August 25, 2008

Photo of the Week: Aug. 26, 2008

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Sabra is the Hebrew name given to a native-born Israeli Jew and also the prickly pear cactus, which grows abundantly throughout Israel, although, ironically, it is not a native species. The dual meaning of the term is meant to imply that Israelis, like their flowering namesake, feature a thorny and abrasive exterior that conceals a sweeter, gentler interior. Whether true or not about our native population, this photograph reveals the contrasting personality traits of the Sabra plant by juxtaposing the "softer" flowering side against the "harder" thorny spines. It would be impossible, I think, to depict in a photograph the plant's inner sweetness, so portraying it as it flowers is the best approximation. Over the years, I have become addicted to using back light – light which shines from the rear of the subject toward the camera – because of how beautifully it enhances the color and texture of flower petals. I brought this image home following a mid-August hike last summer near Beit Shemesh. I was very surprised to find anything flowering in the parched, brown hills amid the summer heat, but cactus thrives in the desert as well as the country's greener areas under some very difficult conditions. Not unlike Israelis, whether born on native soil or not.

1 comment:

aoc gold said...

The Fountain


Into the sunshine,

Full of the light,

Leaping and flashing

From morn till night!


Into the moonlight,

Whiter than snow,

Waving so flower-like

When the winds blow!

Into the starlight,

Rushing in spray,

Happy at midnight,

Happy by day.

Ever in motion,

Blithesome and cheery,

Still climbing heavenward,

Never aweary;

Glad of all weathers,

Still seeming best,

Upward of downward

Motion thy rest;

Full of a nature

Nothing can tame,

Changed every moment

Ever the same.

Ceaseless aspiring,

Ceaseless content,

Darkness or sunshine

Thy element;

Glorious fountain!

Let my heart be

Fresh, changeful, constant,

Upward like thee!

~~~by runescape gold