July 17, 2013

Photo of the Week: July 17, 2013

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Normally I keep my selections in season, but after a particularly warm and sweaty visit to the Eilat Mountains this month, I felt the need for a visual cool down. Some years ago I visited Sa’ar Falls in the Hermon Nature Reserve on the Golan Heights, but the falls weren’t falling at all; the stream was bone dry. Last March, however, the falls were gushing with spring runoff and snow melt from the Hermon.
I guess I had bypassed the danger since no signs warned me not to continue along my route to this vista. OK, so I did crawl in the mud under a barbed-wire fence and gingerly navigate a wet, rocky slope that plummeted to the river below. I even endured the curious gaze of a furry hyrax who crawled out from under a rock to investigate the intruder. But I was determined.
Nowhere along the paved walkway provided for the throngs of tourists who come here, however, could one spy all three sections of the falls, which I wanted to capture in one frame. The sun had already climbed high, so I set two of my exposure controls – the aperture and ISO – to their minimum settings to allow the least amount of light to enter the camera. In this way, I could hold the shutter open long enough (in this shot 1/5 sec.) to create the silky, milky effect I love to see in moving water. All in a morning’s enjoyable adventure.
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TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D300, tripod mounted, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f20 at 1/5th sec., ISO 100. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105 zoom at 28mm. Date: Mar 1, 2013, 8:54 a.m. Location: Hermon Nature Reserve, Golan Heights.

Photo of the Week: July 10, 2013

Welcome Back! After a prolonged break to recharge my creative energies, I am pleased to resume my Photo of the Week blog. As in the past, I invite you to join me for a weekly foray into the natural beauty of the land of Israel and the photographic process. Feel free to share this email with all the photography buffs in your life.

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: I have to confess I have been holding this photo for several years in a folder entitled “Blog Candidates,” not sure if I liked it enough to write about it. The image was taken on a lovely January morning while hiking Wadi Arugot in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. For reasons I will try to explain, it has finally matured in my eyes.

Walking the canyons of Israel’s deserts, a hiker can crane his neck and spy a view like this at almost any time. So the image needed something to distinguish it from the typical scenes frequently encountered in the desert. The wispy clouds are just the ticket, adding energy and motion that offset the static mountain, which I minimized in the composition to maintain emphasis on the alluring sky. Like many images, it took repeated viewings to appreciate the nuances of the beauty of this morning. I also realized I hadn’t hiked this canyon for some time, so perhaps seeing this photo made me want to return, at least virtually, via the magic of photography.
TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D70, tripod mounted, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f14 at 1/400th sec., ISO 200. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 18-70 zoom at 25mm. Date: Jan. 23, 2007, 11:03 a.m. Location: Arugot Canyon, Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, Judean Desert.