Israel Yosef  

The Power of God's Fire by Israel Yosef

June 2022 - The Power of God's Fire

June 2022 - Israel Yosef


About the Image(s)

The Sabbath of Light or Holy Fire Ceremony is a Christian ceremony held by the Eastern Churches each year at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, on the Saturday after Good Friday, at the beginning of Easter. It is believed that during the ceremony a fire is miraculously lit in the chapel of the tomb. The Holy Fire Ceremony is held every year, on the Saturday before Easter at the Tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
This monk attracted my attention with his detachment from everything that happens around him. He does not even pay attention to the wax that burns his hand.

Your opinions.

I shoot in RAW format and process with Lightroom: basic adjustment, detail, texture, etc. Then I convert to B&W in Exposure X7.

Camera settings: Sony a7r III. ISO 6400, 1/125s, f/2.8, 57mm, lens: Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM.

10 comments posted

Bunny Laden   Bunny Laden
Hi Israel,
You did a good job capturing the essence of the ceremony. B&W suits the subject well. To me, the most amazing part of the image is the monk himself. I like the way the light illuminates his face because it highlights his intense focus.

Another approach might be to focus on his face. I cropped your image and sharpened it a bit. What do you think?
Bunny   Posted: 06/03/2022 16:29:42
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Israel Yosef   Israel Yosef
Hi Bunny,
I like your idea, it makes you think "what brightens a monk's face"?
Thank you for your comment.


Israel   Posted: 06/04/2022 01:40:02

Bob Legg   Bob Legg
Another great PJ image Israel. I was first drawn to the split flame as that is the brightest part of the image. Nothing wrong with that as that is the attention getter and draws my eyes in to the monks face. Intensity on this face is also perfect. You captured the moment and it appears as you were the only photographer and or witness. Your images have that quality to them and that causes the viewer to be there also.   Posted: 06/03/2022 20:38:46
Israel Yosef   Israel Yosef
Hi Bob,
I like your photo description and the way you see it.
Thank you for your compliments and comment.


Israel   Posted: 06/04/2022 01:41:56

Emil Davidzuk   Emil Davidzuk

I love this shot of the monk during the Holy Fire Celebration, the light is superb

I liked the three elements in your shot, the monk's face illuminated by the fire, the fire he is holding with his right hand and the candle in his left hand. Food for thought...I darkened the image overall and then placed radial gradients using LR Classic over his face to bring back the light there, one over the candle and his hand and did then with the fire I softened it by lowering the sharpness and reduced the exposure. I also added small strip on the right side using PS to add a little more space between the frame edge and the flame



  Posted: 06/08/2022 11:58:40
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Israel Yosef   Israel Yosef
Hi Emily
I admire your abilities and your photo processing.
Your ideas are amazing.
Thank you for the detailed explanation of the whole processing process.

All the best to you and your family.


Israel   Posted: 06/08/2022 12:40:43

Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Isreal, I really like this image. You've captured the solemnity of the event and the intense focus of the monk. You did a wonderful job in the low-light situation. Marvelous!

I really like Bunny's version in addition to yours. As she did, I played with it a bit, focusing on the monk's wonderful face. I don't think that my Photoshop work is significantly different from hers.

  Posted: 06/14/2022 20:00:08
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Israel Yosef   Israel Yosef
Hi Pete,

Your ideas and your photo editing are always informative and interesting.
You have a wonderful portrait.

Thank you very much.

Israel   Posted: 06/17/2022 01:35:26

LuAnn Thatcher   LuAnn Thatcher
Hello Israel,

I love this image and the story you are telling! It looks beautiful in black and white because it brings out the essential elements; the man's illuminated face and hands drenched in melted wax; what a powerful story.

The only thing I would add is to open the shadows on the waxed hand, similar to how it is in the original. I think the melted wax is vital for the viewer to see. This area holds a great emotional impact.   Posted: 06/20/2022 09:18:34
Israel Yosef   Israel Yosef
Hello LuAnn,
You have very colorfully described your vision of the situation.
I agree with you that a waxed hand needs to be lightened.
Thank you for your comment.


Israel   Posted: 06/21/2022 06:55:47


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