The landscape of Downtown Long Beach over the past decade has seen more change than any other previously—and it has altered the way residents, particularly photographers, view the city through their eyes and lenses.

This is why DLBA’s Unfiltered Photo Contest, an annual initiative that celebrates October’s National Arts Month, is a genuinely unique opportunity for budding and professional visual creators. Spanning across five categories—people/places/events; architecture; environment; skyline of DTLB, and this year’s newest category, pets/wildlife of DTLB – photographers are encouraged to capture Long Beach’s Downtown with their own distinct style.

Check out the details below, including prizes, grab your camera and enter by October 31!



View the Info Session


5 Categories in Our Fifth Year

“We have once again partnered with Arts Council for Long Beach to encourage creativity from our community and visitors in capturing the unique spirit of Downtown,” said Justine Nevarez, DLBA Special Projects Coordinator. “It’s a great way to showcase and market the unique story of DTLB and we look forward to reviewing the different perspectives of the ever-changing landscape of our urban core.”

  • Development has been booming, altering both living and the skyline: From the creation of what is now the city’s tallest building, the Shoreline Gateway, to the multi-structured, mixed-used Onni East Village project that stretches an entire city block along Long Beach Boulevard.
  • Parks have expanded and been reconfigured: The newly minted Lincoln Park in DTLB (@lincolnparklb on Instagram) is a shining example of this while the recent water park-on-the-ocean that is the Wibit is a very wet example of this.
  • People have been coming in, through both investment—like the new Solita restaurant space at the corner of Ocean and Pine—and living—as seen by the incoming folks filling new residential spaces.
  • And, even more, it is official that Long Beach is a pet and dog city, with dog parks, dog beaches, and professional walkers seen not just in DTLB but across the city.



Looking for inspiration?

Click the 2021 Fan Favorite Photo above from photographer Joe Rodriguez to view last year’s finalists and winners in our Virtual Gallery.



Enter Today!

With the ability to explore in a way that hasn’t been seen since before the pandemic, Unfiltered provides a chance for photographers and visual creators to not only have their work seen on a larger level—the DLBA will hang the work in their office space for a year, host a gallery exhibit with Arts Council come November, and will be featured at DLBA signature events—but also score a $100 gift card to a DTLB business.

Among the 25 finalists selected from photographs taken any time between October 1 and October 31 of this year, five will be chosen as winners in each category along with a fan favorite—and the winners get to walk away with a gift card.

Check out the DLBA Website to review the contest rules and submit your photos, which can be one in each category.