2017 Monthly Theme Winners

2017 Winners of the LBNL Photo Club's Monthly Theme Contest

Each month, the Lab’s Photo Club selects a theme for its members to capture in images. Members are then invited to submit two photos, and all members can vote in the selection of the top four photographs that best embody the theme. Below are the winning photographs from 2017 organized by month. For more information on the Photo Club, contact John N. Christensen (EESA) jnchristensen@lbl.gov.

December 2017 "Anything Holiday"

Everyone is a winner, the contributors were: Karen Lingua (Off. Chief Financ. Off.); Haris Mahic (ALS); Karen Salvini (Lab. Direct.); Lena Trotochaud (Chem. Sci. Div.); John Christensen (EESA); Stephanie Daglia (CFPOR); Julie Kang (JGI); and Sayan Gupta (MB&IB).

Holiday Essentials

Karen Lingua

Shadow Holiday

Karen Lingua

Decorated 4th Street

Haris Mahic


Karen Salvini

Holiday Ride

Karen Salvini

Shanghai Christmas Spirit

Lena Trotochaud


Lena Trotochaud


John Christensen

Second Night

John Christensen

Through the Looking Glass

Stephanie Daglia


Stephanie Daglia

Sonoma Strong

Julie Kang

Holiday Lights I

Sayan Gupta

Holiday Lights II

Sayan Gupta

November 2017 "Abstract"

The top four in votes are: 1st- Christina Patricola (CECS); in 2nd- Stephen Czarnecki (BUBT); tied for 3rd- John Christensen (GOGC) and Tim Kneafsey (GOGC); tied for 4th- Christina Patricola (CECS), Janie Page (ETA) and Doug Lockhart.

Trace Rainfall

Evidence of trace rainfall in the dried mud of Death Valley

Christina Patricola

Harbor Water

An unknown mixture of chemicals in a harbor resembles an abstract drip painting. Wouldn't want to go swimming there.

Stephen Czarnecki


A large, well weathered log of a fallen tree on Mt. Tamalpais.

John Christensen

Mine Tailings

This photo was taken from the air of mine tailings at Kennecot's Bingham Canyon Open Pit Copper Mine outside of Salt Lake City. A truly amazing amount of earth being moved.

Tim Kneafsey

"Ithaca is Gorges"

Waves in Ithaca's Six Mile Creek Gorge

Christina Patricola


Bike tunnel meets parking garage. Who knew?

Janie Page


These are steps on the Steep Ravine Trail at Mt. Tamalpais State Park. Even on a sunny day it is dark enough on that trail to use a long exposure while panning the camera to stretch the lines. The long exposure partially accounts for the vibrant colors.

Doug Lockhart

October 2017 "Close to Home"

The top four in votes are: 1st- Karen Lingua (Off. Chief Financ. Off.) and Doug Lockhart; in 2nd- John Christensen (EESA); tied for 3rd- Christina Patricola (CECS); tied for 4th- Janie Page (ETA) and Doug Lockhart.

September 22

Since moving in July, I have been taking walks to explore my new neighborhood. I've noticed just about every house has a maple tree. On the first day of Autumn it seemed like every maple leaf turned at the same time.

Karen Lingua

American Lady Butterfly

As in all wildlife photography its best to wait until critters come to you. I sat down in my back yard next to a patch of Seaside Daisies and waited, not long, for this American Lady butterfly to land and drink nectar. They turn a full circle on each flower so I initially focused manually on its hind end; then captured this shot as it spun to face me. Shot with an antique Micro-Nikkor 105mm lens, most likely at F/5.6.

Doug Lockhart

Sign of Disaster

I shot this from LBNL at the height of the Sonoma/Napa fires when the combined smoke plumes were greatly affecting Bay Area air quality producing vivid but awful sunsets given the cause.

John Christensen

California Poppies

Crockett Hills Regional Park is just a hop, skip, and jump away from my home. As an East Coast native, I find these golden poppies dotting the rolling green hills to be exceptionally beautiful.

Christina Patricola

Cable Cutaway

At the start of the new walkway on the Bay Bridge, there is a representative section of the cables that support the structure. It is quite impressive to me.

J Page

Anna's Hummingbird

Hummingbird's have to feed every 20 minutes so the wait to see one in our back yard is usually less than that. Even in the Quiet mode my DSLR makes enough clatter that they sometimes pull out of drinking at our CA Fuschia's to check me out. That's a good time to catch them hovering in mid-air; then they go back to feeding until they're full.

Doug Lockhart

September 2017 "Depth of Field"

The top four in votes are: 1st-Stephen Czarnecki (BUBT) and Doug Lockhart; 2nd- John Christensen (EESA); 3rd- Jon Bertsch (JGI); 4th- Tim Kneafsey (GOGC) and Stephen Czarnecki (BUBT).


Grasshopper on a park bench near Boston, Mass. I know it looks like a macro but I took this with a 300mm lens.

Doug Lockhart

Mountain Bluebird

A mountain bluebird sitting on a rock in Yellowstone. I couldn't decide between a cropped version that focused more on the bluebird or a version that included more of the out-of-focus rock to give a little more sense of depth. Ended up going with the cropped version with just a little of the blurry rock. Credit to Janie Page for the cropping suggestion.

Stephen Czarnecki

English Rose

I took this photo near the Tower of London. In order to set it off, I wanted the rose to be in focus, and Tower Bridge to be softly out of focus, providing an interesting, but still recognizable, background.

John Christensen

Night Heron

Focusing on the eye and using a shallow DOF to make the bird stand out from the background.

Jon Bertsch


Flower Conservatory

Tim Kneafsey


Coyote against some bushes in Yellowstone.

Stephen Czarnecki

August 2017 "Landscape"

The top four in votes are: 1st- Janie Page (ETA); 2nd- Stephen Czarnecki (BUBT); 3rd- Robert Cheng; and 4th place- Stephanie Daglia (CFPOR) and Stephen Czarnecki (BUBT).

African Sunset

At the edge of the Okavango delta in northern Botswana.

Janie Page

Valley of Dreams

The alien throne and other structure from the valley of dreams in Bisti Badlands, New Mexico.

-Stephen Czarnecki

Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchiko

Lake Kawaguchiko is approximately 15 km due north of Mount Fuji at an altitude of 874m. The midday sun on this very clear February day was just high enough to illuminate the white cap of Mount Fuji's near-perfect symmetrical volcanic cone.

Robert Cheng

Point Lobos Park

Point Lobos Park in Carmel, CA

Stephanie Daglia

Moulton Barn and Tetons

Applying some of the knowledge from a recent photoclub talk let me get this picture of the Moulton Barn with the Tetons towering above in the background.

Stephen Czarnecki

July 2017 "Macro Photography"

The top four in votes are: 1st- Stephen Czarnecki (BUBT); in 2nd- John Christensen (EESA); 3rd place- Tim Kneafsey (GOGC) and in 4th place- Haris Mahic (ALS).


Dragonfly posing at the UC botanical gardens.

Stephen Czarnecki (BUBT)

Dove's Foot

I love the wildflowers on Mt. Tamalpais. Here I used my trusty macro lens to take this photo of a tiny flower (it's 5mm or less across) of Dove's Foot (Geranium molle). The stamens are blue, and the pistils are purple. The pollen grains (the white spheres) are about 40 microns is diameter. I stopped the lens down to f13 to get a sufficient depth of field. Shot in natural light.

John Christensen (EESA)

Cala Lilly

Tim Kneafsey (GOGC)


Shiny butterfly.

Haris Mahic (ALS)

June 2017 "Street/Urban"

The top four in votes are: 1st- Jon Bertsch (JGI); tied for both 2nd and for 3rd-John Christensen (EESA) and Kelly Owen (Pub Affairs); and in a 3-way tie for 4th place- Jon Bertsch, Michael Wehner (CR) and Sayan Gupta (MB&IB).

Walking Past

I found a small alley with water pooling after recent rains and waited for a pedestrian to walk past the scene. Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Jon Bertsch (JGI)

Telegraph Scene

I shot this photograph in 2015 on film (Fuji Velvia) using a Soviet knock-off of a Zeiss Contax rangefinder camera. The color quality lends the image a vintage feeling, and along with the "punk" figure takes me back to the '80's.

John Christensen (EESA)

Raining Rays

Pedestrian takes shelter from incoming California sun rays on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley.

Kelly J. Owen (Public Affairs)

Red Lantern and Crowd

Senso-ji temple in Tokyo´s Asakusa district. The path from the gate to the temple is lined with shops and can be thronged by visitors.

John Christensen (EESA)

The Commute

Commuters at North Berkeley Bart exit the station on a late Wednesday afternoon.

Kelly J. Owen (Public Affairs)


I liked the mural and found a section to focus on then waited for someone to walk past and glance up as they passed the section I had selected. Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Jon Bertsch (JGI)

My Street in Delft

I shot this with my iphone7 on my walk to a Statistics conference in Delft, Holland June 26, 2017. Michael Wehner (Comp. Res.)

Sunset and Skyline from Berkeley Lab

Sayan Gupta (MB&IB)

May 2017 "Purple"

The top four in votes are: 1st- John Christensen (EESA); in 2nd- Stephen Czarnecki (BUBT); in 3rd- Sayan Gupta (MB&IB); and tied in 4th- Janie Page (ETA), and Doug Lockhart (ret.).

The Color Purple

I had to go through a fair bit of experimentation for this photo. The tricky part was the lighting. I set a piece of white paper behind the jar, and used the late afternoon sun to front-light the jar. I made a mixture of red and blue food coloring slightly diluted and added it to the water in the jar with an eyedropper. OK, TMI

John Christensen (EESA)

Lower Antelope Canyon

Colors from Lower Antelope Canyon. Despite not being on the photographer's tour we lucked into getting a guide who usually does the photographer's tour. She knew exactly how to shoot each location and what settings to use regardless of if the person was using a phone, point and shoot, or full-frame DSLR. So we got the full experience even though we couldn't go on the photographer's tour due to lack of enough tripods.

Stephen Czarnecki

A Purple Family

A flower-family beside a road in Berkeley. They are like our family; they flourish when loved and nurtured.

Sayan Gupta

Nectar Guides

These lovely freesia blossoms reveal guidance for the bees to find nectar at the center of the flower.

Janie Page

Twelve Stuns

A lot of flowering plants like this voluntarily popped up in our yard this year. The sun came out just after a rainstorm and showed up in at least twelve water drops in this image. This is several images focus stacked to get all of the sundrops in focus.

Doug Lockhart

April 2017 "Black & White/Monochrome"

The top four in votes are: tied for 1st- Joost Daniels, Tom Rathmann, Doug Lockhart; tied for 2nd- Christina Patricola, John Christensen, Sayan Gupta; tied for 3rd- Joost Daniels, Alex Friedman, Christina Patricola, Randy Roig, Sayan Gupta, Doug Lockhart, James King; tied for 4th- Janie Paige, James King, Tom Ruegg.

Dune at Sunrise

Patterns in the sand. Mesquite dunes.

Joost Daniels

PAN AM Woman- Treasure Is.

About 20 feet tall

Tom Rathmann

Desert Snowstorm

Doug Lockhart

Oak Tree and Contrails

Snow storm in the higher elevations of Death Valley National Park in January.

Christina Patricola

Togetherness: Snails and Limpets

A group of snails and limpets on a rock in the intertidal zone at Moonstone Beach, Cambria, CA. Macro lens. Done in B&W to bring out the textures in the rock, and accentuate the patterns of the shells.

John Christensen

Concrete Jungle

A magnificent view of city from Twin Peak. The new Salesforce Tower is giving a new dimension to the city skyline. Both the Ferry building at the north end of the Market St. and Sather Tower of UC Berkeley appeared within the frame. Originally I took the picture in RGB. The B/W mode highlighted various shades of gray and slightly increased the depth of the image.

Sayan Gupta

The Three Brothers

The Three Brothers. I know it looks like the light on those peaks is yellow, but I assure you there are nothing but tints and tones of blue in the image.

Joost Daniels

Pismo Beach Sunset B&W

Sunset viewed from the balcony of the Ventana Grill in Pismo Beach, California.

The monochrome version emphasizes the texture of the water and the shadows cast by the rocks.

This photo was taken using the Lightroom Mobile app on an iPhone 6s, and in particular the "HDR DMG" option which generates a 32-bit Adobe DMG (raw) file, with abundant dynamic range. The DMG file is large, in this case 47 MB.

Alex Friedman

Kelso Dunes

The sun decided to come out after hiding all afternoon -- just in time to illuminate the blades of grass.

Christina Patricola

Confluence Barn

This barn was constructed in the late 1800's near the confluence of two branches of the Missouri River. Panasonic FZ200

Randy Roig

A Storm Over Berkeley

Nov 2015; when El Nino continued to gain strength in the Pacific, a severe weather appeared over Berkeley. The fast moving storm clouds rushed towards the Bay and covered almost the whole sky over East Bay. This view was from the 3rd-floor balcony of Building 15.

Sayan Gupta

Trona Pinnacles

A few of the Trona Pinnacles as a rainstorm passed by to the south.

Doug Lockhart