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May 26, 2004

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Peninsula Images Peninsula Images (May 26, 2004)

Rick Stultz Yerba Buena Center First Place

"I don't really know," said Rick Stultz, when asked when his interest in photography began.

"It's hard to say," he added, when describing what inspires his images.

His photograph of the Yerba Buena Center has a similarly ambiguous quality. Like Edward Hopper, whose paintings Stultz is currently interested in, it is often the missing information that is most moving.

"I've worked at creating photographs that have the same feelings that [Hopper's] art evokes," Stultz said.

Besides being an architectural photographer for commercial real estate companies, architects and builders, he works in investment real estate. Stultz moved to Palo Alto from Illinois 30 years ago to receive a business degree from Stanford University.

"I thought about what is it that I am interested in. What am I trying to do, to show in a photograph I take," he said. "And it's really difficult to express it in words. I don't know that it's really possible. I think the photographs really speak for themselves." -- Colleen Corcoran
Steven Shpall Day Pass :Second Place

For the second year in a row, Steven Shpall has placed in the Peninsula Images category -- this time with what may be the most poetic portrayal of a Caltrain ticket to date, "Day Pass."

Heading home on the train, the wandering eye of a bored Shpall was drawn to the oftentimes overlooked colors of a Caltrain ticket. He took it home with him to play with later.

Deciding that the most fitting location for the ticket was the tracks themselves, he photographed it at the Churchill Station one weekend.

Fifty-one-year-old Shpall has lived in Palo Alto for 17 years with his wife, Kay, and their two children.

"I'll stop and look at something and my kids will go, 'Oh great he's thinking about pictures again,'" Shpall said. -- Colleen Corcoran
Anne MacKenzie Ice Skating at Embarcadero -- S.F. Third Place

"I: often try to find images through the photographic medium that I haven't seen before or at least not in the same way," said Anne MacKenzie.

In a quest to capture holiday lights, she came across the rainbow colors of Embarcadero's skating rink just as it was being cleared of people for sweeping, flooding and freezing. She photographed the skaters from a nearby second-story balcony.

Light is a source of continual fascination for MacKenzie.

"The photographers who excite me most, I think, are those who consider that the photograph is a way of capturing light," she said.

A retired art teacher and graphic designer, MacKenzie's interest in photography began about four years ago when she used a digital camera to create digital oil paintings.

She soon joined the Palo Alto Camera Club and became interested in the photograph as an end in itself, but maintains a painter's appreciation for fantasy.

"The photographs I find most memorable may not be entirely factual but leave some space for the viewer's imagination and contemplation," MacKenzie claimed. -- Colleen Corcoran
Gil Davis Anne's Poppies Pop Honorable Mention

A bicycle vacation through the Canadian Rockies in the 1970s inspired Gil Davis to pick up a camera.

"The scenery was just so gorgeous I wanted to take a picture of it and remember it," he said.

Davis,63, has been photographing nature ever since. He uses a digital Canon Rebel and a macro lens. Besides being a photographer, Davis is an investigative reporter and Macintosh computer consultant.

For inspiration, he turns to Mark Hatasaka, author of "Digital Nature Photography," and to local photographer, David Hibbard.

"Well, a lot of people have done flower photography. Your challenge is to take a photograph of a flower in a way that nobody has done before," was Hibbard's advice to Davis.

"It really spurred me to do something different to capture the texture and the color and the fragility of an Iceland poppy," Davis said. "I just try to capture the beauty of nature." -- Colleen Corcoran

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