HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Jerusalem's Wohl Rose Garden, opposite the Knesset on Givat Ram, is one of the city's most beautiful parks. At its peak, there are hundreds of flowering rose bushes, beautifully landscaped and identified for the amateur botanists among us. I photographed the park two years ago for a project paying tribute to the donors and I have returned there on occasion to enjoy the peace and tranquility.
As part of my approach to this assignment, I looked for rare flowers as well as examples of unusual lighting and composition that make the flowers look their best. The orange blossoms are from a rose plant known as the Anne Harkness, introduced by English breeders in the 1970s and characterized by apricot-colored petals with shadings of yellow at its base. Soft, diffuse afternoon sunlight gently enlivens the petals while the use of a long telephoto lens compresses the depth – making the background flowers appear closer – while throwing them out of focus just enough to remain identifiable.
The white and pink-flecked rose is fittingly called a Sierra Sunrise. Oddly, I found these roses growing intertwined with an unidentified, small yellow rose. I felt the curious placement of the smaller yellow rose inside this flower resembled an actual rising sun, and until I looked up images on the internet, was sure this is what gave the flower its name. Apparently not, but just the rare and unusual discovery I relish. I visited the park again this week and it is just beginning to bloom, with the flowering peak occurring in late April, May and June.
Upper: Nikon D300, 70-200mm lens at 135mm, f3.2@ 1/1600 sec., ISO 400.
Lower: Nikon D300, 28-105mm macro lens at 105mm, f5@ 1/1600 sec., ISO 250.