Visit the homepage of the California Coastal Commission

Galleries of Past Winners:

2013     |    2012     |    2011

2010     |    2009     |    2008

2007     |    2006     |    2005

2004     |    2003     |    2002

2001     |    1999     |    1998


Visit a traveling exhibit showcasing previous contest winners:

September-October, 2014
Center Gallery
Westhaven Center for the Arts
Trinidad, California

Right Column

16th Annual California Ocean & Coastal Amateur Photography Contest


Announcing the 2014 Viewer's Choice Winner


Laguna Bluebelt by Mitch Ridder
2014 Viewer's Choice:
Laguna Bluebelt, ©Mitch Ridder


Mitch Ridder has lived in Laguna Beach all his life and has served as a lifeguard for 37 years. He used to be an accomplished watercolor artist but switched to photography several years ago. He captured his winning image from a hill as a storm was rolling in—the rain was already falling over the ocean and was starting to reach him by the time he packed up to leave. Mr. Ridder says he thinks the storm is what gives his shot its moodiness. The title of his photo is a reference to the Marine Protected Areas off the coast of Laguna Beach and the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition (of which he is a member) which helped establish these protected underwater parks.


Check back for the Judges' Winners, which will be announced in September.


This contest is a partnership between the California Coastal Commission and the
Thank You Ocean Campaign.
The contest is held on the mycoastalphoto.com website.




Watch the Thank You Ocean Report about the 2013 Contest:





Advice for Taking Pictures

"Here's a central and obvious principle about photography that is sometimes overlooked even by some veteran photographers — that it's about light. Light makes the image. All cameras, whether film-based or digital are wonders of technology but they don't have a clue about subject; they're designed to transmit and register light and a range of its qualities.

It's true that the history of photography is filled with examples in which the subject and not the light is what the viewer's attention is drawn to and many of those images are powerful and memorable. In photojournalism, for example, when the urgency of an event takes precedence over art, the photographer may not have the time or the interest in waiting for the right light. But amongst the most memorable of those images, the ones that put a lump in your throat are those in which the light was a significant and descriptive player. So think about the subject but shoot the light."
  - Malcolm Lubliner, Photographer





Photo contest entries may be used in Coastal Commission web pages, publications, and products. Past contest photos have been used to produce a set of greeting cards; a free screensaver (see below); and coastal access guides for southern California, central California, the San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay regions, and California’s north coast.




The Screensaver!



It is free and contains images from our 2001 contest. The file to download  is 3.3 MB.  Right click on this link and select save target as or save as to save it to the directory of your choice before installation. (Remember, screen savers use energy. To conserve energy, turn the monitor off when computer is not in use.)