September 12, 2013

Photo of the Week: Aug. 29, 2013

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Hot, dry, dusty summer days in Israel are an extreme challenge for landscape and nature photographers. Let’s face it, the land just isn’t at her finest following several months without a drop of rain. So when the grand landscape is not on display, I shorten my vision and look for the artful play of nature that can almost always be found right at one’s feet.
I am continually surprised by how much color one can find out in the wilds of Israel during summer, but you have to take notice with a practiced look. That means focusing your mind on observing and beginning to see past what you expect to see. Confused? You are, literally. Our mind often fools our eyes into missing what is right in front of us because we are visually programmed to see what we have already seen. So it takes a deeper awareness to reprogram one’s vision and see anew. It’s a mere matter of paying closer attention.
This photograph is an excellent example of that process. I found this single grass weed growing amongst hundreds of others, all glittering in the afternoon sunlight. As always, I began by following the light to an interesting form. Though it has fulfilled its purpose, having launched its seed, it still maintains a grace of form evident in the delicate curve of the stem and the gentle criss-crossing points at the bottom of the image. I used a macro lens to draw in close and blur the background into a warm palette of complementary earth tones. It may be nearly done growing, but it is far from being done giving.
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TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D300, handheld, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f9 at 1/800th sec., ISO 400. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105 macro zoom at 105 mm. Date: July 31, 2010, 4: 24 p.m. Location: Judean Mountains near Tzur Hadassah.

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