Announcing The Winners from my 5th Annual "Worldwide Photo Walk"

Picking just 10 finalists and one grand prize winner from more than 1,100 images is a tougher job than it sounds. Remember, each of the shots that I’m looking at have already been chosen as the “best shot” from each local walk around the world (that pick is made by each walk local walk leader). So, all I’m looking at is good shot after good shot — the cream of the crop — so at the end of the day what it really comes down to is which ones are my favorites — which ones would I hang on my own walls.

What makes it even tougher is that the scenes and subjects taken by walk photographers are so varied — there’s everything from landscapes to seascapes, cityscapes to children, architecture to still life and about everything in-between. But I’m not complaining — it’s really been fascinating and fun looking through so many amazing images from every corner of the globe. It’s a job I take seriously, but at the same time, it really is a treat.

I was up all night and at it again yesterday morning just narrowing the field down again and again and again. I finally got it down to 84 images I really, really liked but then I had to go over those again and again until I could finally get down to just these 11 images. Whew!!!!

I’m Posting Honorable Mentions Tomorrow
On Tuesday I’ll be posting some of the images that made up that first round of 84 — shots that didn’t win a prize, but were so good that I thought they should get a special mention nevertheless. Tomorrow I'll also post a link to the "People Choice" page where you can vote for your favorite image to win the "People Choice Award." 

OK, 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 finalists (in no particular order):

By Klienne Eco (Binmaley, ILocos Philippines Photo Walk)
This shot caught my attention right away — not just because of the fantastic colors and the bright burst of yellow setting sun — it’s the story that this image just hints of. It has a real cinematic look, almost like you’re looking at a set from the movie “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” and just want to know where this is, what that bus is all about (if it’s a bus at all), and was this taken after the “gas wars.” Very compelling. Note: To really appreciate this image, you have to click on it and see the larger version.


By Pranab Banerjee (Logan, Utah USA Photo Walk)
This has such an illustrated look, and I love that. The colors are wonderful, especially against that black background, but I think the thing that puts this image over the top is the post processing. Really nicely done. Not too much — it’s just right.

By Eds Euqui (Doha Ad Dawhah, Qatar Photo Walk)
I love the juxtaposition of old and new and it first look I figured it was Hong Kong, but then I didn’t recognize the buildings and the more I looked at it, the more I liked it (look at the buildings on the far right of the frame, you get a hint that it’s not in Asia). Great colors and composition, too!

By Mohammadmehdi Azarnoush (Isfahan, Esfahan, Iran Photo Walk)
What a wonderful, overhead view of a market. I love the colors, the post processing, the angle, and it just makes we want to be down there shopping myself. Very well done and clever framing as well. Nicely done.

By Allilie Carcasona (Butuan City, Caraga, Phillipines Photo Walk)
I love long exposure shots; make ’em black and white and I love ’em even more, and the starkness and simplicity of this shot really stood out to me. It’s moody, great composition and use of leading lines and just a very well put-together shot.

By Ken Bair (Elkhart, Indiana USA Photo Walk)
I klove how this froze a moment in time that seems so matter-of-fact at first glance, but there’s a lot more going on here that you see at first glance. First, look at the colors (or lack there of). The white walls, the bright bare florescent lights the white floor, and most everything else is black. It’s almost a monochrome shot but for these little things of color — the blue coverup, the washed out image on the TV; the barber’s jeans, the wooden stool. It all makes for an interesting shot in the midst of something very ordinary. I dig it.

By Ben Freer (Winchester, United Kingdom Photo Walk)
I kept coming back to this image. The shallow depth of field is wonderful and the expressions on the people’s faces on the left versus the right is just very compelling. I really want to know what’s going on here, and I love the atmosphere and snow (rain?) that has pulled them all together under this archway. It’s simple, yet powerful. Very nice.

By Everts Aliredjo (Paramaribo, Par’bo Suriname Photo Walk)
What a wonderful portrait — just a straight up great face, great expression, great composition and appropriate post processing. The whole image just works and makes you feel you know a little about the subject, whose eyes have a real peace about them and kindness. Nice job!

By Mhellan Narciso (Kawit, Calabarzon, Phillipines Photo Walk)
There is a joy to this image that makes you smile right away, but once you get past the wonderful smiles of the children, you realize, this is a really well-composed shot with great color, energy, and post processing. I also love the way the pole cut diagonally right across the image. Very clever composition .


By Johan Conradson (Oslo, Oslo Norway Photo Walk)
Two things really make this image for me: The movement (courtesy of the slow shutter speed) and the way the colors work so beautifully together. I love the way the bottom of the photo just kind of blurs into nothingness — is she on the street, in a mall, on concrete, in a snow drift — it begs more questions than it answers and I love it.



By Lars Anshelm (Lunde, Skane Lan Sverige [Sweden] Photo Walk)
This is my all-around favorite, and Grand Prize winner, because I simply fell in love with it. I could point to how the texture, color. lighting and composition are just absolutely spot on, but what I love is that I want to know more about this image. I want to see what’s behind that door, and what’s in the backpack on the ground, and who the woman is (she’s a total mystery obscured by the umbrella) and what she’d doing there in the first place.The shot is moody and interesting, and I love the way the backpack on her shoulder stands out among all the muted colors. I could make a great case for any of these finalists to have been the Grand Prize Winner, but for some reason I just kept coming back to this one. Also, the post-processing is just right. I love, love, love this shot and wish I had taken it. My congratulations to Lars for capturing this gem.

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

NOTE: Don't forget: Although this phase is over, we still have the People's Choice Award to pick, and a special competition for your Walk Leaders and 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 Fifth Annual World Wide Photo Walk.

Have a great weekend everybody, and congrats to this years winners! 

  1. Pretty cool to have a swede win the Grand Prize! Really great shots all of them and I really don’t envy you that had to go through all those photos ;-) but you did a great job Scott!

  2. fantastic choices! amazing. all the entries are improving year on year!
    the thunderdome vehicle is called a jeepney. this is the most prevalent public transport in the philippines. if you saw the latest (most recent) bourne movie, youll see it in the climactic motorcycle chase scene along the streets of manila.

  3. My Dear Scott, Hi

    First, Thanks for everything.

    Also, Congratulations to all Winners,
    Specially MohammadMehdi ( Iran’s Photo Walk ) … He was my Photoshop student 2 years ago and I am so happy for him.

    Best Wishes

    1. That is complete and utter nonsense. What is behind the door is NOT a brothel, but an art museum and exhibition space. To call it anything else is plain stupid and NOT funny.

      1. While I know nothing about the place itself, a simple net search revealed that yes it isan art museum and exhibition space as you say, but I can’t help thinking that Nils knew exactly that and was attempting some form of scathing metaphorical attack on it. Possibly he has a grudge against it for some reason, and view people who exhibit there as whoring themselves out etc…

        No idea (as I know nothing about the place or what type of stuff it has/does), but that is just what it felt like after finding out exactly what it is…

      2. Yeah, that’s probably true…still a dumbass comment though.

        There HAS been a bit of controversy about the exhibition space that it is showing stuff that is too “edgy” and “modern” and not art for the “common man” so to speak. But a “brothel”? I’d say not!

      3. Dumbass comment indeed…. Nils has probably wanted to have his stuff exhibited there but has just been reject every time….

        Ah OK, that’s interesting to know…

  4. Wow! Amazing shots. It also really shows how much of a worldwide event this is when you look and see where each photo came from. Congrats to all the finalists.
    Scott, can you talk a bit about how you go about picking the “best of the best” from 1100 walks? I imagine you used the Lightroom sorting procedure that you outlined in your Lightroom 4 book? With all the different pictures with varying subjects, styles, etc., I’m just trying to wrap my head around keeping them sorted in some way! Kudos to you for such a great undertaking (and even having time to go shoot the Atlanta game last night, too!).

  5. Wow, what an amazing event with 10 fantastic images. Congratulations to the winner and finalists! I’m now looking forward to the people’s choice so we can all go through the same pain as you Scott! …Robert

    1. I panned around the photowalk map last week (the one where you choose a photowalk) and noticed then that there is a super high concentrations of photowalks in the Philippines. I’d say they stuffed the ballot box:) All wonderful shots, my compliments and thanks to Scott and crew on running such an awesome event! Furthermore, thank you Scott for taking a moment to explain the top selections as you did!

  6. Congratulations to the winner, a well deserved position at the top of the list.
    Also congratulations are due the top ten but also to every person that submitted an image in hopes of seeing it here on the top 10 list.

    I am guessing Scott and crew will be in the Phillipines next year for sure.

  7. I could have, I should have just walked and clicked… Anyway, image one is actually of the iconic Philippine Jeepney which were sired by surplus G.I. Jeeps from WWII. They stretched them out to seat 17 (or more) passengers and bling them to kingdom come. They were the motorized version of the horse drawn carriages (Calesas) and were – in fact – called Auto Calesas back in the day.

    As such, they were decked out with horse figurines, bullwhip antennae, fender mirrors – much like the Mod Scooters’ “Christmas Tree” of the 60’s.

    Nowadays, the decorations have become a bit more restrained, but the colors remain riotous and very vivid (more Vivid than Ken Rockwell’s Photos). Most have interesting rear mudflaps sporting religious passages, or phrases like “Basta Driver, Good Lover”.

    They are also a main means of transportation all through out the archipelago, especially for secondary routes, and can be hailed and alighted where every you (as the passenger) choose to!

    Sorry, got carried away! ‘Til next year.

  8. Great Shots, it’s nice to see all of the good work from around the world. And to think it all happened on one day is just amazing. My hats off to Scott Kelby and all the great people at Kelby training that pulled it all together. Can’t wait until next year to do it again.

  9. Congratulations to the winners. Filipinos are really shining in this… with 3 images captured in the Philippines and 1 from Doha is also a Filipino, Mr. Edison “Eds” Nuqui…

    Congratulations from WARP and Click!…. Proud that you are part of us….

  10. Thanks to Scott Kelby to provide this event among people around the globe. It certainly brings friendship and happiness for people.

    Special congrats to Mr. Azarnoush for his very nice shot. I’m so happy that he is one of finalists.
    and congratulation to Ali Rajabi for his student success and leadership.

    Have fun.

  11. Hmmm, I thought the grand prize winning pic was of a man in drag urinating on a wall… I wondered why it was chosen. The textures are nice but subject matter matters… glad to hear you didn’t know what it was.

  12. Congratulations to the winners and to all the participants of this great
    event! Thanks again Scott and Brad. And oh we have three from the Philippines in the finals again.
    It was the same last year and the Grand Prize was won by another
    Filipino. They must be very serious with their photography. Call them in as your second shooter in your wedding assignments and you won’t be

  13. Congratulations to all the photographers chosen in the top ten and most especially to the grand prize winner. It would be amazing to see a few more of their images from the walk. I really had fun joining the walk for the first time this year and looking forward to the next. Also a big congratulations and thank you to Scott for organizing this event.

  14. One more thing…remember folks, the name of this is Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk. If you don’t agree with his choices, be civil—and then, GO OUT AND DO YOUR OWN PHOTOWALK. See if you have as many participants worldwide as he manages to engage on that one day. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.

  15. I was struck by the high quality, creativity, and international representation of all the finalists. With so much striving going on around us to divide people in the world, thank you Scott (and all the Walk leaders), for putting on an event that enables photographers across the world to relate to each other in a peaceful way.

    1. Thanks Linda :) and an even bigger thanks to Scott. I was delighted to be shortlisted from our walk and to become a finalist was truly amazing. I’m chuffed to bits. I’ve got my mojo back after a frustrating year photographically!

  16. Hi Scott,

    This was my first walk, and while I am only a novice at best; I do enjoy taking photos. It was a great experience meeting other photographers in my area (Windsor, Ontario, Canada). They were all so much better than I am. However I continue to learn and will be back next year. I hope to learn more from the group and look forward to doing it again. Congrats to the Winners, they were truly beautiful shots.

    John G.

  17. congratulations to the grand prize winner, Mr. Lars Anshelm and to the three filipinos, “kababayans” who made it to the top 10 mabuhay!!

    it gives me goosebumps when i found out that three out of the top ten came from the Philippines. my son, who is a “special kid” was a participant in the Olongapo leg and he placed third under Ms. Cleo Nodado. photography is one of his passion and almost everyday he brought his camera in school….now he is a freshman at the University of the Philippines in Los Banos, Laguna.

    by the way, Mr. Kelby, the photo taken by Klienne Eco is a Philippine jeepney, one of the mass transportation here in the country.

  18. good afternoon. i’m a little upset that the winning entries were only taken from the photowalker leader’s choices. i thought ALL photowalkers who submitted their best shot had the same equal chances of winning your approval, sir kelby. i guess i was misinformed of this fact, first time to join last october 13. still, i bet there were also some really, really great images you never saw from photowalk 2012. nevertheless, congratulations to the winners. proud to be from the philippines!

  19. good afternoon. i’m a little upset that the winning entries were only taken from the photowalker leader’s choices. i thought ALL photowalkers who submitted their best shot had the same equal chances of winning your approval, sir kelby. i guess i was misinformed of this fact, first time to join last october 13. still, i bet there were also some really, really great images you never saw from photowalk 2012. nevertheless, congratulations to the winners. proud to be from the philippines!

  20. Great shots and must of been hard to choose a winner. Just a thought though, were any of them straight out the camera, or are the results biased on just how well you can use Photoshop and not just a camera ?
    I also had the impresssion that the shot that we sent in was going into the competition, not just the walk leaders selection.

  21. The girl behind the umbrella works at Lunds Konsthall (Art Exhibtion Hall) – she is just closing the huge outer door for the day. Her name iis Lo.

  22. Hello Scott

    I been trying to join the Grand Rapids photowalk but I don’t se the join button, just
    Find a walk and Lead a walk Any suggestions? last year event was cancelled due to Stormy weather

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