A fireworks-filled celebration of an iconic bridge. A desert scene that evokes Edward Hopper. A woman with eyes as brilliantly blue as her head scarf.
The winning travel photos in our second annual Picture Our World competition captured breathtaking scenes from San Francisco to Monument Valley to Mumbai. But judges kept coming back to the bridge: It was a perfectly timed shot of the Golden Gate's 75th anniversary bash.
Alexander Fernandez of Alameda won the grand prize for that photograph. Our photojournalist judges said: "We were surprised to award the big prize to a Golden Gate Bridge photo, but what can you say ... better than our photos from the 75th anniversary."
Fernandez's photograph beat out 6,300 others. The response to this year's contest was staggering; we received 1,200 more submissions than last year from Bay Area News Group readers and viewers.
Contest organizers narrowed the field to 350 finalists. Then members of our photo department selected the seven winning photos you see here, including first- and second-place finishers in each of three categories: California, national and international.
SEE THE WINNERS AND 300 MORE: You can find slideshows of the winners and 300 others deemed the "best of the rest" at www.MercuryNews.com/Travel-Contest.