Photo Contest 2012

21st Annual
Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
1st Place, Bay Area Images
Youth 17 and Under


By Tim Aiken

About Tim Aiken

Click on photo for larger image.

While he's been to about 45 countries, Gunn High School senior Tim Aiken has a resolution to photograph more often when he's close to home. His atmospheric photo "Abandoned" is a good start.

In between grand voyages overseas, the family likes to go on backpacking and hiking trips throughout the Bay Area. Aiken took this picture on one such journey, to Point Reyes (as one might expect from the name painted on the boat). This large, abandoned fishing boat is a common point of interest in the area, rusting quietly just off the road, its white paint peeling and darkening.

One day, as the family was driving back from a day hike in the Point Reyes National Seashore area, Aiken spotted the perfect sunset. Swiftly, he asked to be dropped off. "I was facing east, so the clouds were lighting up at me. The ridge behind me blocked the light on the boat, so I got a nice diffused light on the boat but red light on the far distant hills," he said. "It was a nice moment."

Aiken, the son of two Stanford University computer-science professors, said he's interested in becoming an engineer. He imagines that photography will remain just a hobby but a serious and rewarding one. When asked whether his parents have to suddenly stop the car a lot for him to take a photo, he laughed and admitted that they do. But as he continues to improve over time, he said, "I'm learning to see a photo before I look through the viewfinder. ... I've actually managed to cut back on the number of stops."

-- Rebecca Wallace


Judge's Comment

The youth category of Bay Area Images also featured many strong choices for the judges to choose from this year. We felt Tim Aiken's "Abandoned" was a lovely photo with wonderful tones and composition. The worn-out rusting ship lies buried in the sand against a pink-hued landscape during sunset, becoming a poetic sacrifice to the elements of sand and water.

-- Veronica Weber

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