March 16, 2009

Photo of the Week: Mar. 17, 2009

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Israel exports some 1.5 billion stems of commercially grown flowers every year, but most of the farms are tucked away on far-flung kibbutzim. Occasionally, a commercial field is planted along a main thoroughfare, but they are often covered with netting to protect the fragile flowers from the withering effects of the hot Israeli sun, leaving them in constant shade and not as appealing to photograph. On rare occasions, however, a field is left in the open, such as this anemone farm I discovered on the road south from Beit Shemesh toward Beit Guvrin.

I was set up in the early morning hours and nearly finished photographing when a truckload of foreign workers from Thailand pulled up to begin their day's work, astonished to find a stranger already on the job in their fields. I shot a range of close-ups as well as wider shots, looking for one image that summed up the feeling of standing amid the small sea of red and purple flowers. I like this shot because the effect of blurring the foreground brings the viewer's eye toward the less dominant purple flowers in the middle of the frame. Alternatively, placing the red flowers in sharp focus and maximizing depth of field diminished the visual impact of the purple and yellow at the top of the photo. If digital cameras have provided any new freedoms for photographers, it's the ability to take more pictures at virtually no additional cost. I've made a habit of taking a variety of shots during every shoot, so that I have a wide range to choose from when I sit down to edit the results.