Youth Travel winner: “Amer Fort” by Sahana Singh: “‘Amer Fort’ shows the strength of women in India. They are the backbone of Indian society.”

This year’s winners were a diverse and dynamic bunch.

Well…as you probably already know, we’re big fans of photography here at The Six Fifty.

Best in Show / Natural World Winner: “Seagull Side-Eye” by Debbie Cooper: “I captured this bold crow with my Iphone 8Plus on live mode, enabling me to select the decisive moment when the seagull appears to be expressing annoyance at the crow’s approach.”

Wait…scratch that…more than just fans, we’re believers in the medium of it. And in an image-obsessed era rife with selfies, pet pics and food porn we’re happy to say that the winners of this year’s Peninsula Photo Contest really came through to embody the true merits of the craft: lighting, angle, exposure, aesthetic, vision, intention. Indeed, the quality of the submissions this year went above and beyond our expectations.

So with that said, we’re going to spare you any further picture-oriented pontification, because the winners here all already speak for themselves.


Adult Travel winner: “Waiting Patiently” by Dan Fenstermacher

“A woman looks peacefully into the abyss of the ocean in a still and contemplative glance while bathed in early evening sunlight as people around her create movement in all directions in Asilah, Morocco.”—Dan Fenstermacher

Moments winner: “Waiting” by Deborah Lord

“‘Waiting’ is a documentary-style image made by observing, setting up and waiting for the right moment during a child’s birthday party. I loved this moment because I think it is relatable to parents who have also waited and shows a sweet childhood moment of role playing ‘parent.’”—Deborah Lord

Adult Nocturnal winner: “Pristimantis Rain Frog On Leaf” by Geoffrey Brooks

“This beautiful rain frog was found on a late-night hike in the foothills of the Ecuadorian Andes. I used a heavily diffused off-camera flash with a reflector to try to highlight the rich color and texture of its skin.”—Geoffrey Brooks

Adult Portrait winner: “Nick&Nancy” by Terrance McLarnan

“This image was made from two separate ones to create this third image. I was deeply touched by the deep sadness in this child’s eyes when we met; I used the second image to heighten how our culture turns its back on sadness and the bleak internal life it creates.”—Terrance McLarnan

Abstract winner: “Hitchcock’s Fork” by Laurie Naiman

“I captured this with my iPhone while waiting for dinner at an outdoor cafe in Mountain View. It was sundown, and I was attracted by the strong shadows cast by the fork on the napkin. The monochrome and ‘noir’ rendition was created in post-processing. This evoked the title.”—Laurie Naiman

Youth Category Winners

Youth Nocturnal winner: “Oh So Shiny and Bright” by William Sawrey; Youth Natural World winner: “Preening Puffin” by Sebastian Velasquez

[left]“‘Oh So Shiny and Bright’ was taken near the summit of Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii using a long exposure and light painting to illuminate the foreground as to enhance the contrast with the overarching core of the Milky Way.”—William Sawrey

[right]“Amid the chaos of birds swimming and fishing in the water and flying back and forth, I spotted this secluded puffin in a moment of stillness, preening its feathers. I felt like I was getting a glimpse into a private moment.”— Sebastian Velasquez

Youth Portrait winner: “Hidden Portrait” by Jacqueline Irvin

“’Hidden Portrait’ was created through a double exposure of a cobblestone road and a photo of my friend. It was inspired by a project to explore the relationship between nature and portraits of people’s faces through double exposures.”—Jacqueline Irvin

Youth Moments winner: “In Passing” by Katie Chan Firtch

“This shot was taken on an iPhone SE in San Francisco from inside a store. I managed to capture it before the scene elapsed mere seconds after. To me, ‘In Passing’ is but a single frame of the ever-turning roll of film called life. From the mundane to the supernatural, from the ordinary to extraordinary, it is the acknowledgement of the small moments in life that make our world go round.”—Katie Chan Firtch

Youth Abstract winner: “Light” by Clara Montero Scheidt

“This photo was a bit of an experiment because it was simply a light on a wall — but something about the perspective of this photo is unique and makes it appear less like a light on a wall and rather a light in the middle of the sky.”—Clara Montero Scheidt

Honorable mentions

“Spectacular Crab” by Bill Frimel
“A Moment of Reflection” by Andrew Valencia Yan
Clockwise from top: “Fantastic Voyage” by Mira Zaslove; “Fox Trot” by Sebastian Velasquez; “Precious Family Time” by Melissa Brookmire; “Giant Clam” by Joel Simon.
Clockwise from top left: “Hanging Out in Havana” by Jim Colton; “Cautious Boys” by Colin Sakamoto; “Laundry Day in Japanese Village” by Nadine Levin; “Scout” by Isabella Brake; “Strength” by Sharon Kenney.
“Reflections on a Rainy Night” by Andrew Valencia Yan

The winning images, along with 20 honorable-mention images selected for the exhibition, will be on display at the Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, through June 23.

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