October 28, 2008

Photo of the Week: Sept. 23, 2008

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Ein Gedi (Spring of the Goat) Nature Reserve is one of the most popular hiking spots in the Judean Desert and a park I've explored many times. Because of my familiarity with the area, I've tried on recent visits to find a new way to convey the unique beauty found in this true desert oasis. Of the two main trails through the park, Nahal Arugot, where this shot was taken, is the longer and more difficult canyon, but rich in the wet rewards so comforting to the desert hiker. I spotted this pool on my way up the canyon, but passed by without shooting because the sun was high and the light unimpressive. Several hours later, after cooling down at Hidden Falls, I passed this spot again on my way out of the park. I was immediately drawn to the late afternoon sunlight reflecting off the high cliffs and flooding the lower canyon with beautiful, golden light. The success of this photo rests entirely on the creation of the arcing foreground, which both frames the main subject and creates an additional rounded form – in negative space - which balances with the two giant, circular boulders. The foreground is actually flat, although it appears to rise almost vertically in the photo, a distortion in perspective caused by the camera's position above the rock and tilted down at a 45-degree angle. To create the silky effect in the small waterfall, I set my camera on a tripod, programmed the self-timer, lowered the ISO to 200, dialed the aperture to its smallest opening and slowed the shutter to 1/3-second.

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