October 16, 2013

Photo of the Week: Oct. 16, 2013

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: I now spend about a third of my professional time teaching − in classes, workshops and privately − with a growing population of camera users hungry to improve their skills. I have discovered that the most important gift I can pass on to my students is the ability to see better. It not only makes one a better photographer, but also increases one’s appreciation of the visual world no matter where or how one is engaged with it. With photography, seeing better often means being able to see beyond what is right in front of you. This requires an ability to see by exclusion, to remove things that are in plain sight and leave behind only a mental image of the final photograph.

No place offers quite the visual challenge as a chaotic, noisy, crowded market. The myriad, multi-sensual-distractions make honing in with one sense – sight – much more difficult than on a quiet hilltop at dawn. I love the spice stalls in Machane Yehuda, in part because they never bore my camera but I also enjoy their aroma and the thought of the exotic and tasty dishes the spices embellish. In its final airing, this photo seems simple and easy to shoot. In order to perfect the composition, however, I had to rise on my tiptoes to gain a slightly elevated perspective that moved the handle of the left scooper below the upper rim of the top bowl so that the two elements did not overlap. A small but hugely important difference, made possible only by seeing in my mind’s eye how it should look and then finding a way to make it so.

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TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D300, hand held, center-weighted metering mode, f6.3 at 1/160th sec., ISO 800. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105 macro zoom at 46 mm. Date: July 29, 2013 10:26 a.m. Location: Machane Yehuda Market, Jerusalem.