HOW I GOT THE SHOT: I feel compelled to tell this story, because it speaks so much to the challenge of living and working in Israel and how often there is more to a photograph than what meets the eye. I made this image on the Golan Heights in northern Israel about four years ago. Travelers to the Golan are familiar with warning signs marking areas where explosive mines buried in the ground may remain from the Yom Kippur war in 1973. Seeing just a single sign makes one wonder how anyone really knows which fields are safe and creates a deep sense of anxiety when going off road there, even in unmarked, presumably safe areas.
I shot this photo from a viewpoint along a secondary road. Across from where I stood was a battered, barbed wire fence strung with numerous, yellow "Danger Mines!" signs. They are not merely a bitter reminder of the past, but an ongoing obstacle to our enjoyment and utilization of the land. To get this image, I kept my feet firmly planted on the pavement. The challenge in this photo was working the composition to offset the monochromatic color display. Everything is green, albeit in different tonalities and textures that ultimately merge together quite nicely, even though the photo lacks a center of interest. More subtly, the metal fence posts that enter from the photo's bottom left corner combine with the foreground rock to lead the eye into the photo. I utilized my elevated position on an embankment to shoot down, thus capturing the different height levels to full effect as well. A nice document of early spring, Israel's most glorious season.
TECHNICAL DATA: Nikon D-200, mounted on a tripod, manual exposure, evaluative metering mode, f11 at 1/125th sec., ISO 400. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-70 mm zoom at 46mm. Date: Mar. 3, 2008, 7:09 a.m. Location: Golan Heights, Israel.