You went to some fantastic places this summer, as evidenced by the more than 1,500 photos submitted for this special reader-driven issue. We saw photographs from Botswana, Burma and Barcelona, Spain; the Sahara and South Carolina; Canada and California and more.

Our favorite summer vacation photos from readers

Mono Lake at Sunset
Jeremey Tripp, Bethesda, Md.
OK, Times readers, we'll say this upfront: We're a little jealous.

You went to some fantastic places this summer, as evidenced by the more than 1,500 photos submitted for this special reader-driven issue. We saw photographs from Botswana, Burma and Barcelona, Spain; the Sahara and South Carolina; Canada and California and more.

Your photos reflected careful composition, amazing light and, best of all, the joy of showing a place at its most dramatic. They were sometimes pretty, sometimes eerie but always entrancing, whether you ventured halfway around the world or just to your backyard.

Technology has come so far (and, along with it, readers' skill in using it) that many pics were shot with smartphones. The results were so good they were practically indistinguishable from those taken with more sophisticated equipment. Most of all, what you photographed inspired all of us who work with travel photography every day.

If you had sat in with the editors during the selection process, you would have heard our oohs and aahs -- and our groans, knowing we couldn't include everything. These were hard choices, and we're grateful for that, in a strange way, because you made us think again about the best ways to portray our world. That is a gift -- to us and to those who will marvel at the work. Thank you, readers, for transporting us.

-- Kathy M.Y. Pyon, Times visual editor/producer
Bacoli, Italy
Adam Allegro, Agoura Hills
Shan State, Myanmar
Allen Gilbert, Los Angeles
Dawn Rosenquist, Los Angeles
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
Ludia Kochan, Los Angeles
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Aubrey Weber, Hidden Hills
Ross Barnett Reservoir, Miss.
Troy Dalmasso, Los Angeles
Phinda Game Reserve, South Africa
Debra Griffith, Mission Viejo
Brian Rothmuller, Irvine
Temecula, Calif.
Gareth Richards, Jurupa Valley, Calif.
Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Fidel Mora, Upland
Upper Antelope Canyon, Ariz.
Tina Lazaroff, Tarzana
Birds near Kailua Bay, Hawaii
Meredith French, San Diego
The Bund, Shanghai
Anthony Galvan III, Goleta, Calif.
Utah from a plane
Andrea Ashley, Calabasas
Inner Harbour, Victoria, Canada
Matthew Urquhart, Victoria, Canada
Humpback whale, Alaska
Anne Rolbin, San Clemente
Horses, Mongolia
Bryan Matt McConnell, Chino
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Felicia Tausig
Denu, Ghana
Vighnesh Iyer, Cerritos
Mesa Verde National Park, Colo.
Anne Beachey-Kemp, Glendale
Vatican Museums, Vatican City
Adam Allegro, Agoura Hills
Ansel Adams Wilderness, Calif.
Jane Wike, Manhattan Beach
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Thao Duong, Riverside
Katmai National Park, Alaska
T.D. Hathcock, Flower Mound, Texas
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Stefanie Weiner, Brentwood
Silver Falls State Park, Ore.
Larry Heyert, Hermosa Beach
Sunset Cliffs, San Diego
Troy Dalmasso, Los Angeles
Rocamadour, France
Christine Cope Pence, Riverside
Portofino, Italy
Gerald J. Harper, Seal Beach
Périgueux Cathedral, France
Del Dickson, National City
Sacré-Coeur Basilica, Paris
Renae Myers, Fairfax, Va.
Morro Castle, Havana, Cuba
Chris Northrup, Culver City
Mesa Verde National Park, Colo.
Afton White, North Hollywood
Positano, Italy
Marianne Titiriga, Los Angeles
El Matador State Beach, Malibu
Amber Lunsford, Sacramento
Louvre Museum, Paris
Jess Walia, Los Angeles
Tower Bridge, London
Brian Rothmuller, Irvine
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Paul Levitt, Long Beach
Buffalo, Custer State Park, S.D.
Ken Kealey and Larry Tyler
Louvre Museum, Paris
Larry Shore, Seal Beach
Lake Powell, Ariz.
Connie Terry, Seal Beach
Grizzly bear, Kenai River, Alaska
Ken Fanelli, West Hills
Glacier National Park, Mont.
Ken Bromberg, Santa Monica
Spruce trees, Yukon, Canada
Karl Gerber, Los Angeles
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Karen Kovach, Newport Beach
Johannesburg, South Africa
Ken Bruce, Glendale, Ariz.
Old City of Jerusalem
Chad Vesper, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Hanauma Bay, Oahu
Cheryl Junod, Santa Monica
Jackson, Wyo.
Farrah Stewart, Riverside
Jasper National Park, Canada
Henri Mondschein, Agoura Hills
Horse ranch in Hana, Maui
Skylar Aud, West Hollywood
Goleta, Calif.
Mike McQuiggan, Goleta, Calif.
County Laois, Ireland
Francie Murphy, Del Mar
Butterfly release, Estes Park, Colo.
Kim Sullivan, Rancho Palos
Budapest, Hungary
Devon Johnson, Woodland Hills
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
David Lee, Newbury Park
Daisy Chaussee, Rancho Palos Verdes
Château de Brancion, France
Cynthia Chan, Cerritos
Crater Lake, Ore.
Mary Lee Gair, Corona del Mar
Cinque Terre, Italy
Susan Kasenow, Los Angeles
Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco
Carol Maillet, Laguna Niguel
Cape Cod, Mass.
Harry Zimmerman, Marina del Rey
Humpback whale
Laurie Engelhardt, Hermosa Beach
Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago
Byron Flitsch, Pasadena
Ambergris Caye island, Belize
Bryce Pagter, Santa Ana
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Bill Jones, Dana Point
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
Sherwin Goo, Pasadena
Atlantic City
James Mahan-Soto, Glendale
Odaiba Island, Tokyo
Michael Wong, Porter Ranch
The Deutschland, Greenland
Martha Steinharter, Riverside
Maasai Mara reserve, Kenya
Judith A. Proffer, Encino
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Tony Zeng, Irvine
Kalapana, Hawaii
Marcia Luce, Los Angeles
Sahara Desert, Morocco
Danielle Edison, Costa Mesa
Bowling Ball Beach, Mendocino
Ken Lee, Lake Balboa