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Picture perfect as Gary and John capture coastal beauty

Gary Ibbotson  captured a striking image of gannets on the Skelligs during a boat trip to the islands

TWO Kerry photographers have featured among the prizewinners in this year’s Love Your Coast photography competition which is an integral part of An Tasice’s Clean Coasts project.

For the past 12 years the competition has been held to capture the essence of the Irish coastline, its beauty and its diverse character.

Clean Coasts counts on the work of nearly 2,000 volunteer groups nationwide to help protect coastlines, waterways, seas, ocean and marine life and the main mission is to foster pride in the coastline and waterways. It is a charity programme, run through the environmental education unit of An Taisce.

The photography awards, held virtually this evening for the second year in a row, has a total prize fund of €5,000 for the amateur photographers competing in five categories: Coastal Heritage, Coastal Landscape, People and the Coast, Wildlife and the Coast and the introduction of a new Creativity and the Coast category.

Almost 1,300 entries were received and the 50 best shots were shortlisted.

This prizewinning image, submitted by John Hall, was entitled Oyster Beds and it was taken at Cromane

One of the Kerry prizewinners was Gary Ibbotson who captured a striking image of gannets on the Skelligs during a boat trip to the islands earlier this year when the legendary cliff faces were blanketed by thousands of gannets.

“The seabirds were everywhere, nesting, flying, fishing. They certainly put on a show,” said Gary.

“Little Skellig is home to the second largest colony of gannets in the world and it was certainly evident that day,” he added.

The other winning image, submitted by John Hall, was entitled Oyster Beds and it was taken at Cromane.

“I had an idea for a monochrome, long exposure shot of oyster beds in my head for a long time,” he said.

“I came across these beds by chance this summer at Cromane. I was lucky that the light was amazing over Mount Brandon in the background and I got the image as I had envisioned it,’ he said.