September 27, 2011

Photo of the Week: Sept. 27, 2011

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: It takes a tiny bit of chutzpah to walk into a small Judaica shop and start photographing items for sale. Nevertheless, I follow the rule that flattery will get you everywhere. By taking a sincere interest in my subject, in this case a table strewn with shofars of various sizes, colors and shapes, I opened the door to photo opportunity. This tactic works especially well when seeking permission to shoot a human subject whom you don't know. By first taking an interest in their activity and observing without photographing, you communicate that your intent is genuine and not merely exploitative.

I like this shot because it veers from the traditional image we see at this time of year. In fact, there isn’t a single shofar in this photograph which is clearly visible in its entirety. At the same time, there are plenty of visual clues which clarify the subject. I chose to focus on the midsection of the large shofar which cuts across the middle of the frame to accentuate its textured surface. This shot was taken indoors with minimal available light, forcing me to use a wide aperture and squashing the depth of field. Yet the soft focus in and around the photo's central horn does not hinder the viewer's ability to wander the frame and ponder the inner composition – Kind of like what we do on Rosh Hashanah upon hearing the blasts of the shofar.

Shana Tova Umetuka. Wishing all of Am Yisrael a year of peace, blessings and the ability to appreciate the bounty in our lives.

Technical Data: Nikon D300, 18-200 zoom at 95mm, f6.3 @ 1/100th sec., ISO 400.

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