March 10, 2009

Photo of the Week: Mar. 10, 2009

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Extra sensory perception – also called the sixth sense – is the ability to foresee things before they happen. I've never been particularly adept at this, but occasionally I make photographic decisions that do make me wonder if there really is a skill to seeing things before they materialize. Returning home from Jerusalem on a wintry morning, I noticed a clearing in the sky and decided to make a brief detour to the Haas Promenade, one of the city's best viewpoints of the Old City. I was hoping to see – and photograph – well, exactly what transpired.

Photographing in inclement weather is essential to capturing unique and transient interpretations of the natural world. I am familiar with the behavior of sunlight in stormy conditions, but have never sought to isolate a fixed part of the landscape in the sun's spotlight. Instead, I have stuck to shooting whatever specific area is enhanced by the unusual lighting. I strolled around the beautiful promenade for about 10 minutes, inhaling the damp air, admiring the glistening stones and watching the light on the horizon. I moved back in the direction of my car, about to give up, but paused to watch a group of about 80 Nigerian tourists, in full African regalia, pose for a group portrait. As the colorful ensemble stood with their backs to the Old City, the sky opened up and the sun cut a swath of light across Jerusalem that seemingly recognized where the walls of the Old City stood. I snapped a few shots and then lowered my camera to admire the view, grateful for my decision to always have a camera near to hand.