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May 26, 2004

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Manipulated Images Manipulated Images (May 26, 2004)

Adrien Fehr Resigned First Place

Adrian Fehr, 24, had never been to the Stanford Pow Wow before, but found himself sitting on a straw mat at dusk, captivated by the dancing. An insight gained that evening lead to the creation of his first-place portrait.

"There was a lot of energy," Fehr said. "But at the same time, some people were part of the culture but not part of the event."

Fehr saw that some people did not feel the same energy, but instead seemed withdrawn and reflective. His subject illustrated these feelings throughout the entire night.

"He was one of the best dressed, but always seemed pensive," Fehr said.

After taking the photograph, Fehr felt there was too much distraction around his subject. Using a dry brush filter in Photoshop, he manipulated the image to tighten the focus.

Fehr, a graduate student of Applied Physics at Stanford, has lived in Palo Alto for 3 years. -- Jaime Marconette
Bill Blankenburg Caribbean Cubism Second Place

Bill Blankenburg, 72, knew his chosen concept while on the Caribbean cruise in January. Based on David Hockney's works of applied cubism, Blankenburg reassembled seven different photographs to create the work.

"I had been breaking pictures down into multiple photos," said Blankenburg, who had previously experimented with Hockney's style. Blankenburg then reassembled the pieces.

He took approximately two dozen digital photos from the deck of the ship. By photographing the same area at different times of day, he gathered the various aspects of the setting. Once he had hard copies, Blankenburg reassembled the pictures and used Photoshop to manipulate the work.

"It's not quite a collage, but not quite anything else either," Blankenburg said. Blankenburg is a retired professor of journalism from the University of Wisconsin. -- Jaime Marconette
Deven Hickingbotham Josh Lay Pitching Third Place

The fluid motion of an athlete is an art form in numerous ways. Deven Hickingbotham, 47, illustrates transformation in time through his photograph of a baseball pitcher taken in May 2003 at noon.

"It would make a good action sequence," Hickingbotham said of his inspiration. "It's a continuous, smooth action."

Hickingbotham was able to capture this movement with his Nikon F100 camera. After taking the photos, he scanned them and used Photoshop to create the overlay.

He wanted to show the entire motion a pitcher goes through upon his delivery. In the end, he noticed a second aspect of the photograph that he had not intended.

"I liked the way, when I ended, how the feet interacted," said Hickingbotham. "It was like they were dancing." Hickingbotham, a software developer, is a 20-year resident of Palo Alto. -- Jaime Marconette
Dave Edwards Untitled :Honorable Mention

Over the past 6 months, Dave Edwards, 57, has explored digital photography more seriously than ever. He enjoys experimentation and saw the gas station as a good subject.

"I was struck by the lighting and colors in the early evening," Edwards said.

Shortly after sunset, Edwards set up his tri-pod at an elevation of nearly 30 feet above the station. He took 3 digital photos and then blended them using Photoshop, reducing each picture to about one-third strength.

Edwards has experimented with different subjects, however, the gas station gave him the chance to blend people.

"It's an interesting effect," Edwards said, "where you see a ghost image of the people who have been there." Edwards has been in Mountain View for 23 years and owns a printing business in Los Altos. He has recently started an architectural and real estate photography company. -- Jaime Marconette
Steven Shpall Good Old Eggs Honorable Mention

Over President's Weekend in February, Steven Shpall, 51, attended a family reunion in San Diego. Interesting ideas often come from family gatherings, and a carton of eggheads is no exception.

"I was trying to do a family portrait," Shpall said, "and I wanted to do something different."

Shpall had previously played with the concept and thought it would work well with his family. He first gathered family photos from past events. Using Photoshop, he masked selected facial features to reduce the images. Next, he laid the portraits over the eggs in the carton. The entire process had little effect on the ability to recognize each family member.

"Even with a few features, you could still identify who it was," said Shpall, who is a past Weekly Photo Contest winner.

Shpall, a dermatologist, has lived in Palo Alto for 17 years and constantly takes photos. Who knows what he'll have for next year's contest. -- Jaime Marconette

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