January 20, 2010

Photo of the Week: Jan 20, 2010

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: If photography were a normal occupation, I would be out shooting 8-10 hours every day. Sadly though, in the digital age, many photographers now spend more time anchored to their computer than stalking the wilderness. Every now and then, I do go out into the world with the singular purpose of creating new images, as I did last week when I had four entire days to prowl Israel's southernmost desert region, in and around Eilat. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my wonderfully supportive wife, Sara, who provides this ample space for creativity, accomplishment and success in both my work and my life.

This photograph was taken in the area of Nahal Shehoret, about 10 kilometers north of Eilat. Typically, I dragged myself out of bed at 5 a.m., stole past the dozing desk clerk and motored in the darkness toward a predetermined area, though I had no specific stopping point in mind. After driving six kilometers along a bumpy, dirt road, I stepped out of my car to inhale the morning air and inspect the landscape in the first light of dawn. This range – one of the most beautiful in the world - is comprised of multi-colored sandstone peaks, the result of different oxides found in the various rock masses. The most interesting photos of these mountains are those which allow the different colors to stand alone while also helping to forge the composition as a whole. Though the various shades of sand, pink, chocolate and even black are visible in many places, pulling three or more into one compelling photo is very difficult.

I parked my car, grabbed my tripod and bag, and walked a few meters up a slight incline – always looking for high ground to improve visibility - and I discovered this small field of boulders. From experience, I knew that light hitting these rocks from a side angle would give them dramatic form and provide strength to the foreground of the picture. I aligned my tripod facing northward and waited for the sun to crest the mountains in Jordan. Not a single living, green, growing thing in this shot; only the mind-boggling beauty of the meeting of landscape, light and lens.