September 12, 2013

Photo of the Week: Aug. 21, 2013

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: OK, so you’d be hard pressed to find a flowering tulip this week in Israel. But that’s only half the story. While setting up for an event Sunday night, one of these variably-verdant, curly-tailed critters stutter-stepped over my light bag and disappeared into a leaf pile.

To the chagrin of photographers, chameleons really do change color, making them hard to spot and harder to photograph when they blend in with their surroundings. Contrary to popular belief, chameleons do not change color as a defense mechanism, but rather in response to light, temperature and their emotions. Based on the green skin color of this chameleon, the outdoor temperature was likely a pleasant 25°C, excellent flower climbing weather. After giving the petals a healthy glance, he turned around (requiring an arduous 10 minutes), dismounted and went on his way.

As luck would have it, and luck often does help a photo get a lot better, the chameleon showed no fear and let me get very close with my camera. Purple and green are nearly opposites along the color spectrum, which means they contrast nicely and pair well together. In other words, our eyes find comfort in seeing them in tandem. I cannot help but laugh a little when I see this photo, partly because I find the creature’s features and pose to be amusing, but also from the joy of this brief yet colorful encounter. Just glad I wasn’t visited by a scorpion.

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TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D700, handheld, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f8 at 1/200th sec., ISO 200. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105 zoom at 50 mm. Date: April 21, 2011, 11:48 a.m. Location: Efrat, Gush Etzion.

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