Travel Photo Thursday: “Reader Photos”

Travel Photo Thursday: “Reader Photos”

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Many U.S. newspapers publish trip photos submitted by readers after they’ve returned from vacation.

In fact, my career as travel writer was launched when a story in the San Francisco Chronicle about glacier touring in Southeast Alaska was published a few months after this photos of two dogs eye-balling tourists in Ketchikan ran in the Sunday Travel section of other San Francisco Bay Area newspapers.


It’s a delight, of course, to see your trip photos appear in in your local newspaper.

But it’s also fun when you discover that a paper has run photos by other travelers that are similar to ones that you’ve taken during your own vacation trips, and which bring back fond memories of your visit to those places.

(Los Angles Times Travel Reader Photos)

And that was the case when I read “The Times’ favorite summer vacation photos from readers in 2014” story by Los Angeles Times Travel Editor, Catharine Hamm, in this past Sunday’s online edition of the paper.

Here are my photos (top) that are counterparts to those (bottom) submitted by Los Angeles Times readers.


The shipwrecked Point Reyes has rested on the shores of Tomales Bay for ages. The parking lot for the Inverness Store is a handy pull-out that has let untold numbers of visitors headed to nearby Point Reyes National Seashore to stop and take a photo of what has become an “iconic image” of this section of the California coast just north of San Francisco

Point Reyes Shipwreck IMG_0071

I’ve photographed the Point Reyes many times over the last four decades, often during the drive home after hiking out at the seashore. My shot was taken from the boat’s starboard side, the one from the Los Angeles Times from the port side.

A Yosemite Classic

I first stood gazing open-mounted into Yosemite Valley from the Tunnel View pullout in February of 1968. This shot was taken 37 years later in February of 2005. Somewhere tucked away in a closet in my home are boxes and trays of photographic slides taken on many other trips to California’s most famous national park that must contain other images from the same viewpoint.

Tunnel View 5 Edited

The mountains along the margins of Yosemite Valley stand out in my shot, while clouds and a serendipitous rainbow are the highlights of the one the Times ran.

Yellowstone’s Surreal Color Palette

Old Faithful geyser spews a stream of superheated “white water” skyward like clockwork, making it one of the most frequently photographed geothermal features in Yellowstone National Park.

But the most dramatic places in the park are pools of blue or green hued water of differing sizes, ringed by brilliant red, yellows or orange.

Morning Glory Pool

On a 2005 trip, I photographed one such colorful pond, “Morning Glory Pool,” not far from Old Faithful geyser.

The one in the newspaper’s collection of vacation photos was shot in the park’s West Thumb Geyser Basin.

 Castle Keep

King Henry II gave Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley south of Paris to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. But when he died, his wife, Catherine de’ Medici, took it for her own personal residence.

An overcast day in September of 2006 proved perfect for my shot depicting the châteaux’s serene setting on the River Cher, near the small village of Chenonceaux where I spent two nights in a hotel before heading west to Normandy. Under such gray skies, you can almost imagine Diane de Potiers pacing back and forth inside of the castle, gloomily pondering her fate after learning of the king’s demise.


On the other hand, sunshine on a day like the one when Catherine de’ Medici moved into turned Château de Chenonceau into a Disneyland-like Cinderella castle in the photo published in the Times.

View Over The “Rain Barrel”

Crater Lake, formed when Mount Mazama blew its top thousands of year ago, is like a blue jewel set into the Oregon Cascade Mountains. It filled with water like a rain barrel.

In this photo shot on my last trip to the park in 2008, Mount Scott looms above the eastern rim of the caldera in which the lake lies.

Dear Snag, Crater Lake Rim
The photo of Mount Scott that appears in the newspaper was taken from a slightly different vantage point.

Canadian Rocky Mountain Highlight

Lake Louise, nestled a mile high in the Canadian Rockies, might be the most photogenic mountain lake in North America.

But nearby Moraine Lake, surrounded by a phalanx of high peaks, is the subject of this shot I took during my 2012 visit to that part of Canada.

Moraine Lake IMG_9525

I held my camera vertically, while the photo in the Times looks to have been shot at exactly the same spot, but with the camera held horizontally.

Be sure to check out all of photos in the Los Angles Times “portfolio” of vacation photos, especially those taken on Kauai and Maui, in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, at Ketchikan, Morro Bay, Rome, Venice, and Paris, and in national parks at Bryce Canyon, Grand Teton, Mount Rainier, Olympic, Redwood and Sequoia, all places where I’ve “Been There, Shot That.”

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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14 Replies to “Travel Photo Thursday: “Reader Photos””

  1. Gosh, for the first time ever I’ve been told my comment was spam! That’s not very inspiring and yet I thought I’d made a decent comment. Hopefully this time I’ll be allowed to continue. What I said was that I found it great fun to compare and contrast your lovely photos with those that others had taken. Great idea for a post.

    1. Phoebe,

      I’m surprised your first comment (which I’ve marked “Not Spam” and approved) was treated like those “Gee I luv yur blog and read evrything you rite (and please buy my hair removal cream products)” comments that usually get trashed by my blog’s spam filter.

      Anyway, thanks for persevering and posting a second comment which I’ve also approved!

  2. I especially like that French chateau photo of yours. It’s so moody, and I would have never guessed it was the same as the one that ran in the LA Times. What a difference lighting makes. I will admit that I’ve sometimes studied people’s photos before going on holiday so that I can figure out good camera angles. I’m headed to Yellowstone next summer and hope to get as wonderful a photo as the image you captured.

  3. Hi Dick! These are all gorgeous shots. I used to live in Banff, Alberta and to this day I still believe that Lake Louise is one of the most beautiful spots on earth. I think I have been there in every kind of weather. Of course, all this happened before I owned a camera 🙂 Thanks for linking up this week!

  4. PS…I also was told that my comment above was spam …”go back and write something useful” (laughing here). It also told me that my name field was spam. Originally, I had Nancie (@Ladyexpat). When I removed the (@Ladyexpat) all was okay 🙂

    1. Yeah, for some reason, today CommentLuv is “spamming” comments for “Travel Photo Thursday” participants. Maybe it thinks you are living on the north side of the DMZ.

  5. I know what you mean Dick. Sometimes I gasp and think OMG that is MY photo! It is funny to think we are all running around the world taking photos of the same things.

    1. Jan, It would be interesting to amass hundreds of shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, Eiffel Tower, or some other well-known landmark, and make a short “video” slideshow out of them.

  6. Dick, As our British friends say, “Brilliant!” I love this post!!! as I would say. What a clever idea and I had never thought of comparing photos I take with those of others in newspapers!!!

    1. Thanks, Jackie.

      I was browsing last week’s LA Times “Travel” sections for stories to share via Twitter when I discovered its collection of vacation trip photos, several of which were similar to ones I’d taken over the years, and that triggered the idea for this week’s “Travel Photo Thursday” blog post.

  7. Your photos are fabulous and what an interesting idea to compare them with others – it’s interesting to see how people ‘see’ things differently when looking through a view finder. My hubby and I will take a photo of something and take it from totally different angles. I loved your photo of the moody French chateau out of which stories just jumped!

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