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Orna Naor: Photographer of the week

by Editor  Yvette Depaepe

Orna Naor quotes: “If there is one thing I can point as the most important fact that influenced my art, it would be life itself”.  Orna is an outstanding street photographer, always trying to find her unique point of view, whatever the subject is.  She takes pictures not only with her eyes but also with her soul.  She wants to feel what she captures and wants the viewers to feel it too.  Let's take a journey together with Orna and discover much more about her and the warm personality behind her photos.



My name is Orna Naor, born in 1960 in Jerusalem and living in Tel Aviv for the last 40 years. I'm married and have two sons.
I have a Master degree in literature from the Tel Aviv university and love reading, listening to from various genres and times, and obviously a passion for photography.
Like most people, many difficulties and challenges to go through. They affected my soul and I believe made me more compassionate and less judgemental toward humans.
I always had strong political views and values.  These things led me to documentary photography for all matters which I found very important.



How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
If there was one thing I can point as 'the most important thing that influenced my art', I think it is life in general.  But I was attracted to photography all my life because of the emotions it provokes.  From the very beginning I was mainly attracted to capture human moments of connection, reaction and emotional gestures.




Describe your overall photographic vision.
Photography these days is accessible to everyone due to excellent cell phones. But no matter what the subject is, a good photographer can always find his own and unique point of view. The most important thing is the photographer's eye and soul.  When I look at a picture, I want to feel it. When I'm taking pictures, I want the viewers to feel it too.

Why are you so drawn by Street Photography, Nora?
Street Photography is highly challenging. One has to understand the location, the lighting conditions, the possibilities in order to have a story.  It takes a lot of patience on one hand, and a full awareness on the other hand, at the same time.  It is full of action and changes every minute.  It requires thinking and planning. It always is full of emotions.  I believe these are the things that made me being attracted to Street Photography.







What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
I want to tell stories about people, about communities, about human relationships. Sometimes I spend a long time on a location just observing before knowing what I want and can do. I always plan my shootings even if I don't have much time.  I really love to be on photographic journeys. The story and the emotional impact are the most important things for me.







What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
I use Fuji xt-2, lenses 10-24mm, 14mm, 18mm, 23mm, 16-50mm, 56mm and 50-200mm. The ones I use most of the time are the 18mm and 56mm (all crop).

What software do you use to process your images?
For PP I use Photoshop.

Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
I go out at least 3-4 days a week to shoot and I travel a lot to see other places, other life conditions, other cultures.  I'm very interested in the different cultures in my own country and the way they live here.

What is your most important advice to a beginner in Photography and how do you get started?
My best advice to beginners would be THINK AND FEEL. What do you want to achieve, what are the possibilities and conditions.  Plan it in advance!  But above all – feel why a scene affects you and try to transmit it to the viewers.






Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography? 
My favourite photographers who affect me, are Viviane Maier, Dorothea Lange, Garry Winograd, Salgado and Jon Kral. They inspired me a lot to capture the emotions as the most important thing in the story I'm telling.

Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?  
There are many pictures that influenced my attitude towards photography; one in particular is Kral's series about Latin America. You can find it here

Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
My own favourite picture is one I took in Tel Aviv.  It shows Palestinians children coming to the sea for the very first time in their lives.


I'm working on this project for the last 2 years.  It is amazing to see their fear changing into pure joy. Knowing where they come from, I cherish those happy moments they have. Here is the link to the picture.

Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
My main goal is to regain humanity to humanity through my pictures and to see beyond the stereotypes.  It helps me, and hopefully also other people.

Is there anything else you wish to add  and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
I feel very privileged to get published on 1x and love to call it a home base for my work.





Splendid street scene and portraits, great work. Thank very much to Yvette and congrats to Orna talented photographer !!!
Orna is an excellent photographer! I've been following her for several years now And she was always thrilled by the pictures she took Well done, and continue with your wonderful work
Another fantastic discovery, thanks Yvette for the interview and Orna for sharing your incredible talent with us. I remember vey well many of your publications here in 1X, images you keep looking at for a long, long time. Thanks!
I fully agree with you, Gloria! Orna's work is really outstanding! Cheers, Yvette
Strong streetphotography, Nora. Each image not only has its own story but also a big soul, my friend. Congratulations and many thanks for sharing with us. Cheers, Yvette
Splendide. Compliments