Everyone at Ben Gurion Airport Has It

by Jay Hood on May 3, 2013


peter james dead simple

It started as a simple weekend getaway to Shenandoah National Park. My wife and mother-in-law were going hiking and I decided to tag along. My plan was to read a book, take some photos and walk in the woods. A nice relaxing weekend.

peter james dead simple

On paper the plan was great. But it didn’t work out like I planned, at least, not at first. Rain. Not just a gentle rain, but a cold hard driving rain. Rain that chilled the bone and made one want to stay inside. It certainly wasn’t the type of day to walk through the woods and listen to the birds. But I was there, so what else was there to do?

peter james dead simple

I headed off down an old fire road. A heavy mist hung in the air. Rain beat down on my hood and mixed with the music coming from my headphones. Since there was no wildlife to listen to I opted for Porcupine Tree. The perfect music to fit the mood of a dreary day. I’d occasionally poke my camera out from the dry safety of my jacket and shoot off a quick photo or two.


Somehow, lost in the music and the solitude, I spent about two hours wandering around. I got back to the room and dried off. I sat down and reviewed the photos I’d taken and realized I’d taken over 100 already. Plus, I’d somehow managed to shoot 2 rolls of real film. Despite the conditions, the weekend was off to a fun start. I sat down on the porch and relaxed the rest of the day.


The next day conditions were definitely improved. The plan was for me to pickup the hikers later on a couple miles further down the Appalachian Trail. That gave me all day to explore the park. I hiked through secluded glens and went hours without seeing anyone. I wandered down trails and took my time really enjoying the sights along the way. For awhile, my only company was a deer.


At the arranged time, I picked up the hikers and we headed to dinner. Despite the harsh conditions when we got there, it ended up being a beautiful weekend getaway.


And that was the last I thought about that trip for months.

Several months later, I was experimenting with Photoshop and resurrected some of the photos from Shenandoah to test some black and white and infrared techniques. I worked on a few of the shots thinking they were somewhat mysterious looking.

BlackWhite Tree

I posted two or three of them online and then, once again, forgot about them.


Again, several months passed. Then I received an email from someone representing an author and wanting to know if I would allow them to use one of the photos on a book cover. They didn’t say what book, they didn’t say what author. They didn’t say what language. It was all rather mysterious, but they were willing to pay. A gig’s a gig.

So I agreed. I signed some forms. I provided a high resolution copy of the photo. I requested two copies of the book. One for me and one for my parents. The way I looked at it, the book cover was a unique way to display one of my photos around the house.

And then I waited.

One day, a package arrived in the mail. I opened it and found my book had arrived.

It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but it was still pretty cool seeing my photo on a book cover even if I couldn’t read a word of it.

I googled the author, Peter James. Crime fiction author. The book, Dead Simple. Sounds like the type of book you grab at the airport bookstore.


I suspect everyone at Ben Gurion Airport is reading it right now.

Jay Hood (Section Chief Shea Garage/Contributing Editor)

Jay Hood has lived in Baltimore, Maryland for the past 25 years.  He likes to travel and is an avid photographer.  His photography has been featured in several obscure and unassuming locations, such as John Ball Zoological Gardens.  He does not eat vegetables and is learning to enjoy seafood.  He strives to keep his DVR no more than 40% full.  Comfort is paramount and he is not above a little slacking.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jacques Levy May 4, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Some fine photos. Congratulations!

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