Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - June 3, 2011

Bay Area Images (youth)

Judge's comments

In photographing the Bay Area, this year's winners all brought fresh eyes to familiar scenes. Jeffrey Lu finds an interesting elevated vantage point from which to capture the blurred rush of a MUNI train and the stillness of a solitary waiting passenger. Artificial light sources combine to shift the colors in the photograph and give the scene an eerie glow. In her photograph "Reach," Petra Carlos-Arzate captures one of those authentic moments on the street so worthy of photographing but that can be so difficult to catch. It's impossible not to smile at the sight of one boy lifting up another to reach what lies inside of these books. Caroline Ebinger encourages us to stop and contemplate a quieter subject and to be inspired by the simple beauty of color and texture in perfect light.

First place

Just Keep Waiting

Jeffrey Lu

Sometimes, looking back can be just as valuable as looking forward, as little moments can go unnoticed.

For Jeffrey Lu, it was in looking back that he was able to capture an image filled with both tranquility and movement. Lu, a junior at Palo Alto High School, was leaving the MUNI train at the Van Ness stop in San Francisco when he saw a man sitting alone.

Lu waited on the ledge overlooking the man and managed to get a shot of the still man and the hazy, fast silhouette of the zooming train.

"I waited for the train to move," he said. "I thought the contrasts of dark and white, and the moving train and the waiting man, were interesting,"

A Boy Scout leader introduced Lu to photography in the sixth grade. He and his troop took a trip to Washington, D.C., and one evening they went out to photograph the monuments.

"My Scout leader showed me the workings of a camera," Lu said, adding that he's preferred to shoot on his own "ever since I've learned."

Lu is a journalist for the Paly Voice and occasionally shoots photos to go along with stories, but he said he also relishes the experience of taking photos independently, when the spirit strikes him.

"I shoot for fun because I get more freedom to take what I want," he said.

Lu explained the importance of photography in the midst of the rush of life.

"Photography allows us to see things in a different light where we can pause and reflect on a moment of our lives," he said. "It's very powerful and valuable."

Second place

Reach

Petra Carlos-Arzate

Third place

Untitled

Caroline Ebinger

Honorable mention

Through the Car Window

Julia Vais

The American Dream

Lauren Wong

— Joann So

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