November 17, 2009

Photo of the Week: Nov. 17, 2009

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: If I had to vote for the most spectacular and beautiful spot in Israel, Ein Avdat National Park would be it. This narrow, spring and rain-carved canyon in the middle of the Negev Desert features towering rock walls, a waterfall, reflecting pools and abundant wildlife. Photographing inside the park is tricky because the high walls create extreme contrast during the hours the park allows visitors. I tried sneaking in at sunrise one morning but was escorted out by a ranger who lectured me on disturbing the peace of the animals coming to drink from the spring. (He was right!).

This shot, taken two years ago in December, shows the approach to the park from the lower entrance. I was surprised to see a small grove of trees burning late fall colors. To my additional good fortune, a bit of sunlight managed to duck under the clouds, poke through the canyon and brighten the orange tree crowns. To complete the shot, I chose a wide view that gives perspective to the high canyon walls. For those who have never been there, this composition delivers the best impression of what it feels like to hike through this breathtaking park. Once again the desert, feared and maligned for its inhospitable climate, reveals its power and beauty to the intrepid visitor.