And the Winners Are… 2016 Photography Masterclass Photo Competition Results

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of the second annual Photography Masterclass photo competition!

461 photos were submitted (twice as many as last year), making it a difficult decision for our 6 judges. Our judges included professional photographers, photography instructors, and photo enthusiasts. Read more about them below.

The submitted photos were judged on their creative composition, subject matter, lighting, technical skill, and ‘overall wow factor.’ This year’s competition was a little bit tighter than last year’s winner. We attribute that to the sheer amount of amazing photos submitted. But the judges have come together and chosen a clear set of winners!

Gold Prize Winner:

Congratulations to our Gold Prize winner who receives a $100 Amazon gift card and free access to our new Adobe Lightroom Masterclass, Food Photography Course, and Wedding Photography Course.


Hitoshi Oikawa

We are pleased to give Hitoshi the top prize for this beautifully composed moment captured with his Nikon D40. The colors, balance, and timing make this shot our winner. While many of the following images are striking in their location and subject matter, sometimes it is the simplicity and gentleness of a photo that makes a photo stand out. This photo truly tells a moment, capturing a wonderful moment in time. Congrats Hitoshi!

Silver Prize Winners:

The 5 Silver Prize winners win a $20 Amazon gift card and free access to the Food Photography Course.


Michael Magsanay

What can we say? This beautiful image titled ‘Double Sunbeam’ was shot at Upper Antelope Canyon in Page Arizona with a Canon 70D. The lighting and lines are striking. The colors and angle are perfect. Amazing job.


Paul Strikwerda

Shot with a Sony Cybershot DSC HX300, this beauty was shot at Lake Champlain in Vermont. Edited in Polarr, Paul used a nice sepia style to make this photo even more dreamy.


Andre Borges

In terms of portraits… this is perfect. Lighting… check. Composition… check. Focus… check. Shot with a Sony A7r, Andre actually has 2 photo winners, including a bronze prize. A majority of our judges put this photo in their top 10. It was one of the 461 photos that makes you pause and appreciate.


Daniele Aequilibrium

Shot near the ‘tre crime di lavaredo’ world heritage site in Dolomites, Italy with a Canon 6D, Daniele truly found an epic spot to take a photo. Daniele noted that the guy in the photo was actually posing for a photo from a photographer out of frame to the left. It’s creativity like this that makes a photographer stand out… watching out for moments in your environment.


David Steele

David is another photographer who had 2 photos win prizes (see his other below). Titled ‘Shy Girl in the Market,’ this photo was shot in Guadalajara, Mexico. This was another favorite of our judges. Street photography is difficult. Try taking your camera out and photograph people, and you’ll realize how difficult it is. So to get a shot like this, that truly tells a story is quite amazing. Great job!

Bronze Prize Winners:

Congrats to all of our Bronze Prize winners. All of your photos are amazing and worthy of being highlighted. Thank you for submitting!


Mauro Capozzi

Charlotte Gerling


David Steele




Hannah Zimmers


Ian Brown




Liz Sims




Andre Borges

Congratulations to all of our students!

Judging a photo competition is not easy. And our panel of judges found it difficult to judge because so many of the photos were amazing! We want to say thank you to all of our students who submitted photos. We look forward to next year’s annual photography masterclass photo competition, and perhaps some competitions even sooner!

How did judging work?

Each of the judges chose their top 10 photos out of all 461, ranking them in order of their favorite 1-10.

Some photos were in the top ten lists of multiple judges. This separated a batch of top photos from the rest (photos that got no votes or got single votes).

We then looked at the ranking of the photos, and chose the winners based on a combination of average ranking and number of times it was selected by the judges. For example, a photo that was ranked as a top 3 photo by judges a, b, and d would have beat out a photo that was ranked in the bottom (6-10) by judges c, e, and f. Make sense?

The Judges:

Phil Ebiner – instructor of the Photography Masterclass, travel photographer

Sam Shimizu-Jones – instructor of the Photography Masterclass, professional photographer

Will Carnahan – professional wedding photographer and cinematographer, instructor of the Wedding Photography and Food Photography courses

Jeremy Deighan – graphic designer and instructor of the Photoshop for Entrepreneurs course

Jon Haase – professional photographer and instructor of the Adobe Lightroom Photo Editing Course

Isabel Ebiner – art and photo enthusiast

Thank you to all the judges who helped with this competition!

What do you think about the photos?

Comment below with your favorite one!