October 02, 2013

Photo of the Week: Oct. 2, 2013

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Rainbows are rare, unique, compelling, and, as we are reminded by this week’s Torah portion, a symbol of both the flood and God’s promise not to destroy the world again. During the rainy season, I am often propelled from couch to car, chasing these fleeting phenomena over hill and dale while flirting with cardiac arrest. Occasionally I succeed and in the category of “expect it when you least expect it,” I present this image which appeared while I stood on a hilltop in the Judean Mountains preparing for a family to arrive for a portrait session.

Rainbows are rare because several simultaneous conditions are necessary for their appearance. The sun must be low on the horizon (below 42 degrees), which is why rainbows are only visible in the morning or late afternoon. There must also be both precipitation and open sky to allow sun beams to shine through the cloud cover and pass through the raindrops and refract into the colors visible in the rainbow.

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My elevated perspective allowed me to see and capture the entire arc of this rainbow, actually a double rainbow, and if you look carefully, you will notice the color pattern is reversed on the upper arc. The second rainbow is caused by a double reflection of light inside the moisture droplets. Rainbows always appear opposite the sun, with a well-lit foreground culminating in the sky show. They are indeed rare, but rarely are they disappointing.
TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D300, handheld, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f22 at 1/500th sec., ISO 400. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 18-200 zoom at 18mm. Date: Feb. 24, 2012 3:36 p.m. Location: Efrat, Gush Etzion.

Photo of the Week: Sept. 18, 2013

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: It's the time of year again for the ritual of assiduous inspection of the leaves, branches and fruit that combine to form the four species of Sukkot. The color and creative carpentry of this week-long festival is spiced by the commandment to be joyful. Are we just happy that Yom Kippur is behind us for another 12 months or do we truly celebrate our return to Jerusalem and the blessings that permeate our lives?

This photograph evolved from a series of situational constraints. The residents of Jerusalem's religious neighborhoods often frown upon having a camera pointed at them. I needed to shoot from an unnoticed vantage point while still capturing the essence of the activity I witnessed. This shot retains the subject's anonymity while sprinkling a bit of humor on the subject as it documents this man's search for a beautiful Hadas branch.

Moadim L'simcha and Chag Sameach.

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TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D70, handheld, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f7.1 at 1/160th sec., ISO 400. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 70-300 zoom at 190mm. Date: Oct. 4, 2006 10:37 a.m. Location: Mea She'arim, Jerusalem.