January 26, 2011

Photo of the Week: Jan. 26, 2011

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Writers, I suppose, have it a little easier. Painters, too. Just sit and wait, beside their empty page or canvas, for the muse to arise. Photographers don't have that luxury. We must head out on the hunt, put our feet on the ground and search for what inspires us.

This week's image is the final result of several failed attempts to capture a subject I observed in another location, but couldn't land to my satisfaction. One of my favorite shooting sites is Emek HaEla, a lovely valley south of Beit Shemesh and only 20 minutes from my home. Driving through one recent afternoon, I noticed a grove of almond trees in pre-blossom stage, forming a kilometer-wide sea of red buds. Interestingly, when one enters the grove and studies the trees close-up, the color is barely noticeable. From a distance, the rose-hued pastels light up against the bright green background of new grass and young leaves. The highway, farm buildings and assorted agricultural muck combined to ruin every angle I attempted.

I found this location further south, near the city of Kiryat Gat. I spent more than an hour circling above this grove on the surrounding hillsides, finally locating an angle through the dense forest that afforded a decent view of my subject. Nothing seemed to work, however, until the last moments of daylight painted some interesting light on the green shrubs and bare white branches in the foreground. I felt like I had been chasing a ghost, but my perseverance plus a little luck helped me bring home the prize.

Technical Data: Nikon D700, 28-105 zoom at 98mm, f8 at 1/60 sec., ISO 400.