June 23, 2009

Photo of the Week: June 24, 2009

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: A moment of silence for the death of a legend: Kodak announced this week it is discontinuing its revered Kodachrome slide film, which had fallen out of favor, first by newer films and later by the advent of digital technology. While the technical tools of photography will always impact the craft, it is the artist's vision which shapes the final product more than anything else. Fortunately for me, I received a gift in the fourth grade from a wonderful and prescient teacher who rewarded my prowess in the multiplication tables with a puzzle game called Hi-Q. The game required assembling seven odd geometric shapes into more than 200 different wholes. The game kept me busy for years and apparently I'm still playing as I seek to compose features of the natural environment into moving photographs.

This week's image comes from Mitzpe Ramon, the giant crater in Israel's Negev Desert. The crater is vast, barren, dry, and intimidating and I was looking for a way to represent these qualities while also adding a touch of grace to the image. The desert teaches the visitor respect for nature and one can only appreciate its subtle beauty alongside that attitude of respect. I tried this image as a vertical, and although the triangles lined up nicely, that composition lost the expansiveness that is so definitive of the desert. I had been watching the clouds, but couldn't find any earthly complement until I stepped out in front of the small pile of rocks that make up the foreground and give depth to the image. They are a small detail, but a crucial missing link that completes the picture.