Costa Rica | 2009
100 Images

Top 100 travel photos from Times readers

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

 (Sheri Forbes)
Judges said: Clean, beautiful and simple on Santorini. (Valerie Staines, Marina del Rey)
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)
Judges said: Good composition works with contrasting colors to create a photojournalistic look at a Kurashiki canal. (Janet King, Santa Barbara)
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)
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)
Judges said: Great lighting accentuates the unhurried feel of this shot from Cinque Terre.

Brandy Bishop, Santa Monica ()
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 ()
Judges said: Lovely composition, with the tunnel as frame, in Suzhou.

Randy Imai, Anaheim ()
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 ()
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 ()
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 ()
Judges said: A nice “found” moment with a leopard seal.

David E. Ross, Long Beach ()
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 ()
Richard Paul, Redondo Beach ()
Paula Carroll, Pacific Palisades ()
Francine V. Lucey, Venice, Calif. ()
Dick Curry, Santa Barbara ()
Ruth Clampett, Studio City ()
Greg May, Irvine ()
Gareth Richards, Riverside ()
Judith Haun, Pacific Palisades ()
Daisy and Vic Schneidman, Long Beach ()
Ralph White, Bishop, Calif. ()
Daryl Getman, South Pasadena ()
John F. Hines, Anaheim ()
Skylar Ritchie, Pacific Palisades ()
Sheryl Carrerow, Aliso Viejo, Calif. ()
Todd Stern, Venice, Calif. ()
Lori Graham, Carpinteria ()
Joe Mogilewsky, Yorba Linda ()
Brandon Rus, Newport Beach ()
Joe Brandolino, Hollywood ()

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

 (Stephen Krupnick)
Bob Fairbanks, Dana Point ()
Peter King, Santa Barbara ()
Lauralee Asch, Santa Monica ()
Vighnesh Iyer, Cerritos ()
Danielle Wiebe, Palos Verdes Estates ()
Jay M. Grosflam, Long Beach ()
Richard Paul Kain II, San Dimas ()
Ken Lee, Balboa Park, Calif. ()
Richard Rains, Sylmar ()
Ronald Rus, Newport Beach ()
Dave Schwien, Seal Beach ()
Joan Sittenfield, Los Angeles ()
Bud Gundersen, Granada Hills ()
Ralph De La Parra, Whittier ()
Fran McFate, Long Beach ()
Ralph White, Bishop, Calif. ()
Svein Brunstad, Valencia ()
B.J. Patterson, Rancho Palos Verdes ()
John Chase, West Hills ()
Joseph Berk, Upland ()

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

 (Jim McIntire)
Bob Fairbanks, Dana Point ()
William J. Glucksman, Los Angeles ()
Todd Stern, Venice, Calif. ()
Herbert Petermann, Topanga ()
John Nall, Pomona ()
Ina Setiadji, Los Angeles ()
Sultana McDevitt, Santa Maria ()
Richard Rains, Sylmar ()
Peter King, Santa Barbara ()
Richard Ross, Pacific Palisades ()
Mark Farbstein, Pasadena ()
Dov Ascoli, Manhattan Beach ()
William J. Glucksman, Los Angeles ()
Anthony Galvan III, Goleta ()
John Nall, Pomona ()

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

 (Clark Woodford)
Martin Roitman, Monarch Beach, Calif. ()
Judith A. Proffer, Encino ()
Conor H. Cook, Los Angeles ()
Denise Gallant, Walnut ()
Susan Merrifield Prieto, Los Angeles ()
David Greenspan, Oak Park, Calif. ()
Linda Boyd, Anaheim ()

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

 (Todd Stern)
Julie Stayton, Ridgecrest, Calif. ()
John Johnson, Covina ()
Todd Stern, Venice, Calif. ()

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

 (Howard Maize )
Lisa Ketchem, Seal Beach ()
Sam Spector, Culver City ()
Jeffrey Kaplan, Anaheim ()
Diana Flores, Glendale ()
Kay Erickson, Santa Monica ()
Joan Meyerson, Valley Village, Calif. ()
Ken Lee, Lake Balboa, Calif. ()
George W. Contreras, Camarillo ()
Ken Lee, Lake Balboa, Calif. ()
Jerri Ellen Wheeler, San Juan Capistrano ()
Rick Plows, Long Beach ()
Teresa Cendreda, Irvine ()
Kay Erickson, Santa Monica ()