Under the Restrictions #1

In her new column, Goni Riskin looks at how she might continue to photograph under the coronavirus restrictions. In the first installment she creates a series of portraits while trying to observe the rules, which are often not entirely clear: stay within a 100-meters range from home, and then it's 500 meters; maintain a distance of two meters from other people; avoid entertaining at home people who do not live there.

A pre-arranged photo shoot with Ruti de Vries, on the roof of my building. Ruti is dating my neighbor, and I've wondered if it would count as a legitimate encounter, within the restrictions. I used a tape measure to determine the exact distance between us: two meters.

A pre-arranged photo shoot with my neighbor, Ofer, on the stairs leading up to our building's roof. Photographed from the railing, while keeping a distance, in my opinion, of more than two meters, using a full-frame camera with a 35mm lens. I cropped it a bit in the editing stage to get a little closer, and fixed what I'd wanted to achieve in the composition, while I was at it.

A pre-arranged photo session, "500 meters from home" (450, to be exact). I measured the distance, and in my estimate we were approximately two meters apart.

A pre-arranged photo shoot on my building's roof. It took about 15 minutes, after the restrictions permitted a "work-related meeting" in enclosed spaces. Since my roof was an open space, I felt I could do this shoot for work, meaning this column, which I'm being compensated for.
I learned how to figure out the space between us after I'd happened to measure distance with a tape measure and in paces. For instance, 7.5 paces in my delicate pointy boots, size 40, are equal to two meters. In the same way, I measured the distance between us.
Photographed with a full-frame camera and a 35mm lens, cropped in editing to create a trick: the illusion of nearness.

After several photo shoots in various locations that permitted encounters with a certain subversive redolence, for example "necessary shopping," I selected this photograph, made in a shopping center located approximately 140 from my home.
I decided to make a springtime photograph, with only the flash illuminating the face and the flowers and darkening almost everything else, leaving just a bit of background, so that the exact geographical location, or even the time, of the making of the photograph remain unidentifiable (what if the portrait has been made against a dark background in my studio – an enclosed space, prohibited by the current restrictions?).
I measured the distance between us in paces: 7.5 paces in my pointy boots – size 40 – are equal to two meters.


An assigned PR photograph, after giving a solidarity discount under the circumstances, of the musician Flora. The meeting was postponed once or twice due to the strict guidelines, and finally took place on Holocaust Memorial Day, 450 meters from my house, well within the tough restrictions of staying within 500 meters from home (even though this may have been just another rumor, which had not yet been formally determined). The makeup, styling, and photography were all conducted within the proper safety measures, with no more than two people in the room during the shoot. With all due respect to the legitimate safety measures, I thought that the phrase Arbeit macht frei (work makes you free), under current conditions, fit the hand like a Latex glove after weeks of guidelines and an atmosphere of fear, which, truth be told, was a bit out of proportion.

Styling: Yarden Karlinsky
Makeup: Roni Claude

While setting up for the shoot with Flora, I went out for a while, and found my friend GuyGuy in his office. I staged him with potted plants, asking him to move them himself because of the restrictions on contact. I took the photo from a little over two meters away, but didn't measure the exact distance. The setup and the shoot itself were done very quickly and spontaneously, in less than 15 minutes, but I didn't time it.

Alex and Inbal
Two portraits made through Zoom. I directed them through the screen – an amusing and bizarre situation. For example: my left and right were not the same as on the other side of the screen. It was difficult, and not just because of the restrictions. It's hard, for example, to help with fixing up the hair through the screen.