|Photo © Gabi Ben-Avraham - All Rights Reserved|
Those who follow my work and this blog know that religious festivals, rituals and observances, wherever they occur and of whatever tradition they follow, are like 'catnip' to me. The more obscure and esoteric the more magnetic the 'catnip' is to me....especially if they're monochrome.
If you're like me; a fan of travel documentary work...of street photography...of dark shadows pierced by brilliant rays of sunshine...you're bound to like the broad compelling work of Gabi Ben-Avraham, an Israeli photographer who describes himself as a "hobbyist", and who only received a digital camera as a gift a few years ago.
There's certainly nothing amateurish in Gabi's work, and there are many galleries to admire amongst those he posted on his website.
The one I prefer is his Jewish Holidays, from which the above photograph is featured. It was shot during the Kapparot ritual when a rabbi swings a live chicken over the head of a woman to symbolically transfer her "sins" to the bird. Kapparot is practiced on the eve of Yom Kippur. There are also images made during the festivals of Purim, Sukkot and Passover, or Pesach. The images are brooding and dark; a perfect style for this sort of photography.
Drop by Gabi Ben-Avaraham's website, and you'll be sucked in its numerous galleries, ranging from pure street photography in Tel Aviv, to travel photography in Havana (Cuba), then to his light and shadows exercises.
Just make sure you have the time to delve in all of the galleries, and you'll agree with me. Gabi might describe himself as a hobbyist all he likes, but his work is as solid and as professional as they come.