The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, an organization that seeks to protect land and water in Southwest Florida, has announced the winners of its inaugural Summer Photo Contest. With nearly 200 entries received, a panel of judges—including presenting sponsor Elizabeth Moore, Art Center Sarasota executive director Lisa Berger and photographers Cliff Roles and Stephen B. White—narrowed the entries down to 50 nature photos for the virtual exhibit, which can be viewed here

"We planned this photo contest as a way for people to share their connections to nature with others," says Suzanne Gregory, Conservation Foundation director of programs and marketing. "Photographs are a great way to express the beauty, mystery and joy of nature. A dose of nature is what we all seem to need right now." 

The winning photos were placed in five different categories, including "In Love with the Land," "Backyard Beauty," "Up Close and Personal," "Youth Perspective" and "Best in Show." Photos feature the stunning landscapes and wildlife of Southwest Florida, from mossy swamps and dazzling sunsets to bright-red cardinals and white egrets. "Best in Show" went to photographer Gunilla Imshaug for her humorous snapshot titled Did That Really Happen?!

While the physical-turned-virtual exhibit is now mostly filled, there's still time for viewers to sound off on their favorites. Voting for the "People's Choice" category will take place until August 15 on the Conservation Foundation's Facebook page. The photo with the most "likes" will be named the winner. 

For more information on the Conversation Foundation and to view the 2020 Summer Photo Contest exhibit, click here

Show Comments