July 07, 2011

Photo of the Week: July 6, 2011

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: The following anecdote has nothing to do with this week's photograph. On the other hand, it may be the only thing that matters. Last Thursday I worked an event in downtown Jerusalem. The evening began with a maddening traffic jam that turned a 10-minute ride into an hour of frustration and I arrived late to a job for the first time in my professional career. I then worked seven hours standing on my feet, packed up my car and headed home. As I pulled onto the tunnel road, which connects Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood with my home in Gush Etzion, I brought my car to a halt in an endless line of traffic. For the second time that day, at 12:24 a.m., a 10-minute drive became a slow and painful crawl home.

With one lane closed for construction, traffic moved about a quarter of a mile at a time with seven-to-eight minute standstill delays. At 12:52 a.m., now halfway through the second tunnel, the horns started. Miserable drivers, no doubt similarly exhausted, began blaring their horns in disgust. First one, then another until at least a dozen joined the fray. I turned up the music in my car and closed my eyes. When I opened them again a moment later, I spotted a van that had pulled into the service bay of the tunnel. The slider opened and out jumped a man, than another and another until eight men, charedim in black coats and hats, joined hands and danced in a joyful circle to the midnight din. We always have a choice. Life is short. Live every moment.

This week's shot was taken in the desert north of Eilat, on a trail connecting the Black Canyon with Amram's Pillars. Near the end of my hike, I climbed a small rock formation and discovered this window overlooking the section of trail I had just completed, a thrilling conclusion to an afternoon of peace and quiet, no disgruntled drivers, no traffic and no jams.

Technical Data: Nikon D700, 18-200 zoom at 135mm, f16 @ 1/160 sec., ISO 400.