The Sheesha Place

Sometimes, when you’re on the move, you need to sit down and relax. I sat down at this sheesha place in The Old City of Jerusalem – the capital of Israel. my thought was to sit down and smoke nargileh (a Middle Eastern tobacco pipe in which the smoke is drawn through water) with fruit tobacco, but as it turned out, this was a sheesha place. I’ve always thought that sheesha and nargileh is synonyms for the same thing, but as it turns out nargileh is the fruit version, while sheesha is the strong, pure tobacco version. The taste of sheesha was disgusting: it tasted like tobacco – strong tobacco, almost like a cigar, but I found the whole scene interesting, so I took these shots. They’re all shot on ISO 6400 because of the poor lighting conditions.

73 thoughts on “The Sheesha Place

  1. Terrific takes, CG! With this ISO I would expect to see some noise, but I don’t see any. Wonderfully processed too 🙂

  2. Who cares about ISO 6400? These are all great shots, and I wouldn’t have even noticed the grain if you hadn’t mentioned it. Rick Sammon, a photographer who’s work I admire has a saying that as far as I’m concerned are words to live by. “If a picture is so boring you notice the noise, you’ve got a boring picture.”

    Let’s just say, I didn’t see any noise in these fine photographs 😉

      • Words to live by my friend. What’s really funny with all the hoopla over high ISO-low noise pixel peeping community is that noise, even at relatively high levels, doesn’t show up much in an actual print. At least that’s been my experience with normal size prints. Something really large and with a lot of dark areas might be different. Though even on a large print, the only people who will even notice it are other photographers.

        • I wrote this in your post on the photographers curse, but I’ll post it here as well:

          For a while I was posting photos in a photographers forum. Everyone there are pixel peepers, so it kind of ruined my experience. They almost never bother to comment on photos and when they do, their main concerns are things like: there’s a small corner that’s slightly burnt out, the water in the river is burnt out, too much noise, etc, etc. Plus: the only photos that do get comments there (every single time), is bird photos. So, now I hardly post anything there.

          • I think forums are for people with a lot of free time on their hands who would rather pick apart other peoples photos instead of concentrating on improving their own.

  3. Really beautiful shots. I like the feel of them in that they seem timeless. The lighting is awesome and I like the way the images shift from black and white to subtly colored. Beautiful work!

    • Thanks for a lovely comment KiwiBee. I didn’t think about it before, but you’re right: there’s something timeless going on here. These photos could have been taken a long time ago and many years from now, a photographer can probably go there and take similar photos.

    • Thank you Stevie. Sometimes you just have to shoot on high ISO to be able to capture things. The choice between blurry or noisy was an easy choice in this setting.

  4. This is so true. Sometimes we have to sit down and stop when we’re on the move to appreciate what’s around us…like stop and smell the roses, and in your case, stop and smell the sheesha. That sheesha place looks interesting, I never knew such a place existed. Now I do.

    Cranking up the ISO high. Worked well, I see 🙂

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