Jeffrey Walker

"Oasis, Namib Desert, Namibia"
first place Views from Beyond the Peninsula

Jeffrey Walker is a doctor, a pediatrician by trade. But he doesn't let his profession dominate his life. Equally important to Walker is photography.

While on a 3 1/2-month trip last year in Africa, he snapped off a landscape shot that he calls "Oasis, Namib Desert, Namibia." A striking mix of color and light, it was awarded first place in the Views beyond the Peninsula category.

Walker's appreciation for photography mixes well with another of his passions: travel.

"Whenever I went somewhere, I liked to take photos," said Walker, a Palo Alto resident for six years. He has been interested in photography since he attended college, when his love of backpacking and hiking took him to worlds he'd capture through the camera lens.

For the past three years, Walker has practiced as a pediatrician only part-time, allowing himself more hours to devote to photography. In addition to his medical degree, Walker has a doctorate in biophysics.

As for his winning photo, Walker said it just happened by chance. "I was kind of walking around looking and it was there," he said.

Walker is particularly interested in color and patterns when he takes his photos. "I like to take a whole lot of different kinds of photos," he said. "It's knowing when to be there and waiting for the light to be right."

"Oasis, Namib Desert, Namibia" is all original colors, right down to the misty browns and oranges that seem anything but possible.

"It was a combination; there was a fascinating red color," he said. "It was the morning light as well as fog diffusing that morning light."

Just before the Weekly's contest, Walker had 26 of his photos, both color and black and white, displayed at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts.

--Jennifer Cole