Playing with Fire in Jerusalem

Wandering around the newer parts of Jerusalem was a revelation, after spending all our time in the Old City; it’s an entirely different place. We went to a section of town that was all bars and young people, passed Hassidim dancing in the street and all sorts of wondrous craziness until we came upon this guy, spinning fire in a square.

This was a really difficult picture to take with no tripod, but after at least a dozen frames handheld at 1/4 second shutter speed, I was able to get a decent shot – still shaky, though, as you can see from the buildings in the background. Had I not had such a fast, wide lens, this would have been impossible to capture.

Jerusalem and the West bank were magical places to visit, and we met amazing people from both sides of the wall. I can only hope a workable solution can be achieved, for everyone’s sake.

This was taken with with an Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon 24mm f1.4 (Version I), which is a really exceptional piece of kit to have on hand.

If I were taking this today, however, I would use the new Sigma 20mm F1.4 A, which is better in every respect, and less expensive to boot. You can get more information about it at

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