16th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
Second Place, Peninsula Images


"In the Museum Courtyard"
By Laurie Naiman

About Laurie Naiman

Click on photo for larger image.

Lawrence (Laurie) Naiman's photographs have won numerous Weekly contest awards: in 1996, 2002, 2003 and 2005. This year's second-place winner came about during a visit to the new deYoung Museum in San Francisco.

"I was very impressed with the architecture. I was particularly interested in a stone installation in the courtyard by Andy Goldsworthy -- an acclaimed artist and sculptor. I decided the best place to appreciate it was from a second-floor viewing balcony. While there with my camera, I noticed some interesting visual interplay between people in the courtyard and the geometry of the area. I took a number of photos, and this one appealed to me most -- the geometry and the people facing away from each other like a scene of alienation in an Ingmar Bergman film," he said.

Naiman looks for interesting composition or juxtaposition of people and their environment.

"A bit of humor or irony -- something unusual," he said. "I love taking photographs of people in environments like this, hoping that with patience I'll catch the right moment where they and their background fit perfectly, like a key in a lock."

A retired pediatric hematologist, Naiman, 74, has been photographing for 60 years. He is a self-taught, he said. Photography offers an interesting and satisfying way to capture and share scenes and subjects that surround him, he said, "especially those that appear ordinary but offer a challenge or a chuckle," he said.

Naiman captures his digital images in color, but when he examines them on the computer screen he decides whether they'd look best in color or black and white.

"If color is less important (or distracting) to line and form, I'll convert the image to black and white," he said.

--Sue Dremann

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