Tel Aviv's party scene is full of energy. Tel Aviv's party scene is full of energy. Nanuchka is a popular nightlife restaurant in Tel Aviv. (All Photos: Amir Eshel)

Images capture intimate moments of Tel Aviv nightlife

Amir Eshel spent three years photographing people in the popular restaurant Nanuchka.

Whenever Amir Eshel goes out, he brings his camera. He sits in a quiet corner and composes images in his mind, snapping only a single frame at a time. The result? A candid, storytelling survey of one of Tel Aviv's hottest evening destinations.

Eshel splits his time between Los Angeles and Tel Aviv. Not too long ago, he exhibited some of his work at the Artists House in Tel Aviv, where his collection of photographs taken in one of the city's trendiest bars, Nanuchka, was on display.

Eshel first became familiar with Nanuchka when he was invited to a celebration there. Eshel brought along his camera, and the results deeply impressed the bar's owner, Nana Shrier, who says Eshel has an ability to capture "the soul, not the body" of his subjects.

A couple embraces in the soft evening light at NanuchkaA couple embraces.

So Eshel became a regular "part of the furniture in the restaurant," he tells From The Grapevine.

A karate instructor by profession, Eshel says the martial art has informed his photography techniques. "I am using my karate methods in order to be and not to be. It gives me the opportunity to take the pictures without being noticed and without having the interference of the person creating the pose."

Woman sits aloneA woman sits alone at a table at Nanuchka.

In fact, Eshel draws many parallels between his two passions.

"For me there are many similarities between the art of photography and the art of karate: both contain love, acceptance, giving and sharing in order to help the [evolution] of human nature," Eshel says.

Two women wearing black dresses walk under dim lightThis photo titled "Strings of Nanuchka" is one of Eshel's favorites.

Eshel says the photo titled "Strings of Nanuchka" is one of his favorites. "It gives the feminine atmosphere without disclosing the person. It's very mysterious and very gentle."

Another favorite of his, a photo of two friends greeting one another, was taken on the fly. "There is so much happiness in there, so much acceptance," he says.

Women hugging at NanuchkaTwo patrons of Nanuchka were obviously very happy to see each other.

Eshel's range of subjects is calculated to be diverse. He takes one or two photos for each scene he observes and moves on, keeping each as an all-encompassing work of art.

"I do it as an intuitive moment," he says.

Eshel plans to follow his intuition as he continues to pursue his passion for photography. "I am always open to trying new adventures, new avenues," he says.

You can see more of Eshel's photographs on his website here. And for more on the nightlife scene in Tel Aviv, check out this video:


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