The sea has always been present in my biography, from my early childhood years in Haifa facing the sea, through the return from Belgium by sea at age ten, and the years since, living in cities near the Sea. Just as essential to me is the relation between the pinhole technique and the workings of personal memory. The daily practice of pinhole photography made something emerge in the midst of the serene seascape, a scape within the landscape. I still shoot mostly pinhole seascapes, although the pinholes have led me back to seldom used old lens folders, which I now use much like I would a pinhole camera with a lens, that is, long exposures at a fixed setting, not looking through the viewfinder much, and usually not using filters, either. I found that the images captured this way complement the pinhole seascapes.
As much as I try to shoot city buildings and old trees, most often all paths seem to draw me towards the city edge, where it meets the sea - the Tel- Aviv harbor and the old Yafo harbor. It is there, perched at the edge of deck or rock, that I feel truly in my element and let my small cameras work their magic. To me, the seascape is an ever-renewed source of wonder and variety. Far from being an attempt to “exhaust” a place, as one reader has playfully put it, my book, as well as my present shooting, seeks to express and transmit the beauty and wonder at this endless flow of life, as seen from two single vantage points.
Here are two sets of 6x6 images taken at the Tel-Aviv harbor, six captured by my Zero Image 2000 camera on Portra film, six with my Voigtlander Perkeo II camera, also on Portra which is my favorite color film. Each set is comprised of a diptych made of two squares. I tend to shoot 6x6 in series rather than stand alones. In my pinhole seascapes book, Vues sur mer, I use a number of series of four images, each series taken with the same camera on the same roll, and of course at the same place, to emphasize tiny color gradation and subtle cloud formation movement. The progression of the images throughout the book simulates the passing of a single summer day from morning to dusk. The present selection includes more recent seascapes, although the same two compact cameras have been used in the book as well.
Book website: www.vuessurmer.org