See the winner of our 2023 Picture of the Year contest

See your favorite 2023 photos submitted by fellow readers.

Three photos on a grid: water lanterns in dark water, a wine glass overlooking the South Bay, and lowriders at City Hall. A text overlay: "2023's Picture of the Year Finalists"

Which of our finalists deserves the crown?

Graphic by SJtoday staff

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The votes are in for the SJtoday 2023 Picture of the Year contest. Check out the finalists below, including the winner that you, our readers, voted for.

Winner: “Lowriders visit San Jose City Hall” by Darlene T.

Classic Lowrider cars with hoods + trunks popped open are parked outside San Jose City Hall on a sunny day. Many of the cars are flying Mexico flags.

“Lowriders visit San Jose City Hall”

Photo by Darlene T.

When San Jose officially ended its ban on lowriding in 2022, the United Lowrider Council, their supporters + other local lowrider clubs gathered for a massive rally at City Hall to mark the one-year anniversary. This picture perfectly captures that moment — the celebration, the joy, and the community.

Finalist: “Lake Almaden Lantern Festival” by Alex G.

Bright, yellow-gold glowing lanterns with ornate, simple, and varied writings and drawings float on a dark lake.

“Lake Almaden Lantern Festival”

Photo by Alex G.

San Jose’s inaugural Water Lantern Festival held over the summer was a sight to behold. Hundreds of little lanterns with messages of hope + joy floated by on the dark waters of Lake Almaden. We can’t wait for next year’s festival.

Finalist: “View from Bella Montagna Winery” by Jennifer B.

On a sunny day, and under a shady tree, a glass of white wine sits on a wooden railing, overlooking South San Jose.

“View from Bella Montagna Winery”

Photo by Jennifer B.

What’s better on a hot summer afternoon than a cool, fruity Sauvignon Blanc? This shot at Bella Montagna, with a scenic view of east San Jose, is the perfect vibe for a relaxing time. Pssst, you can check out our guide to wineries in the great 408 for more scenic spots.

Runner-up: “Hiking above Alum Rock Park” by Dave L.

A person in dark clothing stands on a dirt trail between a grassy field and a bright blue sky, overlooking South San Jose.

“Hiking above Alum Rock Park”

Photo by Dave L.

The views on the many hiking trails around SJ are positively immaculate. The view from the top of the hill at Alum Rock Park showcases the natural beauty of the South Bay. And even though we could only choose three finalists, we wanted to give props for this incredible shot.

Runner-up: “The ducks at Lake Alamden” by Alex G.

A mallard duck stretches and flaps its wings in open water.

“Ducks at Lake Almaden”

Photo by Alex G.

There’s nothing fowl about this incredible photo of a duck at Lake Almaden Park. We were really winging it trying to fit this photo into our finalists, but unfortunately, we could only include one submission by each photographer. Kudos to you, Alex G., we loved taking a gander at your photos.

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