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Be One of 12 on a 2020 Latitude 38 Cover

Have you got a favorite Latitude 38 cover? The shot below, from February 2009, remains one of our favorites. We’ll explain why they’re all laughing later.

Latitude 38 has produced 516 issues, so we’ve run a lot of covers and have lots of favorites. Now the question is, do you have a shot that you think is cover-worthy? We’re always looking for a good cover shot, and know our readers have some great ones hiding in their terabytes of photo data.

February 2009 Latitude 38 cover
Still one of our favorite covers. People having fun sailing.
© 2020 Peter Lyons

What do we need for a cover shot? We need a high-resolution photo, generally 4 MB or greater, that can crop to a vertical format. It’s nice to consider where the Latitude 38 masthead will fall at the top. We love shots with smiling people like the one above, but also shots that show energy, excitement and drama.

Latitude 38 38 Covers
To get a feel for what we like, you can see our covers back to 2005 when you click ‘Magazine‘ as shown above.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Latitude 38

The shot above (on the left) is, of course, our current June cover. Despite having just said we like photos of people, we like this one because the energy, blue sky and classic sail shapes caught our eye. The funny thing is, we even cut the people out. Check out the original shot below.

June Latitude 38 Cover
This is the complete photo of the schooner Seaward we used for the June cover. We cropped the people out of the shot to zoom in on the wind, sails and spray of this shot.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The best way to see what we like on our covers is to explore past cover shots. As noted above, if you click on the ‘Magazine‘ link at the top of our homepage, you’ll end up on our current issue. If you scroll to the bottom you’ll find all our back issues going back to 2005. You can explore past covers before sending one you think we should consider. Pro tip: Small triangles of sails in the distance generally do not work. We want to be close to the action!

2020 Back Issues
At the bottom of our ‘Magazine’ page you’ll find the current year’s issues and tabs linking to past issues. These are all very different, but we like them all.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Latitude 38

Clicking on the 2011 tab, you see all of that year’s covers. If you click on the covers, you can reread every issue, too. We really like the kids in September and November, and the people in April and October. We like the stern-quarter angle of December better than the flat side of the January issue. The drama and action of June, July and August get us excited to go racing. March and May are just beautiful, classic boats and shots. The sad thing is, we only get to run 12 shots per year, and there are thousands of great ones. However, finding just the right one and deciding which to run is often challenging. You can see there are a lot of Bay Area photos, but we also like photos from California sailors in other parts of the world or other parts of California.

Cover Shots
You can check out all the covers from 2005 until now. Which 2011 cover do you like?
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Latitude 38

If you think you have a photo that should be on the cover of Latitude 38, send it to [email protected]. If we run it you’re rewarded with yours being one of only 12 photos to run in a year and one of 500+ photos run over 40+ years of publishing Latitude 38. We also toss in a Latitude 38 hat and T-shirt. Of course, it may never run, but we’ll try to run people’s submissions on ‘Lectronic Latitude or on our social media.

Back to the story from the top photo, which was taken by Bay Area photographer Peter Lyons, who was out shooting on a warm Bay Area day. He took a few of these folks sailing barefoot on a J/24. They were laughing because, cropped out of this photo,  another crewmember was relieving themselves over the stern rail. They were enjoying the fact that he was caught on camera. Peter sent us the photo knowing we’d appreciate the scene and crop it appropriately. It just looks like a good time on the Bay, and we still rank it up there as one of our all-time favorite covers.

We have just six covers remaining in 2020. We’d love to see your shot on one of them. Send it here.

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