February 29, 2012

Photo of the Week: Feb. 29, 2012

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: This week's photo is culled from my first visit to the Ruchama Forest in the western Negev, where I found the forest floor gloriously awash with abundant red anemones. The Ruchama Forest is one of JNF's "Scarlet South" destinations helping to promote tourism to the region. The flowers are currently at their peak and will be peddling their beauty for about another two weeks.

The spectacle merited two visits and on the second occasion I brought my 17-year-old daughter, Adina, a talented, budding photographer. After three hours, exhausted, she showed she had learned the most important lesson of all: "This is hard work, Abba," she remarked.

The Ruchama Forest is nearly not, as there are as many stumps as grown trees, mostly Eucalyptus in various states of dishevelment. Eucalyptus trees are famous for making a big mess wherever they grow, shedding both bark and, at times, massive limbs. The scene stirred an unsettled mood in me that was reflected in some of the images I shot.

See a gallery of images from the Ruchama Forest

I wanted more order and less debris, but nature has its own path. This image does three things to overcome that feeling: it captures the romantic glow of early morning, it hides the chaos by disguising the trees in near blackness and it shows off the carpet of kalaniot. The entrance to the forest is just opposite the community of Ruchama on Highway 334.

TECHNICAL DATA: Nikon D300, tripod mounted, manual exposure, evaluative metering mode, f11 at 1/320th sec., ISO 200. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105 mm zoom at 44 mm. Date: Feb. 21, 2012, 8:11 a.m. Location: Ruchama Forest, Western Negev, Israel.