David Wong’s photograph, “Lightning Storm at Pigeon Point” was awarded the Best Photo of the Year by the Nevada County Camera Club at their annual awards presentation via Zoom on Jan 23. Wong’s photo was selected by club members from over 500 photos submitted by members throughout the year. “We are thrilled that David received our top award, especially during this challenging year. It was a tough year as members had to make extraordinary efforts to get outside to take photos while remaining safe. David’s photo was absolutely breathtaking,” stated Rachel Rosenthal, president of Nevada County Camera Club.

“Lightning Storm at Pigeon Point” photo by David Wong

“I am pleased that this photo was so well received by club members,” said David Wong, member and past president of the Nevada County Camera Club. “Lightning Storm at Pigeon Point” was one of a series of 20 second exposures shot on the San Mateo coast near the town of Pescadero at 3 a.m. on August 16, 2020. As amazing as it was to see so many gigantic lightning strikes in 20 seconds, there was a creeping fear that these strikes could result in numerous fires as the storm came ashore. Little did I know then that they would become a match for some of the largest fires in California history,” Wong continued.

Also, on Saturday night, the winners of the club’s thirteen photo categories were announced. The remaining awards included: Georges Pelpel with “Fly Geyser Sunrise (5x pano)” and John Sievert with “Joy and Love” in a tie for the best Assigned Subject category; Jerry Thomas with “Let It Rain” for best in the Abstract category; Ingrid Lockhart with “Urban Reflection” for best in the Architecture category; Janice Rosner with “What Do You Think of Me Now” for best in the Fauna category; Ingrid Lockhart with “Fern Medley” for best in the Flora category; Georges Pelpel with “Smokey Sunset at North Lake (2020 Creek Fire)” for best in the Natural Landscape category; David Wong with “Lightning Strikes at Pigeon Point” for best in the Night Photography category; Jonathan Beth with “The Eyes are Window to the Soul” for best in the People category; David Wong with “Lightning Storm at Pigeon Point” for best in the Photojournalism category; Jay Schuff with “Silk Road” for best in the Travel category; Kathy Triolo for “Man Jumping in the Moon” for best in the Creative – Anything Goes category; Georges Pelpel with “Courting Dance” for best in the Black and White category; and Rick Aeschliman with “Moonset at Sunrise” for best in the Color category.

The awards are based on votes from camera club members. Each month, members submit photos to be critiqued during the meetings and for a later vote. From the top monthly winners, members vote for the best photos of the year. “Each year, the quality of photos submitted keeps getting better and better: more technically proficient, more artistic, and more creative. The bar is steadily rising,” said Rosenthal. For more information on the Nevada County Camera Club – see https://www.nccameraclub.com Currently all monthly meetings are on zoom.