Auralee Dallas

"Boardwalk"
Third place Peninsula Images

Auralee Dallas played a few photographic tricks taking the picture that ultimately captured one of the Weekly's awards.

By using infrared film and a selenium toner, Dallas created a mysterious and old-fashioned look in "Boardwalk," which was shot at the Palo Alto Baylands. The film causes the sky to appear dark, accentuating the clouds, and the foliage to show up white. The selenium bath gives the picture a purplish cast, changing the tint of the blacks.

Despite the skill with which she uses such techniques, Dallas claims she is not overly focused on the technical aspects.

"I know just enough technical information to accomplish what I want," she says.

She was torn, however, on what to call the picture. She originally titled it "Journey" because the image, with its pathway stretching into the distance, seems to communicate the idea of valuing experience over outcome.

Or, as Dallas puts it: "You don't really know what's at the end, so you'd better enjoy the trip."

Finally, however, she settled on the more conventional name.

Dallas, 56, has worked for the past 15 years as a computer graphics artist for a Menlo Park management consulting firm. Her specialty is presentation support and other business graphics. She likes what she does. "There is a lot of creativity involved," she says.

It is in Dallas' photography, however, that her artistic side is given free rein. She works with landscapes, still lifes and portraits, hand-coloring many of her black-and-white shots with photographic oils to further manipulate images. She has taken numerous weekend workshops and classes to learn the various techniques she employs in her art.

With all the time she spends either on the job or honing her skills as a photographer, Dallas finds few spare moments for other pursuits.

"If I'm not printing, painting or photographing, then I'm cleaning, shopping or working," she laughs.

--Kate Manning


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