HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Israelis love their "garinim," their seeds, and every spring and summer vast swaths of fertile farmland buzz with these monster yellow blooms. Standing a dozen rows deep in this flower forest, I felt as if I had entered a science fiction movie, as some of these giants towered above me at over nine feet tall. That, of course, wreaks havoc for photographers, who often prefer to be eye-level with their subjects. Predicting this predicament, I had planned to bring a ladder, but that thought remained stranded somewhere in a senior moment.
I never cease to be amazed by the creative process. A dead end in one direction leads the mind to re-chart its course. Having scrapped my vision of a high-angle shot of the entire field, I narrowed my search and discovered these flowing petals, brought alive with texture and motion injected by the back lighting. It is the somewhat unusual composition, however, that distinguishes this shot. The subject is familiar to most viewers, so tight cropping draws attention to the petals without the feeling that something is missing. This is a technique I learned from shooting portraits, where a very tight crop on a person's face can deliver great feeling and intimacy without rendering the subject's identity unrecognizable. Finally, the background, although severely blurred, provides context for the setting and a nice color complement to the photo's center of interest.
Technical Data: Nikon D700, 28-105 zoom at 105mm, f5.6 at 1/500 sec., ISO 200.