HOW I GOT THE SHOT: The Dead Sea, for all its lack of life, certainly has a lot to give: therapeutic minerals, a booming tourist trade, breath taking vistas. Recently nominated as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World (it lost in the final, public vote) the region is a bounty of inspiring photo opportunities.
Since we are nearing the end of the month of Elul, the final month of the Jewish year, which is devoted to inner reflection and accounting, I thought this photo seemed seasonally appropriate as I reprise my column following a summer respite. Like many images found in nature, the difficulty often lies in accessing a safe vantage point from which to photograph. Stopping my car at the side of the road, I hiked through the heat and around sinkholes, kicked up a little dust and glided past a scorpion or two. I found stable ground to rest my tripod and frame the image, careful to add just a drop of exposure so the salt crystals would remain true to their bright, white color. In the end, it was worth it. I mean, really, how many countries smaller than New Jersey can boast a Wonder of the World finalist?TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D70, tripod mounted, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f9 at 1/1,000th sec., ISO 200. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 70-300mm zoom at 145mm. Date: Dec. 25, 2006, 2:02 p.m. Location: Dead Sea shoreline near Ein Boqeq.