June 08, 2010

Photo of the Week: June 8, 2010

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: I doubt whether the developers of the Ein Boqeq Dead Sea Resort considered the aesthetic impact of plopping more than a dozen sprawling hotels along this tranquil, desert seashore. Nevertheless, the virtues of man and nature do sometimes merge to display a beauty that transcends the environmental impact, if only momentarily. Like many of my photographs, this shot resulted from my observation over many visits to the area that early in the morning, the wind often subsides and the sea becomes a reflecting pool. When such conditions prevail, a photographer needs only to find a good vantage point, which on this outing required abandoning the hotel grounds and venturing onto a salty spit that appeared to stretch all the way to Jordan.

I composed the image with perfect vertical symmetry, allowing the tip of the arrowhead formed by the mountain reflection to determine the left edge of the photo. The right side was more problematic. I could have cropped out the half hotel that falls on the right edge, but it acts as a barrier to the eye's habit of wandering off the image. It also preserves the position of the highest peak roughly along one of the vertical thirds, thus strengthening the overall composition.

As I settled my tripod in the selected location, I realized two significant things about this brief excursion to satisfy my creative thirst. First, I was the only witness to this beautiful site. Most tourists sleep later than I do and few, if any, would detour onto a barren, dangerous looking, and certainly uninviting piece of land. My second insight was one I've had many times: the photo allows me to share a familiar site from a new and different perspective. A fraction of a second to record the sight, sandwiched between two hours of peace of mind watching the day come alive.

TECHNICAL DATA: Nikon D200, 18-70 zoom at 18mm, f11 @1/125 sec.