November 12, 2012

Photo of the Week: Nov. 8, 2012

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: There are grapes. And there are grapes. And then there are grapes grown in the Land of Israel. I’m not bragging or boasting, though I could. I’m not suggesting there is some kind of magic that possesses the produce of this desert land to make it bigger, better, more delicious and more delectable, though I could. It’s just that I’ve seen grapes – I grew up in Northern California, where grapes are deified – and Israel’s grapes are simply magnificent. Take these, for example: Gorgeous Red Globes, on the day of harvest, minutes before knife met stem in a vineyard near Kfar Harif, about 10 km due east of Ashdod. Of course I had my eye on them for months, having passed this location numerous times on summer excursions to the beach. With the fortuity known to descend upon the faithful photographer, I arrived just in time to crate them for eternity.
This shot required what I call “zone” photography, which means gathering my concentration to gaze upon thousands of little fruits and spy just the right cluster, where light and perspective and background and perfection of the subject itself conspire to create a great shot. A little chutzpah is also required, to hop fences and endure the silent stare of foreign workers wondering why anyone else would be out in the field at that hour. Balanced on my knees in the clumpy earth, I used my macro lens to get close and blur the background, which I kept wide enough to just show off the greens and browns of leaf and soil.
Take another quick glance. That’s why! Shabbat Shalom.
TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D700, handheld, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f4.2 at 1/60th sec., ISO 500. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105mm macro zoom at 55mm in macro mode. Date: Aug. 26, 2012, 6:52 a.m. Location: Vineyard off Rte. 383, opposite Kfar Harif.

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