2021 Monthly Theme Winners

2021 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 2021 organized by month (See previous years: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013). For more information on the Photo Club, contact John N. Christensen (EESA) jnchristensen@lbl.gov.

July 2021 "Stop Action"

in progress

June 2021 "Shadows"

1st Place -Thomas Horn; 2nd Place - John Christensen; 3rd Place - Stephen Czarnecki; 4th Place - John Christensen.

Shadow Double Helix

Nikon D40

55mm (82mm 35mm eq); 1/320; f/22; ISO 400

I have worked with DNA, the genetic material of life, for a long time. I saw this helical staircase casting a shadow looking like a DNA double helix

Thomas Horn

Color Shadows

A street fair in Barcelona, Spain (pre-COVID). The temporary art hanging over the street cast colorful shadows through the plastic film stretched over metal geometric frames. My daughter is in the middle basking in the glow.

John Christensen

Bird Leaving Birdhouse

A bird taking flight from its house casts a nice shadow. This is probably the best combination of bird and shadow I got during the course of several days trying.

Stephen Czarnecki

3D to 2D

A shopping cart casts it shadow on the sidewalk, transforming itself from 3 dimensions to 2.

John Christensen

May 2021 "Mysterious"

1st Place - John Christensen; 2nd Place - John Christensen; 3rd Place - Tina Declerck, Stephen Czarnecki, and Tim Kneafsey; 4th Place - Tim Kneafsey and Monique Fix.

The door to . . . ?

John Christensen


I shot this somewhere in the East Bay- it's up to you to figure out where (and the why).

John Christensen

A chair in the woods

Tina Declerck

Misty Woods

A little fog adds an air of mystery to this wooded area.

Stephen Czarnecki

Circles in the Earth

Tim Kneafsey


Tim Kneafsey


Take with iPhone7

Monique Fix

April 2021 "Abstract"

1st Place - John Christensen and Stephen Czarnecki; 2nd Place - Tina Declerck and Joshua Ladau; 3rd Place - Chris Samuel, Haris Mahic, and Tim Kneafsey; 4th Place - Michael Wehner

Abstract Rhythm

John Christensen

Water on Feather

Macro shot of a water drop on a blue jay feather.

Stephen Czarnecki

Brittle star on a Sponge

Took this while diving in Fiji.

Tina Declerck

Dewdrop jewelry

Drops of dew catch the sunlight on a brisk autumn afternoon in the Cascade Mountains, Oregon. No postprocessing, filters, or editing were applied to this image; the stars result from using a small aperture.

Joshua Ladau


Tim Kneafsey

Neon writing on the wall

A neon finger scrawls multicoloured graffiti across a late night canvas.

Taken in 2005 on a night road back from the goldmining era ghost town of Aberfeldy in Gippsland (permanent population: 1).

Chris Samuel,

Palm tree leaf

Haris Mahic


Patterns in the sand in a stream flowing on the beach in La Jolla, California. Taken with an iPhone.

Michael Wehner

March 2021 "The Color Green"

1st Place - Karen Lingua, Joshua Landau, and Stephen Czarnecki(2); 2nd Place - Yingying Kooyman, John Christensen, Tim Kneafsey, and Deb Agarwal; 3rd Place - Doug Lockhart and Haris Mahic; 4th Place - Michael Wehner


With a little chiaroscuro I was able to highlight the texture of a beautiful pear and a bounce of light from the shiny skin. I then used some tonal filtering in Photoshop to bring out the greens.

I entered this photo into a contest with the theme of monochromatic but was disqualified for the small bit of brown in the stem and the flaw in the fruit's skin, both of which I think only make the photo more interesting.

Karen Lingua

Sierra Spring

This photo was taken on a spring day near peak snowmelt in a wilderness canyon near Yosemite. One of my favorite places, every spring this canyon comes to life with the sound of singing birds, frogs, and waterfalls. Amidst the rush of life, flooded aspen groves, like the one pictured here, make for peaceful reflections.

Joshua Landau

Frog Under Lily Pad

A frog waiting patiently under a water lily. Or at least it was. We only noticed it when we were right next to it and it got spooked before we even got around to trying to maneuver the canoe to get a better angle.

Stephen Czarnecki

Faroe Grass Roofs

In the Faroe Islands it rains an average of 300 days a year. We lucked out during our trip. Turf roofs provide good protection from the rain as well as thermal insulation. This is the village of Saksun, population 8. Or maybe 14, depending on the source. The church is circa 1850 while the stone buildings are from the 17th century, or so I'm told. I think there are some nice compositional aspects to the picture with the curved dirt road leading the eye to the church and then past that back to what used to be a natural harbor before it was filled with sand by a storm.

Stephen Czarnecki


Lotusland, named as one of the top ten gardens in the world, is a botanical garden in Montecito, Santa Barbara. The 57-acre garden is the host to Japanese, blue, fern, bromeliads, cactus, butterfly, fern, water, tropical--among other--gardens.

A must-see place.

Yingying Kooyman


These are malachite crystals- the specimen is about 1.5" wide. Malachite is a copper carbonate, and usually forms very fine grained sprays of crystals (see next photo). I shot this in sunlight against a black sheet of paper with a macro lens.

John Christensen

Succulant flower in spring

This succulant in our garden has especially beautiful flowers in the spring. This photo was taken with my iphone but I love that it still caught the detail of the hairs on the leaf edges.

Deb Agarwal

Water Drops Succulant

Tim Kneafsey


I was walking at a brisk pace and panning a dark green forest floor on Kauai with long exposures. The resulting abstract allows the viewer to decide what the image looks like to them.

Doug Lockhart

St. Patrick's Day 2021

My wife, 2nd grade teacher, went to school like this. She told the kids that Leprechauns are required to wear their official uniform on St. Patrick's Day.

Two of kids said that she was the best teacher ever.

Haris Mahic

The Hulk

A few months before pandemic there was a fire at the corner of Union and Columbus in SF. Fortunately nobody was injured. Building is entirely gutted. But the board up is covered with murals. (If we did red, I would submit spiderman, ha ha).

Michael Wehner

February 2021 "Best of 2020"

1st place - Joshua Landau (Slot Canyon); 2nd place - Tim Kneafsey (Dahlia); tied for 3rd place - Stephanie Daglia (Succulent In the Backyard) and Stephen Czarnecki (Jumping Spider); and tied for 4th place - Deb Agarwal (Sandhill Crane Flying) and Monique Fix (Freckles)

Slot Canyon

Not Antelope Canyon, this picture was taken on a wild, windy day deep in one of the most remote, technical slot canyons in Utah, over sixty miles from the nearest paved road. A truly transcendent place perfect for social distancing.

Joshua Landau



Succulent In the Backyard

2020 was a year mostly spent in my own backyard! I began to notice things in detail and got this shot after a light rain.

Stephanie Daglia

Jumping Spider

I managed to spot a tiny jumping spider back in late October. I like how the spider seems to be contemplating its next leap off the edge of the leaf.

This is nothing compared to pictures from the likes of Thomas Shahan but I was happy to have spotted it and you have to start somewhere.

Stephen Czarnecki

Sandhill Crane flying

During this past year when we needed to find activities that did not involve getting near other people and were outdoors, bird watching was an obvious choice. This photo is from a day spent watching the sandhill cranes that winter in the Sacramento delta area. I have been out there several times and it is always magical.

Deb Agarwal


My youngest son has the best freckles. Taken with an iPhone.

Monique Fix

January 2021 "Life at LBNL"

1st place- Haris Mahic; tied for 2nd place- John Christensen, Stephen Czarnecki, and TimKneafsey; 3rd place- TimKneafsey; and 4th place- Chris Samuel.


Work at Advanced Light Source under COVID

Haris Mahic

In the Stove Lab

For the DOE Earth Day photo contest in 2015, I went around to a few labs to take some photos to enter. I shot this in the Stove Lab (Energy Technologies Area). Julien Caubel is tending a small traditional cookstove to investigate its type and quantity of emissions as well its energy efficiency. I used a fish-eye lens to capture as much of the scene as possible in that small space.

John Christensen

Deer in Late Afternoon Sun

A member of the lab's resident wildlife relaxing in the late afternoon sun. I have lots of pictures of deer at the lab but have always liked the light on this one.

Stephen Czarnecki







On the top floor of building 59 the doors of the NERSC-7 supercomputer, "Hopper", named after Admiral Grace Hopper, computing pioneer, are kept on display in her honour.

Chris Samuel