For the past several years, Liz Pounders has been fascinated by the little boathouse she would see on her daily commute from her home in Half Moon Bay to her job in Palo Alto.
"On a sunny day it looks one way, on a foggy day, another way. I finally decided to capture the moment," she recalled.
The photo she took, a peaceful shot showing the run-down boathouse in the Crystal Springs Reservoir, was a stunner. "A Commuter's Glimpse" earned her second place in the Peninsula Images category.
The photo represents a milestone for Pounders, a 33-year-old marketing coordinator for a Palo Alto law firm. It was the first one she took with all the settings on her camera adjusted manually. Previously, Pounders relied on the automatic settings or used point-and-shoot cameras that required no adjustments. The photo was also the first that Pounders had ever entered in a contest, and she only did so at her mom's encouragement.
Pounders has loved photography as long as she can remember. She is always the one friends count on to take snapshots at social gatherings. But she only began to study photography seriously when her husband bought her a good camera for her 30th birthday.
Though people were always her favorite photo subject, she lately has grown fond of shooting still life. "All my pictures were of people, but when you shoot still life, it leaves something open to the imagination," she said.
She also has long been interested in sports photography, "You have to be quick and accurate, and I think that would be a great skill to know," she said.
Pounders has invested more time in photography lately. She loves all types of outdoor activities, but because she is expecting her first child in September, she has had to cut back on the eight-mile power hikes and other active pursuits she usually enjoys. "Photography is something I can do and still be outdoors," she said.
What does Pounders love most about photography?
"I go through the boxes of photos and recapture those memories I have. That's how I record my life. Some people keep journals; this is my journal keeping."