Daphne Schnitzer has always had a camera in hand, but literature got in the way. She studied and taught modern literature at Tel-Aviv and Haifa Universities, specializing in, and publishing many articles on the enigmatic post-holocaust writing of French author Georges Perec. She has co-organized international study days around his work, and edited several of his Hebrew translations. After receiving her PhD degree at Toulouse le Mirail University in 2000, she went on teaching modern literature, popular culture and cinema at TAU and Beit-Berl College of fine arts for several more years.
During all this time she has maintained quite an arsenal of vintage all-manual cameras, an unforeseen result of meeting a Czech fellow perecquian, who was also a keen photographer, named Wolfgang Orlich, who lured her away from her beloved Olympus xa (bought in Cambridge during a Shakespeare summer seminar) to her very first Rollei 35 camera. His initial photo tutorial in the streets of Paris has led to a great many visits to old film camera shops both in Israel and (especially) abroad, and to an impressive buyer record on eBay as well. At one point, academic pressure and finances combined to make her sell all but a few historical cameras, used only occasionally. The single pinhole camera, bought on a whim from Zero Image company, was tried once indoors, then put into storage for fourteen years.
After quitting academia and teaching, Daphne learnt and fell in love with Sumi-e painting, and a new arsenal appeared on her shelves: beautiful Japanese paper, brushes, flagrant ink sticks and intricate ink stones . Two more years passed. A trip to Paris yielded rather flat digital pictures. And then the Zero Image 2000 pinhole camera finally came out of its hiding place, as good as new, and followed her outside. It has followed her ever since. Admittedly, a host of pinhole siblings is keeping it company nowadays.
A wonderful pinhole workshop in Normandy with pinhole artist Annick Maroussy has inspired her to expand into 4x5 format and to experiment with direct positive paper. Upon returning from cool Etretat cliffs to simmering Tel-Aviv this summer, in-between apartments and jobs, she felt an irresistible urge to photograph the sea. Every end of day, sometimes also midday, took her and her tripod to Tel Aviv–Yafo shores where she shot nothing but pinhole seascapes until she ran out of film. It was the longest continuous pinhole session in her experience, and it ended with the beginning of autumn. This book represents for her the memory of summer 2017.
Daphne Schnitzer is currently based in Ramat-Gan, Israel. Her main writing language is French.