December 20, 2011

Photo of the Week: Dec. 20, 2011

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Chanukah – the Festival of Lights – should be a photographer's paradise. After all, photographers are always chasing interesting light and here is an entire holiday dedicated to celebrating light, both literal and metaphorical.

Please join me for an Eighth night Photo Walk around the Jewish Quarter. See details below.

This photo of a dreidel at rest was taken as part of a photo essay I shot a couple of years ago. I had been shooting fine art glass and metal tops and experimenting with different light sources to capture their form. In the end, the sun, old faithful, performed best, and I found plenty of good light on this wall right outside my home.

It's a very sparse photo, held together by the elongated shadow, which fills the foreground, and the opposing triangles, one at the base of the dreidel and the other at the corner of the wall. The strip of blackened background, running at an odd angle to the edge of the wall, adds a bit of tension to a very calm image.

The only minor technical challenge to overcome was ensuring the face of the dreidel was bright enough for the words to be readable. I used my exposure meter on the spot setting with the center dot pointed at the words in order to expose that part of the photo correctly. I knew that as a result, the brightest areas of the photo would over expose, but that would give me the dramatic effect I was seeking.

May we all merit to be enlightened by the more mundane miracles which occur daily in our lives. Chanukah Sameach. Happy Chanukah.

Technical Data: Nikon D300, 28-105 zoom at 56mm, f4.5 @ 1/800th sec., ISO 200.