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Wow—narrowing it down to the winners this year was harder than last year, by a long shot.

Last year, we had some real standouts that you knew the first time you saw them, they were going to be finalists. This year, the shooting and post processing both went up a big notch, and I could have easily made the case for 50 or more honorable mentions, but sadly I could only choose 10, and one Grand Prize winner.

I saw so many great shots, and really struggled between a number of images (some of which you’ll see tomorrow in my special mentions post), but I can tell you this—judging from over 1,000 shots that already won a prize (each won the best shot pick from their local walk, as chosen by the walk leader), made it really, really tough.

But, I won’t keep you waiting any longer; let’s get to the winners and we’ll talk in a few moments.

Here are the 10 Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

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By Muhammad Owais Khan (Karachi, Sindh Pakistan Photo Walk)
I love the color, the texture, and the post processing, along with the low angle composition and the very shallow depth of field. There’s a story here, and while it looks like they’re lining up for a race, more likely it’s a line of taxis, but whatever it is—I just love this shot!

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By Ron Buskirk (Tarpon Springs, Florida USA Photo Walk)
First, I want to mention that this was taken in Tarpon Springs, where I led my walk, but this shot isn’t from my walk—it was from another Tarpon Springs walk later in the day. I had chosen it without ever knowing it was from Tarpon Springs, because I can tell you I surely didn’t see that boat, and we didn’t have that beautiful light. It’s the light and color that drew me to this instantly. Nice composition, and wonderful color. I love the way the reflection in the water looks like a watercolor painting.

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By Ivan Villa (Albany, California Photo Walk)
This is such a powerful image. The backlit wonderful light, really low perspective, and great story-telling composition make this one of my very favorite photos. The color is just fantastic, the sky is awesome, this is just an incredible shot from top to bottom, and perfectly executed. Wish I had taken it.

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By Minella Rivera (City of Malolos, Central Luzon, Phillipines Photo Walk)
I liked this one the first time I saw it. It’s so simple, but it makes you want to smile. I loved the way the photographer composed the shot, and the clouds are great, the grass is great, and it totally captured a moment in time. Nicely done.

Reflection of Appartment

By Nilesh Bhange (Indore, Madhya Pradesh India Photo Walk)
There were a lot of reflection shots in the competition, but none like this. It’s not just the part that’s reflecting that makes this shot—it’s that the photographer chose to include non reflecting areas, and the two together make for such an interesting shot. I could see this framed, huge, in the lobby of a new skyscraper. Just wonderful all the way around. A very cool shot!

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By Thierry Reboton (Paris, France Photo Walk)
It’s hard to come up with a fresh photo with the Eiffel Tower in it, but this photographer did just that. As soon as it appeared on my screen, I had to just stare at it. It’s such a moody shot, with dramatic clouds and great composition. The post processing fits the mood of the photo. Very cool perspective, and a really good eye make this one a wonderful image.

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By Beverly Eccles (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Photo Walk)
I love the simplicity of this shot. It’s a still life that has a lot of movement, and it’s a great story telling shot. I love the angle the photographer took the shot from, and I love the way the red color jumps out at you. The shot has a lot of texture, and I just found myself coming back to it again and again.

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By Arkadiusz Klimczak (Rybnik, Slaskie Polska Photo Walk)
The post processing on this shot rocks. The color and post makes this photo such a fascinating shot. The warm tones he used really made this come together, and while there were lots of shots of little back alleys, this one’s post just took it up to that next level. Nicely done.

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By Thomas M¼nter (Bonn, NRW Germany Photo Walk)
I don’t even know what this is, but I love it. It looks HDR’d to me, but it’s HDR toning done right, and it really adds to an already interesting photo. It’s the kind of photo that makes you wonder where it is, what those cones are for, and how can I get there to shoot them. My favorite HDR shot of the competition.

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By Adrian Gunawan (Jakarta Capital Region, Indonesia)
The light in this shot is just amazing. I love the light on the far left side—like they’re looking at a laptop you can’t see, but nothing about this shot says “hi tech.” It’s a great story telling shot, and the way everyone is positioned in the shot is just so awesome. This wasn’t an easy shot to expose for, but the photographer nailed it, and the composition, and the light, and made a very memorable image. Way to go!

AND THE GRAND PRIZE WINNING IMAGE IS…..

The Gull and the Raven

By Rhys Lewis (South Wharf, VIC Australia)
I knew this would be a finalist the first time I saw it. The tone is amazing, the timing—impeccable. The shadow of the bird, and the way it’s reflected almost makes it look like it’s a different bird altogether. The post processing is great, the composition is on the money, I just absolutely love everything about it. I wish I had taken it, and this is the kind of photographic art I would pay for and hang on my wall. Just an awesome shot!

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 my Third Annual 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.