Laguna Bluebelt Coalition announced winners in amateur and professional categories in its fifth annual photo contest this week.
Local Rich German, known for capturing video of marine mammals from his paddleboard, won in the amateur category with an image of a gray whale’s flukes.
In the pro category, winner Hugh Foster, of Irvine, captures a crystalline swell at Main Beach in “Passing Time,” which looks as much like a painterly seascape than a still image.
Three professional photographers from Laguna Beach judged the contest, which received 70 entries, half of them from non-local residents, says co-organizer Jinger Wallace, a member of the coalition that promotes marine protections.
The contest focuses attention on Laguna’s marine protected areas to educate and gain public support for their restoration and protection, says a coalition statement.
Other winners in the amateur category include second place to Tim Williams, “Curious Male Sheephead;” third to Charlie Dickerson, “Rush”; and honorable mentions to David Zimmerman, “Beach Vibes” and Scott Dreslinski, “Shaws Cove”.
Charlie, 15, a local, used a long exposure after sunset at Diamond Street.
In the pro category, second went to Dale Kobetich, “Last Splash of the Day”; third to Mark Sanderson, “Woods Cove Twilight”; and honorable mentions to Scott Brashier, “Fall Morning Beauty” and Brandon Sears, “Wave Goodnight”.
Contest judges Mark Chamberlain, Beverly Factor and Mitch Ridder remarked on the diversity, uniqueness and growth in quality of this year’s entries.
“Whether from the beach, on the rocks, riding across the face of a wave, from under the ocean or from high above it, all our entrants showed Laguna’s Bluebelt in so many diverse ways,” said Ridder, a contributor to the Indy.
The winning photos will be on exhibit from May 23-July 1 in the Susi Q Community Center and a reception for the artists is planned June 10. The images are available online at lagunabluebelt.org.