IT'S A FACT: If you own something that can take a picture and you've been to the beach, you've likely done what millions before you have done. The coast is, in fact, an alluring setting for the shutterbug; the play of the light on the waves, the occasional spotting of a dolphin or seal, the way kelp strands'll bunch up where the surf meets the sand all make for ripe photo opportunities. And the fact that California just happens to have so many miles of so many magnificent beaches and bluffs and cliffs only tempts the photographer more. Meaning that the California Ocean and Coastal Amateur Photography Contest, sponsored by Fairmont Hotels, Thank You Ocean, and the California Coastal Commission, gets a lot of great photos. A lot. The prizes are good -- an overnight stay in Sonoma and an overnight in the OC, among them -- but gaining acclaim from beach-loving admirers is pretty wonderful, too. With that in mind we gently remind amateur photogs that the deadline is coming up: Friday, July 13. If you don't have a photo to submit, but you'd still like to rate photos, you can when the contest wraps, at this site. Consider a little mini mind vacation on the beaches of the Golden State. Here are a couple of other nice ones from last year.
Image top: Scott Gabara, “Sea Nettle (Chrysaora fuscescens)”: 2011 Honorable Mention
Images below: Brian Friedman, “Coming Through”: 2011 Judges’ 1st Choice Winner
Edwin Hacking Pecsadero, “Self Portrait in Tidepool Bubbles and Foam”: 2011 Honorable Mention