June 10, 2008

Photo of the Week: June 3, 2008

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: How do I know when to stop and take a picture? I hate to answer simply that it's a gut feeling – although that is a large part of it - but there are more specific considerations that also come into play. Landscapes, for example, must convey something of what the photographer felt while viewing the scene being photographed. Since every landscape photograph is an abstraction, a very limited representation of a bigger, more detailed place, the challenge becomes how to express something very personal and intimate with only a small canvas on which to paint. In my 10 years in Israel, I've spent less than two weeks in Eilat, but I think the mountains of this region are among the most remarkably beautiful in the world. Their beauty derives mainly from the blending of their unique coloration, which varies from a light, sandy color to a dark, chocolaty brown. I began to hunt for an image which combined these colors with the starkness of their sharp peaks and a landscape almost devoid of anything green and alive. Once I had found the elements that I had identified as responsible for my appreciation of the area, I could easily build a photograph that communicated back to the viewer these same feelings. In order to retain sharpness throughout this image, I chose a point of focus about one-third of the way into the depth of the photo and used an aperture of f-16, which, in addition to providing great depth of field, maximizes the optical quality of the lens. The very warm, red-gold color of the foreground rocks and peaks is a result of the low-angle of the sun as it rises to the rear of the camera.

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