Costa Rica | 2009
100 Images

Top 100 travel photos from Times readers

Costa Rica | 2009

This photo is a potent reminder of the real joy of travel. No one knows how to beat boredom like a 9-year-old, who opened a window and let the rain tickle his face on the hour-long ride from the airport to the hotel in Costa Rica. Margie Temme of Santa Ana took the shot.

 (Margie Temme)
Galapagos Islands | 2009

Photographer Linda Boyd of Anaheim got in so close that you can’t help but feel you’re on the beach sunning yourself with the sea lions. By filling the frame with the animals, the lovable details emerge, even down to their whiskers.

 (Linda Boyd)
Datong, China | 2009

Being flexible and having a good eye help.  Photographer Felix J. Bonomo of San Marcos, Calif., had disembarked to shoot the train but found this scene instead. Subtle colors create an air of mystery. Like a great painting, it invites you to gaze at it.

 (Felix J. Bonomo)
Jerusalem | 2009

This is a unique take on the Western Wall, which is a familiar subject. Photographer David Katz of West Hills used a long exposure for this nighttime shot, which created an ethereal effect when the men walked into the foreground.

 (David Katz)
Destin, Fla. | 2009

Sheri Forbes of Houston took this lightning shot in Destin, Fla. It’s so vivid you can almost feel the electricity.

 (Sheri Forbes)
6. Santorini, Greece
Judges said: Clean, beautiful and simple on Santorini. (Valerie Staines, Marina del Rey)
7. Huntington Beach
Judges said: The playfulness of this one made us smile, and the simplicity of the photo, shot at a kite festival, helped make it work. (Hyra George, Long Beach)
8. Kurashiki, Japan
Judges said: Good composition works with contrasting colors to create a photojournalistic look at a Kurashiki canal. (Janet King, Santa Barbara)
9. Turkey
Judges said: This picture of the cliffs of Pamukkale, Turkey, captures their fragility, which contrasts with the perception of the rugged countryside. (Saul Freedman, Tarzana)
10. Bali
Judges said: The framing of this photo -- a fighting cock -- enhances the beauty of a scene that is about to turn ugly. (TJ Korst, Canoga Park)
11. Italy
Judges said: Great lighting accentuates the unhurried feel of this shot from Cinque Terre.

Brandy Bishop, Santa Monica ()
12. India
Judges said: This photo of candles, about to be floated in the Ganges, creates a sense of intimacy even without showing a face.

Angelica Solis, Los Angeles ()
13. China
Judges said: Lovely composition, with the tunnel as frame, in Suzhou.

Randy Imai, Anaheim ()
14. Chicago
Judges said: This photo of “Cloud Gate,” nicknamed the Bean, invites you to study and decipher the nuances of the sculpture, which is made up of scores of stainless-steel plates.

Karen I. Shanbrom, Eagle Rock ()
15. Cozumel, Mexico
Judges said: On a dive off Cozumel, the photographer cleverly zoomed in on this sea anemone. The payoff: vivid colors that almost shout Mexico.

Julianne E. Steers, Santa Monica ()
16. South Georgia Island
Judges said: The strength of this photo of King penguins is its simplicity. Capturing this moment is a testament to the photographer’s patience.

David E. Ross, Long Beach ()
17. Antarctica
Judges said: A nice “found” moment with a leopard seal.

David E. Ross, Long Beach ()
18. San Francisco
Judges said: The framing of this one really sets it apart, and the photographer deserves credit for finding a location that gives new life to a familiar place. The juxtaposition of fence and bridge is enchanting.

Jake Lippman, El Cajon ()
19. Salt Lake City
Richard Paul, Redondo Beach ()
20. Venice, Italy
Paula Carroll, Pacific Palisades ()
21. A sunrise along the Ganges River in Varanasi, India
Francine V. Lucey, Venice, Calif. ()
22. The Old Public Market building in Manaus, Brazil
Dick Curry, Santa Barbara ()
23. Burano, Italy
Ruth Clampett, Studio City ()
24. Southern France
Greg May, Irvine ()
25. Dubrovnik, Croatia as seen from the Carnival Freedom cruise ship
Gareth Richards, Riverside ()
26. Niagara Falls
Judith Haun, Pacific Palisades ()
27. Da Nang, Vietnam
Daisy and Vic Schneidman, Long Beach ()
28. A rural road west of Arlington, Vt.
Ralph White, Bishop, Calif. ()
29. A <i>torri</i> (traditional Japanese gate) on Lake Biwa in Osaka, Japan
Daryl Getman, South Pasadena ()
30. Rheinstein Castle in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
John F. Hines, Anaheim ()
31. A Jefferson pine tree in Mammoth Lakes
Skylar Ritchie, Pacific Palisades ()
32. Zhu Jia Jiao, an ancient water village in China
Sheryl Carrerow, Aliso Viejo, Calif. ()
33. Pokhara, Nepal
Todd Stern, Venice, Calif. ()
34. Children from the Batonka tribe on Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe
Lori Graham, Carpinteria ()
35. Brian Mogilewsky, 15, breaks a pinata during a birthday celebration in Oaxaca, Mexico
Joe Mogilewsky, Yorba Linda ()
36. Havana Vieja, Cuba
Brandon Rus, Newport Beach ()
37. A farm in the Berkshires, Mass.
Joe Brandolino, Hollywood ()
Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Wyoming | 2009

Stephen Krupnick of Laguna Beach took this shot at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Wyoming.

 (Stephen Krupnick)
39. Antarctica
Bob Fairbanks, Dana Point ()
40. Taikodani Temple in Tsuwano, Japan
Peter King, Santa Barbara ()
41. The Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali
Lauralee Asch, Santa Monica ()
42. India
Vighnesh Iyer, Cerritos ()
43. San Pedro, Belize
Danielle Wiebe, Palos Verdes Estates ()
44. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China during October
Jay M. Grosflam, Long Beach ()
45. Walton Memorial Lighthouse in Santa Cruz
Richard Paul Kain II, San Dimas ()
46. A tour guide is silhouetted by the sunset on Rio Mamore in Brazil
Ken Lee, Balboa Park, Calif. ()
47. An abandoned house in the Eastern Sierras
Richard Rains, Sylmar ()
48. A street near El Malecon walkway in Havana, Cuba
Ronald Rus, Newport Beach ()
49. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Dave Schwien, Seal Beach ()
50. Mauritius
Joan Sittenfield, Los Angeles ()
51. Bimini Island, Bahamas
Bud Gundersen, Granada Hills ()
52. Quechua fisherwomen on Lake Titicaca at sunset
Ralph De La Parra, Whittier ()
53. Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada
Fran McFate, Long Beach ()
54. A full moon rising in Rockport, Mass.
Ralph White, Bishop, Calif. ()
55. Jølstravatnet Lake in Jølster, Norway
Svein Brunstad, Valencia ()
56. Tillamook Bay in Tillamook, Ore.
B.J. Patterson, Rancho Palos Verdes ()
57. Sandhill Cranes in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, N.M.
John Chase, West Hills ()
58. San Diego at night as seen from Coronado Island
Joseph Berk, Upland ()
Chicago | 2009

Chicago is reflected in “The Bean” sculpture in Millennium Park in this image by Jim McIntire of Thousand Oaks.

 (Jim McIntire)
60. Gentoo penguins in Antarctica
Bob Fairbanks, Dana Point ()
61. Botswana
William J. Glucksman, Los Angeles ()
62. North Malé Atoll, Maldives
Todd Stern, Venice, Calif. ()
63. Mono Pass in Yosemite National Park
Herbert Petermann, Topanga ()
64. A glacier on Prince William Sound, Alaska
John Nall, Pomona ()
65. Uros Island on Lake Titicaca, Peru
Ina Setiadji, Los Angeles ()
66. Cairo
Sultana McDevitt, Santa Maria ()
67. Taipei
Richard Rains, Sylmar ()
68. Southern India
Peter King, Santa Barbara ()
69. Geisha in Japan
Richard Ross, Pacific Palisades ()
70. Paris
Mark Farbstein, Pasadena ()
71. Buenos Aires
Dov Ascoli, Manhattan Beach ()
72. Cape penguins in South Africa
William J. Glucksman, Los Angeles ()
73. A lioness and her cub in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania
Anthony Galvan III, Goleta ()
74. Kodiak bears on Kodiak Island, Alaska
John Nall, Pomona ()
Toronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia | 2009

Clark Woodford of Los Angeles took this image of a giraffe at the Toronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia.

 (Clark Woodford)
76. Historic schoolhouse in Sula, Mont.
Martin Roitman, Monarch Beach, Calif. ()
77. Nashville, Tenn.
Judith A. Proffer, Encino ()
78. Downtown Beijing
Conor H. Cook, Los Angeles ()
79. Sylhet, Bangladesh
Denise Gallant, Walnut ()
80. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Susan Merrifield Prieto, Los Angeles ()
81. Valley of the Queens in Thebes, Egypt
David Greenspan, Oak Park, Calif. ()
82. Otavalo, Ecuador
Linda Boyd, Anaheim ()
Nepal | 2009

Todd Stern of Venice photographed a young girl visiting a temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

 (Todd Stern)
84. Vietnam
Julie Stayton, Ridgecrest, Calif. ()
85. Grand Canal in Venice, Italy
John Johnson, Covina ()
86. Kerala, India
Todd Stern, Venice, Calif. ()
Gecko | 2009

Howard Maize of Woodland Hills steals a shot of a gecko.

 (Howard Maize )
88. White Sands National Monument, N.M.
Lisa Ketchem, Seal Beach ()
89. A scarlet macaw in Corcovado Beach, Costa Rica
Sam Spector, Culver City ()
90. Switzerland
Jeffrey Kaplan, Anaheim ()
91. Egypt
Diana Flores, Glendale ()
92. Varanasi, India
Kay Erickson, Santa Monica ()
93. Southern Vietnam’s countryside
Joan Meyerson, Valley Village, Calif. ()
94. Ladakh, India
Ken Lee, Lake Balboa, Calif. ()
95. Mercat St. Josep in Barcelona
George W. Contreras, Camarillo ()
96. Lamayuru Monastery in Ladakh, India
Ken Lee, Lake Balboa, Calif. ()
97. Fall in New Hampshire
Jerri Ellen Wheeler, San Juan Capistrano ()
98. A red colobus monkey in Zanzibar, Tanzania
Rick Plows, Long Beach ()
99. Hanalei Pier in Kauai
Teresa Cendreda, Irvine ()
100. India
Kay Erickson, Santa Monica ()