John’s Picture Perfect Contest: November 2020

John Hawkins

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.

“A poppy field in the Owens Valley.”

– William Arriola, DWP

John’s comment: I’m not sure what kind of lens you used here, William, but it really makes the poppies, well, pop in the middle of this three-section composition. And it reminds me we need to get back to covering DWP stories in Owens Valley, when the pandemic is over!

“While I’d certainly like to take the credit for a great photo, the truth is that sometimes Mother Nature does all the heavy lifting itself when it comes to composing that perfect image or site, whether it is a soothing sunset in Hawaii or, in this case, a dramatic one in Greece’s Pelion area in late September.”

– Yves Didier, Airport Police

John’s comment: Right you are, Yves. You talk about Mother Nature lending a hand, and I say, absolutely. But don’t discount your timing, which is just perfect here. With the shades of blue/grey, the complementary late-summer yellow just punching through, and the tranquility hinted at with the distance, this image is awesome. Thanks for submitting!

“The smoke is finally gone. The Columbia Plateau Trail was beautiful.”

– Jill Weiszmann, Retired Club Member

John’s comment: The smoke is gone, indeed, Jill; this image from Washington state is stunningly clear. That’s especially obvious with all the fires we’ve have had down here. I also admire how stable and balanced this image is. Nice work!

“When I was young, Neil Armstrong inspired me when he stepped onto the moon, allowing me to dream I can do that one day. Yesterday, NASA reminded us it was the International Observe the Moon Night. I captured this photo of the crater on the lunar surface. I was so happy that a simple camera can take such a clear photo, the only thing you need to do first is just try it!” 

(Virginia) Wai Ching Lit, Retired

John’s comment: Hi Virginia! This is an amazing photo … and I know personally that this was no easy task. The first thing you realize is how fast the moon moves in relation to Earth; it’s hard to keep track of it. And the craters are just amazing. The first time I took a picture of the moon and saw its craters was a day I’ll never forget. In fact I know exactly where I was — in my backyard at my parents house with an old Pentax LX camera and a 600 mm lens (a 300-mm with a lens doubler) 30 years ago! Film of course. Thanks for submitting!

“This beautiful fairytale castle was built on the side of the mountain and serves as the entrance to the St. Beatus Caves in Switzerland. My family and I visited before COVID hit. Looking back on our travels, we certainly can’t wait to travel again!”

– Theresa Forand, DWP

John’s comment: Wow, this is an amazing landscape, Theresa, going up a mountain! The three sections each tells a different story – the hard rock at the top, the man-made deck hanging in the middle, and the water and greenery that somehow manages to sprout life out of sheer rock at the bottom. I’ll have to do research on these caves!

“A gate to one of our pump stations. 17 locks! Not to worry, I have a master key.”

– Mike Aubin, DWP

John’s comment: I love photos that make me laugh. I kept trying to figure out which locks actually secure the chain, which locks seem to be remnants of previous attempts at security … and then I stopped caring, and only laughed at the composition and the human need to lock things down. (Glad you have a master key!)

“Hand-blown glass is just so beautiful.”

– Renee Ramirez, LAFD

John’s comment: You’re right, Renee, it is. These baubles aren’t exactly holiday-themed, but in these days of COVID-19, I’ll take anything that reminds of me of the holidays to come. Nice shot!


  • 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.