July 23, 2008
Photo of the Week: July 22, 2008
HOW I GOT THE SHOT: A couple of years ago, the Jerusalem Post ran a picture of Arab children having a snowball fight. The photo stuck in my mind as a fantasy of what life in Israel ought to be like more often. I shot this photo on the beach at Achziv, a coastal park only a few kilometers south of the Lebanese border. It offers a glimpse of the carefree, whimsical side of life in the Holy Land. On a hot and lazy summer afternoon, children play and wait out the sunset without a hint of worry. All too often, images of Israel generalize life here as both a physical and political battleground. It's important to see the mundane, the ordinary, the familiar, and yes, the unencumbered moments of innocence that are still possible. To create the silhouette, you have to ratchet up your courage and point the camera directly at a bright light source, in this case, the setting sun. It's a tricky business trying to balance bright light and shadows, so I bracketed a few exposures above and below what my meter indicated. This shot emerged as the favorite, because the human forms – albeit a very tiny component of the composition – were caught in the best posture to deliver the photo's emotional impact. I've never been a conformist, so why start with the camera, especially when the results are often so fantastic!