2019 Monthly Theme Winners

2019 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 2019 organized by month. For more information on the Photo Club, contact John N. Christensen (EESA) jnchristensen@lbl.gov.

December 2019 "Anything Holiday"

The contributors are: Christine Ramos (EESA), Stephanie Daglia (CFPOR), Haris Mahic (ALS), Arkadeep Kumar (ETA), Karen Salvini (Lab. Direct.), John Christensen (EESA), Deepanwita Banerjee (BEBB), Chris Samuel (NERSC) and Tim Kneafsey (EESA).

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland Decorated for Christmas

Christine Ramos

Santa Display

Stephanie Daglia

Holidays on 4th street Berkeley

Haris Mahic

Christmas at Park Street Kolkata

Park street at Kolkata, India gets decorated with holiday lights at this time of the year.

Arkadeep Kumar

Living Christmas tree

Seen at another campus in US

Arkadeep Kumar

Holiday Magic

A fantastical holiday window display in Carmel, CA

Karen Salvini

Dickens Christmas Fair Candle Making

The annual Dickens Fair is on my family's list of things to do around Christmas. Here I shot a photo through a glass lattice of a young woman making a fancy carved candle (she's cutting into and peeling back layers to reveal various colors). The pots next to her hold the colored waxes used to create the layers. Just one "shop in the Victorian London". A great place to people watch, particularly people in Victorian costume.

John Christensen

Holiday Reflections

Deepanwita Banerjee

Go Home Winter, You Are Drunk

I was visiting Philadelphia for Christmas and New Year 2017/2018 and experienced their "bomb cyclone" and accompanying chaos. We went 4 days without water because the water main in the street froze and ruptured!

So we got a good laugh when we came across this sign outside a shop in the Manayunk area of the city. We certainly shared its sentiments.

Chris Samuel

Neighborhood Display

Tim Kneafsey

Paramount Christmas

Tim Kneafsey

November 2019 "Decay"

1st place and 2nd place - Haris Mahic (ALS); in 3rd place Doug Lockhart; and tied for 4th- Doug Lockhart and Karen Lingua (CFPOS).

Rusty car by the road

Rusty car left by the road a year after Paradise fire.

Haris Mahic

McDonalds in Paradise, CA

Fast food vs. fast moving fire.

Haris Mahic

Bodie Stamp Mill Wheel

During its heyday (1877-1881) Bodie, CA rose to a population of ~10,000 and featured over sixty saloons and dance halls. The gold and silver mined in the Bodie hills accounted for more than $933M in today's dollars. Though a 1932 fire destroyed all but 5-10 percent of the town, the State Historic Park is well worth a visit.

Doug Lockhart

Number 74

Havana is a living treasure of buildings designed and built during periods when the markets for their products were favorable. Today over 300 buildings collapse every year resulting in deaths and injuries. Havana officials use tourism revenue to renovate many architectural treasures, but can’t keep up with the decay in residential housing. This picture is from 2011, I hope this guy is all right.

Doug Lockhart

Faded Lady

A ladybug (or perhaps a ladybeetle) expired of natural causes in an awkward to reach place on the dashboard of the car. After several months, it was found intact but sun faded as the signature red and black outer wings (which Google tells me are called elytra) are now a dull yellow and rust.

Karen Lingua

October 2019 "Shadows"

1st place- Doug Lockhart (MB&IB); tied for 2nd Randy Roig and Doug Lockhart; tied for third- Haris Mahic (ALS) and Christopher Samuel (NERSC); 4th Karen Lingua (CFPOS).


A three-seater with Dad & 2 boys. I think the middle one was trying to unhook his brother, though he was not successful.


Doug Lockhart

Dawn, Dune, and Oryx

Oryx grazing on the dunes in Namibia at dawn light.

Panasonic FX-1000

Randy Roig


Ceramic pots hand-made in Morocco drying in the sun.

Doug Lockhart

Chess Game

Photo taken while I was waiting for my move.

photo by Haris Mahic

Zig or Zag? Only The Shadow knows..

Seen on an autumnal street in Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia yesterday, a fallen leaf next to the shadows of a hand rail up these steps which in turn distort the shadow into this interesting pattern.

The only modification is a slight cropping and stretched the contrast a little, the colours are natural.

Thanks to my partner Marisol who spotted the shadows in the first place!

Christopher Samuel

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning sunshine casts beautiful shadows just outside our room at Mission San Antonio de Padua


Karen Lingua

September 2019 "Macro Photography"

1st place- Sayan Gupta (MB&IB); in 2nd Haris Mahic (ALS); tied for third- John Christensen (EESA) and Sayan Gupta; 4th Jon Bertsch (JGI)

A Busy Bee

Sayan Gupta


My favorite fruit.

Haris Mahic

The Basis for Modern Tech

A macro shot of a broken piece of pure silicon, a critical ingredient for modern electronics. I used two light sources, light from the window and a handheld LED flashlight) to provide contrasting colors to the different reflections.

John Christensen

Male Red Veined Darter

Sayan Gupta

Checkered Beetle

I followed this beetle from flower to flower until I was able to get a head on shot of it to show the details of the head and eyes.

Jon Bertsch

August 2019 “Flowers”

1st place- Tim Kneafsey (Energy Geosci.s); in 2nd Stephan Czarnecki (BTUS); in 3rd Sayan Gupta (MB&IB); and tied for 4th Albert Sheng (Eng. Div.) and Haris Mahic (ALS).


Tim Kneafsey

Ice Plant in the Dark

An ice plant in bloom at the botanical gardens catches a small bit of sun in the surrounding shade.

Stephen Czarnecki


This image is my first trial with a technique known as focus stacking, which can isolate an entire object from the background. Two beautiful Gerbera Daisies, which I picked up from Safeway, were arranged on a flower pot on the dining table and under a LED desk lamp. It was easy to get a completely black background of the backyard view at night. I sprayed water to create water drops for a better impression of dimensions as well as for a dramatic view.

Sayan Gupta


Rhododendrons flower in the sunrise of Hehuan mountain (Taiwan)

Albert Sheng


2019 was a good year for the wildflowers on Table Mountain near Oroville, CA.

Haris Mahi

July 2019 "Architecture"

1st place- Haris Mahic (ALS); in 2nd John Christensen (EESA); in 3rd- Sayan Gupta (MB&IB); and in 4th- Tom Rüegg (EBME).

Stairway to the Chess Room

At the Mechanics' Institute Library and Chess Room in San Francisco (a venerable, old institution dating back to 1854, the current building is post 1906).

Haris Mahic

Eiffel Tower from Below

I used a fish-eye lens (which provides a 180˚view) to take this image of the Eiffel Tower looking up from the ground, literally about 1/2" above, since I laid my camera on the ground and used a remote to trigger the shutter. You can see me in the photo at about 1:00.

John Christensen

Hearst Memorial Mining Building

This is a picture of the central entrance vestibule of Heart Memorial Mining Building at UC Berkeley. The golden oak interior with exposed bricks, buffed toned tiles, teal colored metal beams, and more than the five-storey high ceiling, all together make this building an extraordinary local architectural landmark. To capture the details, I used 9 bracketed frames and prepared a high dynamic range (HDR) image. Though the perspective appeared bit crooked, at 11 mm focal length, the capture added an unique quality to it. If I get a chance, I would like to share a landscape format, which I think has a better perspective as well as color. Also, I would like to thank LBNL photoclub webpage for inspiring me to find the location and reproduce the shot as HDR with slightly different perspective.

Sayan Gupta

Il Duomo di Milano (the cathedral in Milan, Italy)

... a never ending labyrinth of perfection...

Tom Rüegg

June 2019 "Black & White/Monochromatic"

1st place- Sayan Gupta (MB&IB); tied for 2nd- Jon Bertsch (JGI) and Doug Lockhart; in 3rd- Doug Lockhart; and tied in 4th- Deb Agarwal (CRD) and Janie Page (BUBS).

Moonrise over Berkeley

Nighttime moon rise over Sather Tower

Sayan Gupta

Manta at the Boiler

At a dive site known as the Boiler divers can often spend some time with a group of mantas that visit this area. I spent a good part of two dives trying to get shots of a manta passing in front of the sea mount without bubbles or other divers - not an easy task.

Jon Bertsch

Bison not Buffalo

I met this guy in Yellowstone last winter. Bison are the largest land mammals in North America. Males weigh up to 2,000 pounds, females about 1,000 pounds. This immature male broke the 25-yard distance rule by walking towards our vehicle which gave me the chance for a hi-res portrait before we got out of his way.

Doug Lockhart

Steller (Northern) Sea Lion

We were having a fine outing lazily zodiacing among some icebergs in the rain when this Steller Sea Lion popped up nearby to greet us into the neighborhood. Females like this one had come to the face of the glacier to haul out on small & flat icebergs to give birth to their pups. We made every attempt to stay far away from mums with pups.

Doug Lockhart

Swan Mating Ritual

This photo was taken at a bird refuge near our house in April when I happened to catch the swans chasing each other in what looked to be a mating ritual.

Deb Agarwal

Ladder into Kiva

The ladder (right/bottom) provides access to a kiva at Coronado National Monument, where recent studies confirm Coronado actually visited during his conquests in what is now New Mexico.

J Page

May 2019 "Spring"

1st place- Doug Lockhart; in 2nd Tim Kneafsey (Energy Geosci.s); tied for 3rd- Karen Lingua (CFPOS) and Stephan Czarnecki (BTUS); and tied in 4th- Shruti Deorah (EAIE5) and Janie Page (BUBS).

Allen's Hummingbird

Springtime is the only time we see Allen's Hummingbirds in our yard. This year was the only time I saw one while it was raining. Lens hoods work pretty good as a rain shield.

Doug Lockhart

Spring At the UC Botanical Garden

Tim Keafsey

Plum Spot

In the first of Spring, the plum tree in my backyard fills with creamy white blooms, a perfect spot for a hungry butterfly.

Karen Lingua

Fox Kits

A fox has made a den in the mound of dirt the six kits are standing on. They are playful and curious when young but become more skittish as they grow older. Hopefully one of the foxes will return to use the den next year and give some more opportunities for seeing the kits at play.

Stephen Czarnecki

Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo

Pondering over the beauty and impermanence of life as signified by sakura (i.e.cherry blossoms) in Japan

Shruti Deorah


Every year I find new ways to photograph Cala Lilies because they present so many options... This year, the sun angle seemed just right.

J Page

April 2019 "Time Exposure"

1st place- Jon Bertsch (JGI); in 2nd Jon Bertsch (JGI); tied for 3rd- Robert Cheng (EDES4) and Stephan Czarnecki; and in 4th- John Christensen (EESA).

Milky Way over the Mendocino Complex fire

I went up to the Mendocino forest to shoot the Perseid meteor shower hoping for some clear skies on the ocean side of the forest. I knew the Milky Way would be visible after sunset and set up a 2.5hr timelapse of the night sky. In this frame a meteor passed through the Milky Way. Mars and Saturn are also visible in the image. I was not expecting to see the fire but it was burning to the south of my location.

Jon Bertsch

Tomb and clouds

A 30-60s exposure using a ND filter. I waited for a cloudy and windy day to add some dramatic movement in the sky when I planned a shot of this tomb in the Piedmont Cemetery.

Jon Bertsch

Sunset Over a Foggy City

A 20 second exposure captures lingering post-sunset colors and gives the fog a pleasingly smooth texture. I particularly like how the fog emphasizes the first few rows of buildings and blocks a lot of lights that I find make many night shots of the city simultaneously too busy and lacking depth.

Stephen Czarnecki

Milky Way at the Break of Dawn

To capture the Milky Way when I visited Maui in March, the time window available was from 5 and 5:30 am between moonset and sunrise. Jupiter is the brightest spot seen at the middle near the top. This photo was a stacked composite from three 15 second exposures using free software Sequator.

Robert Cheng


A Jack-O-Lantern mushroom (Omphalotus olivascens). I was able to capture its bioluminescence with a bit more than a 10 minute exposure (ISO 800) at f10 (to make sure I had a good depth of field).

John Christensen

March 2019 "Natural Frames"

1st place- Stephan Czarnecki (BTUS); in 2nd Tim Kneafsey (Energy Geosci.s); tied for 3rd- Haris Mahic (ALS) Stephan Czarnecki, and Jon Bertsch (JGSC); and tied for 4th- Randy Roig (ret) and Haris Mahic.

Tre Cime Bunker Shot

A picture of Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the Italian Dolomites taken from a window in an abandoned bunker from the First World War.

Stephen Czarneck

At the Taj Mahal

Tim Kneafsey

Spring 2

Spring in my neighborhood

Haris Mahic

Back Scratch

A grizzly in the Grand Tetons pauses for a refreshing back scratch on a convenient telephone pole.

Stephen Czarnecki

Lone Pine Peak

I caught the early morning sun hitting Mt Whitney through the natural frame of the arch. Alabama Hills, CA.

Jon Bertisch

Spring 1

Spring has sprung in my neighborhood.

Haris Mahic

Olive Tree Sq.

The entrance to Olive Tree Square in Chefchouan, Morocco

Sony RX10-IV

Randy Roig

February 2019 "Smartphone Only"

1st place- Michael Situ (CFCOG); in 2nd Laura Wong (BUBT); in 3rd- Tim Kneafsey (Energy Geosci.s); and tied for 4th- Janie Page (BUBS) and Doug Lockhart (ret).

Yosemitie FireFall

I was lucky enough to see the Yosemite Firefall last Friday. The Firefall lasted about 10 minutes from 5:28 pm to 5:38 pm.

Michael Situ


Taken with an iphone 6s+. Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset.

Laura Wong

Washington Metro

Tim Kneafsey

Blue with Rain

The amazing capabilities of the smart phone...

Janie Page

Long Lake, Inyo Nat'l Forest

While backpacking I'll often grab shots with my phone during midday or if I'm too lazy to pull out a fancier camera. This is from a trip in the Eastern Sierras in 2017 and I'd completely forgotten it was on my phone. Thanks Photo Club for encouraging me to look on my phone for some nice shots.

Doug Lockhart

January 2019 "Reflection (light or image)"

1st place- Jon Bertsch (JGSC); in 2nd Doug Lockhart (ret); tied for 3rd- John Christensen (EESA) and Doug Lockhart; and in 4th- Haris Mahic (ALS).

Reflections at Mono Lake

In the late afternoon the wind dropped away allowing sections of the lake to calm down enough to reflect the distant hills. Using a long telephoto lens I pulled out a distant solitary tufa to give some depth to the image.

John Bertsch

Rokuon-ji, Kyoto, Japan

Kinkaku-ji (literally "Temple of the Golden Pavilion"), officially named Rokuon-ji (literally "Deer Garden Temple"), is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. It is one of the most popular buildings in Japan and one of 17 locations making up the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which are World Heritage Sites. Here the wind has died out completely allowing detail to be seen in the reflective lake.

Doug Lockhart


This is a nautilus shell that my mother had in our home when I was growing up many, many decades ago. I thought I had two halves, but I didn't. So I used a mirror to make up for the missing half.

John Christensen

Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa, Japan

Kenroku-en (Six Attributes Garden), located in Kanazawa, is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. The six attributes of a perfect landscape: spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, waterways, and panoramas. In the fall the garden is lit up at the peak of autumn colors so visitors can enjoy the fantastical night scenery.

Doug Lockhart


Sunset over a flooded rice field.

Haris Mahic