Most photographers avoid shooting at midday when sun is closer to zenith. Steve McCurry, one of my favorite color photographers, whose photo of the green eyes Afghan girl you must know, said in more than one interview: “I’ll usually take a break, or go inside, during the brightest part of midday, then go back out to work more until I lose the last of the daylight.” Granted, he used to shoot color slides for many years, which do not tolerate imprecise exposure. As someone who’s preferred film for about twenty years was Kodachrome 25, I can relate to that. The fact that digital sensors are much more forgiving than film do not tempt most photographers out to shoot at high noon.
Yet, noon time forms a special dialog between light and shadows that exists at no other time. I wanted my workshop participants to explore that.
I chose the Dog’s Beach in Tel Aviv for this High Noon Photography workshop. It’s late July and the sun is closest to zenith as it could possibly be in Tel Aviv. The sky was a bit more cloudy than expected, which often brought the workshop’s participants back to their old habits. However, there was enough full midday light time to explore and make it worthwhile.
During the workshop, and in the 10 minutes of my walk back to my old, loyal bicycles which were my ride, I had just enough time to shoot a few photographs of my own.
At the end of the day I processed five of them. When I looked at these five photographs it struck me that all share a common thread: Loneliness, Vulnerability and Persistence. Was I that obvious?
About the leading, Red Slippers photograph
I’ve noticed the red slippers and composed. During the two minutes that followed things rapidly changes in front of my camera, and I continued to adjust my framing accordingly. A guy arrived, bent over and picked up some stuff under the umbrella. He left and then this girl had arrived with her dog, pausing for a few seconds (pun intended) and left. I moved on.
A cloud cast a shadow on the slope and the statue above the beach, enabling me to contrast them well with the blue sky and the white cloud.
I framed, and took a few shots while letting the sea waves to rapidly change my composition. I chose this one for its leading lines.
From the balusters of Tel Aviv Port, down to the swimming beach. Midday provides magnificent even light on objects laid horizontally, and magnificent many sun glimpses and light forms in the water watched from above.
Seeing the sailboat just stepping down a baluster’s rail, I stopped and framed. It was hot, I was preparing myself for a long ride on my bicycles, but I still gave it one shot.