John’s Picture Perfect Contest: Aug. 2018

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.


“This is a view of Mono Lake from the south tufa area trail with the Sweetwater Mountains of the Sierra Nevada in the background and tufa towers in the foreground. These tufa towers were formed underwater before water diversion from the lake began in 1941, which made the lake’s level fall dramatically (about 40 feet)!”

– Carlos Aranda, DWP

John’s comment: Wow, Carlos, this is magnificent. And to think we have lots of City employees in the Owens Valley and Mono areas who get to see this every day! (I’m jealous!) My eye moved smoothly through the three planes in your composition – an interesting rock as a frame in the front left; a gorgeous mirror lake making up the middle plane; and the mountains that are in clear focus and not soft, which a lot of modern photographers might have chosen. Thanks for this awesome photo!


“On my walk at Flathead Lake in Montana, I saw several deer and was able to get this picture. Nice that she posed for me.”

– Nancy Wills, Retired, DWP/Bishop 

John’s comment: Surprise! I think this deer was as curious about you as you were about her! Thanks for sending the fun moment you captured.



“Even the ravens are hunkered down waiting for the fog tsunami from the Catalina Channel.”

– John Nance, DWP

John’s comment: I wonder if the ravens (nice subtle touch including them in your shot, John) are as mesmerized at the colors as I am – the orange sky set against the blue-gray of the fog, and the black of the shrubbery, are not a combination I see much in nature photography. The combination is almost like a flag of some very natural country. Well done!


“I caught a picture of the fog rolling in one morning. This picture was taken at Virginia Golf Course in Bixby Knolls (Long Beach). I don’t play golf. I was just walking by.”

– John Dever, Retired, Airports

John’s comment: I don’t play golf, either, John, but I’m happy you snapped this. I can almost hear some sort of scary soundtrack to go with this – do not enter the foggy area! It’s intriguing! Anyway, thanks for the cool mood, and for sending it in.


“An early morning walk at Lake Balboa Park, photographed in the early foggy morning last winter.”

– Ken Kochakji, Retired, Transportation

John’s comment: Hey Ken, nice to see you back and submitting … I really like Photoshop effects like this (I’m presuming) although I don’t normally feature them here. But this took skill, patience and a flair for creating a mood with an impressionistic palette. I’d like to be in that photo, wherever it is!


“I took this photo July 7 at the Old Fort MacArthur Days in San Pedro. The subject was a re-enactor of a World War II nurse. Old Fort MacArthur Days is a living history event that covers history from Roman times to the Vietnam era.”

– Madeleine Flanagan, Airport Police 

John’s comment: Madeleine, I love this because of its structure and portraiture. The re-enactors have done a great job recreating that era, but that’s only the start of the work for a photographer. There are a lot of fun elements to look at here, but ultimately it all comes down to her face and smile. This is a person who loves doing what she’s doing, and placing her face where you did (right on the tic-tac-toe rule of thirds) is exactly the right decision. She’s the heart of it, and you caught that. Great job.


“There was another stunning Cheney sunset last night!”

– Jill Weiszmann, Retired

John’s comment: Hey Jill, I know they call Montana Big Sky Country, and it is … but that big sky extends to Idaho and, here, Washington, State, too. It makes you feel small … and yet incredibly connected to it all, too. And so does this photo. Excellent!



  • 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.