Less Than 8 Hours Left to Vote in the Photo of the Year Final

Dec 7, 2012
by Karl Burkat  
 
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This is where the stakes get big. The winner takes home $7500 cash and a 2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude 790 MSL decked out in SRAM XX1 components while the runner up snags $2500. Lots on the line, make your vote count. Will it be Toby Cowley from Whistler or Jens Staudt from Germany?

Aiken scrubbing out of the fog on the North Shore. Toby Cowley facebook.com tobycowleyphoto

VS


It was close with my lens but he didn t hit me. Probably on of my best shot this year. More pictures in my album or on facebook www.facebook.com BruchpilotRacing

Vote In the Final

What's at stake? $10,000 Cash and $25,000+ in Prizing

Winner will receive a 2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude 790 MSL complete with the newest SRAM XX1 components and a check for $7500
• Runner-up will receive a check for $2500
• Top 4 receive a complete SRAM XX1 groupo
• Top 8 receive a RockShox Boxxer
• Top 16 receive swag packs from Pinkbike.com (You have been emailed notifications)


Thanks to Rocky Mountain Bikes and SRAM
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169 Comments

  • + 94
 As far as composition, photo 1 wins. As far as "coolness" goes, photo 2 wins.
  • + 19
 Nailed it. That's exactly what I was thinking. Just about everything about the first photo is perfect, photowise. Photo 2 is still awesome though.
  • + 53
 Either way every one wins because they are both shot in Canada.
  • + 20
 Don't care... lost interest last round... lolz!
  • + 55
 Voted for 1 also. Toby's pic reminds me of the of the nicest rides I had this summer. No matter if you're alone in the woods or in a contest with tens of thousands spectators, mountain biking always comes down what happens between you and the bike. I think anybody can relate to that one.

#2 is like the 129334829209848394858383th whip picture I've seen. Cool photo for sure but there were much more deserving entries as far as I'm concerned.
  • + 9
 Totally right.....so job done Toby is the winner!
  • + 47
 The winner should have been one of the pics that went out in previous rounds.
  • - 4
 Nailed it bighucker503. Photo 1 got it because of the solo mish ridding and being sick but photo 2 has it because of the ambience with the crowd and what MTB is about, having a f'in sick time. Brendawg is the man! One day I will be there haha, anyone want to come hang with me in NZ and I will come hang with you in BC haha????????????????? Chur
  • - 4
 @bighucker - What is wrong with composition on the pic with Brendan? I'd rather say that

Other duscussion below is very touching but IMHO I sense a bit of underdog behaviour. The fact of writing which pic and why means there's some insecurity in there. Choose as your heart tells you, imagine for a moment that you are perfectly alone in this wirld and NO ONE will judge you for your choice. Mind and reasoning f*cks it all up just choose with heart. If its the first pic because if because, fine but make sure there is no because of what SHOULD I do
  • - 9
 I was meant ho say that composition of first pic is rather banal comparibg to the second one - but screw it, who cares my point is that such discussion is quite irrelevant. If it made it to here it means it is a good composition, not because there are so many photopros, but because composition just as proportions, rhythm etc. is something quite unconscious. Vast majority of people like stuff of goid proportions and comp, while vast doesn't poor one, regardless of their knowledge of the subject.
  • + 12
 Taking a stance and explaining the reasoning behind it is hardly justifying insecurities.
  • - 7
 No no, it is taking a stance and then sharing it, which can have only one purpose: check if you were right. In something so subjective as art judgement in such place, it can have no other function whether you realize it or not. To check if I have a good taste? Or to convince another that I do have it and they should better recignize it.

Nearly all arguments at that level of the competition are completely useless, exactly as my going so deep into discussing two bike pics!

You dont necessarily choose what you like in any art, you just like it or not, you like it more or you like it less. It is you, what you became, abolish reasoning, let it flow. Be spontaneous - no ones life hangs on your judgement.

I question entirely the sense of having a comment board under such contest. Eventualy we can be saying "I like this one bacause" but "I think this one is better" is what I dis here.
  • + 16
 The best photos were in the quarter final. This is another whip photo at crankworx. Sweet no doubt, but nothing special.
  • + 2
 Or maybe I was just going through a bout of insomnia and I was just looking for a way to kill time before work as I'm clearly not going to fall asleep again while being too tired to do anything productive. I get your point but I assure you that the amount of care given about what my fellow keyboard warriors think on this particular issue is equal to none.
  • - 11
 Victory is mine!
  • + 6
 Things always get interesting when WAKI throws his 2 cents out there, haha, or maybe it's more like 4. Sicks pics, Im goin' with the first one.
  • + 7
 WAKIdesigns strikes again!
  • + 12
 @Waki... It is hard for me to understand everything you are trying to say due to your broken english. Correct me if I am wrong, you think photo #2 has a better composition than photo #1 and there is no way photo #2 would have gotten this far if it didn't have a good composition. You then go on to say that commenting on photos is only for self affirmation and admit to your own hypocrisy.

Anyway I think that photo #2 has made it this far largely due to the fact its: in whistler, during crankworx, of fairclough, at the whip contest. What about its composition is good? It has a very cluttered and distracting background, framing is tilted, no symmetry, patterns, lines, etc. Its content however is awesome, its a sick whip, you can "feel" the energy of what it was like to be there.

I personally wouldn't have chosen either of these, my picks got eliminated in earlier rounds.
  • + 9
 second pic looks like an ad for scott and sram. too commercial.
  • + 2
 This is kind of like the POY contest from last year. Toby Cowley's is nice and gloomy/foggy which I love and is like the 2nd place lift pic from last year.
Then we have some insane shit. Bearclaw in the Gobi was sick, and so is this Whipoff pic. dooo doodoo do dodo doodoo
  • + 0
 so hard to choose both Canadian pics and sic pics... Its gonna be really close.
  • + 2
 sorry but photo #2 is too over-processed. I can't stand it when you see a glow around objects (look at the front wheel and the treeline- it is really strong there). It would make me feel like I was there if it was not so processed- too many people get in to tonemapping their photos and go overboard with it. #1 is processed but with a cause- it evokes a feeling of what it is like to be in that type of forest.
  • + 6
 no matter witch pic wins, tom's is better. the only reason #2 is in the last round is because all the 8-13 year olds who know nothing about photography just say, thats such a sick whip! and just vote without looking at the actual picture.
  • - 5
 llaman110 - older fans of the second photo might appraciate creative approach to composition, especially considering the fact that there is a very limited possibility of taking another shot. Then there are very nice lines created by the rider, tubes of fans, skyline. They might like how colourful it is, therefore positive in a way. Or that the rider does some amazing thing with his bike, while the "move" from the first pic can be done by any average bloke. Another problem with second is that rider ruins the "lone-wolf ride in the woods" feeling (that many talk about) by looking into the camera... Ultimately one might argue that it is so popular because so many teenagers subconsciously relate the climate of the pic to The Twilight trilogy

So...

DROP IT! Those pointless arguments and pros-cons picking is as good as discussions on Nikon vs Canon, Spec vs Trek or rather: which episode of Star Trek is the best. Trust yourself, choose what you like and relax... nobody's gonna know... nobody actualy needs to know...

P.S. And there's a lot to learn from teenagers - get down
  • + 2
 We should support amateur photographers like Toby! Well done.
  • - 3
 Why do you should people? Why do you make people to feel good about choosing the first picture, and bad for choosing the other one, by using such argument? What if Toby never gets to be a photographer, if he finds another way of life. What if the other guy can use the opportunity better? People in this western culture spend so much time for being prepared for accidents, for bad things, this security obsession, but we are never taught to be prepared for good things, for opportunities. However, opportunities come to those who are prepared to catch them. If you were suddenly given a million dollars as on some website some people voted you to be the very man, because you (hipoteticaly) have 300k and the other guy has 2mln. Do you think that you would make a good use of it? Are you truly prepared to be given such gifts?

See what you mean is that he deserves it more - and simply, without knowing them both VERY well, you just can't make a truly righteous decision and what you guys are after is to make some justice here - you might also not be a good judge at all. There is no justice, there is no everybody is a winner, someone must win for other to loose. The otherwise mentality creates a see of loosers, not winners. Just live with it, just choose what you feel, what your intuition is, because this is no best choice contest but best photo contest.

I enjoy being a clown freak making uncomfortable remarks...
  • + 3
 ill have you know that 13 year olds now about compostions, ive voted for pic 1 since the beginning
  • + 1
 i realize that is true because i am only twelve but my brother is fifteen and really into photography and has tought me about all that kinda stuff, what i should have said was most 8-13 year olds don't know about photography.
  • - 2
 llamaman110 it was you having something against teenagers and their liking of whip picture, so decide whether your age is cool, appropriate or not. I could not care less what is your age, I never ever thought that age makes any difference whether something is wrong or right. Im 31 and I like it and can find tons of arguments for it just as i like the second and can find tons of arguments for it. I just mean that sharing those arguments is pointless because each one of us have different ones just as different likes and different fragility for art... so just vote and unless you are not trying to check if you made the right choice (which is stupid anyways - it's yours and nobody SHOULD care), don't share with anyone why you voted this way because as soon as you do it, you put your judgement under judgement... and nobody SHOULD care
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  • + 24
 Even without the rider I would vote for Toby's - the forest, the moss, the atmosphere... this is what MTBers dreams are made of. And then add a rider hitting a natural lip to double up some roots and gettin' a little stylish while doing it. Sure he has no cheering crowds, sponsors and helicopters, he's just riding because he LOVES IT!
  • - 8
 I voted for Tobe because he used to live up the road from me. But his photo is also fairly amazing I guess.
  • + 6
 iamamodel - I read "the forest, the moose" first time and actually scrolled up to find this hidden moose haha
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  • + 19
 As much as I love whips, I don't want the photo of the year to simply be a contest of who can throw the biggest whip. This contest should include all of the aspects of mountain biking, and to me that includes the feeling of freedom while ripping down a foggy trail on your bike, a notion epitomized by the first photo. Biking to me is not about the fame, I bike because I love biking. Simple as that. And while both pictures capture important moments in biking, the first biker looks more as if he is biking because of an intrinsic love for the sport. That is why I am voting for the first picture.
  • + 4
 I chose photo two because I feel as though it is a great symbol of what mountain biking stands for. Despite the whip, it expresses unity! Here are 1000's of riders, ranging from first timers to top pros, people who race for different sponsors, compete against one another, yet once across the finish can hang out and have a beer and a good time. I feel as though this photo captures the essence in the love we have for this sport. If someone doesn't win, we don't riot, or fight. Every race I have ever gone to I have always met amazing people. And that is why I chose photo 2, it shows how the small community that participates in our sport all ride together!

Lastly it captures the freedom of expression one can have while riding, the style one wishes to combine with the sport. It has the scenery that never fails to impress me whenever I go riding, Everything from the dust on this trail to the rider (Regardless of who it is) this picture expresses every aspect of the sport that I love so much!
  • + 10
 I chose photo number one for similar reasons NittyGritty states - love of the sport, style and scenery but minus sponsors and competition. I guess thats why mountain biking is so rad, It means so many different things to so many different people. To me, it is not competition or sponsors, its the rush I get from my whole personal experience. I suppose we need the competition and sponsors to help grow the sport and I sure do like watching but for me its all about where the tires hit the dirt. Photo one, aside from being a sweet photo, captures it all for me.
  • + 3
 Well spoken bmar, I agree completely. There is a difference in the way we can all view the sport of mountain biking, we can each take away something amazing and unique; that is a beautiful thing.I also agree that the excitement is present in the second picture, the feeling of flying through the air on the Crabapple Hits is unreal, I got to experience that last summer, and the second photo brings me back to lovely memories in Whistler. And although that feeling is undoubtedly amazing, I feel as if it captures less of what mountain biking usually is to me. Biking is getting into the flow, and that seems awkward to do when there are cameras flashing; I would much rather pin it down a misty mountain trail. But I do love the feeling of being airborne Smile Essentially, both are great pictures as they both capture different but unique superb aspects of mountain biking, and that is something worth praising. I think, in this contest, neither choice for photo of the year is wrong, as both photos are winning shots.
  • + 3
 Very well said xwason... The passion of the sport lies in the eyes of the beholder!
  • + 3
 Yep, #1 perfectly illustrates the reason I ride and why I like it so much. #2 is galaxies away from me but I understand why people seem to like it so much.
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  • + 13
 Voted #1, mtb for me is about getting out into the bush, not suffering through crowds, advertising and bullshit...
  • + 2
 You have it nailed on Worm-Burner...
  • + 4
 Exactly.
it reminds me of an ad for SRAM or SCOTT. Lots of HDR effect/photoshop it would seem.
Still an excellent photo but it doesn't represent biking as it should. At least for us small folk.
I feel like I've seen too many of the big name pro super whip Get stoked sponser sponser sponser competition photos/PODS lately.
#1 for me as well.
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  • + 7
 How strange it goes.... When I first saw the first round's image selection, these two would have certainly not have been finalists for me for POY. BOTH. Just normal bike-pictures, no special perspective. Number 1 is just somewhere in the woods, nothing special except fog, no special move no special image composition - number 2 is just a whip pic like there have been hundreds before... NO those two are certainly no POY for me... Certainly not. Think I won't vote this time...
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  • + 5
 I picked #1 It really does represent the true essence of what mountain biking is. Forest, trails and your bike. No hype just the passion for the sport we all love. The second on is good but it represents what is really for the majority of us riders a non-reality. A contest witch most of us will never be more then a spectator too. But in truth, there was many other photos that were far better, not that these two are bad. They are both quite amazing. Congrats to all who were entered and to whom ever wins. Keep doing what you do the PB community is better for it.
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  • + 6
 Gotta be Toby for me, just for the individuality. Whilst Jens' photo is no doubt sick, there are too many similar variants, some of which I actually prefer.
  • + 1
 Look at how many fans, the helicopter, the whip, feel the energy. Its like you are there! Yahhhhhhhh! Can you hear the bangin sound of the SRAM tubes and all the riot from the crowd? Jens rules!

I love the Toby shot too. Damp hazy Shore day, rippin.... you can feel the chil and hear the wet roots...shhluppp.

Dont know, but leaning toward a good whippet!
  • + 1
 I was there, it was sick (in fact I can see me in the photo) I'm just saying there are a LOT of very similar photos (including my own), and even of Brendan doing that very whip. Not taking anything away, the photo is awesome, just I think individuality is gonna take it for me.
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  • + 4
 Photo 2 is great. Unfortunately it is masked by sponsorship and a whip. Photo 1 is great, as it's bareness captures the spirit of the individual experience when mountain biking. Some people are saying fanboy versus photography. I say the it's the individual versus the communal. Whatever gets you going the most I guess.
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  • + 7
 meh I had it out for either the starry one with the ridge or pic #1, go Toby!
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  • + 3
 I am very satisfied with these two photo's in the final. for me it's about good photography. BUT! I also wanna see photo's that makes me wanna go ride! the brendog picture, is cool because you can feel the amazing vibe through the picture, and you just wanna yell Braaaaaaaaaap! that picture is all about good times, and having fun on the bike the misty forrest picture is a great challenger to the other photo because they are so different. It's has a more serious race vibe to it. You can still feel the action, and imagine the guy pinning it, over the slippery roots, in the mist. that photo is about training and getting fast, and not care about the conditions.
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  • + 4
 I guess just keep in mind Toby's shot would have taken a lot more composition and effort to set up, not that Jens didn't but the shot was more luck of the draw, just a really lucky grab from a good jam.
  • + 3
 Its not always about prep and perfect composition, a lot of the time my favourite shots are the ones that aren't perfect, just taken in the heat of the moment. Jen's photo captures the action and the fun whereas Tobys just looks a bit too artificial and a tad generic (sorry Toby). The best shots were voted out much earlier in my opinion.
  • + 3
 Jens probably has another 400 generic shots of that Comp from the same composition.

If you want to look at it fro a biking perspective, what comes first, the jump or the trail?
The trail.

Leave comps for video.
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  • + 3
 I would love to hear from the PB photographers their unofficial and personal opinion. Because, let's be honest, we have seen much better pictures from the very first stage of the contest. (just to be clear: better pictures not better riders or better stunts!!!)
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  • + 3
 its a subjective thing . because we need to know what to look for . Picture number ONE is kinda personal , its just you and the bike and the woods , the second one is more about the HYPE of the sport . I d go with the first one .
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  • + 2
 I'm going with the first photo. I like them both. The photogs have set the mood of the environment perfectly. I'm a huge fan of contrast in a photo and both have this. Framing is spot on. I like both photos so much I had to look at it from a different angle. What don't I like about them? In the first one, I don't like how the arm is covering the rider's face. In the second it felt like it was more documentation to me. This is what made me choose photo #1. I can appreciate that the 2nd photo is awesome. The little things like the heli and the next rider already in the air really made me want to choose the photo. However, I connected more with the story of the first one. It brought out memories of rides I did this year in foggy wooded trails. I also feel like the photog and rider set out to make art in the first one. Less right place/right time and more planning and knowing what they wanted to show to the viewer.
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  • + 2
 #2 some unfiltered stoke being part of one of the pinnacle events of the year and the picture shows it. No doubt the first photo is an excellent demo of light and composition but I think the 2nd photo captures the "steez" if you will, of the 2012 season.
  • - 4
 my sentiments exactly, pic 2 totally captures the feeling of crankworx, thats why i voted for it. ... that and because pic 1 knocked out my favorite last round lol
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  • + 2
 Two completely different photos imo. Photo 2 is pretty darn sick but like some other comments it is just another phat whip at a race, pics like this get taken all the time on the dirt jumps or at the races yeah its got a lot in it and looks cool with the crowd. I bet many many more were taken the same day and look very similar, I wouldnt have put this in the final personally. Photo 1 gets my vote all day long
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  • + 2
 I want to vote for photo 2 based souly on the "sickness" factor and that I'm a fan I Fairclough's style. That being said, photo 1 is what I see when I close my eyes and think I MTBing. 1 it is! Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder!
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  • + 2
 these pics are ok, but there is obvious bias towards pics in Canada. I get that this is a canadian website but I feel you lose a little credibility with this contest. the best photos are not represented here in the final. pics from whistler should have to be mind blowing, that area has been so over exposed its like Ive seen every angle/ vantage point/ lighting/ time of day/ season. yawn. it may be stellar riding up there, but some of the photos from all over the world show true creativity and passion for biking and photography, snapping pics at the most heavily ridden park in the world is like shooting fish in a barrel.
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  • + 2
 My vote goes to the second one. Yes it's a great whip but its more than that. There's beautiful scenery in the background. A big crowd hang out having a good time. The lighting is brilliant. It just sums up mountain biking for me. Love the way SRAM signs just lead your eye into the back wheel. Year of the whip? What's more fitting to win then than the best whip picture?
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  • + 1
 2 amazing Shots..... Gonna have to sway to #2 Just because (Minus the crowd), theres SO many things going on in the background that just line up Perfect, the wheels to the tree-line, the Heli tucked right in mid frame & on & on. Congrats to Both. i Do feel also the winner was days ago.
Cheers.
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  • + 1
 I agree biker-guy....I thought the photo with the person crossing the nature made bridge with the stars glowing in the background was going to take it all. I guess it really never had a chance on pinkbikedh.com. I wish the finalist best of luck. Definitely great photos and worthy to be in a finalist spot.
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  • + 1
 Why does PB not let you see how many votes each one has at any time in the contest, instead of only at the end of each round?
It's clear that #1 was very well shot; the guy who took it obviously planned the trees and the light to look so f*cking cool, but #2 is just awesome. He snapped that at the perfect time!
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  • + 4
 Its been Toby Cowley's image right through each voting round for me. Its an iconic image and hope it take the top prize.
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  • + 1
 Number 2 ,thats like biking. You cannot make a perfect composition of light, action as in a studio you have to get the best out of the situation and that's what he has done. It is the moment and this cannot be repeated as you could do for picture 1.
  • + 3
 ? are you kidding me, you could repeated it several times, the several riders who ran that run, all day snapping hundreds of photos in the same spot, in the same settings, same composition.

That first shot is the most technically challenging photo I can imagine shooting for biking. He had to set up his speedlight, he had to work with fog, with a dim lighting, with composing a photo in a forest of many vertical patterns.

I don't mean to be rude but anyone who shoots would agree, the second is not a photo as much as a picture, it was a snap of a button in a situation where everything was set up for him, the lighting isn't that good, it's over saturated and blown out. Is it a good picture? Yes, I would be proud of it, but is it the best photo? No contest, I bet he had hundreds of photos from that day, Toby would have likely only a few runs, maybe less to get that right.
  • + 2
 People don't give a shit about that in here... they see B-dog whipping and are like... whoa, cool. Click... I saw at least 6 nicer '' Photos'' in this contest no doubt...
  • + 2
 that's why teenagers aren't good judges. however, photo of the year for pinkbike teens is still photo of the year for pinkbike teens.
  • + 2
 True that...
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  • + 2
 #2 is like an advertisement, brendan, sram, scott, whistler, troy lee etc etc...pretty much what we see everyday but at the same time it`s awesome every detail it has..#1 is just like real life....so #1 does it for me...
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  • + 1
 had to vote for for fairclough as i was there, first time in whistler, too many good memories come flooding back when i see that pic, even though the first one may be a better representation of mountain biking the stoke factor of that second shot just sums up my summer even though later on that same day i broke my collarbone. WHISTLER FTW.
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  • + 1
 so stinkin hard to choose! i still wouldnt mind second place! both photos are amazing! photo#1 is looks so vast,epic, dark, and the angle is amazing! photo #2 i think captivates more because its not just focused on fairclough s steezed out whip but also shows how stoked all those fans are! tough decision!
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  • + 1
 The whip-off worlds were outrageous this year - stressful standing on top of the jumps - pretty often the riders were dead overhead! ride.io/riding/crankworx-day-5-whip-off-world-champs
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  • + 0
 First Picture for sure. Its just perfect... The only other pic that impressed me that much was the lighted canyon picture taken at night with the guy (or girl) riding way up in the picture... (If you guys get which one I mean...).

Anyways first picture cause the second ont is too processed... and the first one is just photographicaly perfect...
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  • + 1
 I found a lot of my faves go out early, mainly because they were pitted against my other faves. This also meant i was forced to vote for some photos i was less keen on for similar opposite reasons.
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  • + 4
 Number one, killer background and lighting. I think I see god in it, haha
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  • + 2
 photo 1 is defiantly the best because he's out there having a blast... he's not in it for the fans, he's in it for himself. also i like the nature instead of the crowd.
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  • + 2
 I think Toby's is good but the rider has been over flashed. He doesn't blend well with the overall picture. Just doesn't look natural.
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  • + 1
 Rocky Mountain should expand on this contest next year. Have a category for action shots, one for landscape shots, one for competition shots ect. Oh wait, but that would mean they have to give away more bikes!
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  • + 3
 Toby's photo. hands down. no contest. Amazing shot, great composition and Aiken Collinge is killing it....
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  • + 1
 the second pic is awesome, i just feel that any of the hundred lining up along that route could've taken that photo. just my opinion, please dont beat me up..... still a great pic though, number one is my choice.
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  • + 2
 Photo 1 for sure, epic Shore shot! Represents everything about riding on the Shore, so siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
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  • + 3
 photo 2 by far. sorry but photo 1 is boring. everything is arty farty these days, what happened to plane old action shots!?
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  • + 1
 The best pictures are gone! That's the rest, none of them was my favourite at the begin of this competition. I hope it wins first photo, second is too much photoshoped, it looks like instagram photo.
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  • + 1
 Pic number 2. Both are great, but the second one is straight up spontaneous. No second chance to get the lighting and composition right. Just good timing and being in the right place to capture the moment.
  • + 0
 No offense but it was a dam bright sunny day for Jens to be shooting the Whip Off's. It was middle of summer in August at Crankworx and it was hot. Not too much effort involved at all. All that needed to be done was to be in a reasonable position to shoot the pic with a nice wide angle lens. Probably shot at 100 iso with a filter on as well. Maybe 200. Post production with heavy vignette and also bringing the blue out to highlight the rider and bike.

Toby's has also seen a lot of post with the darks brightened up,the use of a remote flash (see the ground under the rider). The backlight has also been brought up to highlight the trees more.

I think Toby's is the better shot as more effort has been put in by the photographer (as I see it) to get out and come up with a shot on a trail with a rider rather than just a walk or ride to a pre planned event.

Yes I am being critical but this is a best PHOTO competition not best trick/whip.
  • + 2
 chainsawnz, the picture of the whip has definitely not just been lit by the sun behind the rider. I'd say at least one remote flash giving fill in light.
While it's not my favourite (that was the trials guy on his front wheel on the building) I won't be suprised at all if the pic of Brendan wins - it looks amazing and makes me wish I could be there.
  • + 1
 bikenmiken you just proved yourself to be in the wrong here, it's a photo contest, not a spontaneous snapshot contest, people are judging the second one based on how cool the content is not how the photo looks, it's nothing more special then any other photo of that contest.
  • + 2
 #2 isn't even the only picture of that whip.standing in a pre-determined, prime location, snapping hundreds of pictures of every rider who passes is the antithesis of spontaneity.
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  • + 0
 I vote #2 - #1 probably took awhile to get set up... hike the trail... get everything near perfect, etc, and I only say it's not perfect because the use of lighting is almost like cheating, or eating fast food. #2 is real. Perfect timing and position. It's crazy how buddy's tire is inches away from a Nikon and peoples domes, with another rider at a casual mach 2 a split second behind. Way more hype and purity in #2 it deserves the win.
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  • + 0
 2nd Photo IMO. This captures the essence of not only riding, but the hype behind the riding, and all the spectators. The fog shot is cool, but the 2nd photo gets me stoked to ride, and that's how I've voted.... Whichever photos get me stoked to ride are the winners in my book.
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  • + 0
 I don't like the colors in #1 to much, #2 is pretty cool although looks a little bit instagrammed, and the camera of the other guy, I think he made a nice shot as well and brendawg hit his canon 5D or whatever, is a little bit disturbing. Anyways, #2 will make it!
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  • + 3
 Cowley's pic is more like me- wet, woods, fog... Nevertheless number 2 is epic too!
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  • + 2
 Photo 2 for me. It is real, no staging to get the light perfect etc. just a photo that captures the moment. The whip off was amazing to watch, so glad I was there.
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  • + 2
 I think photo one has great composition, but photo two really has a much better story behind it.
  • + 3
 what is the story? all i see is a whip at crankworx.
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  • + 2
 1 is just a normal picture - nothng very special, no creative perspective... -> i'm with no.2
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  • + 2
 Photo 1 shows the involvement with nature. Photo 2 shows the popularity of the sport. I love both.
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  • + 2
 Second pic is good but it looks like a commercial photo for SRAM and Scott products, while 1st pic is pure mtb action IMO.
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  • + 2
 Toby's photo. hands down. no contest. Amazing shot, great composition and Aiken Collinge is killing it...
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  • + 2
 Jens shot in my opinion. It shows more action and energy than the first photo.
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  • + 2
 I think every one including myself has the same photo as #2. No work went it. Sorry.
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  • + 2
 so when are we about to see the results? I'd love to see the WHIP being POY!
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  • + 1
 Photo 2 takes the cake for me.... Everyone looks so stoked and it encapsulates everything that MTB represents. To me pic 1 is a bit dull.
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  • + 1
 "Second photo is like advertising"

Considering most products/clothes/gear has logos on, that would make every photo "advertising"

Get a sense of perspective...
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  • + 1
 Number 2 for me, you can almost feel the atmosphere and hear the sounds, it's such an exciting pic.
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  • + 2
 Disappointing final, other pics rocked
  • + 3
 completely agree. These two are too generic
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  • - 2
 they shouldnt make the photos compete with big photographers they should be from small groups who lov e to make it happen and show theworld wha they donot brendan fairclough yea sure he could use the cash but he wouldnt be able to ride that bike with his sponsorship anyway
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  • + 2
 seriously 2012???.......these two photos are the best you have to offer?
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  • + 1
 None. Soo disapointed those pics are in the final. Setve Lloyd's night pic should be here instead.
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  • + 1
 the whip is a great picture, i still cant believe it has gotten this far...cool whip bro
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  • + 2
 I like the second one better!
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  • + 2
 I think that second is much better. My favourite photo on pinkbike.
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  • + 2
 Toby Cowley............... my Vote and the best Foto at the competition.
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  • + 2
 in my opinion the best picture didnt went to the final. Frown
  • + 2
 ps: i vote for pic one. capture the riding, looks kind of magical moment Big Grin
  • + 4
 Photo 1 really does deserve the win.It captures what we all thought this contest was about.Brendogs would have been more appealing to me if it wasnt for all the Advertising in your face.
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  • - 2
 I wouldn't have guessed that either of these would have made it past the first round... there were some truly amazing shots that didn't make it very far... It's sad really. But I guess congratulations to the photographers who even made it into the contest are in order.
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  • + 2
 The best of Whistler vs. the best of the North Shore. Tough call.
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  • + 2
 They're both just so.... Canada.
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  • + 1
 Competitions belong on video, they are covered, this is a photography contest, not a paparazzi contest.
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  • + 2
 Fairclough has to win this!!!
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  • + 2
 that whip must win!!
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  • + 1
 why is the choice so hard now
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  • + 1
 Photo 2 is better, just my thoughts!
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  • + 1
 Yeah. Can't Vote with my "Smart"phone.
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  • + 2
 The second photo!
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  • + 0
 This contest is unbelievable biased, there were many better photos in the competition than these...
  • + 27
 This competition is based on majority vote, obviously these two photos are the best in most people eyes. It's in your opinion that there have been better, clearly not many agree...
  • - 1
 yes, there were many many great pictures that didnt make it, and yes, many of them didnt get a fair chance, but i think for the most part this represents the majority of what people are looking for for POD/POY. its downhill/freeride bikes doing actual mountain biking. not wanna be bmx on 26". keep mtb in the mountain
  • + 2
 huh? i think the "wanna be" comment is a bit harsh, wouldn't you think?
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  • + 1
 AAAAAGHH this is so difficult! mi brain is going to explote
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  • + 1
 One of the harder decisions Ive ever had to make...
  • + 6
 Same here! ..I haven't had a very difficult life.
  • + 4
 #firstworldproblems
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  • + 1
 I cant vote too hard of a decision. if only they could call a tie.
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  • + 1
 Good Luck Toby you had my vote.Brendog shot is amazing also
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  • + 0
 ts cool to see two of my fav photos ending up in the finale, but now I CANT´T CHOOSE! :/
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  • + 1
 how about they both win Wink
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  • + 1
 fucking right they were both taken in Canada
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  • + 1
 Fairclough winnerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
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  • + 1
 Brendog any day
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  • + 0
 can we just call it a tie?
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  • - 1
 Having to choose between these two photos is seriously stressing me out... But my vote goes for Fairclough!!
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  • + 1
 less than 8 hours...hmm.
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  • + 0
 Epic hype feel for the second. Second wins!
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  • + 1
 BRENDAWG FTW!!!!
  • + 2
 I voted for that pic all the way through! That was a sick shot!
  • + 1
 just amazing! this dude is killing it!
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  • + 1
 fairclough is the man!!!
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  • + 0
 toby is a photo computer dont look real
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  • + 0
 these have both been my background haha
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  • + 0
 Called it and damn it I can't vote on my phone.
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  • + 1
 None of the above
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  • + 1
 Well damn. I'm torn.
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  • - 1
 Fairclough my winner from begine!
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  • - 3
 The epicness of the second one
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