April 29, 2008

Photo of the Week: April 15, 2008

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: More cameras in the world has led to more picture-taking restrictions. To gain entry to this makeshift matzah bakery in Jerusalem, I had to first ask permission of the owner and then meet two conditions before taking a single photo: I had to come in the middle of the night and get additional permission from everyone on that shift. Having survived the initial challenges, I was able to shoot the entire sequence of production before the baker tossed me out, albeit without the sympathies of his coworkers. This shot uses a technique I discussed in a previous email, in which the flash is delayed until the end of the photograph in order to allow movement to be recorded by the existing room light and then frozen with the burst of flash during the concluding microseconds of the exposure. Even though the exposure was longer than what I would normally shoot hand-held, there is no need for a cumbersome tripod because sharp focus is not the goal. The feeling of movement captures the frenetic energy of the bakery, which operates around the clock with the efficiency of a crew team and includes a coxswain-like leader, visible on the right edge of the photo, who sets the rhythm and pace of each round of baking.

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