My main occupation in the last ten years or so is song writing, which mainly means writing lyrics to songs in close cooperation with musicians and performing artists.
The last two years have been dramatically overwhelming in my personal life. For 25 years I’ve lived in Tel-Aviv, the Israeli Big Apple, a liberal city, full of ongoing cultural and social happenings, but I was forced to leave and move to a small and culturally isolated village and then move again, within a year, to another city, not far from Tel-Aviv but miles away in every other aspect.
Concerns the go
During these two years I’ve also experienced the loss of my Father and of young, precious, family members, and so I found myself with bare skin, withdrawing into myself, writing less and finding solace in photography.
Something in the immediacy of photography and even more, in street photography, makes it (in my own eyes) an expression tool that doesn’t involve hard decision making and/or agony.
And like in writing – In photography I can take on different roles and express my personal feelings through other characters.
Stairway to nowhere
My daily wonderings in various geographic/urban environments, meeting different inhabitants and energies – evoked an inner urge to document and frame random, unique moments that are also very expressive and silently moving.
One precise frame of a human situation in the middle of the street can tell us a whole story, without struggling with a single word.
I “use” other people’s body language and facial expressions to express situations I feel inside of me, but without giving them away physically and verbally.
Street Photography is such a category that demands and forces all my senses to be wide awake and identify in a split of a second, passing, but powerful, worthy situations to document.
Those conditions exist, in fact, every time I enter a public space, whereas my iPhone allows me to blend in with people, without getting noticed, something not quite possible with a big intimidating DSLR.
When I walk the streets, I identify (in a very natural way) compositions, frames, light and shadow, contrast and ambience (a walking Snapseed…).
I love the speed needed to react to the various happenings all around me. Sometimes I identify a situation immediately and shoot it spontaneously, and sometimes I realise I have to freeze in my place, in front of certain background and wait until an interesting figure will walk into the frame. A half spontaneous, half planned photo.
Dreams vs Reality
There are these days I get off the bus and feel that all the street happening is a one big, orchestrated theatre show. All the characters jump out from all directions in front of my eyes, like a 3D Greeting Card, and perfectly align in the most wonderful compositions. Such days fill me with the most positive adrenalin. But that’s the easy case.
When I’m in a less interesting place, or a place where nothing much is happening, I go from Macro to Micro, looking for little gestures inside the bigger image. It could be a woman’s profile, palm of a child’s hand, the texture of a hat or a dog’s tail. If the element is aligned in a way that conveys an interesting story, or hints of a story that won’t be fully revealed, it’s a justified photograph for me.
Investigative inner world of childhood
We are all a bit trapped
When I look at my edited image, I always hear music. A soundtrack that accompanies the image I caught. So, in the end of it all, photography does connect to words and music, and it’s how, in fact, I close a circle and feel my creation is whole and connected to my original occupation.
I must admit that my greatest dream is to get a hold of the “Cloak of invisibility” which will allow me to get closer, much closer to the people I’d like to photograph, without being noticed.
Just to think about all the photos and rare moments I missed or gave up on completely, just for being nice 🙂
This is Racheli’s first article for Grryo. You can find her work on Instagram.