October 10, 2009

Photo of the Week: Oct. 8, 2009

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Like a few other photographers I know, I have a folder in my picture library named "body parts." It contains a variety of images featuring hands, feet, elbows and ears, but never faces or a full body. Over the years, this folder has become quite crowded as my eyes have been drawn to human activity that seems more poignant photographically when the part of the body performing the action is isolated or cut away from the rest of the person. There is something intriguing about looking at a picture with obvious human content, but no face, and trying to imagine whom is the person in the photo.

This shot of a man examining a lulav (palm frond) illustrates this perfectly. Mingling with shoppers in the Bukharan market in Jerusalem prior to Sukkot, I found a spot where bright sunlight was sneaking through a makeshift canvas roof built to provide shade. By a stroke of luck, the man holding the lulav turned into the light in order to examine it more closely. He was wearing a black coat and stood in the shadows near a dark wall, which created a beautiful interplay between light and shadow. Sometimes less is more, as when a picture draws us in and then leaves us pondering the rest of the story.

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