November 29, 2013

Photo of the Week: Nov. 27, 2013

HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Visual communication is a complex language that few people ever formally train to use. Yet, intuitively, we understand imagery when it is directed at us, much as we might understand someone speaking to us in a foreign language even though we may recognize only a word or two. If I were to publish this photograph in July, it might take a few moments to identify the subject. This week, however, focused as we are on Chanukah holiday, even the abstract rendering of a familiar object is readily apparent.

The best visual communication is clear and simple. This photograph began with an empty canvas – a stone wall outside my home that lit up in the waning moments of daylight each afternoon. I positioned myself facing the light and spun a dreidel. I used a slow shutter speed (1/15th sec.) to reveal the spinning action. I knew the subject would not be captured in focus, which simplified my job because I didn’t have to worry about pinpointing the focus on the subject, which darted across the wall as it spun. The elongated triangular shadow cast by the dreidel serves the image perfectly by leading the viewer’s eye directly to my target.

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Although I could not see them while shooting, interesting light patterns formed on the handle and base as the silver reflected the sunlight. May we merit this Chanukah to be blessed with light shining on our lives and our nation from unexpected sources.
TECHNICAL DATA:Camera: Nikon D300, hand held, center-weighted metering mode. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 28-105 zoom at 98mm, f/29 at 1/15th sec., ISO 100. Date: Dec. 4, 2008, 3:3e1 p.m. Location: Efrat, Gush Etzion.