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This was incredibly hard. Even harder than I thought.

Last year it was really tough coming up with my finalists and winner, but this year’s judging was more than just four times harder—not just because four times as many people participated—but because the sheer quality of the shots this year was just over the top.

There were so many amazing, intriguing, fascinating, and just fun shots, that it made going from nearly 900 shots down to 10 finalists and one winner incredibly challenging. But, instead of keeping you waiting; let’s get to the winners, and we’ll talk more in a moment.

First, the 10 finalists (who all win the following prizes):

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OK, folks, here we go (listed in no particular order):

Picture 38

‘Newcastle Baths”
By Sam Wong (Newcastle, Australia)
The colors in this one just blew me away. I love the still water, the sky is amazing, and the location is eerie and beautiful at the same time. The leading lines in the photo work so wonderfully well, and while I’m not sure where it was taken, I’d love just to see it in person.

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‘Purple Lady’ (above)
By Saz80 (London, England)
When I look at this image, I just want to know her story. She looks like she’s led a fascinating life, and has amazing stories to tell. I love the flower in her hair, the look on her face, and the wonderful lighting. I even love the coffee cup—it all adds to the story. The colors work so well together and the composition is spot on. The shot, and the subject, have an awful lot of character. I wish I had taken it.

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By Frank Thys (Brussels, Belgium) above
This is one of those images that I fell in love with the first time I saw it. The overhead viewing perspective is just great, and the fact that you don’t see anyone else really makes it interesting to me. The shadows are great, the colors are great, the whole thing just works. Love it!

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‘Vannlilje / Hot and Cold’ (above)
By Sevinove (Bergen, Norway)
This is as beautiful a flower shot as I’ve seen. There were a lot of flower shots entered in the competition but this one stands alone. The light is perfect. The water drops—fortuitous. And the composition—-on the money. Absolutely beautiful. The photographer should sell it as a poster.

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‘Newspaper Light’ (above)
By Jeroen Idema (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
This is another one I liked instantly. Trying to lead the viewer to look where you want is always a challenge, but the the color (or lack thereof), and the strong leading lines really make the man on the bike stand out even though the brightest part of the photo (which usually draws the eye first) is behind him. Really nicely captured.

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By Marcllus (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) above
I just flat out love this shot. The way the soccer (footballs/futballs) are all in the air at the same time, and nearly at the same height, under incredible light—the whole thing looks staged (but you know it wasn’t). Even the lens flare works in this image—the whole thing just works. You keep looking at it and looking at it (stop looking at the woman’s behind in the center—–this photo is not about that!). It’s about capturing a moment in fantastic light, which the photographer did brilliantly.

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‘Pouting’ (above)
By Sudiruabdullah (Brunei)
For me, this one is about color and composition. I love how this one is composed—-drawing all your attention right to the subject, and you lose nothing because of her small size in relation to the overall image—her expression is crisp and clear, and her outfit is priceless. Nice subtle post-processing.


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‘Path to Paradise’ (above)
By Rsuello (Cebu City, Philippines)
There is just something about the shot. Again, really strong composition, great color throughout, and the fact that you see just part of the subject, (which I love) made this one of my favorites. The juxtaposition of the elegant marble and the torn shorts and bare feet make you wonder what the story is (and who the subject is). Really nicely done.

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‘Caught on Tape’
By Gtilute (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
The s-curve leading down to the subject would almost make a great shot in a class on photo composition, but what I really love about this is the subject’s body position. At first glance, I thought it was the photographer (since he’s standing in front of a tripod), but if you look closer, he’s on a skateboard. That doesn’t take away from this wonderfully composed shot. The only thing that keeps it from being perfect is the person in the foreground on the left, but even with that, it was one of my very favorite shots right from the beginning. Great eye to capture this one.

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On the Marina
By Son Papdi (Chennai, India)
I have no idea what this cart is doing by the edge of the ocean, and maybe that’s what I like about it (of course, besides the composition, color, and nice post processing). As I narrowed things down, this one just kept making the cut again and again, and well…here it is as a finalist. I really like it on every level.

And now….the Grand Prize Winner, who will win all of these incredible prizes:

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And the winning image is:

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‘Can’t stop smiling’
By Ajummumo (Amphawa, Thailand)
Her wonderful smile draws you in. So does the color. The composition. The story waiting to be told. The perspective. The sharpness of the image, and the warmth of it all, and how well all the different colors and shapes work together to create my very favorite image from the walk. I love it–love it—love it!!!!!!

Way to go Ajummumo, and a big congratulations on being the Grand Prize Winner for the 2nd Annual Scott Kelby’s World Wide Photo Walk!!!!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Tomorrow I’m posting a series of other images that, while they didn’t win a prize, are so good that I felt that needed special recognition. So check back tomorrow to see some other amazing shots from the World Wide Photo Walk. :-)

A special thanks to all our sponsors for their gracious support and prizes; to our Walk Leaders who did such an outstanding job giving of their time and talents, and to the wonderful photographers from around the world who created such inspiring, creative, and beautiful work.