2015 Photo of the Year: $10,000 Cash Prizing - Finals

Feb 22, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  
We started with 32, you voted it to 16, 8, 4 and now to 2 photos vying for the $10,000 in CASH from our sponsors: Trek Bikes and SRAM.



Check out the voting page



It s coming the 2015 Photo of the year contest.


The 5th annual Pinkbike Photo of the Year Contest voting is underway. The winner will join John Wellburn, Toby Cowley, Sterling Lorence and Christoph Laue in the PB Photo of the Year Hall of Fame and they could walk away with $5,000.

How Does it Work?

From thousands of nominated photos, 32 have been selected to pit against each other in a college basketball bracket-like showdown. At this point, it is up to you, the users, to vote on the match-ups. The photos with the most votes will move on to the next round. So 32 photos will narrow down to 16, then 8, 4, 2 until there is a single photo deemed the 2015 Trek Photo of the Year Powered by SRAM.



Click to Vote



Lee Trumpore
Revolution Mag cover Spring 2015. No flashes no gimmicks just ankle deep dust front-lit by a setting sun.

Go to Voting Page


Sean Lee
Ten seconds after the shutter of my camera closed the sun dipped over the horizon and the last light of the day was gone. As featured in R evolution Magazine March 2015.

Go to Voting Page


What's at stake? $10,000 Cash
Winner will receive a check for $5000
• Runner-up will receive a check for $3000
• Other semi-finalists will each receive $1000

Thanks to Trek Bikes and SRAM.

Vote Here

It s coming the 2015 Photo of the year contest.


Mentions: @SramMedia / @trek



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136 Comments

  • 171 6
 The Monument Valley photo was so much better.
  • 27 0
 Agreed, such an epic backdrop also!
  • 53 0
 yeah.. the dust one is cool, but I have no idea how that knocked out the monument valley photo.
  • 27 1
 Monument Valley was my winner. Such a sick shot.
  • 14 0
 Yep, that was the one I picked as well. Would love to get a print of it for the cave.
  • 5 0
 a great composition for sure, everything about it is great.
  • 4 0
 something something monument valley
  • 3 3
 Nah, Tonino Delli Colli did Monument Valley better. The dust photo had the best composition of all them, I have even voted against my own back-yard for it.
  • 1 1
 They start with insanely priced mountain bikes, and now they'll have us believe somebody can draw a check worth $5000? Absurd.
  • 17 2
 Laue got robbed.
  • 3 5
 voted for the dust cause Sean's photo was better, haha, planning a move ahead
  • 6 0
 Monument Valley was my winner too
  • 6 0
 The monument valley shot will always be the winner in my mind. Such an epic shot!
  • 7 0
 I agree that shot was better. amazing control of light, unique location , and a rider absolutely sending. The queens town shot is one of the few I've been voting on since the first round but not once have I voted for the roost...
  • 3 0
 Laue won last year, maybe they didn't want him to win again...
  • 3 0
 Out of every photo... I would have never chosen those two to be in the final - good photos, but I don't think they stand up to the others ones on the list
  • 2 0
 I think pinkbikers are too easily impressed with big roosts and are voting for it because it's a sick roost, not because it is a better photo.
  • 99 8
 Honestly as much as I love a good roost photo, the other photo speaks a lot more to me. it gives great vibes and feelings of a solid cruise down a run with my buddies on a good day.
  • 16 0
 ^^^ That. We've a had that evening ride with your mates where the sun is out and you're just all enjoying a corking bit of singletrack, throwing a bit of style here and there over whatever kicker you can find. That's what that photo reminds me of. While the brown pow photo is a great shot, I just can't relate to it in my own riding as well as the other one.
  • 9 0
 Sean Lee's photo just makes me happy looking at it. Its like the photo that sums up mountain biking. Good fun!
  • 3 4
 Is this going to be 3 years in a row a roost photo has won?
  • 2 1
 Booooring!
  • 1 0
 @graeme187 I wouldn't call last year's winner a roost photo, but I do recall several roosty winners before that.
  • 2 0
 @kabanosipyvo I stand corrected, I'd forgotten last year was the jump photo
  • 67 8
 Please not the roost
  • 13 8
 The roost photos always do well here. Unfortunately.
  • 48 3
 Dang it. My two favorites from the semi finals were knocked out.
  • 39 3
 Too bad Christoph Lau is out, his photo is epic!
  • 11 2
 Yep, definitely my favourite out of the semi finalists
  • 10 1
 Yeah his had great color and composition. The roost is cartoony.
  • 5 0
 Agreed! Super talented photographer.
  • 33 3
 NOOO! Christoph Laue's photo was so sick! As rad as dust and roosting is, boosting some mad air with a backdrop like that is unbeatable.
  • 40 14
 It's like Trump against Jeb Bush in final round of US election... At some point you just don't care, you vote for anyone who isn't Trump. In the same way, if there was a picture of old woman's starfish against Roost picture, I'd chose the starfish... fortunately this is a sweet Sean Lee's photo!

@lunatyk - I was hoping you'll go through! Sweet work all last year man!
  • 12 43
flag owlie (Feb 22, 2016 at 14:45) (Below Threshold)
 Hearing people from other countries political opinions about the US, makes me wonder where you get your intel. BBC world news? facebook? lol. What would you think If I made a snide and witty comment about whatever socialist hack is running your country.
  • 9 8
 Bill Maher... I'm guilty
  • 8 7
 BIll Maher and Jon Oliver is all the news you ever need
  • 3 15
flag hamncheez (Feb 22, 2016 at 15:03) (Below Threshold)
 I agree with both; socialism is hack/whack, but Trump IS a socialist!

whatever happened to liberty?
  • 10 3
 Please! I come hear to escape and forget politics. Unless its Outdoor Sports-related politics.
  • 9 7
 Hate to tell you but the socialist hacks in sweden on average live longer, are happier and have a much lower homicide rate than you muricans
  • 4 3
 Hows that suicide rate? Take home income? Social mobility? Alcoholism? Wealth generated?
  • 2 1
 @multialxndr they all live about the same, dont they? on average, just like the rest of the citizens...
  • 3 2
 Lol, a hug majority of us(apparently) would vote for anyone other than another d.c. establishment guy or lady, bought and paid for by the chinese(via clinton mob foundation)
Republicans are tired of rince, rove, bush, Mcconnell, and all those that fight against reforming the rnc whom are owned and operated by K street(lobbyist,.dc).
Startling how so many are clueless regarding the mindset of America right now.
Leaders in both parties have screwed the american citizenry out of jobs via bad trade deals, bad labor laws, unelected officals of epa making laws, and terrible corporate tax rates.
And did i say corruption...hillary is literally running to save her ass from indictment.
  • 3 2
 But Sean Lee is a communist!
  • 3 1
 ^^^ no one asked the hosers
  • 8 2
 WHo downvoted Bill Maher comment... you creationist pricks! And you'll love Swedish socialist system. Plenty of money in economy + socialism = WIN. And yes I am concerned about mr Trump, just like pretty much everyone in the world should be. I'd rather have mr Putin keeping an eye on your red button than this idiot. Trump to be the leader of world' largest army, PLEASE NO. It's like giving my 2 year old a kitchen knife and letting him run with it around the yard at the daycare
  • 1 2
 Owlie
When Yugoslavia collapsed there was 16000000000 dollars debt. After 25 years on the same area ex Yugo states have 9 times (133000000000$ in 2012) bigger debt. And we arent even talking of so called "golden Tito era". I wont say that everything was better, but socialism was not so bad.
  • 2 2
 Only an Friedmanist cannot see that there is a direct connection between socialism/communism (with all related illnesses like poverty and tyrrany) and availability of resources joined with "natural" enemies. There is a mutual relation between communism/socialism and failed economy, with the other side of capitalism and prosperity - the main capitalist states like UK and US were grown on plenty of natural resources, intellectual and technological superiority over other nations making it easy to conquer anyone anywhere. What else could US do, if not after teething problems of Civil War just go and expand, unhindered with access to vast areas of land, rich in resources, allowing it to become a super power, unhindered by destructive force of other powers like it happened in Europe.

So if you are putting equals on socialism in current Sweden/Norway with pre 1989 Poland or Yugoslavia, you are a tool. Both Sweden and Norway are wealthy countries, thanks to export of natural resources and low population, they can afford socialism with no problem for the best of well-being of their citizens. .
  • 3 2
 In simple words: socialism grew in poor countries and capitalism grew in rich ones, because it suited those conditions.There is no comparison between Russia or China at the turn of 19th/20th century and UK/US. Guess which one prevails? But no, Friedmanist prick will take credit for human evolution and geography and say that a magic force of capitalism lifted US, while communism burried Russia. Freedom vs regulation was not a fully deliberate construct - it was first of all an effect of environment. What happened happened, where it could. Bloody socialist/capitalist nonsense... we are fkng lucky to live in the West or rather North Hempisphere, and it kind of sucks in most other parts of the planet. There's nothing more to it but luck. Stop taking credit for something that just happens, you may as well start debating that a plant living next to the river has it better than one on the desert. Venus sucks, a socialist planet, no intelligent life there. If only capitalsm worked there, they'd be further from the sun and have less CO2, so atmosphere would be better. Stupid Commie Venusians, not to mention red Martians, socialism pushed the planet to far away from the sun and regulations stopped meteors with more water to collide to form seas and tectonic plates.

bbbbut US had big depression in 1930s - yea and at that time Russia had fkng famine with millions of people dying you idiot.
  • 1 2
 ^ WAKI nails it Re: taking credit for a natural evolution.

Don't underestimate Trump. He is a talented showman with an eye for a good/bad deal. Rather than being the unhinged lunatic he appears, he is more likely reaching his goals through unorthodox (though calculated) means. What other way is there to jump the queue of insiders?

Politics in the U.S. today is just so much showmanship, which begs the question: who would do better in such an arena than a great showman? Combine this with an electorate sick of having no control over their democratically elected officials, and the choice for Joe Voter is easy. Our political class of brilliant fools may have finally met their match.

Voters are getting so frustrated that they will pick a great unknown, whose only promise is to disrupt the status quo, rather than continue along the same well-worn path. This may be good for the U.S., since the political status quo is dysfunction and inaction. Unfortunately, the rest of the world may have no choice but to join along in the wild ride.

Don't let my flag fool you. I am writing from Nevada; currently eyeballs-deep in the presidential primary process.
  • 1 2
 I totally agree with you mister Waki.
  • 2 2
 My 9 month agrees with you.

youtu.be/xVXSsI58xwo
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns Hong Kong had 0 natural resources, and the exact same standard of living as mainland china. The culture was as close as you could get. Yet somehow Hong Kong has a higher standard of living of nearly all other countries, including the West. South Korea had similar success, as did Taiwan. All the Scandinavian countries were great models for the free market and capitalism until the postwar era, and saw great growth in their standards of living, which flattened off at the same time they became more socialistic.
  • 2 1
 Hamncheez - New York also doesn't have resources, neither had Venice, not even mentioning Vegas
  • 3 0
 EXACTLY! it is trade, specifically free trade that makes countries, cities, and individuals wealthy, not natural resources. Britain had coal, and thats it. Its a cold, cloudy, damp chain of islands that took over the world. If natural resources made countries rich we would all be speaking Russian or some African language. Unfortunately natural resources usually lead to war, not wealth.
  • 3 0
 Wow that opened a can of worms. For the record true socialism doesn't really work ever. Whether you talk about the USA or Sweden you are England etc you are really talking about capitalism. Very few people really want socialism in its true form, it's more about to what extent you interfere in/adjust markets for the biases that exist. Anyway the point is both left/right wing are still capitalism.

back to bikes this it's way to serious for my at work time wasting trip to pinkbike
  • 1 1
 Off course Sweden is not a socialist country. But it does have a one of the most developped social care systems out there.
  • 2 0
 Sounds like everyone is regurgitating their PoliSci class material. gotta the the 'nets
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns If Sweden has such a good social care system then why do you still have ED?
  • 1 1
 What's ED?
  • 2 0
 Erectile dysfunction
  • 3 2
 I don't have erectile dysfunction, I do lots of standing pedaling. Was that you that was a great proponent of granny rings? Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Wow that got overly personal
  • 1 0
 It's cool multialxndr - we ade always like that with Jose Hamminator
  • 32 5
 So... all I need to do is fly down a dust covered hill on my back brake and I'm a shoe in for 5k?
  • 5 2
 Yes.... just like the other two 'roost' shots that got voted out handily in round 1. So yeah, all shots with a little bit of dirt flying are basically the same. I agree they are often done badly, but this one is so much more than the usual square-off-the-corner-and-skid-into-the-camera-bro shot. The rider is off the brakes and charging.
  • 1 0
 Respectfully, how can you tell? As long as the dust is deep enough how hard does he have to charge to kick that up?
  • 28 2
 I don't think all the dust photo loving people have spent much time riding moon dust. Awful stuff.
  • 4 0
 It's even worse when you cough it all back out the next day!
  • 2 0
 I doubt alot of them have been to Kamloops
  • 22 0
 How did this happen?!?! There were so many good photos this year! Nothing against these, but they were not at all what I was expecting for POY.
  • 6 4
 "HAHAHA SICK ROOST BRO, f*ck THAT OTHER PHOTO"
  • 19 0
 Literally every single choice I've gone for has lost. In every round. God's sake PB.
  • 16 1
 LOVED the shot of that cat hucking huge in Lavigne, Italy with the mountain in the backdrop. But what the heck was with the big Suzuki advertisement on the dirt? With all the others being so much more "organic" if you will, I couldn't vote for it just for that reason.

Tough call on this one. Both epic shots.
  • 3 7
flag Zimmer68 (Feb 22, 2016 at 15:15) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah because a DH bike is so organic! lol
  • 4 2
 You're not very good at reading comprehension, are ya Zimmy? "lol"
  • 3 2
 I'm just saying that its odd to point out a Suzuki logo as being "inorganic", when the guys riding a DH bike at a contest.. It would be one thing if it was a picture of a guy hiking, and there was a big billboard out of nowhere, but suzuki nine nights isn't very natural to begin with.
  • 4 0
 All I said was that I liked the shots without corporate logos, and for that reason I didn't vote for that shot, even though I loved the backdrop.

A shot of some bloke and his steed balls out rallying through the woods just grabs my attention more than some Pro doing a setup picture perfect shot at a professional race course. Hence "organic". Perhaps I just relate better to the less scripted vibe and am not core enough to gaz over the $16,000 super bike contest? I'm OK with that.

It's just my opinion. Certainly others felt differently as there were lots of votes for it, it is a sweet pic no doubt.

It's really no big deal man.
  • 10 1
 I'm extremely mad at you. Your failure to agree with my skewed point of view has identified you as a bad person. Your opinion is wrong, and my not-very-well-thought-out opinion must be held up as authority! It is a very big deal.
  • 2 1
 Anger leeds to the dark side Zimmbob. You must let go of your hate as it will consume you. Orrrrrr..... you could just agree that I'm awesome. Now go in peace, and I shall watch over you as if you were a lamb from my flock. And not in any way is that creepy. Cheers
  • 2 0
 Now hug
  • 21 5
 Is anyone else bothered by the visibly lightened shadows and high contrast of the rider/sun flare in the Sean Lee photo?
  • 4 2
 Over-processed and a crooked horizon....
  • 4 2
 ^ agreed. The sun flare is distracting to me, and it's also too similar in concept to last year's POY.
  • 11 1
 Crooked horizon... It was taken with an 8mm fisheye. Fisheyes do that to any photo, that's whats so good about them - wide angle and it has unnormal lines. The sun flare coming through his legs would have been so difficult to time right. It's got my vote.
  • 11 0
 Noooooooooo! That monument valley picture was perfect! Now I don't have a favorite anymore...
  • 9 1
 IMO there were much better pictures in earlier rounds. These are cool images, but likely from reels shooting some crazy fast frame per second.
  • 10 0
 I'm willing to bet every photo in this competition was taken in burst setting.
  • 10 1
 just not the roost again dammit
  • 5 0
 Am I wrong to think that the roost shot picture is one where it would actually be somewhat difficult to achieve that photo with that level of clarity? As a rube it's hard to tell if the photog deserves recognition for the composition, or if anyone with an expensive camera could achieve that?
  • 3 1
 Regardless of equipment and camera, I think Lee Trumpore is a pretty damn good photographer, and he shows that in this shot. Props Lee!
  • 6 1
 guys you have to vote Sean Lee ... 1st pic is well sick too but not as exceptionnal as the 2nd one ... And looks on the 1st pic, on the left upper part of the picture , it's not worked at all , all grey... SEAN LEE FTW !
  • 5 0
 As opposed to the massive, heavy-handed vignette and contrast added to the other one? All digital photo's need to get 'worked' some just do it less harshly than others.
  • 7 0
 Had to give it to Sean. Chasing the sunset down singletrack.
  • 3 0
 + it's a great honor to Kelly if he wins.. Ride in Peace on such an endless trail Kelly !
  • 1 0
 Sure is Airlover Smile
  • 6 0
 Going to have to go with Lee on this one Wink
  • 3 0
 I had predicted the Laue photo would be a finalist, but it looks like everyone voted for the dirt rooster. Oh well. Still a cool photo. Sean Lee for the win. I just like how it plays with light.
  • 2 0
 It certainly plays with Lightroom sliders anyway Wink
  • 2 0
 I kind of dont like the concept of choosing the pictures 1v1, instead of choosing e.g. the "16 best of all" then "8 best" and so on. Here it always is a competition between 2 shots, and not choosing the best between every one there is. I'm not mad, only dissapointed with other peoples choices :-)
  • 4 2
 I see a bunch of babies in the comments, who do not understand how votes work and try to impose their opinion to others.

Your "imma let you finish" type of reaction is childish. Nobody cares of what you think is the best photo. It doesn't matter. Get over it.
  • 6 1
 I think Lee will win this year!
  • 4 0
 The Sean Lee was my favorite from Day 1. Glad to see it made it to the end.
  • 2 1
 theres always next year. but i won't pull a sanders, so i'll actually vote.
i guess i like Trumpore's shot of what could be a rider, really committed
and pulling off a recovery & makin it stick, from what might've been a nasty washout.
it's visceral. and i connect with that more than the other image.
Sean Lee's image is great...but more playful.
  • 4 1
 If the two finalist photos had a child this would be th result....

www.pinkbike.com/photo/12853806/#top

And it's Doerfling!!! EPIC shot.
  • 1 1
 Wow, that's very impressive photo. I wonder why this one wasn't on the short list for the POY. I would definitely prefer this one over the two finalists.
  • 3 0
 I have voted against the roost shot at every round and it has got through. Maybe I should switch it up and vote for it here and maybe the other shot will win.
  • 1 0
 Wow this is hard... both pictures are great and absolutely stunning. Both require a lot of timed skill but i think getting the setting sun through the legs of a mountain biker flying feet away from your camera considering image composition might be the harder task here. It just seems like such a difficult choice... Smile What do you guys think?
  • 8 3
 VOTE SEAN LEE !!!!!
  • 4 0
 Vote Sean Lee!!! Picture is rad Smile
  • 3 0
 My vote for Sean Lee's photo. The sense of speed and ripping down a trail at sunset is perfect.
  • 3 1
 Well considering that sean lee got robbed last year with his roost shot ( which is better than this one ) im going sean lee !!!!
  • 4 1
 Is that a legit roost or did he bike through a pile of flour?
  • 2 1
 They used a dump truck of flour on a berm
  • 3 3
 Its not a trail its a dirt access road.
  • 1 1
 Your point? Laue's was a few meters of man made 'trail' in a park with otherwise no mtb access. It was a photo op, that doesn't take anything away from either of them.
  • 1 3
 Its boring. He used a fast shutter speed and took a burst of 20 frames. Wow.
  • 2 0
 Wow just realised the cover photo for the comp was last years winner took me a while...
  • 1 2
 No words to describe how I'm disappointed this year for the images selected by the people .
Seems like everyone considers moutainbiking only dust and whips, without any consideration of the landscape or the difficulty to get some shots.
In my opinion the following images are the one which really I would considered to be on finals:
- Christoph Laue
- Dave Trumpore
- Michael Cerveny (On finals definetely)
- Steve Shannon (a master piece !)
- John Wellburn
- Sam Needham

In any case between the two finalist I prefer the image of Sean Lee.
  • 1 2
 Although they're both freaking amazing, that roost pic is no ordinary roost pic. Pretty epic, tasteful gorgeous all at once. Going to have to go with that. Didn't they say something about how a lucky voter would get a prize too? (Seriously I think they did)
  • 4 2
 Should of been Christopher Laue for the win!
  • 2 1
 Gotta vote for Lee, because I can feel the shot. The fun and emotion that comes with it just gives me good vibes.
  • 2 1
 every photo that souldve won got knocked out for ones that were about the riding or roost, bullshit
  • 1 0
 No idea how Klemens König got beat out by a roost shot but it is what it is. König killed it.
  • 2 0
 Sean Lee' shot expresses what I feel when I ride my bike, freedom and fun!
  • 3 2
 And cue the negativity.....
  • 3 2
 Hire a judging panel next year.
  • 2 1
 I refuse vote this, I think that the semifinal photos were better.
  • 2 0
 Lee wins 100% Sure !
  • 4 3
 tough one
  • 1 1
 the dusty one should no to win it....
  • 2 2
 The sun coming out of the riders ass? It just doesnt work...
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