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Judges’ 1st Choice Winner
Golden Gate Bridge from Kirby Cove by Todd Sipes
Golden Gate Bridge from Kirby Cove by Todd Sipes

Judges’ 2nd Choice Winner
Lone Cypress by Michael Ontiveros
Lone Cypress by Michael Ontiveros

Judges’ 3rd Choice Winner
Sutro Baths, San Francisco by Charlotte Gibb
Sutro Baths, San Francisco by Charlotte Gibb

Click here to view 2013 Photo Contest Viewers’ Choice Winners and Honorable Mentions

Welcome to the 15th annual California ocean and coastal amateur photography contest, sponsored by the California Coastal Commission, the California Thank You Ocean campaign, and Fairmont Hotels of California. The contest features photographs that reflect the importance that the coast and ocean has for California residents and the role that the Coastal Commission, Natural Resources Agency and Ocean Protection Council have played in preserving coastal and marine resources.

We are pleased to announce that our photos are currently on exhibit around the state. Come check out these winning photos in-person!

Check out all 2013 photo contest entries on the “Winners” tab above.

Entry is free and open to all amateur photographers. An amateur photographer is defined as someone who earns less than 50 percent of their income from photography. Photographs in this contest feature the following subjects:

  • The scenic coast and Pacific Ocean off California,
  • People and the California coast, and
  • California ocean and coastal wildlife.

Photographs must be taken from a public place. Plants and animals depicted in photos should be native species in their natural settings. Photographs may be in color or black and white and must be the original work and exclusive property of the photographer. Entrants may submit a maximum of five photographs. Individuals voting may vote only once per photo. Please see the Contest Rules for complete list of rules.

Contest Timeline

  • Contest Opens: June 24, 2013
  • Submission Deadline: 11:59 pm PDT August 5, 2013
  • Voting Deadline: 11:59 pm PDT August 16, 2013
  • Announcement of Viewers’ Choice Award: Second half of August2013
  • Announcement of Judges’ Choice Award: By the end of September 2013


Five winners will be announced for this contest. Online voters will select two “Viewers’ Choice” winners, while a panel of professional photographers, naturalists, and Coastal Commission and Thank You Ocean staff will select “Judges’ Choice” winners for first, second, and third place.

Winners will select from the following donated prizes:

Thank You Ocean Podcast

Ocean and Coastal Photo Contest Winners