2019 Photo Contest Winners

Global Engagement UC Santa Cruz is proud to present the winners of our annual photo contest!

In order to protect the intellectual property of our participants, please note that by viewing these photos, you agree not to download or use any photograph in any way without expressed permission from the photographer. Thank you and enjoy the wonderful photos!

First Place

Solid Style by Chenrun Yu

Tree with no leaves and blue sky with wispy clouds as a backdrop

The natural environment inspires me and refreshes my brain when I study too much or something makes me feel negative, which helps me have a better attitude and positive emotions. In Santa Cruz, the cultural environment is easy-going and laid back. I enjoy being close to nature because nowadays people like a fast and convenient life, but sometimes people could be like a kid and slow down their pace to enjoy the environment and nature. Sometimes I will pay attention to the surrounding environment and animals. When flowers blossom it might make me understand that time and life is beautiful and pure. Living in Santa Cruz I have become accustomed to some animals walking around, and thinking about my philosophy of life. The tree itself could not imagine what will happen next. No one knows the exact time the tree will change or when the leaves will drop. The leafless tree defies imagination. 

Second Place - Photo from Abroad

Changes by Chenrun Yu

crowded traffic at night

This photo was token by myself during the trip with my best friend in Bangkok. We were on our way to our hotel. We just stopped there and took some photos. Cars were moving and changing so fast under the bridge, and everything changes so fast in one moment, that the cars were different in the next second in your frame. This reminds me that I need to change and adjust my mood every second. I only can adjust myself and cannot adjust other things. People cannot imagine what will happen the next second.

Third Place - Photo from the U.S.

Sunset at Davenport Beach by Tangcheng Wu

sunset at davenport beach

This picture was taken at Davenport beach. I was going to take some pictures there for my girlfriend, and then I saw this beautiful scenery. At that moment, the sun was still too bright, and there was too much reflection on the surface of the sea. Then my imagination came in to help. I put my girlfriend's sunglass in front of my lens. It filtered most of the reflection out and added some golden color to the picture.

Honorable Mentions

Jewel of India by Nidina Sapkota

the taj mahal

The Taj Mahal represents the everlasting beauty of Indian architecture. At first glance of this beautiful masterpiece, I was left in awe. This ivory-white marble considered the "crown of the palaces took my breath away." The love, passion, and the effort put behind the construction of this mausoleum truly show at the first peek through the entrance door. Even though India has its flaws, the country can truly surprise a traveler with the near perfect beauty of its architecture. 


Where is my little sister? by Joey Tan

little boy with head pressed up against belly of pregnant mother

This is a picture of my neighbor waiting for their new baby to be born. My neighbor was an undocumented family and I learned a lot from them. It was my first time to know what how hard it is to make a living as a foreigner and support a family when you have nothing to start with. I have never imagined a completely new life in a new country, and I thought it would be very painful. But in fact, the undocumented family is very happy; I can always see smiles on their faces no matter what difficulties they are going through. They told me that they enjoyed every moment of life as long as they could stay together. I was so touched by their story and start to imagine a new life for me, too. What if I didn't cling the financial supports I have now and get a job? Do I have the courage to give up everything I have now? What would I do if I left my comfort zones and try things that I always wanted to do? My neighbor taught me that there could be many possibilities in life, but what matters is how we see them and how we want to experience them. I didn't expect to meet people from another world, and I didn't expect to learn so much from their life stories. Their stories evoke my imagination of many different life styles that I want to experience. Life is short, I will live it with no regrets.

See Also