Steve Goldband

Girl at Independence Day Celebration, La Jolla

Second Place Manipultated Images

With his winning picture, Steve Goldband shows us that you don't have to decide the focal point of a photo before you take it.

"I didn't know when I took it that the red coat would become the subject," he said of his part black-and-white, part vibrant photo "Girl at Independence Day Celebration, La Jolla."

Goldband took the photo at the July 4 festivity with color film and then scanned it into his computer. The manipulation came when he digitally masked off the color in elements of the picture and left it in the rest.

"When you drain out some of the color, it leaves the color part looking much more intense than otherwise," he said.

Goldband, 47, said he decided to enter this photo because it was just the right mix of color and action. The little girl that would end up in the frame was playing in a tree when he spotted her.

"The composition just stood out," he explained.

"There's a lot of blur, but it's still sharp. I liked the counterpoint."

A former professor of psychology at The University of Western Ontario who now works at Preview systems in Cupertino, Goldband has lived in Palo Alto for more than 10 years.

After entering the Weekly's photo contest a couple of times before, he became a winner last year with his manipulated photo of a small home, titled "Taos Pueblo Blue Door."

But the aim he has for his pictures, all computer-processed and printed digitally, is a lot more practical than the earning of prizes.

"Recently, I've been interested in stuff that I've seen in galleries and art venues and I'm excited to make artistic photos--things people would want to have on their walls," he said.

--Heather Wax