Norma Lynn Fox

"Tents I"
first place Peninsula Images

While her friends were still fast asleep in their tents at a campsite in Half Moon Bay last summer, Norma Lynn Fox decided to take a look around. In her hand, as always, was her trusty Leica 35 mm.

A little after 6 a.m., she spotted the shot she wanted: a fascinating view of the campground decked out in family gear. Next to the tents, just as at home, are strollers and bikes and all sorts of other kid stuff. The picture Fox came away with, "Tents I," won first place in the Peninsula Images Category.

Fox said being at the right place that weekend morning was no accident. She says spontaneity is one of the great advantages of working with 35 mm film, because "you have the freedom to just take the camera and go. You don't need a lot of bulky equipment."

Fox has had an interest in photography since the 1970s, when she took a class at Goucher College in Maryland. Fox, 43, prefers street shots and unposed photos, having turned to landscapes only recently. She enjoys developing her photographs in a darkroom at home.

Fox, who has a Ph.D. in physiology from Cambridge University in England and a master's degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, works as a clinical scientist at Genentech in South San Francisco.

She devoted an entire printing workshop to perfecting "Tents I," an uncropped and unmanipulated image whose clarity Fox attributes partly to her preferred equipment--German-made Leica lens and enlarger.

Fox entered this photography contest, her first other than in-house competitions she has entered at Genentech, to fulfill a New Year's resolution.

"I've been photographing actively for the past six years," she said. "This year, I made a resolution to take photography more seriously."

--Ingrida Berzins