To see all the entries for each
photographer, click on image or gallery link! More
photos of the photographers at work coming
|Strong Finish: A rainy
day in Coney Island didn't keep Mike Peters from
getting wonderful people shots. "If I were to do
this over, the only thing I'd do differently is
to carry less stuff," Peters said. "My shoulder
is really sore."|
From a collection of preserved butterflies he’d
recently bought, Soo plucked one and placed it on
the model’s shoulder. Glass blocks and a tiny
smoke machine were also among Soo’s gear. “For me,
preparation is an important step,” he said.
Jackamets and Peters didn’t buy any special
equipment for the Shoot-Out, though Jackamets did
“I didn’t know what the assignments would be,”
he said. “But every other day for the past few
weeks, I created photo jobs for myself to stay
Jackamets also upgraded to Adobe
Photoshop CS2 on his laptop. Like the others,
Jackamets considers himself quite proficient with
“Photoshop, though, is just a tool,” he said.
“And really just a minor one. Photoshop doesn’t
Peters hardly used it. And Soo created effects
in-camera as much as possible. While his portrait
of the model in “water” shows a heavy Photoshop
hand, his other work is more edited than
As with the others, Soo’s photos mostly reflect
hard work. All of the contestants shot and edited
into the early-morning hours. “I got only one hour
of sleep each night,” said Soo. His obsessive
attention to detail helped Soo capture each
assignment to the letter, and gave his images a
consistency of vision and technical quality that
impressed the judges and put him over the top.
As the editors of Pop Photo said in their final
judgment, “It seemed we could throw anything at
Michael—a model, a watermelon, an unfamiliar city,
a horse track on a rainy day, and with impossible
deadlines—and he’d get outstanding, amazing,
That’s what it takes to be Photographer of the
Details on entering the 2006 competition
will appear in the December issue.
The Four Assignments: A
test or torture?
These assignments were
designed to challenge the photographers in a wide
range of situations demanding a wide range of
skills. Our editors’ ultimate goal: determine who
is the best all-around shooter.
The photographers were completely unaware of
the assignments until the morning of each shoot.
Each assignment was due within 24 hours as either
prints or files on a CD. (All submitted CDs.) The
photographers could use their own gear or whatever
we had on hand in the Pop Photo Lab and