Full house - a sold out show again this year
Words and Photos Vince Shuley
Another stellar show of action sport photography at the Telus festival this year. Six invited photographers took part; Mason Mashon, Erik Seo, Yves Garneau, Grant Gunderson, Jeremy Koreski and Brian Bielmann.
Local snowboarder/skier/surfer/mountain biker Mason Mashon kicked off the show to thunderous applause and cheers from the "Quite the fan club" as MC Mike Douglas described it . Mason's slideshow drew inspiration from living and riding in the mountains, a fresh look at what's possible to do in Whistler 12 months of the year. Mason carried his signature 'camera on a stick' throughout the evening.
Chair of the one of the esteemed judges - Mr Paul Morrison
Next up was the strobe master Erik Seo, perhaps the most proficient flash photographer in the action sports industry today. Shots that take hours to set up with complex lighting are a specialty of Seo, his team of athletes and assistants are no strangers to the late night urban adventures.
Jeremy Koreski from Vancouver Island showed the extreme pursuit of winter surf photography- in Tofino and Nova Scotia. Running through powder snow in a wetsuit before diving into freezing sea water takes a particular breed, Koreski and his athletes show extraordinary dedication.
Yves Garneau was unable to make his flight to Whistler due to the Icelandic volcano ash but instead recorded a greeting from his adopted home town of Verbier, Switzerland. Photos of ballsy Europeans skiing insanely steep lines in the Alps backcountry was the main event in this slideshow.
Photo editor of The Ski Journal Grant Gunderson had his usual yet ever-impressive portfolio from Mt Baker, WA as well as his regular trips across North and South America. “We like to ski pow and huck big air” was how he introduced his career’s best work.
Veteran surf photographer Brian Bielmann was a new name for many of the snow sport enthusiasts in the audience, yet he received the vote as crowd favourite. A soundtrack of Jimi Hendrix and Bjork complemented some of the most amazing imagery of waves, sea water and surfers that send it. Bielmann seemed almost perplexed at winning over both the judges and the crowd, “But c’mon guys, I’m a surf photographer!”
Gunderson, Seo, Mashon, Koreski and winner Bielmann
Bielmann accepted his winning prize check of $10,000 with his son and daughter on stage, his wife’s ecstatic screaming heard from the VIP seating.
Congratulations to winner Brian Bielmann and all the invited photographers of the 2010 Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown. See you next year for more of the world’s best action sports photography.
Family man - Winner Brian Bielmann shares the stage with his children while making his acceptance speech