2006 O’Reilly Photoshop Cook-Off Winners Announced

O'Reilly Media announced today the winners of the Photoshop Cook-Off Contest at PhotoPlus Expo 2006. Grand Prize Winner Suzanne Pitts and 10 additional winners in five categories were selected from hundreds of submissions created by Photoshop aficionados.

"What's so wonderful about the Cook-Off contest is that everyone's a winner," says Betsy Waliszewski, who organized the contest along with Cookbooks editor Edie Freedman. "The O'Reilly recipes used to manipulate the images stirred the creative visions of photographers at all levels, from enthusiasts to seasoned professionals."

A panel of 15 A-list photographers chose the winning entries. The winning images range from Pitts' arresting black-and-white photo of a ballet trio to a fancifully surreal image of a flower budding from a peeled orange.

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©Suzanne Pitts

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Grand Prize Winner
Suzanne Pitts
has made it her personal mission to bring the fine art of editorial photography to its fullest potential using her natural eye for detail, beauty and composition. Her work has graced the cover of Coast Magazine, and has been published in Cruising News, Picture Framing Magazine, and the Orange County Register. She has illustrated fine art and health books such as “Turkoman Weavings” and “Kundalini Yoga Meditation,” and has worked with organizations such as the Laguna Beach Art Museum, Laguna Dance Festival, the Children’s Bureau and the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation. Her work has been exhibited at Dangenart Gallery in Nashville and the Crystal Image in Laguna Beach. Suzanne lives in Laguna Beach, Calif.

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©Ben Grace

Fine Art Effects Winner
Ben Grace
is an artist and graphic designer working digitally and in traditional media, from oil painting to photography. Ben enjoys combining imagery in Photoshop to create truly unique digital composites. He graduated from the graphic design program at California State University, Chico, and is working for the design and advertising studio, Robert, Mather and Gibbs, in Santa Rosa, Calif.

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©Nancy Johnson

Filter Effects Winner
Nancy Johnson
is a retired institutional pharmacist with a lifelong interest in both art and science.  Soon after she retired, she had the opportunity to take a course in Photoshop at the University of South Carolina Art Department and found that the application combined her interest in computers and digital cameras with her interest in art, and she’s been an avid user ever since. Nancy lives in Columbia, S.C.

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©Karen Swaty

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Blending Modes Winner
Karen Swaty
was born and raised in Northern Michigan, and spent her days riding, drawing, painting and decorating horses. Although she worked in many different mediums, she didn’t even touch a computer until she was in her mid-40s, and then only because she had to for work. For the last five years or so, she has been teaching herself Photoshop, and confesses that she now dreams in layers. Karen lives in Owensboro, Ky.

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©Sara Frances

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Retouching Winner
Sara Frances
' extensive mix of photographic interests spans photojournalistic, documentary, portrait, architectural, and graphic art styles, generally with an alternative twist that captivates mind and eye. She holds academic degrees in visual arts, theatre and literature, as well as the professional titles of Master Photographic Craftsman, Accredited Photographic Imaging Instructor, and Associate of the American Society of Photographers. She writes photographic articles and books, and teaches techniques, art philosophy, digital imaging and manipulation. Her studio, Photo Mirage Imaging of Denver and Aspen, is a self-contained inkjet-based production and presentation atelier, offering full service still and video artistry. Sara lives in Denver, Colo.

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