In his native Tblisi, capital of Georgia (then a republic in the Soviet Union), Michael Datikash (then Malkhaz Datikashvili) received his first camera on his 15th birthday, as a gift from his uncle. It was an amateur’s model, Russian-made, and cost “ten or fifteen dollars,” Datikash says.

A resident of the United States since 1991, staff photographer for The Jewish Week most of that time, was fascinated by the “magic” of developing his own photographs, in pre-digital days, and of making an individual, artistic “expression” with a camera.

Datikash, who has worked as a photographer in some three dozen countries, served on the staff of the Tass news agency, documenting Russian politics and several Olympics, before coming to the US. His favorite foreign assignment: Israel. His least-favorite: Syria.

Named Photographer of the Year three times by the American Jewish Press Association, he looks for the unique angle, the people and places that characterize the international locations where he has traveled camera-in-hand.

These are a sampling of his work.