September 12, 2013

Photo of the Week: Sept. 11, 2013

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: I am currently reading a book entitled “Photo Wisdom,” which features interviews with 50 renowned photographers about their creative process. To my great surprise, the very first photograph in this coffee-table size, 200-plus page tome is a rather staid photo of a single ficus leaf, perfectly formed, yet brown and dry and laying on a plain, off-white background. Not much to think about, really, until you read the caption, which describes how the leaf was blown off a tree in Tel Aviv in the wake of a suicide bombing. The terrorist’s name and age and the date of the attack are also given.
I am still not sure what to make of this. My dilemma is an oft-debated topic about whether art needs commentary to deliver, enhance or clarify its message. After all, shouldn’t an image speak for itself, even if the message is open to many interpretations? And if it cannot, then hasn’t the artist failed to communicate his intent? And yet, paradoxically, I am stuck thinking and thinking about that leaf and those few words which empowered it as an image.
This week’s photo features the luscious, crimson seeds of a bursting pomegranate growing in Jerusalem. Images of the natural world do have important stories to convey. Sometimes, however, it is better to just sit back and gaze at the beauty, appreciate the miracle, and enjoy.
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TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D700, handheld, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f8 at 1/160th sec., ISO 400. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105 macro zoom lens at 105 mm. Date: Aug. 11, 2013, 9:36 a.m. Location: Katamon, Jerusalem.

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