Food, Glorious Food photo contest finalists announced; vote here

Two weeks ago, we asked you to submit your best food photos from around the world in our contest presented by Tamrac. We’ve spent hours looking at every single one of these amazing pictures, and besides getting really hungry, we managed to pick the 15 best submissions.

Now comes the fun part, because you, our dear readers, are in charge of picking the best photos from this lineup. The first place winner will receive a photography package worth over $400, and the two runners-up will receive other cool Tamrac photo gear. At the bottom of the photo lineup is the poll – voting is open until Tuesday July 27 2010.

Gary Tyrrell

Beer is food, correct?

Steinlager Pure, Akaroa Bay, New Zealand, January 2009

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Lunch the other day at Mitad del Mundo, Ecuador.

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Fancy vegetarian monks’ cuisine (shojin ryori) at Shojoshinin, Koya-san, Japan.

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Jerk chicken from chef michael’s roadside stand in negril, jamaica:

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Joe S

This is a photo of one of the best meals of my life. I work in the entertainment industry and travel extensively, which allows me great opportunities to indulge the foodie in me.

This was at the Hasan Kolcuoglu Restaurant in Adana, Turkey, which is world famous for the Adana Kebab. Our extremely gracious local hosts from Incirlik Air Force Base took us to a New Year’s Eve lunch to share with us the local specialty.

Here, you see the Adana Kebab being delivered to our table — all 10 feet of it. It’s an exceptionally flavorful kebab made of hand-minced lamb meat and red pepper, cooked on a 10-foot-long sword (seen in the photo), along with chunks of chicken, peppers, tomatoes, and served on an equally long piece of freshly-baked flatbread. The cooks and servers were all incredibly graceful maneuvering such a large kebab!

It was served with the usual trimmings: copious amounts of fresh vegetable salads, yogurt and cucumber, spicy ground feta, garlic butter, and fresh-baked bread with cheese and lamb stuffing. It tasted as good as it looks.

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Street food at the Beijing night market; it was really good going down, but oddly enough, not quite as good coming back up.

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Matt E

Who would think you would find a feast like this in the middle of the Gobi desert? The beautiful Mongolian family served us this great meal… every morsel a delight. We were in their ger (the classic Gobi Desert tent sometimes called a “yurt.”) The dumplings (called Buuz) in the center of the table were fantastic with lots of meat inside. After dinner we will have a bowl of fermented mare’s milk! Well… not exactly my favorite drink!

Go to Mongolia and tell them I sent you! You’ll enjoy it there.

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A delightful bakery in Verona. So full of wonderful aroma’s and delicious tastes!

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My entry is from a recent trip to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Delicious food and a great view…it could solve all the worlds problems.

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All kinds of bizarre seafood at the Noryangjin Fish Market in Korea:

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Rich Torres

Touring outside Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) I discovered this street vendor selling corn fritters and other “delicacies.”

Contrary to mass media warnings, Myanmar is safe and fun with super nice people. Tons to see! Man, the people here love their gilded temples!

The local food is delish!

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Z Smith

A birthday dinner at The Flying Fishbone, a Seafood restaurant in Aruba offering romantic dining on the beach fine gourmet cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere. A wonderful day with great food and even better friends.

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After hiking all day in Cinque Terre, my boyfriend and I finally reached the end of the trail and grabbed a snack at a bar overlooking the ocean. Nothing like cold beer and fresh bruschetta after a long hot day on the trail!

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Greg DeMesquita

Fresh made paninis in Florence, Italy…How romantic.

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Amy B

This was a breakfast we had in Basel, Switzerland in April 2010. The buffet dishes were loaded with beautiful fresh foods. I was in foodie heaven.

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Tamrac Zipshot Tripod review – lightest full size tripod in the world

The Tamrac Zipshot Tripod is one of the smartest travel tripods I have ever seen. The basic design of the Zipshot will instantly look familiar to anyone that has ever assembled a tent. The three legs of the Zipshot are essentially metal tent poles, with elastic straps inside to pull them together when you unfold it.

At a mere 10.9 ounces, tripods don’t get any lighter – and despite the lightweight design and flimsy looking legs, the Zipshot is remarkably sturdy. No – it won’t be a replacement for your heavy carbon fiber tripod used with a bulky dSLR camera, but for a basic point and shoot or lightweight Micro Four Thirds camera, it’ll certainly get the job done.

Unfolding the Zipshot really is that simple – you unbuckle the two straps, and let the tripod unfold itself. In about 5 seconds, it is ready for use. Folding it is just as simple – you pull on the three legs, and fold it back into its compact state.

When playing around with the Zipshot, I also discovered another (unmentioned by Tamrac) use for the product – as a monopod. By folding the legs in, and wrapping them with the locking straps, the Zipshot actually becomes a very usable monopod.

Stability is always going to be an issue with any lightweight tripod, but when combined with a remote trigger or timer, the results are very good. In moderate wind, the tripod stays quite stable, especially since you can flex the legs a little to keep things from moving around.

The camera mount is quite flexible too – a screw loosens a ball joint, allowing for some flexibility in positioning your shot.

The tripod is rated for cameras up to 3lbs and when fully extended, it reaches 44 inches. All in all, the Zipshot surprised me – it is “stupid light”, very compact and an actual viable replacement for a large(r) tripod.

PROS: Very, very lightweight, compact, easy to open and close, also functions as a monopod

CONS: Won’t be stable enough for large cameras

The Zipshot Tripod retails for $49.95 and is available from most major photography retailers and electronics vendors. An overview of all dealers can be found at the Zipshot site.