An image can stop a moment forever, giving one split second of life a place in history. And the way in which that story is told has everything to do with the person behind the camera.
How each photographer watches life unfold in front of them—what they notice, what they find interesting—is revealed in those moments they've captured for the world to see.
Since 1994, New Times Media Group has invited local photographers to show us their perspective of the spaces that surround them in our annual Winning Images contest.
This year 307 photos were submitted, which our judges narrowed down to three winners each in eight categories and three judge's picks.
Every entry also came in with a $5 fee, which will be rolled back into prize money for the winners, who also receive awards from the contest's sponsors.
You can see the winning images from 2017 on the following pages, and you can also view them on the wall at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art through Oct. 22.
Contact Executive Editor Camillia Lanham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2017 Judges
• Brittany App is a local photographer and filmmaker, currently plugging away on her first feature-length documentary film titled Where There Once Was Water. She grew up in the sleepy little town of Los Osos and currently lives with her husband, Steven, in Atascadero. She loves her rescue-dog Breaker, mountain bikes, yoga, and farmers' markets, and she travels the world for work and play as often as possible. App would like to congratulate all the 2017 contest participants on a job well done. As Howard Thurman said, "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
• San Luis Obispo native and perennial Winning Images judge Peggy Mesler is a photographer and owner of The Photo Shop in SLO, where she shares her appreciation and knowledge of photography with customers, clients, and friends. Peggy graduated with a journalism degree from Cal Poly, and she opened her shop in 1995.
• Tony Hertz has more than 35 years of professional photography experience, including 10 years as a daily newspaper photographer at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. Hertz has been recognized with top awards for his landscape nature photographs, which have been published in the Outdoor Photographer magazine, Photographer's Forum, Silvershotz, and Black and White Photography magazine. His editorial work has been published in major publications such as: Time, Los Angeles Times, New York Times Magazine, USA Today, National Geographic WORLD, Sunset magazine, The New York Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Hertz divides his time shooting in the field, editing images, and working as an adjunct photography instructor teaching traditional darkroom photography and digital photography in the Cuesta College Fine Arts Department. You can view his images at tonyhertz.com.
Donna Johnson, First Place, Red
Charles Christian, Second Place, Shy Beauty
Danna Dykstra-Coy, Third Place, Dandelion
Susan Pyburn, First Place, Palm Trio
Nicholas Kovac, Second Place, A Beach of our Own
Nathan Carlson, Third Place, S'envoler-To Fly Away
Elisabeth Haug, Honorable Mention, Curious Koi
Nigel Paul, First Place, Burrowing Owl
Barry Goyette, Second Place, Landing
Charles Christian, Third Place, Cutie Pie Turaco
M'Lou Mayo, Honorable Mention, Sleepy Cat
Barry Goyette, First Place, Portrait: After Curtis
Casey Wieber, Second Place, Cosmic Soul III
Carl Sepulveda, Third Place, The Artist
Brent Kitagawa, First Place, Light of Damnation Creek
Skip Moss, Second Place, Morning Ritual, Colorado
Nathan Carlson, Third Place, Portland St., Hong Kong
Hanna Vacanti, Honorable Mention, Vietnam
Mimi Ditchie, First Place, Piedras Blancas Lighthouse
Drew Littlejohns, Second Place, Inri
Marissa Flores, Third Place, The Old Sugar Mill
Jaye Pruett, Honorable Mention, Spooner Ranch House
Jonathan Shapiro, First Place, Wave Crashing on Rock
Danna Dykstra-Coy, Second Place, The Race-Morro Bay
Barry Goyette, Third Place, Crowsfield
Dylan Kyle, Honorable Mention, Slow Boat
Amanda Adams, First Place, Leaf Rainbow
Sage Friedman, Second Place, Gold Rush
Sage Friedman, Third Place, Marry Me!