For me the #17 represents photography in its best sense, depicting what is.
The number 9. is fantastic because there are two tigers in it. A young tiger can do miracles even to a mediocre photo. Let alone two.
I used to love devastated scenes like the one from Homs when I was young. Now they just make me profoundly sad. And then I start looking at the verticals and the horizontals of the buildings and I cannot decide is it the reality that is distorted or just the picture.
The winning shot won because it is a zeitgeist picture, showing what is particular to our times.
Why is a Hong Kong train rolling with dim blue lights inside...maybe it is NOT aHong KOng train at all but a sightseeing train from an amusement park?
The number 2 owl shot is just great. "Wingman!"
Thank you for posting the link. NG is always NG even though it changes. So do we, until we die.