March 16, 2008
HOW I GOT THE SHOT: I often try to recreate in a photograph how I felt at the moment I was shooting it. This may seem self-evident, but think for a moment about all the sensual stimuli that can't be captured in a photograph. In this shot of a field of wild mustard, taken last week just below the Peace Lookout in the lower Golan Heights, I had to leave out the warmth of the sunshine, the cool breeze, chirping birds and the intoxicating floral aroma. As I waded through the field, hip-high in flowers, I truly felt as if I were in an ocean of wildflowers. To convey that feeling, I used a wide-angle lens and searched for a viewpoint that stretches the yellow across the frame and far into the depth of the photo. The olive trees appear to be islands, floating in this sea. If you look carefully, you can spot one of Israel's real "seas," the Kinneret, in a few pieces just behind these trees. I arrived here around 9 a.m., and although the sun was already high, the cloud layer helped soften the brightness. My built-in exposure meter is extremely accurate, but I chose to underexpose the image by about 1/3 of a stop, which slightly darkened the sky and boosted the color intensity or saturation of the yellow mustard flowers. To see a full gallery of Israel's spring wildflowers, please visit: A Passion for Poppies.