The world is a big place, and once again, you've figured out a way to fit it into the lenses of your cameras.

For six years now, we've been asking our readers to share photos that they believe capture the reality of these times. As always, a disproportionate number of the entries that made their way into our mailbag were sunset, kitty and baby pictures (and, yes, your toddler is adorable), but we remain amazed at the variety of the things you've seen, the places you've been and the quality of the images you're able to capture with either digital or film cameras.

How else to explain our first-place winner, the painterly study above depicting two women walking down a street in Arles, France? Or the provocative shot at right of a young mother paddling a boat in the Philippines, her two children entwined and sleeping behind her?

This year, we enlisted the aid of three judges to help us through the torrent of entries: Joe Elbert, The Post's assistant managing editor for photography; Michael Williamson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Post photographer; and Kathy Legg, the Travel section's art director. We've included their comments with the winning entries, as well as with many of the honorable mentions in the gallery on Pages 8-9.

1st Place

James Forsberg, Arlington

* Forsberg's timeless photograph of two women in traditional Provencal dress in Arles, France, "has the look of a painting," the judges said. It's not about the costumes, they declared, but the muted color, "incredible" depth of field and composition.3rd Place

Marijke Gate, McLean

* Gate made this photograph of Caroga Lake in Upstate New York at that magical time of day when water and sky converge. The judges praised the stark, clean, high-impact composition and sophisticated crop -- not too loose, not too tight. 2nd Place

Danny G. Martinez, Arlington

* This shot of a desperate-looking Filipino woman with her sleeping children "gets to the heart of all that photography can be," the judges said. The photo is well-lit and nicely composed, but it also creates a powerful emotional response.We compare four popular photo-sharing

Web sites. Page P2.