For the second year in a row, Salt Lake City native Steve Lloyd is the Ski Salt Lake Shootout overall champion. Lloyd beat out a diverse field comprised half of local photographers, and half of professionals from all across the globe, including Alaska, Australia, Cleveland, and Chamonix.
"In my estimation, every single team produced at least three to five great photos. The winner would need to produce eight," says POWDER's Director of Photography David Reddick, the head judge for the event. "That winner was unanimously the team of Steve Lloyd. Steve and company absolutely crushed it, producing a series of stunning shots."
Mike Schirf, competing in his third Shootout, moved up from a third place finish in 2012 to take second place, and had two skiers in the top three for the Athlete's Choice award. Australian veteran Tony Harrington took third. “The battle between second and third could've gone either way with these two," says Reddick. "This was one of the more deliberated decisions amongst the judging panel."
The eight photographers were teamed up with two local skiers, and were allowed to pre-select one athlete from anywhere to bring with them. They shot over four days—one each at the four Cottonwood Canyon resorts, and were asked to submit their best two photos from each destination. The photos were then judged by a panel of visual arts professionals consisting of Reddick, Salt Lake City photographer and author Lee Cohen, Ski Utah Creative Director Chris Pearson, and Sean Buckley, the Director of Creative Services for Visit Salt Lake.
Prizes were also awarded for Athlete's Choice, where each skier was allowed to select their favorite shot of themselves taken during the week to be judged by the panel; the Urban Meet Mountain category, celebrating the four ski resorts proximity to Salt Lake City; and an Instagram contest only open to the athletes and judged by Alta's social media guru Joe Johnson.
James Douglas Shields, a commercial photographer based in Cleveland and a regular at Solitude where his family owns a condo, took the Urban Meets Mountain category with a shot of a skier breaking a rack of snowballs on the pool table at Solitude's Thirsty Squirrel pub.
Willie Nelson took home the Athlete's Choice award, which includes $500 and a full-page ad of the photo in POWDER . Pip Hunt, Jared Allen, and Tyler Peterson were awarded Ski Salt Lake Super Passes in the Instagram contest. The Super Pass is good for any of the four Ski Salt Lake resorts and is transferable.
The awards were presented and all portfolios displayed at Brewvies pub in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday night. It was a fitting capper to a grueling week for the photographers, athletes, and organizers, alike.
"I have so much respect for every photographer and athlete that takes on the shootout," says Reddick. "It's a full commitment. Similar to shooting a travel story for the magazine, you only have one shot at it. You have to go in and nail it regardless of the cards you're dealt. The format requires the teams to be incredibly creative as they're forced to make critical decisions while moving through the mountains within a limited period of time. This year, the teams demonstrated incredible skill and a tireless work ethic, coming back with images to be proud of."
There is one award still outstanding. Both the photographer and the athlete win $1,000 in the Facebook fan's choice category. Voting is going on all week on the Visit Salt Lake Facebook page.