January 04, 2010

Photo of the Week: Jan. 5, 2010

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: In the 1980s, one of my mentors, the incomparable alpinist and adventure photographer, the late Galen Rowell, developed the idea of image maturity – how some pictures are so ahead of their time that they are not believed to be real. Nowadays, an opposite phenomenon has taken hold, what might be called image fatigue – too many pictures of the same subject. As a professional, I fight this in my work, because more often than not, photo buyers request common images, such as the olive grove landscape, one of the quintessential visual representations of Israel.

I shot this photo in the Misgav region of the Galilee, while on an assignment for the Jewish Agency two years ago. En route to our meeting place, I drove a small road along the spine of one of the Galilean hills with a dramatic overlook to the valley below. I pulled over and admired the bright green, fresh-winter growth and how it combined with the darker foliage of the olive trees and the reddish-brown earth. The image presented here is almost full frame, but I pondered the edges for some time before settling on this crop. Because there is no clear focal point to the image, I tried to strengthen the border to keep the viewer contained, albeit wandering, within the frame.

Fortunately, nature never holds its pose too long. Even the most frequently photographed subjects provide new opportunities for novel interpretation.