During the endless pandemic, 63 photographers turned to the ocean for solace, solitude and inspiration in capturing the beauty and biodiversity of Laguna’s Bluebelt – a network of State Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
The 2021 Laguna Bluebelt Photo Contest awarded over $2,000 in cash and prizes to contestants, encouraging them to spend it locally, as a way to give back to the many Laguna Beach businesses sponsoring the popular event over the past ten years.
Jinger Wallace, a contest organizer along with Charlotte Masarik, celebrated the successful contest as a triumph over adversity and a tough year dealing with technical challenges and uncertainty created by COVID-19.
This year’s entries were judged by Mitch Ridder, Cliff Wassmann, and Patsee Ober.
“The Laguna Beach MPA is such a diamond in our town and much thanks to the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition for sponsoring this annual photo contest,” Ober said in a press release. “As one who has spent countless hours down at our coastline I was impressed with the number of amateur photographers who were out in our MPA enjoying all that Laguna has to offer.”
Sean Hunter Brown won 1st Place Professional and $500 with “Intertidal” taken below and above the waterline at the same time. The photo was taken at low tide in the tidepool area at Brooks Street beach.
Runners up in the professional category were Brandon Sears and Aline Espino.
David C Remington took first place in the amateur and $500 for “Catch of the Day,” a portrait of a hunting Osprey. The amateur category’s runners-up were Michael Roy and Christian Welch.
Honorable mention winners include Suzanne Greenberg and Bassim Elhatem.