10th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
Second Place, Peninsula Images
"Main Building Column"
By Ceara O'Leary
"I take pictures of real things but then I get to manipulate them," budding photographer Ceara O'Leary said.
O'Leary didn't use computer effects or darkroom tricks to alter "Main Building Column." She instead chose her frame and stood at a low eye level to highlight the contrast between light and dark. Using that technique, O'Leary brought out the essence of the building, which she described as "distinguished and dignified."
The column is located at the entrance to the main building at Atherton's Sacred Heart Preparatory, where O'Leary is a junior.
She took the picture for a photography class taught by O'Leary's aunt, Peggy O'Leary. She told her niece, and the class, to take a creative picture of the campus.
Creativity is something O'Leary has in spades. Many of her photos have been published in the student newspaper, and "Main Building Column" was printed in the school's newsletter. "Art has always been around me," O'Leary said, noting that both of her parents have artistic inclinations.
O'Leary, who is beginning the college application process this year, is interested in architecture as a possible career path, but will pursue a liberal undergraduate education.
Sacred Heart, true to its name, is providing a good preparation for her future. "It's a really good education and really challenging," O'Leary said. "I get a lot out of it, as long as I put a lot into it."
-- Bill D'Agostino