10th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
Second Place, Peninsula People

"Rachel on a Cold Day"
By Richard Phillips

About Richard Phillips

When Richard Philips saw his daughter, Rachel, in a certain pose, he couldn't resist.

Click on photo for larger image.

"I got up one morning and she was sitting in an easy chair in her room, not awake yet. She was cold and she was wrapped up in a blanket. The light was coming in from the window and I said, 'Don't move.' I went and I got my camera."

Phillips just hoped that the shot would be in focus. "I had to hand-hold the shot -- it had quite a low shutter speed, maybe 1/15 or 1/8 of a second," he said. "I congratulated myself that it came out."

Phillips, a career counselor by day, only photographs a couple of times a month with his manual Nikon FM. "I work pretty regularly, but it really goes in cycles," he said. He's been into photography since he was 14, and is mostly self taught. "I've taken a couple of classes and I used to have a black and white darkroom in the old days."

What he liked about the photo was its ambience. "I just liked the mood of it, it is a very nice mood. What it represented to me was really a person who is contemplating. Their eyes are open but they're really not seeing. They're thinking about something else.

His daughter liked it too. Out of the stack of photos that Philips considered entering, Rachel told her father, "Do that one."

-- Elizabeth Khuri

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