Laguna Bluebelt names 2022 photo contest winners

“Lightning is Paradise” by Cyrus Polk earned first place in the professional category of the 2022 Laguna Bluebelt Coalition Photo Contest.

The Laguna Bluebelt Coalition recently named the winners of its annual photography contest that attracted over 80 photographers to submit their images of marine wildlife and coastal landscapes from Laguna Beach’s Marine Protected Areas.

The professional category winners are First Place – “Lightning is Paradise” by Cyrus Polk, Second Place – “Action and Light” by Andre Magarao, and Third Place – “Shark Bait” by Rich German. “Golden Laguna” by Craig Hatfield earned an Honorable Mention.

The professional category winners are First Place – “High Five” by Sabrina Garcia, Second Place – “Blacksmith” by Julie Rundle, and Third Place – “The Hidden Cove” by Roger Su. “In a Clutch” by Julianne Steers and “Shaw’s Cove Resident” by Rick Musto also earned honorable mentions.

“High Five” by Sabrina Garcia earned first place in the amateur category of the 2022 Laguna Bluebelt Coalition Photo Contest.

“The images competing in this year’s competition were amazing! I was pleased to see how artfully the contestants portrayed Laguna’s Bluebelt, and that made the judging tough” said Beverly Factor, an acclaimed underwater photographer.

Photojournalist and freelance event photographer Mitch Ridder and Tom Lamb, a landscape and ethnographic photographer, joined Factor on the judge’s panel.

“The variety and creativity from our entrants and ultimate winners was fun to see! Laguna’s coastline with its Marine Protected Areas truly make for a unique place, worthy of documenting and celebrating with the camera” notes Event & Fine Art Photographer.

An artist reception will be held Aug. 4 during Laguna Beach’s First Thursdays Art Walk at the Laguna College Art & Design Gallery at 374 Ocean Ave. Attendees will see winning photos and can purchase their favorite image. Twenty-five percent of proceeds will be donated to continue the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition marine preservation and protection programs.

The public can now judge “The Best of the Rest” from the Laguna Bluebelt Facebook page. Voting ends July 24. The 2022 award winners can be seen at

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