May 27, 2008

Photo of the Week: May 6, 2008

HOW I GOT THE SHOT – Israeli flags are visible everywhere in Israel, especially during the days leading up to Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. Yet Israel is the only country where I've seen so many dilapidated flags in every stage of decay, including some so worn and weathered they are barely recognizable. Several years ago I photographed a flag that had blown off its staff and was wrapped around a barbed-wire fence. It's a stark image and I've never known quite what to do with it. From that point on, however, I began to collect photos of flags in various states of disrepair. This image is part of that collection, albeit one that's still almost whole, having lost only a few pieces of its outer edge. I took this photo one step further by applying an artistic filter in Photoshop, which makes the image resemble a watercolor painting. As part of my personal visual training, I make mental notes of subjects that I like or conditions which prove optimal for capturing expressive images. By logging them in my memory, I begin to notice them more often, even when I'm not taking photographs. I like to think of these flag images as symbolic of the state of the nation at 60. Israel is far from perfect and the country has seen its share of problems in recent years. Nevertheless, like these tattered flags which continue to ripple proudly in the breeze, Israel at 60 remains strong and steadfast in its ability to meet the challenges of the future.

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