July 23, 2008

Photo of the Week: July 15, 2008

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: One of the best ways to improve your photography skills is by studying pictures, including your own. Years ago I made a similar image of hay bales in California and hung a print on my wall. I was proud of it, enjoyed it, but most of all, I looked at it often enough to eventually see its faults and how I could have improved it. Today I instruct my students to choose one of their photos to hang in their homes, not simply to help them strengthen their identities as photographers, but also knowing that a lesson will emerge for them at some future time.

This image was taken spontaneously as I drove through Emek HaEla, about 30 minutes from my home. Agricultural scenes are not difficult to find in Israel, so this is not the kind of subject that ordinarily captivates me, because, frankly, these images remind me more of Iowa than Israel. Nevertheless, the pleasant morning light falling on the freshly baled hay compelled me to finally stop and practice my art. Because the bales are identical in color to the surrounding ground from which they were cut, lighting was crucial to make them stand out. Notice how the top and left side of the nearest bale blend in perfectly with the adjacent background. Fortunately, the sun's position to the left and behind the bales creates shadow on the front side, giving strong definition to each bale, much as a portrait photographer sculpts the face of his subject with light to emphasize facial features. The dark rectangles also form an interesting, staggered pattern that meanders through the image and injects a welcome dynamic into an inanimate and static subject. Hey, is this Iowa? No, it's the Holy Land.

1 comment:

aoc gold said...

I Remember, I Remember
(1)

I remember, I remember

The house where I was born,

the little window where the sun

Came peeping in at morn:

He never came a wink too soon,

Nor brought too long a day,

But now, I often wish the night

Had borne my breath away!

(2)

I remember, I remember

The roses, red and white,

The vi'lets, and the lily-cups,

Those flowers made of light!

The lilacs where the robin built,

And where my brother set

The laburnum on his birthday,

The tree is living yet!

(3)

I remember, I remember

Where I was used to swing

and thought the air must rush as fresh

To swallows on the wing;

My spirit flew in feathers then,

That is so heavy now,

And summer pools could hardly cool

The fever on my brow!

(4)

I remember, I remember

The fir trees dark and high;

I used to think their slender tops

Were close against the sky;

It was a childish ignorance,

But now 'tis little joy

To know I'm farther off from heav'n

Than when I was a boy!

~~~by runescape money