16th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
Third Place, Peninsula People

 

"Eyes on the Ball"
By Deven Hickingbotham

About Deven Hickingbotham


Click on photo for larger image.

Deven Hickingbotham knows how to be in the right place at the right time.

That ability, a key ingredient to good sports photography along with a knowledge of the sport, allowed Hickingbotham to capture an intense moment during a girls' varsity lacrosse game between Menlo and Stevenson Schools two years ago.

"Everything really came together," he said. "Technically, it was perfect."

From the sidelines, Hickingbotham, 50, was able to catch two opponents vying for the bright yellow ball -- all in razor-sharp focus with nothing but green field in the background.

When he's not working as a software developer, Hickingbotham photographs sports for Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, where his daughter and son are both in high school.

His work often ends up on the school's Web site or in the hands of appreciative parents.

Beginning with his own home darkroom in eighth grade, Hickingbotham took an extended break from photography when "careers and things took off."

Hickingbotham picked it up again five years ago and switched to a digital camera, focusing his lens on two very different subjects: sports and landscapes.

With sports, "there's a lot of human action. There are emotional peaks and valleys, moments of excitement."

"Any sport I can justify going to and getting field access to," Hickingbotham will be there. He particularly welcomes the challenge of capturing alpine skiing -- an endeavor that also requires being a confident, daring skier.

He has submitted art to the photo contest for the past four years and has lived in Palo Alto for the past 24. This is his second third-place award.

--Molly Tanenbaum