HOW I GOT THE SHOT:This photo is nearly perfect. Why? Because when I look at it, I can feel the air and smell the pungent evergreens and hear the crunch of rock underfoot. Pictures of the special places or people in our lives speak powerfully to us and conjure strong emotions stirred by memories collected over a lifetime.
On the western outskirts of Jerusalem lies one of the city’s natural treasures, Sataf, a spring-fed, verdant hillside whose crowning attraction, for me anyway, is an eight-kilometer loop trail circling Mt. Eitan, which I walk about once a month. Sataf was one of the first parks I discovered when I arrived in Israel 15 years ago. The circuit trail that winds through a heavily forested section of the Judean Mountains features long views, stunning light and large doses of silence. I am acutely reminded of my days residing on the northern California coast near San Francisco. And while I prefer to exercise without a camera, I brought it along just once, because I had seen the light dance across the path and on this jaunt, I shot but one frame, having been to the spot on a previous visit and thus having already done the work except for taking the shot.
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This photo was made about 30 minutes before sunset as sunlight gently graces the path and trees. The soft winter sunlight illuminates the cluster of trees in the background with crystal clarity, just where the eye ends up after travelling the dirt path into the photo’s depth. Another perfect example of how even a common or, dare I say, cliche subject such as a path through the woods can be transformed by recognizing and utilizing the beautiful afternoon light.TECHNICAL DATA:Camera: Nikon D700, hand held, center-weighted metering mode. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105 zoom at 28mm, f/13 at 1/60sec., ISO 400. Date: Oct 20, 2013, 5:05 p.m. Location: Sataf, Judean Mountains near Jerusalem.