John’s Picture Perfect Contest: August 2020

John Hawkins, Club CEO

by John Hawkins, Club CEO

How to enter:

Do you love to take pictures? Submit your photos to the Picture Perfect contest. Once a month, the best pics are selected for publication. If your photo is published, you’ll receive a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!  ENTER PICTURE PERFECT CONTEST

See Contest Rules below the pictures.

“Sunrise over Delicate Arch in Arches National Park,” Utah.

Carlos Aranda, DWP

John’s comment: Brilliant, Carlos! I still haven’t been there yet, but because of pictures like this, one day I will. Thanks for submitting!

“A pre-COVID-19 Mother’s Day at Central California Women’s Facility provided a special moment for incarcerated moms who got to renew bonds with their children during an extended visiting event made possible by CDCR and the ‘Get on the Bus’ program.”

– Isaiah Dodson, Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation, State of California

John’s comment: Isaiah, just like you did with your previous winner, you really know how to capture that moment on a person’s face that says it all. I’m glad you sent in a description, but their smiles are unmistakable. Thanks!

“This guy was outside my front door strutting his stuff trying to impress the peahens. When it is the season they are loud and have no comprehension of time, they will call for a mate any time, day or night.”

John Nance, Retired, DWP

John’s comment:  Peacocks just never cease to amaze me. I like how you filled the entire frame with this guy. He feels that big! Thanks for sending.

“It was very exciting to know that Huntington Library has reopened after it was closed for so long due to the COVID-19. I went to visit the gardens in Huntington and saw many beautiful flowers, especially the water lilies and lotuses. I looked at them and asked myself, ‘Are they real? Or just a Japanese picture?’ They were so special!”

Virginia Wai Ching Lit, Retired, Public Works/Engineering

John’s comment: Very nice, Virginia! I used to go to the Huntington when I was a little boy with my family. It was such a magical place! Thank you for submitting this.

“Jellyfish at Monterey Aquarium.”

Dennis Eigel, Retired, Public Works/Sanitation

John’s comment: I love this abstract explosion of color, Dennis. Sometimes I like framing devices, but in this instance you were right to move in and capture just this, rather than including things outside the frame. It makes it more intense, more eye-popping. Outstanding!

“July happened. Anyone can take photos of the fireworks, but the spectators watching the spectacle …”

Dominique Daito, LAPD

John’s comment: As soon as I saw this photo, I knew it was from you, Dominique. You know how to capture the exact, dramatic moment of real people. That’s not easy to do, and you do about as well as anyone I’ve seen. Glad to see you contributing again!

“Three owls in a tree at my house in Moorpark, before a squirrel arrived.”

Derek Jackson, Retired, Zoo

John’s comment: I love how they lined up for you and posed, Derek! The gaze of the owl in the middle might as well be looking right through me. (And I love the art direction of the colors you captured here. Between the creatures and their environment, they blend beautifully.) Thanks for submitting!

“As I just got home from work, I opened the car door and there was a ladybug. I’d like to think it was my mom waiting for me to come home.”

Renee Ramirez, LAFD

John’s comment: Normally I base my judgments on just the photo, but in this case, your caption is just awesome and beautiful. You never know when you’ll stumble upon an image that really evokes something very deep. Thanks for the reminder!

“This sunset photo of a cruise ship passing by Lokrum Island was taken from on top of the 412-meter Mt. Srd by the old Napoleonic Imperial fortress. The fortress was built to protect the port and the two kilometers of ancient walled city below; it was finished on Aug. 15 1810, the same day as Napoleon’s birthday.”

Capt. Michael Barnes, Retired, Harbor

John’s comment: Ah, to be able to travel again. The dreaminess of this photo gives us all something to look forward to. Thanks, Capt.!


  • Please submit the full, original digital file (up to 3 megs file size).
  • The contest is open to all Club members in good standing. Non-members are welcome to submit, but only Club members are eligible to win the monthly prize.
  • Photos can be of any subject matter: vacation, portraits, families, landscapes, still lifes, pets, etc. Subject matter must be appropriate for Alive!
  • If your photograph does not win, you are welcome to re-submit.
  • Winners are chosen by Club staff. All decisions will be final.
  • You must certify (if asked) that you indeed took the picture. No ringers!
  • The contest is all in good fun: The Club cannot be responsible for delays in delivering Alive!, or for delays in the transmission of responses.