David Hibbard is not new to the Palo Alto Weekly photo contest. A resident of Menlo Park for 18 years and a technical writer, he has won four times in the past.
"It's sort of becoming a habit of getting the awards, but it's still exciting," Hibbard said. "It will enable me to buy the new tripod that I have been wanting to buy."
Hibbard earned an honorable mention last year. In the Color category, which no longer exists, he placed third in 1995, first in 1994 and second in 1993.
Photography has been a passion for Hibbard since he was 16. He is mostly self-trained, picking up tips and techniques by looking at the work of other good photographers.
He enjoys shooting landscapes and working with nature, all in color. He photographs most of his subjects at close range and also shoots still-life photos, mostly of flower forms. At times his pictures turn out to be quite abstract.
"Rockscape with Corrallina, San Mateo Coast," which earned him second place in the Peninsula Nature category, was taken at Pebble Beach, just south of Pescadero. The fact that many famous photographers, such as Brett Weston and Wynn Bullock, also have worked here gives Hibbard the inspiration to follow their footsteps.
"The winning photograph was a lucky accident," he said. "I loved the rock because it had such beautiful slate blue colors and patterns on it. Feeling that something was still lacking, I placed an algae, lying a few feet away, into the picture."
Although, the composition of the photograph was not planned, it turned out better than ever and won him a second place in the Peninsula Nature category.
Lately, Hibbard has been taking photography very seriously. He never tires of it and has now reached the stage where he is ready to work part-time to concentrate on photography.
"What I hope to achieve in a picture is that people would like to put it up on their walls," he said. "That is my criterion of my success."