya Main Street, which stands like that for the last 12 years. I even called one of the children so he might let me peek inside this time capsule, but he didn’t even want to hear what I had to say). Anyhow, I was informed by the friend who told me the story of the numberless Leica that the shop is not abandoned, and if I want to meet Ezriel I better visit the place early in the day.

I met Ezriel sitting in front of his shop, talking with the elderly by passers. He maintains a special corner with bowl of water for the dogs, which he loves dearly and has an informal dialog with. To my surprise it didn’t take long into our conversation, until he voluntarily told me the story of the numberless Leica, with some minor changes from what I originally heard. You know how those stories change from one teller to another, until you hardly recognize the specific details. But the story still contained a Leica and it didn’t have a serial number on it. I told Ezriel that I would love to see that special camera and try to make it work for my article, but he firmly said that he won’t take it out of the safe and that he is afraid that the people at the Leica Company will hunt him down for it. I was a little bit disappointed, although the whole time I suspected the story was too good to be true. Ezriel noticed the disappointment in my eyes, and said he has a better Leica to show me. How could it be any better? Well, it was his father’s Leica, which he bought in Bucharest at early 20’s. Actually, I prefer to see and renew a camera that served a few generations of the same family. We scheduled a meeting for the next week, so Ezriel will have time to dig some photos his Leica produced back then in the 30’s and 40’s. That gave me enough time to do some research about Leica – the Rolls Royce of cameras.

Well, Rolls Royce might be the wrong equivalent, since the story of the Leica is really the story of how film cameras became smaller and easier to use. Leica is actually all about being more compact and accessible (If you’ve got the money to buy it). It all started with an optical engineer by the name of Oskar Barnack, who worked at the Ernst Leitz Company. Oskar loved photography, and the story says that he suffered from asthma and had difficulties carrying all the heavy photography equipment to shoot outside, so he was experimenting with minimizing the camera equipment and film. In those days, I mean 1911, everything was huge (Equipment and the size of film), so making it smaller was an essential part in evolution. Oskar Barnack wanted to utilize the standard 35mm film used by Edison and the Lumiere brothers for the movies industry, and instead of using it vertically as in fast running film cameras for the moving pictures, he placed it horizontally in the stills camera, making a frame of 24x36mm picture size negative.

It took Oskar many years and some prototypes until the company authorized the manufacture of his first 35mm camera, and in 1925 the first batch of cameras where commercially available to the public. Ernst Leitz Company called them Leica, which is taken from the words Leitz Camera. The small camera was a great success – so small in size, it was all that Oskar Barnack meant it to be – a camera you could take with you outdoors and take pictures while having fun. Today we are used to small size cameras combined even in our cellphones, enabling us to snap as much as we want, but back in 1925, a camera so small was a great invention and the beginning of a new era in photography. An American advertising poster from those years showed that the Leica fits inside the shirt pocket, and announced that this is the “Camera of the Future”.

“Leica II” that came in 1932 was another leap into the future, with the extraordinary Rangefinder mechanism incorporated into the camera. That made the Leica even better, making it easy to focus the lens on the subject. Today we take things like comfortable camera size and easily to achieve focus for granted, but in the early 30’s of the 20th century, these innovations where truly a great leap. With these new tools in the market, a new generation of photographers emerged with the art of Journalism and Street Photography.

I didn’t know what kind of Leica Ezriel’s father bought in Bucharest, but after getting all this information on the history of Leica, I was ready for a surprise. Any Leica camera could have been a treat, but when Ezriel unfolded the camera from her warn leather cover I couldn’t be more amazed. Not only was it a “Leica I” model, the serial number engraved into the metal body of the camera showed a three letters number: 671, which means this camera was from the very first batch of 870 Leica cameras made in 1925. “Is it still working?” I’ve asked Ezriel with a slight thrill in my voice. “Yes” he said, a little surprised by the question, “Like always”.

 (Ezriel Kalman’s Leica I with serial number 671)

I was eager to try the camera out, but Ezriel seemed reluctant to let the camera out of his hands. In the process of gaining his trust I questioned Ezriel about the history of his camera. Ezriel was born in a little village in Romania called Hârlău (in Moldova) where his father owned a successful photo studio. In those days the custom was to attend the studio and have your whole family engraved on photo paper by a professional man. Ezriel’s father that always thought about new ways to expand his business, heard about the new German invention called “Kleines Bild Film” which means “Film for small pictures”, and took a trip to Bucharest where he had a chance to purchase the magnificent Leica. The idea was simple: on the weekends Ezriel’s father took the Leica to the center of the village where people used to hang, and he photographed them at the street or at the park. Since film could only be developed much later at the studio, each potential client received a card inviting him to come and buy his photo. This line of business was very successful, and soon enough, Ezriel helped his father on the weekends and holydays taking the “Street Photos” himself. The Second World War came, and the Jews of Hârlău had hard time making a living. Ezriel couldn’t go to school, so his father decided to educate him with his own profession. After his father death in the early 60’s, Ezriel left Moldova and came to Israel, where he opened a photo studio. Though he didn’t use the old Leica anymore, it still has an honorable place in his ever growing old cameras collection.

(A photo of a family in Hârlău)

(Two lovers on a bridge)

(Ezriel in work with the Leica)

In recent years, long retired Ezriel Kalman enjoys coming to his little shop every day and occupy himself with buying and trading cameras for his collection. In the few hours I stayed with him in front on his shop on King George Street, only one woman stopped to ask if he is interested in buying her father’s old Rolleiflex. Many other people came to chat with Ezriel on topics ranging from politics to the Olympic Games, or have their dogs enjoy some cool refreshments. I guess it is a great way to pass the time when you’re retired…

It was almost noon and Ezriel finally realized that the only way he could get rid of me was if he would let me load his camera with film and have a little fun with it. I had an idea, why not recreate the old days of street photography and take photos of by passers as if they are potential clients and would come later to acquire their photo. Ezriel, now a little bit tired, agreed to play along, and as in happened, he even enjoyed it.

(Ezriel Kalman with his Leica today)

Loading the “Leica I” with regular 35mm film turned to be more problematic then I anticipated. In this early version of Leica you have to remove the lower cover of the body and insert the film to the exact location behind the shutter. Though Ezriel camera was a German Leica that could stand the wrath of time, it still had 87 years behind it, and thus rejected our efforts in loading the film. Ezriel had an Idea. He unscrewed the lens and helped the film to its place by shoving it while the shutter was open (The camera has a Z option for having the shutter constantly open). While the lens was out, I had time to check it out, and realize the condition of it. The lens is a 50mm f/3.5 Leitz Elmar made especially for the Leica by Professor Max Berek, who adapted the Cooke triplet photographic lens patent (From 1893) that managed to eliminate most of the distortions (at the outer edge) lenses of the time had suffered from. The lens had no coating (that was applied to commercially sold lenses only after WWII), and since it hasn’t been cleaned for at least 50 years it was very foggy and had some ugly spots on it. Either way I was happy to see what it has in store for us. Nowadays people use all sorts of different filters to make photos look like they were made 50 or 100 years ago (we all do it on Instagram), so why not having the real deal?!

(Leitz Elmar 50mm Lens)

After succeeding with film loading, Ezriel suggested that we adjust the aperture to f/9 and the shutter speed to 1/200. We took turns with the camera and placed our faith on the good nature of the Tel-Avivians crowd. It wasn’t easy, since people today tend to take a better care of their privacy, but some easy going spirits donated their bodies for the sake of old time analog photography. As always, I’m using modern Fuji color film, in contrast to the old camera. Here are some photos that came out from the Leica’s belly:

 (Ezriel neighbor at King George Street – The optic store)

I wish I could have more time with Ezriel Leica. Running along with a camera like that could lead to great adventures. But what can I do?! This Leica, with that unique serial number, belongs inside a safe or a museum. I really should learn how to settle with my father’s old Yashica and the DSLR Canon… They are not royalty equipment, but as Ezriel said to me when we just met, it’s not the camera that makes the photo, but the men who pushes her buttons. He is right of course. Cameras are just tools… But we humans need inspiration. And challenge. What will be the next challenge for me now, after writing about a first model Leica? Who knows…? If you have any ideas I would be most grateful if you write to me: berman.yaniv@gmail.com

Thanks:

Ezriel Kalman, Aaron Gurevich, Amir Kriezberg and the people of Tel-Aviv who agreed to model for this article.

You are welcome to watch Leica I on Youtube:

Leica I on Facebook

The article in Hebrew on YNET

Full gallery of photos:


Filming in Midair

My friend and colleague Amnon Houri was assigned by a commercial to film a Cessna skydiver’s plane flying at the height of 3000 feet. Lucky for me he invited me to take part in the flight and to shoot some behind the scenes photos. We took our ride with a Bell Jet Ranger III helicopter, handled with a very steady hand by Dov Peleg.

(Dov stands by the Bell Jet Ranger)

At Habonim beach we grouped with Paradive Skydiver’s Cessna and started climbing to 3000 feet height. On the ground Amnon briefed the Cessna pilot to do three different maneuvers for the film, and once we were way up there in the sky, our nose toward the east and our back to the setting sun, they were done with much talent on behalf of all those involved it the operation. All I had to do is point the camera, take photos and some video footage, and enjoy the magnificent view of our little country shore line.

(Amnon filming the Cessna with his video camera)

Here is 6 min video summarizing the experience from start to end:

Photo Gallery:


April Snow

Rimon School of Jazz & Contemporary Music has a very interesting program with the Israeli nonprofit Mental Health Association (Enosh), where selected talented students take lyrics written by mentally ill patients and transform them into wonderful songs. The program is managed by song writer and performer Ariel Horovitz, and it’s called “Hahani Hahacher” (The other me).

This year they asked me to make a video clip for one of their songs. They’ve selected “Moridat HaShlagim” (The one that bring the snow) written by Lauren Milk, composed and performed by Naama Chetrit.

I had a few ideas for making the video clip; one of them was to involve my street artist friend Imaginery Duck to do some time lapse drawings. After conferring with Naama we decided on a script and launched a small scale production. Shahar Ziv and Almog Sella volunteered to help me in the shooting, while the other participants in the program came to play the extras.

For the scenery I chose a ruined boarding school for girls that I discovered during my “Haunted Houses” project. It has a creepy feeling of sadness and death to it, so we played on that notion with the extras playing as the ghosts of past students.

Even though the production was scheduled for the whole day, we shot it on holiday and had only until noon to film it, before all the participants dissolved. I used a Canon 7D and Almog brought her Canon 5D, which helped to gain more footage from a single performance. Since we had very little time, and no electricity in the near area I used only available light, which could be a problem in a day when the clouds play hide and seek with the sun. A good thing is that Almog has a great L series 50mm f/1.4 lens which helped us in the low light environment.

Shahar, who is a very talented editor, took the materials I gathered and assembeled them for the final result, which you are welcome to watch here:

The photos of the behind the scenes were taken by Imaginery Duck, who roamed the area and did some magnificent drawings on the walls:

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Jem’s Beer Factory Project

(Jeremy Walferd pouring us another beer)

Lately I had the pure pleasure to make a video for Jem’s beer factory. It was part of a project for XNET I did with my friend Yaniv Zangi, but Jem’s turned to be much more then a regular subject. First, because they are such  wonderful people, and second because they have a very diverse collection of fabulous beers! You are welcome to watch the clip and feel the bitter-sweet taste tingling your tongue… If you come around, let me know and we’ll go for a drink.

I want to thank Brady Harris, Cool Cavemen and Caméléon for contributing to the soundtrack.

Production: Yaniv Zangi

Photography & Editing: Yaniv Berman

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The Alpha Diaries

On April 2002 I started my photographic journey with Alpha company. The holiday just began and we all had our plans for the free days to come. But after a shocking terrorist attack on Passover eve, the government issued a special order to recruit the reserve units and send them into the Palestinians towns. The military operation was called “Defensive Shield”. My regiment was sent into Bethlehem, where we fought for three weeks. When I had my first chance to take the camera with me I started filming our actions, and I kept doing it for 5 years.

In 2007 I took all the stock of footage and made it into a documentary called “The Alpha Diaries”. This documentary was shown on television channels all over the world, and participated in many film festivals. Now I made a new HD copy of the movie and placed it on YouTube for everybody to watch and to experience how it is to leave everything and become a soldier for one month, every year.

Credits:

Producer: Avi Kleinberger

Director: Yaniv Berman

Editor: Ronit Porat, Gabi Shihor

On-Line: Serg Bezrukoff

Music: Gad Emile Zeitune

Camera: Yaniv Berman

Stills and more video footage: Omri Takoa

Sound Design: Michael Goorevich

 


Haunted Houses – “Magen” Factory at Derech HaShalom

“Magen” Factory was built by the Israel Military Industry in Tel-Aviv at 1950. The factory manufactured weapons as the “Uzi” machine gun and the “Galil” rifle, up unit 1996. During that process a lot of chemical waste was buried in the ground. At 1997 the first signs of the terrible neglect has surfaced, when a ground test results has shown that the whole area is heavily contaminated with dangerous metals and chemicals. The ground water was also contaminated and at least 25 wells had to be closed down.

It took another 15 long years for the government to dig out the contaminated soil and transport it to a special chemical waste facility. But now the damage was too great, and 10 kilometer square of underground water was infected. All the development plans for the area had to be postponed until better results would be found.

The only people that enjoy the current status-qua are a few graffiti artists that turned the empty factory into their own art gallery. Brave urban explorers who ventures into the area can now enjoy 4 floors of the finest graffiti art of disturbing images about destruction and human evil.

Camera and editor: Yaniv Berman

Music: Bernard Herrmann

“Magen” Factory on XNet


My Photographic Time Tunnel – Voigtländer Brillant

During the worst of Second World War, Nahum Valach escaped, together with his twin brother and father from the Polish city of Lodz that was captured by the German army. Just before reaching the border, Kalman, Nahum’s brother, decided to go back to Lodz to bring his girlfriend. On their way back to regroup they were caught by a border patrol that separated them and sent them to prison in Kazakhstan. Kalman and his girlfriend never met again. When reaching safety in Russia, Nahum and his father were sent to Komi ASSR and assigned to hard manual labor. Nahum’s father couldn’t survive the impossible cold winter and died from an illness. After a period of working in the woods, Nahum was sent to work in his field of expertise – accounting. His supervisor at the factory was a beautiful Russian woman called Raya. The two got to know each other and eventually got married. When the war ended they decided it was better for them to escape communist Russia. They bundled their two years old child Lea, and sneaked through the western border. They traveled all the way to central Europe, and by 1947 they’ve reached Munich and decided to settle there for awhile. Nahum worked for a Zionist organization for two years, and by 1949 the family finally decided it was best for them to go to Israel. In Israel Nahum was finally reunited with his twin brother Kalman and his sister Tola. Both of his parents didn’t make it through the war.

(Pictures of Lea and her parents taken with the Voigtländer Brillant in Munich)

Among the few things Nahum took with him from Germany was his Voigtländer Brillant camera. At the early 50th Nahum still used the camera, taking pictures of his growing family. When he and his family settled down, Nahum decided to get rid of all of his German’s possessions.  He didn’t want anything to do with the country that was responsible for his parent’s death. But somehow the Voigtländer stayed in its place, hidden inside the closet. More than 60 years later, Lea, Nahum’s daughter, found the camera stored at the cellar of her house in Herzliyya. Fortunately she decided to give me a call and let me try it out.

(Lea in Israel at the early 50th)

When I first took the Voigtländer in my hands I was very surprised how this 67 years old camera still looks so fresh. After a closer examination I realized the body of the camera is made from Bakelite, which is the first plastic substance that was developed at 1907. As opposed to the body of the camera, the shutter didn’t work properly and the lens was foggy. I took it as an opportunity to visit my friend Doron, who fixed Soskin’s Rollieflex for me. This time it didn’t take much to convince Doron to work the camera. Doron took the little parts apart and cleaned the taking lens and the viewfinder glass and lens. The shutter mechanism was in a bad condition, and I asked him not to dismantle it, in fear it will be ruined. After some adjustments it was permanently set for 1/75. With a maximum aperture of f/7.7 this camera could be used only in full day light.

(Doron fixing and cleaning the Voigtländer Brillant)

Before loading the camera with 120 film, I did a short research about Voigtländer. I was very surprised to reveal that Voigtländer Company was founded in Vienna in 1756! The founder was Johann Christoph Voigtländer who built it originally as an optical company. During the years the company success with camera lenses pushed it forward into making cameras. Voigtländer great achievements were the first all-metal camera in 1849, the first zoom lens (36-82/2.8) in 1960, and the first compact camera with built-in electronic flash in 1965. In 1956 Voigtländer was bought by the Carl Zeiss Foundation, and in 1966 it was sold to Rollei. The brand name Voigtländer is still active, and today it’s owned by Ringfoto, what makes it the oldest name in the cameras industry.

Though making many groundbreaking photographic products, the Voigtländer Brillant is not such a surprise. It resembles a TLR (Twin-lens reflex) camera, but it is just a box camera with non-identical twin lens that serves as a viewfinder. That means you can watch the view through the viewfinder nice “Brillant finder” but you have to do the distance measuring by yourself, and then set the focus of the 75mm taking lens. The Voigtländer Brillant was first introduced in 1932 and went through a series of changes through the years. Nahum bought his Voigtländer Brillant at around 1947, and with some of his camera specifics I can relate it to the V6 series.

(A look through the “Brillant” bright Viewfinder)

Soon after I loaned Nahum’s Voigtländer Brillant I had to go for my annual reserve training. This year it fell on February, probably the coldest month in the year, especially at the area of the Negev desert. Though I really didn’t want to go, the idea of taking the Voigtländer Brillant for a shootout, gave the ordeal a whole new perspective. On the field it turned out to be just an extra weight, having to carry the heavy camera on my back without knowing if it works properly.

Seeing the results I’ve got from the Voigtländer Brillant, it gave me the feeling that I jumped forward in time and the photos I took only a week ago at the desert are at least 30 years ago. I’ve got a similar feeling when looking at the old photos Lea’s father took in Munich at the late 40th, only with the black and white photos the time span is indeed very long.  Once again I was reminded how cameras and photos play with our mind and memories. Lea’s father Nahum died in 1991 but her mother Raya is here with us, and very much alive. Reviving the old Voigtländer Brillant brought back some stories and memories. Old photos were scanned and narratives were re-told and re-written. Though we live the moment only one time, that moment could leave a ghost behind. These stories are about those ghosts.

Voigtlander Brillant on Youtube:

Voigtlander Brillant Facebook Page

The Hebrew version on YNET

The full Gallery of old and new:


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