HOW I GOT THE SHOT: There is an old trick pro photographers employ to find great shots in places they’ve never visited before: they head to the nearest newsstand and scan the postcard rack. I could have used some help the first time I sped off to the Western Negev in search of the Scarlet South, the Jewish National Fund’s annual wildflower festival. With a photographer friend in tow, I drove around for several hours and stopped numerous locals to ask, “Where are the flowers?” Nobody knew. We returned home empty handed.
The following year, I did my homework and charted a course for the Ruchama Forest, which lies opposite the community of Ruchama off road 334. Traveling down the road, even at moderate speed, there is nary a clue of the magnificent treasure concealed but a short bump and a shake down a dirt road. Carpets of red anemones, which cover the forest floor and which give the festival its name, lie hidden beyond a series of low hillocks.
This shot features but one aspect of this annual spectacle, a thinly planted grove a young Eucalyptus trees with their colorful spring companions. The floral display is fleeting, peaking in mid-to-late-February and dying out in early March. If you go, I guarantee you won’t just be seeing green.TECHNICAL DATA – Camera: Nikon D700, tripod-mounted, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f/16 at 1/200th sec., ISO 400. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 70-200 zoom at 125 mm. Date: Feb 21, 2012, 9:54 a.m. Location: Ruchama Forest, Western Negev.