September 26, 2010

Photo of the Week: Sept. 22, 2010

HOW I GOT THE SHOTS: Wandering around Jerusalem during Sukkot, it's hard not to admire the handiwork of the city's more creative residents. The quaint and always immaculate neighborhood of Yemin Moshe – where I found this inviting Sukkah, - is a visual feast throughout the year and a place I love to take students during a workshop. Perched atop a home overlooking the old city, the rooftop sukkah blends beautifully with the building and its setting. I'd like to beg an invite from the owner to quaff a glass of chilled lemonade and shake the lulav.

I've added to the main image three other shots which give a taste of how Jerusalem's character transforms during the seven-day festival. The obligation to erect and dwell in the sukkah is incumbent on all Jews, no matter how small one's balcony. Some very imaginative efforts, and some not so unusual, emerge from a few hours of hammering and drilling that are as much a part of the season as the cool fall air.

Photographically, these images are not very challenging, other than trying to keep perspective while pointing the camera up high while standing close to the buildings. This causes convergence distortion, seen by the vertical lines converging toward the center of the photo, a result of the upward angle of the camera and lens curvature. There are special architectural lenses which can correct this optical phenomenon in camera or one can make a perspective change in Photoshop. Sukkot is our "zman simchateinu," the season of our joy. May we all merit to be joyful and blessed for the entire new year.

TECHNICAL DATA: Nikon D-300, 18-200 zoom at 44mm, f14 at 1/400 sec., ISO 400.