Readers Photo Challenge: Beyond the postcards

The subject of the current readers Photo Challenge assignment is “vacation.” When people think of vacation pictures they think of postcards of iconic places such as the Eiffel Tower, Washington Monument or Statue of Liberty, but the best travel photos go beyond showing the standard cliché pictures. They show a sense of place and the experiences that the photographer had, whether those locations are famous or not. They delve deeper into their subjects, show us what we might otherwise overlook on your typical tour and go beyond the postcards. Twenty-two readers sent in a total of 184 photos. Here are the top picks.

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Sometimes vacations are not only for going to new places but for doing new things as well. Teresa Mahnken of Morada with her husband Art took a relatively short trip to the ranching community of Felix outside of the Mother Lode town of Copperopolis. She wanted to try her hand at night photography for one of her first times. With a Nikon 3200 DSLR camera on a tripod she did a long 15-second exposure of the Salt Spring Valley School house. Her photo captured a sky full of stars and the Milky Way. Light pollution embues the western horizon a pinkish/purplish hue as a flashlight held by her husband Art illuminates the front of the school house

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Vacations are for making family memories. Steven Rapport of Stockton went on a trip to the Columbia State Historic Park in the Mother Lode with his extended family. With an Apple iPhone 7 he photograph his 3-year-old grandson Elliott Hunt panning for gold, assisted by his father Brandon Hunt at the living gold rush town. Rapaport’s grandson may be too young to remember but when he gets older he’ll have the memories that grandpa captured.

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Traveling is not  just about the places you go but also about the people that you meet along the way. Lillian McDonell of Stockton was on a family road trip to Montana when they stopped the Red Light Garage Inn in the quaint, picturesque town of Wallace, Idaho for some huckleberry ice cream. They met a man who went by the name of “Wild” sitting with his dog outside of the restaurant/antique store and got to talking. He told McDonell that his wife passed away a few years ago and that his friends got him the dog for companionship. The bench in front of the place had become his favorite place to socialize. With her Apple iPhone 6 McDonnell took a picture of “Wild” and his dog, then Wallace, Idaho became more than just a quaint little town with huckleberry ice cream.

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Selfies are a staple of vacation pictures. People often take photos of themselves in front of buildings monuments or statues to remind them of their travels. Janet Baniewich of Stockton was on a trip to northern Montana when she took her selfie. At Flathead Lake in the Flathead National Forest she took a picture of her feet with a Nikon D3300 DSLR camera standing among the smooth, rounded rocks on the shores of the lake. The cool, clear water wash over her toes like a clean, natural pedicure.

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Lodi resident Jeff Maier’s summer vacation was a Disney cruise to Alaska. He was on a smaller boat while on a side excursion to the Tracy Arm Fjord in the panhandle of southeast Alaska near Juneau. Maier spouted a pair of seals resting on a ice floe as the boat cruised by. With his Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera he captured an image of the seals just as a wave hit the floe.

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Maier’s mother Shirley Locke was also on the cruise to Alaska and got a memorable picture herself. With her Nikon,Coolpix P610 compact digital point-and-shoot camera she got a photo of a bear on the banks of the Chilkat River while on a River Adventures tour on its way to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve in Haines, Alaska.

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Pam Johns of Stockton took a 9-day solo hiking trip through he Ansel Adams Wilderness in the Inyo National Forest in Madera County. With her Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX90V compact digital point-and-shoot camera she took a picture of Minaret Lake, elevation 9800 feet. The photo shows the snow-covered, treeless crags set against a cloud-filled sky.

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On a visit to her sister Sydney Spurgeon of Stockton used a Nikon D5 DSLR camera to photograph the reflective Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois. Most people might think about taking an overall shot of the whole thing, Spurgeon chose to take a closer detail of the bean-shaped artwork. The distorted reflections make for and interesting abstract photo.

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Holly Stone of Lodi got her photo with an Apple iPhone 7 while vacationing in Glacier National Park in Montana. You can see rocks beneath the surface of the crystal-clear waters of the lake in the foreground and unused boats stored on dock capturing the serenity of Lake McDonald.

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On a day trip to San Francisco Mike Ratekin of French Camp used a Canon EOS 5D Mk III to photograph a water Lilly illuminated by a shaft of light in the Golden Gate Park conservatory of flowers greenhouse in San Francisco.

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As always a photo gallery of all of the entries can be seen at recordnet.com. A new challenge will be issued in 2 weeks on September 21.

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    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
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