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May 26, 2004

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Views Beyond the Peninsula Views Beyond the Peninsula (May 26, 2004)

Steven Shpall Not to be Forgotten First Place

If his wife, Kay, hadn't convinced him to buy a digital camera a few years ago, Shpall's experience as a photographer may have been limited to a brief foray into the field of high school yearbook photography.

Where he used to derive enjoyment from looking at images, Shpall now creates them.

Photographs are artifacts of a sort and, in "Not to be Forgotten," Shpall has turned his eye toward artifacts of a more obvious nature.

The image was captured at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. It is of an exhibit featuring objects left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial -- in this case, mostly dog tags.

"It has a lot of meaning to a lot of people who are visiting the wall," Shpall said. -- Colleen Corcoran
Brad Evans Gucci Dreams Second Place

Brad Evans was walking down New York's Madison Avenue when he spotted a woman cradling a child in front of Gucci's window mannequin. Wordlessly, he immortalized the scene.

According to Evans, the photograph is not meant to convey a social message.

"I just thought it was a nice contrast," he said. Though he does not know the relation of the woman to the child, he said that adds to the photo's intrigue. "She could be a grandmother, a nanny, a mother. There's a lot of speculation."

Evans, 51 anda lifelong Bay Area resident, got interested in photography more than two years ago while looking through a book of street photographer Garry Winogrand's work. Now, he takes thousands of pictures and considers himself an urban photographer. "I love seeing people," he said. "It's a real release." A systems engineer at Texas Instruments by day, Evans finds photography different from engineering. "It's more of a chance to deal with things that are aesthetic, it's more creative." --Avital Binschtock
Kevin Hipp Knapp's Castle Third Place

Kevin Hipp took this picture on the hills above Santa Barbara, overlooking the Santa Ynez Valley. He loves photographing architectural ruins and had heard about this spot from a friend.

The legend of Knapp's Castle says that early-1900's actor George Knapp wanted to build himself a castle in the hills, but after two forest fires destroyed his plans, he decided the place was cursed and left it to deteriorate.

When Hipp, who has been a photographer for seven of his 21 years, got there, "the lighting was just right," he said. He chose black-and-white film because of the different shades of gray in the clouds and the texture of the ruins.

Hipp, who grew up in Palo Alto and now attends the Berkeley Institute of Photography, has photographed ruins as far away as China. He likes taking pictures of falling-apart places because they illustrate how people used to live and how times have changed.

"I'm not a good painter and I'm not a good writer," Hipp said, "but I like being able to capture something I see beauty in and hopefully help others see the same thing." -- Avital Binshtock

Jordy Mont-Reynaud London Street, 2001 Honorable Mention

On a trip to London in Summer 2001, Stanford senior Jordy Mont-Reynaud was fascinated by the city's cultural diversity. As he sat having lunch, Mont-Reynaud, 20, noticed the window across the street presenting past idols of the West.

I was struck by this huge mix of cultures," Mont-Reynaud said of his trip. "And this really represented the feeling I got of London." Mont-Reynaud knew he wanted to photograph the window, but waited for the perfect subject to enter his frame. When the Middle-Eastern man crossed in front of the window, Mont-Reynaud raised his 35 mm for the shot. He chose to enter this particular photo due to its emotional impact. "It just stood out. It really captured how I felt about this situation," Mont-Reynaud said, referring to his experience in London's melting-pot. Mont-Reynaud, who was born and raised in Palo Alto, is a Symbolic Systems major at Stanford. His interest in photography developed toward the end of high school and he is currently involved in an independent photo project documenting artists of the French modern circus. -- Jaime Marconette
Hazel Rand Woman & Boy Walking Honorable Mention

While in Merida, Yucatan in January, Hazel Rand, "70 years old and counting," explored the older part of town. Walking through the run-down streets, she came across the wall pictured. She had no intention of photographing people. However, a woman and child crossed into her scope as soon as she had triggered the shutter.

"I noticed a woman and thought it might be interesting to have people in the photo," Rand said, "so I took another picture."

As soon as Rand had a hard-copy of the picture, she noticed that a little boy was in the picture as well, peeking out from behind his mother. The power of the photograph lies in the juxtaposition between mother and child.

"She's in her own world doing whatever and going wherever she has to go," Rand said. However, the child's curiosity is evident.

Rand is a retired administrative assistant from Stanford who has been living in Palo Alto since 1963. -- Jaime Marconette

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