Photo Contest 2011 | Palo Alto Online |

20th Annual
Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
First Place, Bay Area Images


"Lily Above the Coast"
By Dan West

Click on photo for larger image.

About Dan West

"It's a trippy place for a photo," Dan West said of the location for his prize-winning picture. "But it was pretty hard to get to. You have to follow a narrow trail along the cliff side and, well, let's just say it was an adrenaline rush getting there."

But that's just the way he works, said West, who does both nude and landscape photography under different names.

"Typically, I'll just go out 'into the wild' and find locations that I find interesting."

Shot above Rodeo Beach in the Marin Highlands north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the black-and-white image captures a model named Lily in a battered-down bunker.

"There was a small, formerly windowed area near the back that was a bit difficult to get to and it looked like there had once been some sort of gun or turret placed there," West said. He imagines it might have once been used to target ships during the war.

"There was such a great view; you can see the whole ocean from up there."
"I've worked with Lily on about eight or nine other shoots. I'm so bad at titles, which is why this one is 'Lily Above the Coast' -- pretty self explanatory," he said. "When I found out I'd won, I just hoped the title I'd sent in with it was something I'd be happy with."

Though he has been photographing for more than 30 years, he keeps the activity strictly as a hobby.

"I thought at one point I wanted to be a photojournalist but that never happened," he laughed. Instead, he went to engineering school, and currently works for Stanford University.

"I think that if I had to do photography for a living, it would probably take some of the fun out of it."

--Kareem Yasin

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