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Masada is an ancient fortification on top of an isolated rock plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. Heroic story of its defenders during roman siege has a special place in jewish history. Actually the rock itself looks very monumental as if it is purposely built as a stage for some heroic story to unfold here! I tried to capture the natural grandeur of this place but never found an appropriate spot for my camera on the ground to my disappointment. Hence, buying my first decent drone I had a plan in my mind. I actually visualized pretty well the final picture before I started taking pictures.
The western face of the rock with the Herod's winter palace on the ridge looked very promising when illuminated by the setting sun. I only had to choose the proper angle of view playing with the altitude and exact location of my drone. Soon I realized that a panorama is the way to go. Looking at the frames captured for the panorama I noticed a rather interesting contour of the shade the rock was casting on the surrounding desert grounds. It was a pleasant bonus indeed!
So I took another 6 frames including visually interesting part of the shade and the background mountain ridge. When I planned the shot I choose pre-sunset hours to emphasize the red colors and textures and I never considered the shade and its role as a powerful compositional element. Lesson learned! You may think the shade as an extension of the light, sometimes equally important. It can play the role of negative space in composition. Naturally, the shade emphasizes all-important contrast with the light and leads the viewer's eye to the focal point of the frame. Indeed, the shade is sometimes overlooked and underestimated component of the picture.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor