Ellena Steiner

"Catching the Light"
second place Creative Vision

"Catching the Light" is what Ellena Steiner loves to do with her camera. She likes to capture light as it reflects on various objects.

Steiner is semiretired body worker and hypnotherapist working with cancer patients. She has indulged in photography as a hobby since 1988.

"It started when I was traveling," Steiner said. "I have a very strong interest in . . . people living in traditional lifestyles. I have done a lot of documentary photography."

When not traveling she looks for different patterns made by lights. The winning photograph was taken in the entry hall in her house.

"Every January, the sun comes in through the blinds in the window," Steiner said. "So for a couple of weeks in the mornings, the sun makes a mark on the pottery and the plants we have sitting on the window."

She photographs this scene every year, and this year her photograph, "Catching the Light," won second place in the Creative Vision category. She has participated in the Weekly's contest three times in the past.

Her first training came from a night class on black-and-white photography that she took in Palo Alto. She also has studied with Frank Espada, a San Francisco photographer with 40 years of experience.

Steiner's photographs will be shown soon at the University YWCA in Berkeley and at the Santa Cruz Art League.

-Sona Sharma