HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Photography should be fun, as often and as much as possible, especially for those who practice it as a hobby or part-time pleasure. One of the challenges I enjoy when out shooting personal work involves selecting a random subject and then trying to make an interesting photo. This exercise has also helped me to make good choices when doing more directed shoots. So when I spotted these photos of well-known and revered rabbis, I knew there was a good photograph to be taken, but it was well hidden amid an array of distractions and objects I wanted to remove from the scene.
First of all, the photos – sukkah decorations for sale in the Bukharan Shuk in Jerusalem – were scattered on a sidewalk, although the vendor did a good job to give maximum visibility to each of image. The entire collection was about twice as large as what I chose to include, but a quick study revealed several easy to spot visual clues which led me to this composition. When looking at a photo with no obvious center of interest, it’s very easy to get lost and wander away from the photo entirely. So when battling subjects like this, I try to create a border of sorts which contains the viewer within the photo.
Here, the four corner photos all direct their “action” away from the sides and toward the center of the image. This is accomplished by the direction of the face or, in the case of the lower right corner, also by the direction of the subject’s glance. To refine the composition, and make sure it works, I always use my viewfinder to crop and focus. Although experience has taught me to crop with my eyes, I still have never become comfortable with the new shooting mode on most point and shoot cameras that use live view and the camera’s monitor.TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D200, handheld, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f8 at 1/1,000th sec., ISO 400. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105mm macro zoom at 38mm. Date: Sept. 24, 2007, 9:53 a.m. Location: Bukharan Quarter, Jerusalem.