The Year in Photos

Yesterday's news, timeless images
A look back at 2003 in photos

How do you sum up year in 15 photographs? In a year dominated by budget battles and bookended by teen tragedy, it's no easy task.

The year lurched out of the starting gate with the hit-and-run death of 6-year-old Amy Malzbender by Paly senior Megan Coughran. The afterimage is indelible: a sea of candle-bearing children at a nighttime vigil for their fallen friend -- some seeking consolation, others searching for meaning.

The year was full of drama from the school district's battle against budget cuts to the City Council's inability to get along. The Weekly's photographer illustrated the latter situation by turning her camera away from sniping council members and toward City Manager Frank Benest.

But the best photos don't always correspond to the biggest headlines -- the awkward feet of a young couple at a middle school dance; a family caring for its sick child; a milkman on his delivery route; a late-night deejay's dog lounging in the radio station control room, and statuesque windsurfers toting their sailboards to bay waters -- these images illuminate the spectacular in the mundane.

The Weekly's photographers shot 2,872 photos for the paper this year. Actually, they shot far more than that, -- these are the ones they turned in to the editors. Flipping through the pages of 2003, the best 100 images surfaced quickly. Editing those down to 25 took an afternoon of anguish and several cups of coffee. Halving that again was just cruel. So, the answer to the question is this: you don't sum up a year in 15 photographs, you just try to pick the best ones.

-- Allen Clapp


Palo Alto Online
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