“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
– Anne Frank.
Long ago, in a technology far, far away, I once had a roll of film that performed a miracle. The film was supposed to give 36 photos, but when the counter on my camera hit 36, it just kept going and going.
I knew from past experience that if you very carefully wound the leader onto the take-up spool (if you are too young to understand these terms, you can write me for an explanation), you could sometimes stretch the roll to 37 or even 38 frames.
But this was extraordinary. It was a miracle.
Back in those halcyon days of film photography, we rationed our photos carefully because we paid for every shot. I travelled across all of Belgium and half of Holland before I realized I had a problem. Sure enough, the film was not advancing and I had nothing to show for three weeks of travel.
It was a valuable lesson that served me well as I began to photograph professionally. But as my artistic skills grew, I discovered the camera can perform real miracles, including images of Chanukah that are a visual feast on this Festival of Lights.
Each day of this year’s celebration, I’m going to post a new Chanukah photo with the number of candles corresponding to the day of the festival along with some brief, inspirational commentary.
To see all eight nights of Chanukah photos, visit my Eight Nights of Light Chanukah photo gallery.
The flames of the Chanukah menorah represent the oil used in the menorah that burned in the ancient temple in Jerusalem. There, in the place holiest to Jews, light was a necessity.
Light is also an absolute necessity for photography. If we find ourselves in a place of darkness, a camera is useless to document our experience unless there is the tiniest bit of light. But even in the darkest places at the darkest of times, light is present. We must take note of it in order to harness its power to liberate us.
Photography has the ability to reveal hidden beauty, by showing us something previously overlooked or by giving us a perspective only the camera can divulge. Both elevate the potential of picture-taking beyond what we might normally think possible, not unlike that special cruse of oil.
This photograph was created using a shallow depth of field and by carefully positioning my lens so that the street lights behind the menorah and the flames reflected in the glass housing were most visible and dramatic.
This year, may the glow of our menorah be the light at the end of this dark pandemic tunnel. And may the flames shine new light on all of your creative endeavors. Chanukah sameach from Jerusalem.
To see a larger collection of Chanukah photos, including my donut portfolio and Chanukah-related images, visit my Chanukah Lights Gallery.
My best and brightest Chanukah photos, as well as many other images, may be licensed and downloaded for a nominal fee from my PicFair Store. Always open.