January 12, 2011

Photo of the Week: Jan 12, 2011

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Comparing music and photography, master landscape artist Ansel Adams noted that the photographic negative or, in today's world, the RAW digital file, is the equivalent of a musical score. Like musical notes on paper, the image exists in an unrealized form. What the photographer subsequently does with that file is analogous to a performance.

This week's image features a sight commonly seen in Israel during the Hebrew month of Shevat: the burgeoning almond blossom. My performance with this photo began before I snapped the shutter release, by choosing to employ a soft focus filter. Instinctively, I viewed this photo from the outset as delicate and light, and softening the focus seemed an ideal way to convey that feeling. I was careful to isolate the branch and new buds and line up some open blossoms in the background. This created a mottled "bokeh," the odd term used to describe how a lens renders the out of focus points of light.

The second and third movements featured a bit of added contrast and darkening the background. The final movement was the crop, which left the subject just off center. As his skills and vision develop, the photographer's performance of his negative evolves, but hopefully, will always be worthy of an encore.

Technical Data: Nikon D300, 28-105 zoom at 80 mm., f5.6 at 1/800 sec., ISO 200