February 16, 2008

Photo of the Week: Feb. 17, 2008

HOW I GOT THE SHOT – The road up to Mt. Hermon, the highest point in Israel, wraps around this hill, affording gracious views of this 13th-century fortress from both above and below. I arrived early enough to catch the eastern flank illuminated by the first light of the day. I continued to shoot until the sun rose above the horizon and threw warm light onto the stones. I prefer this earlier shot, however, because I like the blue and purple hues of the Hula Valley stretching out in the distance. Once the sun got a little higher, those colors were replaced by a white haze and the contrast between the light on the fortress and the trees was too great for my camera to handle. Exposing properly for the stones caused the trees to turn black and lose much of their detail, which is preserved in this lower contrast image. I would normally try to avoid centered compositions, but the triangular shape of the hill gives the photo a solid foundations to rest upon. The triangle is one of the strongest compositional shapes and I look for them in a variety of photos, from landscapes to group portraits.

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