South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year Revealed

Serene shot of iconic Godrevy Lighthouse wins South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year 2021

Photo caption: Rocks and Light at Godrevy Lighthouse, West Cornwall.

Taken by Christian Coan (South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year 2021)

Christian Coan, a photographer from South-East England has been named the South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year 2021. 

The winning photograph of Godrevy Lighthouse captured through a natural rock frame with rockpools reflecting the pink hue of dusk in West Cornwall, beat tough competition from over 1,200 entries across the south west region. Christian takes home not only the title, but £250 worth of adventure friendly kit thanks to our competition partners Bamboo Clothing, PLUS a 4-day Canoe Trails kayaking adventure on the Jurassic Coast.

Judging the competition was critically acclaimed seascape photographer Rachael Talibart. On the winning photo Rachael said:

“This was actually a very easy choice - it is clearly the most interesting and well handled photograph. It fits the brief of finding a 'different viewpoint’. Technically, the photo is well-achieved, and the processing is carefully handled so that it doesn’t detract from the impression of the image overall. This image rewards a lingering gaze - the composition draws my eyes to Godrevy lighthouse in the distance but then, after appreciating that, my eyes can get lost in all the wonderful detail of the rocks and pool in the foreground.”

Christian Coan recounts how he captured the shot, “I have visited Godrevy every year for the last 18 years, and I had several areas I knew I wanted to explore with the camera. Having checked the tide times and the weather and arriving on location pre blue hour, I had plenty of time to wander the beach to find the best position. The composition for the winning photograph, in all honesty, was a lucky spot. The little rock pool leading to the lighthouse was tucked away in a network of paths carved by the incoming tides and happened to catch my eye as I wandered through them. The conditions were perfect with a pinkish hue lighting the sky and reflecting in the rock pool below.”

Competition sponsors, Bamboo Clothing, commented on the winning image, 

“A fantastic choice of winner, huge congratulations to Christian. This photo opens a window to Cornwall and all its beauty. From the landscape of the lighthouse, the water and its reflection as well as the astonishing texture within the rocks this photo offers so much to look at and appreciate.”

You can see more of Christian's work at

Or follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

Read our interview with Christian HERE.

Runners Up

Two images were selected as runners up in the competition.

Photo caption: Turmoil, near Prawle Point, South Devon.
Photographer: Nick Shepherd

Photo caption: Light on the Lighthouse, Pendeen Lighthouse, West Cornwall
Photographer: Alison Fairley

Climate Crisis Capture Award

The competition, organised by the South West Coast Path Association, for the second year in a row, presented a special Climate Crisis Capture Award for the photo that best communicated important issues that are threatening the Coast Path such as; coastal erosion, pollution, rising sea levels, loss of biodiversity, loss of habitats and extreme weather.

And for the second year in a row, Dorset-based photographer James Loveridge won for his image of the biggest rockfall to have been recorded on the Jurassic Coast in 60 years.

Photo caption: Rock fall at Seatown, Dorset.
Taken by James Loveridge (South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year - Climate Crisis Capture Award)

Matthew Pontin, Creative Director of Fotonow who judged the Award said,

A huge congratulations to James, especially in winning the award in two consecutive years. The photograph highlights an approach to photography in telling the story of how the landscape is being altered by climate change. An image that is not only a technically very accomplished image but highlights how the force of nature, with sea levels rising and storms being more destructive, can take a bite out of the land and footpaths we know and love. Well done James! Keep making images and good luck to anyone wanting to take your award from you next year, the bar has been set.”

We asked James how he felt winning the award two years in a row, 

"It's great to have my photographs recognised two years running in this award category and I wasn't expecting it at all. The coastline around the south west is constantly being altered by the sea and there are so many great photographers in the area documenting this change through their work. I'm lucky enough to be able to combine two things I enjoy learning about and have done for many years - photography and climate change. It's good to see the South West Coast Path running a category like this in a competition, bringing attention to the issues we face."

You can follow James at:

Check out interview with James on our blog - READ HERE.

The South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year competition will be back later this year, please check for updates about when it will open for entries. 


Published on: March 15, 2022