Posted by: David Vernon | July 30, 2009

Peoria Kelby Photowalk Winner

As the walk leader for the Scott Kelby 2nd Annual Worldwide Photowalk, it was my awesome responsibility to pick the “best” photo of all the locally submitted images for advancement to the worldwide competition. And even though you always hear this, I swear it was a Herculean task to get 48 submissions down to one winner. I went from 48 to 17, 17 to 10, 10 to 5, 5 to 3, 3 to 2, 2 to 3 again, and then picked the winner. And then changed my mind. Twice. But in the end I went with my first instinct – even if it was my ninth try at determining what my first instinct was.

I put best in quote above and I want to talk about that briefly. The definition of best often wanders. For this contest – like a lot of contests actually – it came down to two things – one tangible and one intangible. The tangible thing to me is that the best image has to be a good photograph. It should be visually interesting and well-executed. The intangible thing – which probably makes up about 95% of the decision – is that it has to appeal to the one doing the judging. And that is not always fair or just – but as Walter Cronkite used to say “That’s the way it is.”

Overall I was very impressed with what I saw. The folks I was walking with did a great job. It’s – as always – a privilege to hang with my photographic fellows in Central Illinois. Blah blah blah. I know – enough – let’s get on with it.

I’m going to present this here as a sort of Top Ten List – working up to the winner (Title and Photographer Name appear below each image):

Top 10 Finishers

Jim Carlson_Water for Flowerbox

Jim Carlson – Water for Flowerbox

Tim Lester_Sacred Heart Church

Tim Lester – Sacred Heart Church

Sarah Studnicki Dukes_Untitled 2

Sarah Studnicki Dukes – Widows Peek

Mike Vujovich_401 Redux

Mike Vujovich – 401 Redux

Lily Dale_Untitled 2

Lily Dale – Untitled

Karen Schulthes_Side Street Yellows

Karen Schulthes – Side Street Yellows

Crystal Kepple_Commemoration

Crystal Kepple – Commemoration

And to see the Top Three – you have to make the jump…

Top Three Finishers

Eileen Leunig_Inflation Elation

Eileen Leunig – Inflation Elation

I thought this image was just wonderful for the way it told a story about this child and what was to come. Technically well executed and strong color – and the expression of the child is just priceless.

Cindy Patterson_Parking Deck Swoop

Cindy Patterson – Parking Deck Swoop

I thought the energy in this piece was just fantastic. So much movement and eye candy. While it doesn’t necessarily show it here, in higher res there’s a lot of detail in shadows. A common site shown in an uncommon way.

And the winner – well that will take one more jump.

The Winner

I have to admit to being completely surprised by this one. Amy McGovern’s Bridgeorama has shown me something I’ve seen a million times (and photographed half a million times) in a completely new way. It delighted me with both its simplicity and complexity. It breaks conventional compositional rules and still works.
Amy McGovern_Bridgeorama

Amy McGovern – Bridgeorama

Again – thanks to everyone for coming out and participating in your community – and for bringing your camera. We certainly had a great time.

Until next year.


  1. What a great lot of photos to have to choose from. Truly awesome work here.

    Congrats to Amy for 1st place. It’s a stunning pic!

  2. Congratulations to you all!!
    I was sad I missed the event, but thouroughly enjoyed looking at what I missed. You all did a great job.

    I was glad to see some of my favorites in the top 10 here.

  3. Great set of photos! Congrats to all!!

    That bridge shot *is* pretty unique / interesting!

  4. Congrats to all – Dave you had a tough job to pick a single winner.

  5. What fun and excitement! Congratulations Amy!

  6. […] and play. To see the top ten images from the walk (as officially selected by me), head over to the Central Illinois Photoblog. The Peoria Flickr group is sponsoring monthly photowalks now – so we’ll be doing a […]

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