Born and raised in Astoria, Queens, William Duffy, has always appreciated the wonders of Manhattan that helped turned him into an amateur shutterbug.
Now after 20 years of taking photographs in his own backyard, Duffy, 48, has received worldwide recognition winning 12,221 votes for the second best photograph of One World Trade Center.
Photo enthusiasts from around the world submitted their entries to a photo contest sponsored by the New York New Jersey Port Authority, which asked the world audience to vote for the best photograph of the 1,776 foot building -- the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.
Duffy, an air-conditioning and heating engineer, took a photo of a sun glistened glass tower from the entrance of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum where Old Glory waves in earnest.
"I took it around Christmastime," Duffy said. "I just saw it and took out my iPhone and snapped it."
In fact, his wife Doreen Duffy, also 48, said her husband has regularly visited the site taking photographs of the rebuilding of the World Trade Center since 9/11.
"He was moved like any other New Yorker that day. But it impacted him. A month later he started going down there taking pictures," she said. The couple has been married for 25 years.
"Even before we were married he always had a camera. At 18, he had a Canon and when he started working down in the city he just became more of a tourist than a New Yorker. He just loves the city," she said.
"We got everything here. Anything you want to do is here in New York," said Duffy, who on his work breaks takes walks with his camera to shot pictures. "I'm always on rooftops so I get these great shots of the city," he said.
The Por Authority posted nearly 1,000 photographs this summer. The contest received 75,000 votes through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Vlasios Rafailidis of Greece received the most votes. He snapped his photograph while on vacation. He received 13,785 votes. Coming in third was Filip Michalowski of Stamford, Conn., who received 11,203 votes.
The winners received a tour to the top of One World Trade Center with two friends. Duffy of course brought his camera along.