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Photographer of the Year Live!
By Kyle Garson
July 2005

Original Article here

Get daily reports as our three finalists meet their photographic challenges in New York City!

POY_Blog_mainReports from the Competition:

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Today our finalists handed in their final assignments. After a short session of discussion about the competition and their expectations there of, we sent them off so our laborious deliberations began. The whole Pop Photo editorial staff present, no decision was easy. As a whole, the images taken for the competition far exceeded any expectation we held at the beginning. Each assignment was judged on its style, technical quality, and most of all, its strict adherence to the assignment given. There were many close votes and loud outspoken defenses, but finally, the winner of Popular Photography's 2005 Photographer of the Year competition is...Michael Soo of Cupertino, California.

See our October 2005 issue for full details on the winner and his final images.


Related Links:
Win an official Photographer of the Year T-shirt!
Discuss Photographer of the Year Live!
Photographer of the Year 2005: Voting Results
Photographer of the Year 2005 Contest


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Here are more shots of the three finalists hard at work on their assignments.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

This morning our photographers dragged themselves through the door, assignments in hand, with not one energized face among the bunch. After two long, grueling days of photographic competition, our finalists are starting to acknowledge the weighted strain of their camera bags.

But the images they submitted from yesterday's assignments are truly amazing. The watermelon shots demonstrate their creativity and photographic talent. And the portraits range from the sublime to the outrageous. Their works doesn't reveal how tough this shoot-out has been. While the photographers are dragging, their work is sparkling.

And today, Day 3, will be the most exciting day of all. It's all about location:

Assignment Four: “Diary of…”

Each photographer reaches into the Pop Photo hat, and pulls out a location to document and depict. Michael Soo received the Belmont Park horse-racing track, Mike Peters got Coney Island , and Andrei Jackamets pulled the Broadway hit, “Wicked, The Musical.” They will each have behind-the-scenes access to each of their venues, and are expected to capture 12 outstanding documentary-style photographs.

The photographers departed with still-tired eyes but a new found motivation. Whether this inspiration is a product of anticipation of a great and exciting assignment, or the anticipation of the end, we still cannot tell. All that is certain is that we can count on spectacular images!


Related Links:
Win an official Photographer of the Year T-shirt!
Discuss Photographer of the Year Live!
Photographer of the Year 2005: Voting Results
Photographer of the Year 2005 Contest


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Here are a few supplementary images from the days events to keep you up to speed.

Selected images from Assignment #2: "The Watermelon", and Assignment #3: "Make a Portrait" by Michael Soo
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Selected images from Assignment #2: "The Watermelon", and Assignment #3: "Make a Portrait" by Mike Peters
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Selected images from Assignment #2: "The Watermelon", and Assignment #3: "Make a Portrait" by Andrei Jackamets

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Submissions came in at 8:30 this morning. It was at that precise moment when the judges realized that this was going to be a far closer photographic battle than we had ever imagined. With their first 8 images under their shutter fingers, our Finalists were now ready for anything we could dish out (or so they thought). This morning we had not one assignment, but two:

Assignment Two: “The Watermelon”

This assignment is simple. The competitors are given a watermelon. They are told “Impress us with an image.” They are allowed to submit up to three images, so they have three shots to achieve this goal.

Assignment Three: “Make a Portrait”

Each photographer is randomly assigned a two-hour working window in the day to create the most amazing portrait we have ever seen. For those two hours, he will have full access to the Pop Photo Lab and Studio and all of the equipment they contain. A professional model is provided, but they have to conjure up the rest. This assignment also has a three-picture limit.

Today's images are due no later than 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Each photographer will surely approach today's challenges with his own style and flair, but from outside our studio doors their anxious mutterings all sound the same.


Related Links:
Win an official Photographer of the Year T-shirt!
Discuss Photographer of the Year Live!
Photographer of the Year 2005: Voting Results
Photographer of the Year 2005 Contest


Monday, July 11, 2005

Here are a few supplementary images from the days events to keep you up to speed.

Selected images from Assignment #1
"Eating In Times Square" by Andrei Jackamets
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Selected images from Assignment #1
"Eating In Chinatown" by Mike Peters
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Selected images from Assignment #1
"Eating In Wall Street" by Michael Soo
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Monday, July 11, 2005

Bright and early in the Pop Photo offices, the finalists were “handed” their first of four exciting assignments:

Assignment One: “Eating In…”

Each of the three photographers pulls one of three locations (in Manhattan) out of a hat and is required to shoot an eight-image travel-magazine-style photo article. Mike Peters pulled Chinatown, Michael Soo got Wall St., and Andrei Jackamets received the Times Square location. Each competitor must shoot within a predetermined boundary and must be able to prove to the judges' satisfaction that their pictures came from their individual area.

The photographers have one day to complete the assignment, and the resulting images must be handed in at 8:30 Tuesday morning. They left our offices soon after, (trailed by a Pop Photo staff member charged with the documentation of their photographic struggle and success) minds racing with ideas and possible strategies. Now we can only wait to see how they fare on their first day of shooting for $5000 and the title of 2005 Photographer of the Year.

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Andrei Jackamets
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Andrei Jackamets
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Michael Soo
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Michael Soo
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Mike Peters
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Mike Peters


Sunday, July 10, 2005

The 2005 Photographer of the Year Competition began at a small table in one of New York City's finest restaurants Serafina. Around that table the finalists: Mike Peters (Verona, New Jersey), Michael Soo (Cupertino, California), and Andrei Jakamets (Howell, New Jersey) met for the first time. Editor-in-Chief John Owens and few other representatives from the Popular Photography staff explained the contest rules and distributed $625 to each of competitors for day-to-day expenses. Each contestant subtly, or not-so-subtly tried to sneak small hints or previews from the staff of the assignments to come, however we remained tight-lipped steadfast. After dinner and drinks we all retired to our beds to prepare for what will prove to be an exciting and adventuresome week of images.


Related Links:
Win an official Photographer of the Year T-shirt!
Discuss Photographer of the Year Live!
Photographer of the Year 2005: Voting Results
Photographer of the Year 2005 Contest




 

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