February 11, 2010

Photo of the Week: Feb. 11, 2010

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: The curtain is rising on spring in Israel as the landscape emerges from its winter watering to a drama of color that becomes an event for many Israelis. While wildflower viewing is certainly a feast for the eyes, Israelis also view the spectacle with a deep appreciation for the miracles of God's handiwork. Someone wrote to me recently that Israel is a small country with a big attitude. That's certainly true, and nowhere is that attitude more evident than in our affection for the country's natural beauty.

This week's photo was captured courtesy of a hot tip from a friend whose home overlooks this vineyard. Like all landscape photos, the effort lay in scouting the location and arriving at the proper time of day, in this case, moments before the first rays of morning sunlight struck the land. There is a softness to this first light that often lasts only a couple of minutes but which makes all the difference in producing the ethereal quality of the image. These pink wildflowers, the Egyptian Campion, grow in several regions of the country, including the Judean Mountains south of Jerusalem, where this photo was taken.

I composed the picture using two guideposts. First, I wanted to stagger the vines in a way that leads the eye from the front to the rear of the photo. Secondly, I included some trees and background to give additional context to photo's setting. For an excellent resource on Israeli wildflowers, including a comprehensive library of photos sortable by flower color plus interesting history and trivia, visit www.flowersinisrael.com.