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Send us your pictures from your summer trip for our 2018 vacation photo issue

The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Sept. 5 to have your work considered for our Sept. 16 spread of beauty spots.

The unofficial end of summer is fast upon us, and that can mean only one thing: The deadline is nearing for submitting your 2018 summer vacation pictures for possible inclusion in our Sept. 16 reader photo issue, in print and online.

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We'll consider photos shot from May 25 through Sept. 3, 2018; the deadline for submission (no more than 10 photos per person, please) is 11:59 p.m. Sept. 5.

Our team of editors and photographers will evaluate the photos and make the selections from what is usually a crowded field. The culling process is intense. We often disagree. Insults fly, although fisticuffs have thus far been avoided. But it’s all in pursuit of a visually stunning array of photos from you, by you and for you.

What we’re looking for

Here’s a peek at what the evaluators think when perusing these works:

►Does the photo capture a moment? It could be a monarch butterfly flitting through a stand of milkweed, the look of joy on a child’s face when a small wave laps at his toes, the moment when exquisite light turns a merely stunning scenic into a Monet.

►Does it have a sense of place? Because this is for the Travel section, a picture that shows us where in the world you spent your summer vacation is important. Remember, every beach sunset looks like every other beach sunset unless you have, say, a cliff diver in silhouette or Diamond Head in the background.

►Does it hint at a story? Facial expressions, whether they’re on people or animals, suggest an interior dialogue that makes the picture a little bit like eavesdropping. Spontaneous moments frozen in a photo are much like the middle of a story that yearns for a beginning and an end.

One caveat: We will think about your photos, but you shouldn’t overthink the taking of your photos. A good picture has a visceral quality that pulls you in, and you can’t always create that. Sometimes it just happens.

Here’s how to submit your work:

Email your photos with the subject "Summer Vacation Photo Issue" to travel@latimes.com. (Note that photos larger than 10MB will bounce back.)

Or you can upload them to Flickr, or hashtag them #latimestravel2018 on Instagram.

Please make sure you pay attention to these details:

►Photos must be 1,600 pixels wide and 900 pixels deep and at least 200 dpi (dots per inch). Photos should be at least 1 megabyte; 5MB is ideal, but more than 10MB is too large.

►We're looking for talented amateurs, not professional photographers. If you make some of your living as a professional photographer, please do not submit.

►No alterations: You can't use a photo-editing tool to erase or add elements. If there's an ugly trash can in your otherwise great shot, you can't take it out (although you can crop it out).

►Photos must have been taken from May 25 through Sept. 3. Deadline for submissions: 11:59 p.m. Sept. 5.

►Include your name, city of residence, date and place of photo and an email or phone number where we can reach you for verification; we won't print your email or phone number, but we may need to clarify something about the photo.

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►Describe the photo: What's happening? Who is in it? Please include the names of the subjects. What prompted you to take the picture? What kind of camera did you use? Smartphone photos are fine, by the way; we love knowing that mobile devices can be used for great photography.

►Agreement: By submitting your photos, you agree that The Times may reproduce your photos in any format.

►Limit: Please limit submissions to no more than 10 photos.

Thank you for sharing your world and making our world even more memorable.

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