…just one more page???…

Jerusalem is in the middle of replacing its older bus shelters with a new modern design; complete with LED arrival boards and more comfortable benches. These new urban street furnishings are a welcome addition to a thriving city where the ancint meets the old, the old meets the new.


But what do you do with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of old bus shelters and benches?


Turn them into community reading stations! At the end of the street where I am staying, (by the old train tracks that have been skillfully ‘upcycled’ into walking paths), there is a new addition since my last visit. Two old bus shelters, complete with benches, have appeared and are now filled with books! Local residents are free to donate or take any books they like and there are benches to sit and peruse new treasures. Volunteers from nearby tidy up and check on the book stations daily.

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There are people there all the time; looking for books, driving up to drop off boxes of books and sitting with friends with a cup of coffee. Genres run the gamut from cookbooks to crime thrillers, art albums to childrens storybooks printed in a world of languages; English, Hebrew, Russian, Italian, French, Spanish, Arabic, German… and even Japanese!


Love it!  So far, I’ve picked up quite a few new titles to schlepp back in my suitcase! Maybe this is an idea you can use to start a reading station in your community??

By the way, I am trying something new in this post – adding a slideshow.  Please let me know how you like this feature in a photo blog (or is it better just to display all of the photos “gallery” style??).


How I feel today…

Photography has a powerful influence in my life and thinking – it helps my confidence and self-esteem to grow, allows me to explore my thoughts and relationships to the places where I live and the people I know, and provokes me to challenge the conceptions and opinions I hold in new and bolder ways. My camera can be a mask, a magnifiying glass to society or a window on the the world.

Lately, with the sudden and unexpected loss of several very special people in my life, including my father, my camera has been a valuable tool for exploring my emotions and feelings in ways that words cannot. This capture happened quite by accident and I didn’t even notice it until I downloaded some old photos. It captures the way I am feeling lately. Each time I look at it, I can see myself as each of the ‘characters’; am I the one needing support and feeling alone or the one walking away, so lost in their own thoughts that they can’t notice someone else’s needs?

There is a lot of grainy ‘noise’ in this photo and I think that it is symbolic of the formless, grey ‘noise’ that can fill our thoughts and hearts in times of saddness and loss. It think I will keep it in this one.

….oh and by the way, it is a beautiful, sunny, warm day today – I think it is time to get out into the light now and find some happy things to capture this morning!


Wordpress Blogging U 101: Here I am!

This year I am finally doing it – I signed up and am actually participating in WordPress’ Blogging U 101. Our first assignment this evening is to introduce ourselves and to clarify our goals for our personal blog, take stock of what has been accomplished and what we still want to learn …..so here goes.

Who I am: I turn 50 this year (ufffff!!) and have decided to take the plunge and follow my passion for photography, printmaking and creating art in a more serious way. My world has always been a visual one and the arts have always been a big part of my teaching. I taught primary school for 25 years (and who knows, might still continue in the future) in the international school ‘system’; living and working in such diverse locales as Poland, Denmark, the (former) Soviet Union, Germany, England, Canada and Switzerland. I am married to a fellow photo enthusiast and Professor of Education, and have two gown-up sons who are also pursuing their artistic visions; one via carpentry and the other through illustration.

Where I’ve come from: I actually started this blog three years ago when I was teaching Kindergarten. We were learning how to create and use classroom blogs to highlight children’s learning  and to communicate with parents. I loved it. Later, I started to pick up my camera more often to help get through a tough period of being bullied. Through my blog, I found a great feeling of accomplishment and calm by taking, selecting and then sharing my developing photo skills. This year, I returned to blogging with a passion – using this medium to really explore the kind of photography I believe I am capable of creating, as well as using the blog as a forum to exhibit my work and receive views and feedback from photographers around the world. Their interest has really boosted my confidence and I am truly grateful to all who have shared their opinions and ideas with me this year!!

Where I want to go: As the year goes on, my blogging skills have grown and I have come across a new way to use blogging to help people. A friend I was helping with her art blog, mentioned that I had a knack for explaining blogging clearly to older people. This got me thinking of how I could use my skills to help older people and seniors (and others) learn to blog so they could share their personal memoirs and family histories with their grand-children. Most people have fascinating and exciting stories to tell!

Here are my blogging goals for 2016;

-create a way to teach seniors, refugees or anyone with a story to tell, how create their own personal blogs

-include more about printmaking and my prints (new skills)

-learn how to create a wider following for my blog and generate more feedback on my work

-learn how to create those darn widgets and have them show on my blog (I am thinking I might need to change my blog theme to a more visual one – but how to do this without losing content, comments or ‘likes’?)

-how to add outside resources such as Photobox to start selling my photographs

-develop stronger skill in the graphic aspect of blogging – some of the blogs I admire are so beautiful! How can I customize my blog more creatively?

I would love feedback from you about what works with my blog, what doesn’t, how it can be improved, and what you like to see more of. In the spirit of FairPlay and creative collaboration, I appreciate fair, constructive and useful comments. Thank you so much for all of your visits this year – it has really helped me to grow and thank you to Blogging U 101 organizers; @samjhamdy@bruceallen@rootjosh@sonyca and @2020hinessight for all of their help and guidance.

Here’s to a fun, creative and learning-full 2016 – Cheers!!


(P.S. ….why the photo of a hammer? This past summer, the windows in our 1880’s apartment were replaced. One in particular needed to have the original frame replaced and as they took it out, you could see the different layers of colored paint from the last 135 years. When the workers went for a coffee, they left the hammer on the window-sill and it made a great photo opportunity. Learning is like the layers of paint – we don’t know what is there until we start uncovering them, changing our thinking and ideas in the process of discovery, and learning how to “open” up ourselves to new opportunities that come our way unexpectedly. A big idea from a little coffee break!!)


Les fleurs et les bougies

Have you perhaps seen this discussion between a father and his little son?



I have watched it several times now (I will admit, not without a few tears) and in it see all that is good in the world – how a father calmly explains a horrific event to his small son and reassures him without instilling a feeling of hate or fear, and how his little son so trusts his father’s words; Oui, ça va mieux (lit.: I feel better now). The flowers and candles will protect us.

Flowers and candles – beauty in the face of hideousness, light in the darkness. What light can we bring into this world though out own kindness, reassurance and trust in our fellow man?


This past summer, I visited Paris for a day, for the first time in my life. Today, after the events in Paris, looking back over the photos that I took what seems ages ago, the tranquility, the beauty, the bonds between people, that is what Paris is to me. I have a lot of respect for that little boy, his wise father and the people of Paris who will prevail and return “la ville lumière” to what it is known for; love, light and enlightenment.


Photographically Seeing

I saw this on an interesting blog which I enjoy following called In Flow (munchow.wordpress.com). Its creator, Otto von Munchow, is based in Norway, and often inspires and challenges my thinking about what I do with my camera. I thought you might finding it inspiring and thought-provoking as well. Please have a look at his blog, and thank you Otto for your ideas presented in your latest post.

In Flow with Otto

Jenny Pastore i sitt hjem

For a photographer seeing is where it all starts. If you don’t see anything that interests you, you won’t be able to take any interesting photos. Obviously. However, there is a big difference between seeing in general and seeing with the intention of taking a photograph. In many ways we have to unlearn the regular way of seeing. If you «only» see like you do when you walk down the street without a camera or when you are socializing with your friends or whatever you do when you are not photographing, you will miss out on the interesting and captivating photos.

For many people – photographers and viewers alike – a photograph is simply a record of what was in front of the camera. There is really no thought given to interpretation, or the fact that the camera sees quite differently than human beings do. You want to capture a…

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