The bucket of yarn sat outside of a wool rug-weaving workshop in a small village near Oaxaca, Mexico.
"I turned the corner and said, 'Aha, I need to take a picture of that!' recalls Karen Peterson. Touring Mexico with a two-week photography workshop through the UC Santa Cruz Extension, Peterson was enjoying the scenery and the sights of Christmas preparations. She created her award-winning photograph using the Polaroid emulsion-transfer process, placing the image onto watercolor paper. The faint border around the image is part of the emulsion, much like the white border around old black-and-white photos.
Peterson, 45, received her first camera as a child of 8. Because her family traveled a lot and her father took pictures, she found it a "fun thing to do."
Over the years, in addition to developing her eye for subjects, she has taken on the challenge of developing and manipulating images.
"What I've lately enjoyed is the Polaroid emulsion-transfer and image transfer process," says Peterson. "After the image is developed, there's still another artistic process."
She is also learning to hand-color black-and-white photographs through the Palo Alto Adult Education program. She recently returned from a photo tour of Paris and Normandy.
Some of Peterson's favorite photographic subjects are landscapes, although she prefers simple images--doorways, windows and flower pots--for Polaroid transfers. Previous entries in the manipulated-image category, such as a bicycle and clay pots, have earned her a place in the Weekly contest's annual exhibition. This is her first award in the competition.
Peterson is activities coordinator for Avenidas' Senior Day Health Center in Palo Alto. In her spare time, when not shooting photos, she sews and makes crafts.