10th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
Third Place, Peninsula Images

"Peninsula Poppies: A Closer Look"
By Hazel Rand

About Hazel Rand

Capturing "Peninsula Poppies: A Closer Look" required a delicate balancing act. The wildflowers photographer Hazel Rand got up close and personal with were perched on a road side bank in San Gregorio.

Click on photo for larger image.

"It was precarious," Rand remembered. "I went tail up and nose down."

When Rand pulled off the side of the road and began gazing at the flora, she was searching for a nice composition, but had nothing else in mind.

"I didn't have a preconceived idea of what I wanted to take," she said.

Seeing the finished product, she was immediately drawn to the image. "I liked the abstract forms ... and the different shades of oranges and yellows."

Rand took her first photography class over 20 years ago at the now defunct Women's Resource Center in Palo Alto. Back then, she said, photography was dominated by males. "The camera was a machine that women didn't understand, of course," she said with a wink in her voice.

Rand, who is retired, belonged to a Sierra Club camera group before it folded a few years ago. Now she's looking for another crowd of "wet bellied photographers" to accompany her on nature treks.
"You never know who you're going to encounter wandering alone in isolated places," she said.
For a change of pace, she also enjoys architectural photography. That way, "the subject doesn't blow around in the wind."

-- Bill D'Agostino

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