10th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
By Steve Goldband
About Steve Goldband
Two years ago Steve Goldband won first prize in this contest.
Last year he took second, and this year it's third. "I've
been slipping," he joked.
Click on photo for larger image.
This year, his prize-winner looks like an abstract painting rather
than a photo.
"Part of what I like to do is put the viewer in a pleasant
sense of confusion of what they're looking at," Goldband
said. "I like the way the picture perplexes viewers in an
interesting way. I like the formal structure of it and the way
I found something in the natural world that's very geometric in
a way that wasn't intended by the people that built it."
In fact, the picture is of a shop sign near the San Francisco
Museum of Modern Art. "It's a sign hanging perpendicular
to the front of the shop, and we're looking from across the street
at the edge of the sign," he said.
Goldband used a telephoto lens to compress the perspective and
make the picture seem flat. The wire from which the sign hangs
is an example of this effect. It looks very flat, but in fact
reaches quite far forward on the sign.
The red and yellow colors in the photo are the real colors of
the sign, but Goldband drained all other colors out in Adobe Photoshop.
"That's to create a sense of flight from reality and emphasize
the intense colors in the sign that I saw," Goldband said.
A software entrepreneur by profession, Goldband has sold a few
pieces and calls himself a "serious amateur" photographer.
He took courses in college and was mostly self taught until about
three years ago, when he started doing more serious work. He then
took courses at the Santa Cruz and Berkeley extensions.
Every few weeks, Goldband goes on a photo-shoot. "I shoot
deliberately," he said. "I decide I'm going to go out
and I take my camera. The way I shoot, I have to get in a very
deliberate, concentrated state."
-- Katharine Miller