January 27, 2009

Photo of the Week: Jan. 27, 2009

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: After years of photographing people, I have no doubt that the best portraits emerge from the sessions in which I am able to forge a strong relationship with my subjects. The same holds true for landscape photography. The more familiar I become with the land of Israel, the better able I am to capture the qualities of her beauty with my camera. Does she look her best when she first wakes up in the morning or when the late afternoon sun settles over her mountains? Which camera angles are most flattering to a spring meadow or a rocky coast?

I whizzed past this shot at 100 km/hour on the road connecting Rosh Pina and the Golan Heights and drove another two kilometers before deciding to go back and shoot. The scene caught my attention initially because of the stark contrast between the bright green field and the dark patterns formed by the differently-shaped trees. Most unusual, and therefore most interesting, was the topography and how the crest of the hill juts out between two valleys and floats like a promontory in the middle of a vast plateau. At least that's how I made it appear in the final image by lopping off half the photo and cropping near the top of the front side of the hill. Shooting mid-morning, the background was very hazy, but I was able to boost the clarity by increasing the contrast. Often, a small tweak in lighting or an imaginative crop – like a slight tilt of the head or lowering of the chin –
is all it takes to elevate the average to the exceptional.

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