December 22, 2013

Photo of the Week: Dec. 19, 2013

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: There is the calm before the storm. There is also the calm during the storm, not in the eye of the hurricane, but rather in the silence of industrialized civilization sliding to an icy halt. And then there is the calm after the storm, as anxiety wanes and routine returns. The full moon rose over the white Judean Mountains on Monday evening, slowly and serenely and, not unlike Noah’s great rainbow, it shone a bright beacon across snowy hills, signalling that nature’s fury had subsided.

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For photographers, the biggest snowstorm to hit Jerusalem in 150 years provided ample entertainment as well as immaculate atmospheric conditions, following the storm’s departure, for wintry crisp and clear pictures. When it is full, the moon rises in tandem with the sun’s disappearance on the opposite horizon. It is well illuminated by the sun throughout the night – rising yellow or orange depending on the amount of atmospheric haze – and gaining brightness as it ascends in the sky. Though not apparent to the human eye, the moon moves quickly so that a fast shutter speed (generally 1/125th sec. or faster) is required to capture a sharp rendering of details.

This photo was shot about 20 minutes after the moon appeared on the eastern horizon using a 135mm prime lens to enlarge it and bring it a bit “closer.” I also waited for the moon rise higher so that it would cast some glow on the snow-drenched hills and perhaps even catch of glimpse of China’s Jade Rabbit crater hopping on high.
TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D700, tripod mounted, manual exposure, evaluative metering mode. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 135mm DC, f/8 at 1/200th sec., ISO 400. Date: Dec. 16, 2013, 4:38 p.m. Location: Efrat, Gush Etzion.