Israel Photo of the Week: Artist's light

Professional photojournalist Yehoshua Halevi took this shot with a Nikon D700 in the Sataf Nature Reserve. Here are some tips on getting the perfect photo.

Camera 370 (photo credit: Reuters)
Camera 370
(photo credit: Reuters)
"Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts."
– Walker Evans

The weather makers like me. It’s probably because I don’t complain, but rather kvell over their creativity and take every advantage to get out with my camera when the winds begin to stir. Following a day of rain, the morning arrived misty and damp. A thick fog battled a rising sun and in the ensuing tangle, magical light spread out across the Judean Hills.
This shot emerged just past sunrise as I climbed the stone stairway from the lower parking area of the Sataf Nature Reserve near Ein Kerem. Recalling the advice of photographer David Huffines to, “Turn around, because your best picture might be behind you,” I paused to rest and gaze back down the hill. Soft artist’s light, pastel colors and fallen blossoms converged into a dreamy composition.
I have to admit my mind was directed toward a particular image for a client seeking a cover shot for a book about life lessons learned in Israel. I liked the metaphor of the pathway leading into the distance and almond blossoms are as much a symbol of Israel as any natural feature blessing the land. Nature’s beauty is in her imperfection. Likewise, this image has its share of faults, in particular the hole in the blossoms at the top left corner and the branch pile in the lower right corner. Nevertheless, the feeling of that entire morning still resonates within me when I look at this photo. The almond blossoms have nearly faded and once again I am grateful for climbing out of bed and diving into the day.


Camera: Nikon D700, handheld, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f/13 at 1/60th sec., ISO 400. Raw file converted to Jpeg.

Nikon 24-70mm zoom at 35mm.

Feb. 17, 2014, 7:08 a.m.

Sataf Nature Reserve.

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