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The 17th 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 will take place in summer 2015. 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.

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.

Photo Contest Exhibit

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

2015 Contest Timeline

  • Contest Opens: June 8, 2015
  • Submission Deadline: 11:59 pm PDT July 17, 2015
  • Voting Deadline: 11:59 pm PDT July 31, 2015
  • Announcement of Viewers’ Choice Award: mid-August 2015
  • Announcement of Judges’ Choice Award: September 2015

Prizes

Four winners were announced for this contest. Online voters selected one “Viewers’ Choice” winner, while a panel of professional photographers, naturalists, and Coastal Commission and Thank You Ocean staff selected “Judges’ Choice” winners for first, second, and third place.

Winners selected from the following donated prizes:

    2014 Ocean and Coastal Photo Contest Winners

    View previous photo contest winners and entries

    CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2014 CONTEST WINNERS!

    Judges’ 1st Place Winner
    Humpback Whale Breaching, Moss Landing By Shane Keena
    Humpback Whale Breaching, Moss Landing
    By Shane Keena

    View all 2014 contest winners »

    Ocean and Coastal Photo Contest Winners

    The power of a breaching whale, the luminous mystery of Morro Bay at sunrise, the quiet drama of a surfing memorial and a startling seafloor surprise–all are captured by photographers in the 16th Annual Ocean and Coastal Amateur Photography Contest. Discover images of our ocean’s beauty, wonder and excitement. We talk with Sylvie Lee, program coordinator for the California Coastal Commission, who discusses the winning entries from more than 1,200 photos.

    2014 Ocean and Coastal Photo Contest Winners

    2013 Ocean and Coastal Photo Contest Winners

    2012 Ocean and Coastal Photo Contest Winners