Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - June 4, 2010

Peninsula Images (Youth)

Judge's comments

Turning their cameras on a bicycle, Palo Alto High School and a piece of modern sculpture, Jacqueline Friduss, Catherine Rockhold and Claire Mahany each found a way to see anew often-photographed subject matter. Friduss' love for the natural world shows through in her Palo Alto Baylands image, while Rockhold presents a surreal view of the familiar Paly campus. Mahany's image of a baby playing near the base of an abstract sculpture juxtaposes the coldness of the artwork with the human element.

First place

Bicycle at the Baylands

Jacqueline Friduss

Like most high school students, Jacqueline Friduss has a lot going on.

A junior at Palo Alto High School, her busy schedule is filled with ceramics classes, tennis matches, and now, a photo shoot or two.

Friduss' love for photography began many years ago, when she got her first camera in the fifth-grade. More recently, she took a week-long photo class the summer before her freshman year, which is when her interest in photography developed. However, it's when she's outside of the classroom that she really feels in her element.

"The excitement when you see something that really catches your eye is what draws me to photography," she says, thinking back to one evening when she was biking home on an overpass and paused briefly to catch a few photos of the sun setting on the horizon. "I think it's instinctual, that feeling you get, like, 'Wow this is really cool.'"

"Bicycle at the Baylands" was taken on a class trip to the marsh, where she found that this landscape is, to her, the essence of Palo Alto. She was able to capture an image composed of shadows and contrast that shows the depth of the natural environment in the Bay Area, which she considers among her favorite subjects to photograph.

Her eye for photography also extends beyond what she sees through the viewfinder. In fact, many of her favorite pieces were discovered after photo was snapped.

"A lot of the time I end up taking a picture and then cropping out a lot of it," she says. And while sitting at a computer for hours on end editing a photo may not be the most exciting part, it is just as important as the actual taking of the picture, Jacqueline said.

Recently, she has found more time to sit down and work on her creative writing skills, which have inspired her to think of a career that blends together her passion for art and the humanities.

"My dream is to be a screenwriter. But if I ever write a book, I may include my photos in the book instead of illustrations. To me, that'd be a really fun project.

"I've never really thought of a career as a photographer. This is the first time I've ever submitted to a contest, and then I won!" she said with a laugh. "I've never really thought of my photos as ones people would want to look at."

Second place

Palo Alto Senior High School

Catherine Rockhold

Third place

Baby & Statue

Claire Mahany

Honorable mention

Turn My Whole Life Upside Down

Hannah Abbott

—Siena Witte

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