Biblical Archaeology Review 23:6, November/December 1997

First Person: Get the Picture?

By Molly Dewsnap Meinhardt

I have seen Jerusalem from an airplane, through Jaffa Gate and over the Old City wall. I’ve seen it at night, the full moon heavy over the Temple Mount, and with the sun warming the honey-colored limestones. I have seen Jerusalem in pen and ink, hushed black and white and dazzling color—though I’ve never seen it in person. The Jerusalem I know best is a city of images, an assortment of photographs gathered to illustrate articles in BAR.

The search for the perfect photograph begins months in advance, when we send a list of desired subjects to a handful of master photographers—a list that will change and change again as we are swayed by the dozens of gem-like transparencies they submit. Fortunately, our selection is limited by certain prerequisites: The photo that opens Hillel Geva’s article, “Searching for Roman Jerusalem,” in this issue, for example, had to include both David’s Citadel and the Temple Mount. These ease the agonizing task of eliminating, selecting, rejecting, adjusting and, eventually, deciding.

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