Corner Member Close Up: Gil Paz

We interviewed his aunt "lucipaz" a couple of months ago (read the interview here), and now it's time we meet Gil Paz (though you probably know him around the Corner as "zaplig") - originally from Switzerland, and now living in Israel. A great interview below, along with 20 of his favorite photos.

Name: Gil Paz
Username: zaplig


Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Gil Paz, I am 35 years old, grew up in Switzerland and immigrated to Israel 15 years ago. I live with my wife and two small children in a small rural village in the north of the country. I studied Political Science, Middle Eastern History and have an architectural education.


What does your username mean?

zaplig is Gil Paz backwards. I use this username in a lot of places around the web.

Tel Aviv Beach

How old were you when you took your first picture with a camera; any camera? Was it any good?

I think that I was around ten when I took my first picture with my father's camera. I believe, it was a Nikon EM, but I am not sure. I can't remember if the picture came good, but I remember that I had a talent to cut the feet's off when I took portraits...


What was it about photography that made you want to become a photographer? Why do you take photographs?

Time is the one of the most precious assets human have, and it fascinates me to freeze a fraction of this precious asset in form of a photograph.

Photography gives me also a balance from every daily run after money and paying bills.


How long has photography been a passion for you? When, where and how did it start?

Photography started to be a passion to me when I took a photography course in the early 90's, as part of my architectural education. But after I moved to Israel I lost my camera and forgot about photography for a couple of years. When my daughter was born I bought a Canon Rebel 350D, and since then the flame of passion for photography is burning on again.

Dead Sea 1

What is your background/training in photography?

The photography course which I mentioned above in the 90's is the only formal background training that I have. I read a few books and learned a lot from others, more talented photographer than me, in forums.

Self Portrait


What was your very first camera?

Bar Mitzva

What equipment is in your camera bag now? What pieces of equipment will be added to the collection next?

I have a Canon 40D with 3 lenses and a flash, a Sigma 17-70mm, a Sigma 10-20mm and a Canon 75-300mm and a Canon Speedlite 430EX. I use a Manfrotto 055 basic tripod and own a few ND Filters and a Polarizer. In the near future I wish to add the Canon L 70-200/2.8 lens and a set of lee filters.

Darling is Sleeping

You are asked to choose one lens from the following group: 14mm wide angle, 50mm prime, 200mm telephoto, 105mm macro. You could only use one of these for the rest of your photographic life. Which would you choose and why?

I'll choose the 50mm prime. I could continue to take landscape photographs, and the lens would be useful for portraits and architecture photographs too.


Bonus Questions

What are your favorite places/subjects to photograph? Why?

The Dead Sea is definitely my favorite place I know so far. There are some reasons for that: First of all the place looks like from another planet, secondly this place is my personally Mount Everest- there is no other place I found which is so hard to photograph. The white salt makes it very hard to find a good composure and the right white balance. I traveled there already a couple of times and returned frustrated photographic wise but impressed by the beauty of the nature. Thirdly, the water level gets lower every year; I believe that in a few years the Dead Sea will disappear- so it is important to me to capture it as it still exists.

Dead Sea 2

You are given a dream assignment to photograph one location in the world. Where/what would it be? When would you shoot it? Why that place and that time?

I would love to travel to Iceland and photograph this amazing piece of nature. The rough volcanoes landscape and the beautiful light I see on so many photographs make my choice easy.

Brothers in Love

Who are your biggest photographic influences? Why? What about their work influences your work?

The Corner has definitely a big influence of my photographic journey. Additionally I get a lot of ideas by watching the photograph of some local photographers. Ziv Koren, Alex Levac and Felix Lupa are three of my favorite local photographers.

Dead Sea 3

What was the most dangerous thing (or worst thing) you ever did to get 'The Shot'?

Once I wanted to photograph a special ceremony of the religious Jews in an ultra-orthodox town. I knew that not all the ultra-orthodox allow photographing and decided to photograph secretly. Some young boy saw me and the situation escalated- a couple of dozen black bearded Jews run after me. I succeeded with a little luck to escape with my scooter.

Praying Woman

The Corner

What initially drew you into Corner?

My aunt "lucipaz" which was interviewed a few weeks ago here at the Corner. Meanwhile I brought a sister here which is known under the name "la pazza" and I hope that another sister joins soon.

Soldiers Praying

What keeps your hanging around the Corner?

The Corner is the kindest place I know for amateur photographers. There is always someone there who will comment your photograph or answer your questions.


What section of the Corner is your most frequented or favorite?

"View new posts since your last visit" - the link on the front page.


What advice would you give other members of PhotographyCorner?

There are some fantastic photographer and Photoshop-users out there at the Corner. Learn from them and don't be afraid to ask them questions.


If you could meet any member of the Corner, but could ask them only one question, who would you want to meet and what would that question be?

I would love to meet fa1sal and make a photo session with him somewhere in the Middle East, maybe in Petra, Jordan, but I don't have any specific question for him.

Mount Pilatus


What thing about yourself as an artist do you want to be remembered for?

That I captured some interesting moments of life.

Tel Aviv

If you knew it were your last day with your equipment, whether it be by choice or not, what would you photograph and why?

My family which I love!


Posted by Tim L. Walker on Fri, 2011–04–15 16:15