Israel the Beautiful: Fresh green leaves

I came across this week's photo in my library while researching images for a book project, stumbled upon interesting insight into how I evaluate my work.

June 26, 2011 10:22
1 minute read.
green leaves

Green leaves_58. (photo credit: Yehoshua Halevi)

One of the first assignments I give students in my introductory photography course is to bring two pictures to class for discussion – one that they like and one that they dislike. In presenting their choices to the class, students begin to develop an internal language for identifying elements in their own work that succeed or fail.

I came across this week's photo in my library while researching images for a book project and stumbled upon an interesting insight into how I evaluate my work.

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When I first shot this photo of an orchard on the Golan Heights, I rejected it. I don't recall exactly why, but I may have been striving to create something different or I may have been emotionally disconnected from it when editing the shoot. Upon rediscovering it in my library, while perusing hundreds of files late at night in my office, the image evoked a softness, orderliness and a genuinely peaceful early-spring-morning kind of quiet that fit my mood perfectly.

One of the best times to photograph trees is late winter or early spring, when bright green new leaves or colorful buds give the tree a unique coloration that fades as the new growth matures. I stood on an embankment looking down into the valley where these trees had been planted, and using a telephoto lens, composed an image that removed all other growth save for a small errant patch toward the top of the frame.

I try to explain to my clients that the real value of their investment in professional photography will only become apparent in five or 10 years. Sometimes pictures deserve a second look after a period of time, so that when you return to them you are able to see their true value.

Yehoshua Halevi is an award-winning photojournalist and event photographer. For queries on simcha photography in Israel and Europe, send an e-mail to

View the entire Israel the Beautiful series at

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