12th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
Honorable Mention, Manipulated Images


"Zeke Pin"
By Steven Shpall

About Steven Shpall

Sometimes being a pin-head has its benefits. Just ask Palo Alto resident Steven Shpall, who combined his surging interest in photography with his son's affection for bowling to create the unique image, "Zeke Pin," an honorable mention in the Manipulated Images category of this year's photo contest. (Shpall also received second place in the Peninsula People category and third place in the Peninsula Images category.)

Click on photo for larger image.

"My son loves to bowl, so I thought it was natural that he should be a pin," Shpall said.

The 50-year-old dermatologist grew up in Denver, Colo., before moving to Palo Alto with his wife in 1983. He studied and pursued photography during high school, but his fervor lay dormant until only a year ago. Shpall said the visual nature of his profession has helped him grow as a photographer.

Despite Shpall's renewed talent behind the lens and busy skin-care schedule, he still finds time to go bowling with his 16-year-old son, Zeke. The duo frequently find themselves eyeing the lanes of Palo Alto Bowl on El Camino Real, where "Zeke Pin" was photographed before being manipulated on Shpall's computer at home.

"We bowl together, but he's a much better bowler than I am," Shpall said. "He usually wins."

Most of Shpall's other photographic works are not manipulated images, and he plans to continue photography as long as possible. Although initially he wondered if Zeke would like the outcome of his project, which placed Zeke's head (complete with varied and entertaining facial expressions) atop 10 bowling pins, Shpall was quickly assuaged.

"He really liked it a lot," Shpall said. "He even had it as the screensaver on his computer for a while."

Shpall doesn't expect to strike it rich with photography, but he does enjoy doing it in his spare time.

-- Tyler Hanley

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