Best summer ever: Readers share their travel photos

Summer photos 2019
Josh Means from Corona del Mar, an 18-year-old student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, was on a backpacking trip when he set up his Sony a7 III for a long night-sky exposure near Thousand Island Lake. The image, made June 30, gives us a big view of the Milky Way.
(Josh Means)

Thanks for the misery, readers.

We mean that in the nicest way possible.

We received more than 2,500 submissions for our annual Summer Vacation Photo issue. Photos are from those who do not make their living as professional photographers.

A group of photo, design, digital, social and word editors recently gathered to decide which ones would appear in print or online.

Advertisement
Advertisement

It’s fun looking at pictures from around the world — fun until someone gets hurt (or their feelings do). Then the party’s over, and it’s time for the hard decisions.

Everybody’s ox gets gored, which means each of us had favorites that didn’t make the final cut.
There was no supreme dictator. Everybody had a say, which became a case study in how perceptions can vary.

See bigger photos

Here’s what didn’t vary: the amazement onlookers expressed at your work.

Several non-Travel-section colleagues wandered by to see why we had hundreds of photos spread across tables and on the floor. When we told them we were evaluating reader photo submissions, they inevitably replied with an unenthusiastic “Oh.” Then they’d look at the talent on display and the second “Oh” would sound an octave higher, the way people react when they realize they have underestimated something remarkable.

Advertisement

Which describes what you’ll see here and in print.

You made these photos easy to love and, in doing so, made our jobs much more difficult. We’re not complaining, though. Instead we are reveling in a photographic journey around the world that has made us appreciate why we travel and why we love it so. Welcome aboard.

Nice, France

Summer reader photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Hazel Sepenuk)

Hazel Sepenuk, Los Angeles

Sepenuk, 16, and her mother, Sondi Toll Sepenuk, were in Nice in August, enjoying a perch above a rocky beach. The younger Sepenuk stepped down to water’s edge with her iPhone X.

Savannah, Ga.

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Marcio Romani and Clayton Mosher)

Marcio Romani and Clayton Mosher, Los Angeles

Romani and Mosher were knocked out by the scenery at Savannah’s Wormsloe State Historic Site, an 18th century colonial estate with ruins, costumed interpreters and a nature trail. Appraising this watery scene on Aug. 31, the two came up with a plan: Romani would jump on the fallen tree, climb out over the water and strike a yoga pose. Mosher would snap the picture on the iPhone XR. But once Romani started climbing, “It was very wobbly, kind of dangerous,” he said. So he just sat and looked into the distance. Mosher snapped. Nice.

Giau Pass, Italy

Advertisement

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Randy Howard)

Randy Howard, San Dimas

On June 24, Howard was on a photo tour in the Dolomites region of northern Italy. At the Giau Pass, he and a few others climbed about three-quarters of a mile to a vantage point. Then, Howard said, “The clouds started rolling in” and this scene materialized. He used a Canon 5D Mark III.

Los Angeles

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Sandy Davis)

Sandy Davis, Pasadena

Davis didn’t travel far on Aug. 2 — just to the Los Angeles Zoo — but he chose his time and place well. While Davis trained his Nikon D800 and its 28-300 mm lens on the tiger enclosure, the big cat posed by a rock formation.

It takes patience and talent to capture these creatures’ best moments. Here are photo submissions from our Summer Vacation Photo issue.

Sossusvlei, Namibia

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Tina Studier)
Advertisement

Tina Studier, Manhattan Beach

Studier, her husband and two of their children spent two nights at Sossusvlei, including a June 18 stop at the Namib Desert’s much-admired Dune 45. She trained her Canon PowerShot SX40 HS on the slope while others climbed the hill.

Paris

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Steve Giffin)

Steve Giffin, Palos Verdes Estates

Giffin, his wife and their teenage daughter were dead tired on June 22 after an overnight flight to Paris. Their hotel clerk prescribed a short walk near the Eiffel Tower. Bingo. “The energy and vibe around the tower really set a great mood for the rest of the trip,” Giffin wrote. He used an Olympus E-M1 Mark II

Major Cay, Exuma, Bahamas

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Mike McDonnell)

Mike McDonnell, Newbury Park

Major Cay in the Exuma Cays is known for its feral pigs that swim. McDonnell arrived by boat on June 17 and got this picture with his Sony a7R III. Hurricane Dorian mostly missed Major Cay on Sept. 1 when it roared into the Bahamas.

Advertisement

Disneyland, Anaheim

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Ashlee Okamura)

Ashlee Okamura, Irvine

Okamura, 16, found this angle during a fireworks display above the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area of Disneyland, which opened in May. She used a Nikon D5000.

Antelope Canyon, Ariz.

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Anita Mauch)

Anita Mauch, Moorpark

Antelope Canyon, just east of Page, Ariz., is owned by the Navajo Nation, which allows escorted tours. Mauch took one Aug. 12 and discovered these two trickles of sand within the red walls of the slot canyon. She used a Nikon D3400.

Banff National Park, Canada

2019 summer vacation photo.
(Janet Hirth)
Advertisement

Janet Hirth, Laguna Niguel

Hirth was walking the shoreline of Lake Moraine between bouts of rain on Aug. 31 when she came upon these canoes and turquoise waters. She shot it with a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Virgilio Go)

Virgilio Go, Chino Hills

Go met these Maasai on Aug. 16 near the Tanzanian border and seized the chance to get a picture of the boldly dressed foursome jumping. He used a Sony a7 III.

Maui, Hawaii

2019 summer vacation photo.
(Kevin Zelenay)

Kevin Zelenay, Los Angeles

Zelenay was snorkeling on Aug. 22 at Maui’s Black Rock Beach with his wife, Diane, left, and her sister when this scene took shape. He captured it with a GoPro Hero 7.

Advertisement

Paris

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Sally Raskoff)

Sally Raskoff, Woodland Hills

On Aug. 11, Raskoff stepped into Sainte-Chapelle, a 13th century chapel that was once home to kings and queens, and saw a picture-perfect view above. “It’s just magical,” she said. She used an iPhone 7 Plus.

Svalbard archipelago, Norway

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Steve Fujinaka)

Steve Fujinaka, Torrance

Fujinaka spotted this polar bear on July 27 on a small-ship cruise. The bear spent about two hours romping near the ship as Fujinakasnapped away with his Nikon D850 camera with a 180-400 mm lens and 1.4x teleconverter. Fujinaka liked this image of the bear because of “how comfortable it was being around us,” he said.

Zanzibar

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
Advertisement

Timothy Boettcher, West Los Angeles

Boettcher was struck by the colors and shapes of this urban scene in Stone Town, the oldest part of Zanzibar City. He snapped this picture in June with a Sony DSC-RX10.

Sequoia National Park, Calif.

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Lucas Lochner Bravo)

Lucas Lochner Bravo, Pioneer, Calif.

Bravo and his girlfriend, Emma Lautanen, were on a three-day backpacking trip when he caught the sun peeking over the ridge and Lautanen below. He used his iPhone 6.

Ladakh, India

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Tiffany Yip)

Tiffany Yip, Pasadena

Yip was at the Hemis Festival in Ladakh in August when this masked figured turned her way. She snapped with a Nikon D7200.

Advertisement

Hengchun Township, Taiwan

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Kit Houseman)

Kit Houseman, Torrance

Houseman trained his lens on the roof of this Chinese folk temple, which portrays Guanyin, the goddess of Mercy. Houseman used a Canon PowerShot SX730 HS on his July trip.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Sue Bachmann)

Sue Bachmann, Long Beach

On June 5, Bachmann flew from Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti, then joined a game drive that encountered these two zebras. Bachmann raised her Sony DSC-HX80 and caught their gentle interaction.

Niagara Falls, Canada

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Susan Gross)
Advertisement

Susan Gross, Santa Monica

Gross and her mother, Helen Gross, 87, on Sept. 3 finally got to a long-anticipated landmark: Niagara Falls. As they approached on foot from the Canadian side, Susan spotted the U.S. sightseeing boat Maid of the Mist and raised her iPhone 7.

Catalina Island

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Kahtryn Keeney Jaeger)

Kathryn Keeney Jaeger, South Pasadena

On June 29, Jaeger and her family headed on their sport-fishing boat to the Two Harbors area of Catalina Island. While she and her 11-year-old son, Robert, were walking on shore, a breeze caught his towel. Jaeger captured the moment with her iPhone 7. Her fancy Nikon? On the boat.

Takahara, Japan

Summer photos 2019
2019 summer vacation photo.
(Chris Lock)

Chris Lock, Huntington Beach

On a family trip to Japan in June, Lock hiked the Kumano Kodo trail network with his sons, Grant, 11, and Austen, 13. After about three miles, father and sons repaired to Kirinosato, a ryokan in Takahara, for a sunset onsen soak. That’s when Lock raised his Fuji X-T2 and got this shot.