HOW I GOT THE SHOT: The Kotel is the western supporting wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the holiest site at which Jews may pray. (The holiest site would be the Holy of Holies, situated somewhere on the Temple Mount itself, but whose exact location is not known.) Probably the most visited and photographed site in Israel, the Kotel reverberates – for many of us – with a mystical and spiritual energy that inspires awe and reverence. All along the wall, thousands of tiny notes, containing prayers to God scribbled in every language known to man, are jammed into cracks and crannies, some surviving there for years.
I have made dozens of pictures of these notes, and admire their colors and patterns every time I am at the Wall. This is one of my favorite shots because, unlike most of the other smooth stones making up the wall, this section is rough and jagged. I like the way the dark shadows of the crevices contrast with the brighter areas of the stone and how the colored notes – including the many white ones - provide visual relief from the dominant brown of the stone. I made one minor change while preparing this image for presentation: I cropped the bottom, moving the edge upward to cut off the small, white note. Because the image is vertically oriented to conform to the cracks running from top to bottom, cropping at this point gives the base of the photo an anchor, albeit subtle, which keeps the eye from sliding down and off the image.