December 30, 2008

Photo of the Week: Dec. 30, 2008

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: The Talmud teaches that “Ten measures of beauty descended on the world — nine were taken by Jerusalem, one by the rest of the world. There is no beauty like the beauty of Jerusalem.” The immeasurable beauty of Jerusalem can be witnessed on any day of the year. This photograph, however, illustrates the guiding principle which separates the casual photographer from the serious devotee. It's what I call "carpe photos," or "seize the light," if you'll forgive me for mixing the Latin and Greek.

This view of the old city of Jerusalem is photographed day after day by thousands of tourists who flock to the Mount of Olives. I had the good fortune to be passing through this section of the city on a spectacular winter
morning when the air was crystal clear following a day a rain. I was equally lucky to have time to take the half-hour detour required to get in position to take this shot. It was well worth the time as cloud shows such as this are rare enough to warrant seizing the opportunity when it arrives.

No complex, technical thinking was required to make this photograph. The mid-morning light is fairly even across the frame, which allowed both the sky and land to remain properly exposed for detail in the highlights using the camera's automatic metering system. Compositionally, I chose to give a slight emphasis to the sky so that the two halves of the photograph are not equal in size. To me, the beauty of this scene is inherent in the subject. Capturing it in a photo is merely a question of making the effort.