Clean Coasts’ annual Love Your Coast photography competition has officially opened for entries for its 14th edition.
The Love Your Coast competition asks for photographers to capture and celebrate the uniqueness of our coastal communities, environments, or waterways such as its stunning coastline, beautiful beaches, epic cliff faces, and raging rivers.
Ireland has some of the most spectacular coastlines in the world and Clean Coasts want to encourage people to get out their cameras this summer as they explore the Irish coast and capture its beauty.
This year, the Clean Coasts programme is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and the Love Your Coast competition will be a chance to celebrate this achievement. For the past 20 years, Clean Coasts has been working with communities on the ground, to help foster pride in our coastline, supporting Clean Coasts communities, groups, and volunteers to tackle issues affecting their local area.
To mark the occasion, a new category has been added to the competition, “Protectors of the Coast” which will showcase what volunteering on the coast and community spirit is all about. Other changes to this year’s competition are the reintroduction of the Underwater category, which was temporarily removed during Covid due to restrictions around diving.
The competition’s categories this year are:
- Wildlife and Coast
- Coastal Landscape
- People and the Coast
- Coastal Heritage
- Protectors of the coast
Photographers have until 9 am on 28th August 2023 to submit their best images in one of five categories to be in with the chance to win a prize from a fund of €6,000 across all categories.
Last year, Aoife Hester with “Compass Jelly” taken in Sandycove, Co. Dublin, won the first place for the Wildlife and Underwater Category. This photo was taken in early August 2022. Aoife commented: “It was beautiful sunny weather, and I was in Sandycove at a low enough tide. This compass jellyfish was dancing around in the shallow water beside me, and I luckily had a GoPro with me to capture some photos.”
In addition to that, an image called “Sea Path”, taken by Pawel Zygmunt at High Rock, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin , was awarded the third place prize in the Coastal Landscape Category. “I’ve been visiting High Rock many times but there was always something not right. Too little water or too small waves, full overcast or clear skies. This time despite no clouds, I had to face the full rage of the Irish Sea. Initially, I was going to shoot from the rock, but it would be too dangerous this morning as high waves exploded every few seconds, covering the entire area. I stood at the start of the path and waited for the right moment to capture the waves and sea flow.” said Pawel.
Moreover, shots from different locations in Dublin, including Bull Island, Howth, Colimore Harbour, Balbriggan, Portmarnock and Clontarf, were shortlisted among the top 10 in the Coastal Heritage, Coastal Landscape, People & the Coast, and Creativity and the Coast categories.
For the past 14 years, the Love Your Coast photography competition has represented an opportunity to view and celebrate the coast and our waterways that the Clean Coasts programme has been working to protect since 2003, and see the beauty captured therein. The competition began in 2010 and has grown from strength to strength since, with entries going from approximately 500 in year one to over 1,100 in 2022 with massive improvement in quality. For 2023, Clean Coasts is looking forward to receiving even more amazing entries.
Photographers are encouraged to explore new and different methods and angles in capturing the coastal regions and wildlife and would discourage photographing of locations and species that have been heavily submitted in previous years.
Clean Coast manager Sinead McCoy stated:
“Clean Coasts are delighted to be launching the Love Your Coast competition for the 14th year. The competition draws considerable interest from Ireland’s photographers and coastal enthusiasts and over the previous years it has received thousands of entries with the standard getting higher with each passing year. We are delighted to welcome back the Underwater category and excited to introduce the new category Protectors of the Coast. The Love Your Coast competition is a fantastic addition to the Clean Coasts programme as it showcases the stunning environment that our groups work so hard to protect.”
To enter, visit the Clean Coasts website at https://cleancoasts.org/our-initiatives/love-your-coast/