June 15, 2009

Photo of the Week: June 16, 2009

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: There are some places, which, like people, are highly photogenic and seem never to look bad no matter when they are photographed. The old city of Jerusalem is one such place, but even after years of studying its moods and personality, it's a challenge to find a new angle on its unique beauty. The past week, however, the city has been celebrating "Light in Jerusalem 09," a first-of-its-kind in Israel artistic event. Several world renowned light sculptors and designers traveled to the city to meld their artistic vision with the city's ancient gates, walls, and plazas. The opportunity for fresh imagery was ripe.

This shot, taken below Jaffa Gate, features a solar-powered installation called Garden of Night designed by Israeli artists Gaston Tzahar and Meirav Eitan of the O*GE Interactive Gallery in Haifa. Giant lotus flowers open and close while tulips and balls of dew sparkle and all the lights change color every few seconds. But the lights in the flowers were not the only ones changing. The event began at 8 p.m. and I knew from experience that the walls would look more impressive lit against the last blue light of day instead of the dark black of night. Because the electric lights were changing color so rapidly, I fired off several shots over about a half a minute and accumulated a selection of differently colored flowers. While several were appealing, I chose this one because I like the contrast in color between the flowers and the blue sky and the walls. The event drew large crowds to the old city, so getting there early also gave me an opportunity to shoot without any human obstruction. The show continues through June 16 and is free.