October 20, 2009

Photo of the Week: Oct. 21, 2009

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: "Is it a painting or a photograph?" I am frequently asked about this image. The answer, perhaps, is neither. This work is one of my rare forays into digital art. The afternoon sky was heavy and pale as I wandered the valley between two communities near my home in Gush Etzion. Though the light was dull, the vines danced with color. I shot about two dozen compositions, experimenting with different positions on the hillside, but when I returned home, all the images had the same lackluster appearance that such light produces.

One of the ways I've surmounted the digital learning curve of both camera and computer is by fooling around. What happens if I do this? Oops. Delete. What about this? Hmm. And this? Wow! And that's how this image was born. After applying a few standard corrections to enhance the color – boosting contrast and adjusting exposure – I applied a Photoshop brush strokes filter to give the image an Impressionist feel.

Finally, I cropped the photo several times before settling on this one because of how the two green triangles (upper right, lower left corners) give balance to the overall layout and emphasize the zig-zag of the lines within the photo. Printmaking has always been a highly subjective and integral part of the photographic process. Call it what you will, but I say, "I love this image. Goodbye cloudy day. Hello, masterpiece!"