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Photographs bring life to a stand still in Winning Images contest 

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

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

2017 Winners


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!

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