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Join the Cal Academy of Sciences' LoveLife Photo Competition!

One of our favorite places to get lost in the city is the California Academy of Sciences deep in Golden Gate Park, because sometimes we need to be reminded there's a whole world out there beyond all the concrete and automobiles. Inspired by their committment to opening the public's eyes to life on Earth beyond our immediate micro 'hoods, they're kicking off their second annual LoveLife photo competition, in which they ask you to submit your best photos of the Academy and the natural world for judging by top photo experts. Then you can get in on the action and vote for your favorite photos online to be entered in the People’s Choice Award. All winners will be announced at the March 1st Nightlife.

You have until February 1st to send over your photos to their Flickr page with the hashtag "lovelife2012." Prizes will be awarded in these categories:

Land life: butterflies, snakes, alligator… all life on land
Aquatic life: fish, sea stars, coral… all life underwater
Family life: people at the Academy
NightLife: the Academy at night
Mobile life: the Academy captured by smart phone
Protect life: photography that encourages awareness or action for the natural world

(Categories 1-5 must be photographed in the Academy between February 14, 2011 and February 1, 2012. Category 6 may be taken anywhere.)

And about the great prizes...The grand prize will garner a room at Hotel Vitale and dinner at 54 Mint, a Lytro 16GB Light Field Camera, Adobe Photoshop, and an Academy Conservation Photography Excursion. Click here to see the rest of the prizes, including People's Choice!

Want to read the rules, see last year's winners, or download a photogrphy release form? Click here and scroll to the bottom for all you'll need to know. Good luck and happy clicking!