Round 1 Voting Closed - 2018 Photo of the Year Contest

Feb 28, 2019
by Pinkbike Staff  

The 8th annual Pinkbike Photo of the Year Contest presented by Jenson USA is underway. The winner will join John Wellburn, Toby Cowley, Sterling Lorence, Christoph Laue, Sean Lee, Steve Shannon, and Robb Thompson in the Pinkbike Photo of the Year Hall of Fame. After all your nomination votes and a lot of spirited debate, the nominees have been narrowed down to 32 and we are ready to get started. Without further ado, here are the photos vying for the $10,000 CDN in CASH.

How Does it Work?

From thousands of nominated photos, 32 have been selected to be pitted against one 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 winner.

The 32 Finalists

Rupert Fowler

Hope technology rider Kyle Jameson kicking the back out high up on Mt Bachelor.

Bartek Woliński

morning strech

Chris Bortels

Jolanda Neff Emily Batty

Nathan Hughes

Loic Bruni wins at MSA 2018.

Robb Thompson

Beautiful Idiot Film Brett Rheeder Silver Star

Steve Shannon

Fog and freeride at Farwell Canyon.

Dan Milner

Definitely one of the most beautiful places on Earth. And if that 39 s not reason enough to come here there are trails too.

Ale Di Lullo

Brett Tippie riding one of the most exposed freeride lines in Moab

Bruno Long

Another sulfur lap for Mike Hopkins on the very remote While Island NZ.

Robin O'Neill


Dave Trumpore

Richard Baybutt

Christophe Laue

Axel is playing around on the dark surface of Etna

Markus Micheler

First descent

Margus Riga

Rough AF 3

Reuben Krabbe

Photos for Yeti Tribe Story

Brodie Hood

Tristan Tinn

West coast gold breaks over the lochs

Matthew DeLorme

Iago Garay demonstrates that sideways is indeed the right way.


Harookz Photo

Thomas Gaffney

Flip no hander on a fine spring morn. thomasgaffney

Paris Gore

Graham Agassiz throwing a top side no can shot in the Bellingham jungle for Dakine.

Liam Wallace


John Gibson

Monty Montandon jumps over the staircase railing beside the Big Orange Bridge.

Ian Collins

Anthony Smith

Revel Co Inertia

Ian Hylands

Kirt Voreis performs a table on his Niner Bikes RIP 9 RDO on a giant natural quarter pipe in the California desert.

Sterling Lorence

Brett Rheeder fully clicked off a natural rock quarter lit by overhead drone strobe during the filming of his segment in Big Water Utah for Return to Earth by Anthill Films.

Ryan Creary

Mark Matthews Reykjadalur Iceland.

Simon Nieborak

Jay French

Ollie Jones

Early morning steam rolling through the forest.

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

In addition, this year we also have user prizing for voters courtesy of Jenson USA. One lucky Pinkbike reader that votes for the Photo of the Year will win a $1000 Jenson USA gift card.

Thank you Jenson USA.

How can I enter for a chance to win the $1000 Jenson USA gift card?
By simply voting as we progress to the eventual Photo of the Year winner, you will be entered for a chance to win. One entry per user per round goes into a random draw for the prize.

For full contest rules and regulations, click here.

MENTIONS: @jensonusa

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  • 185 21
 The dog picture shall win just because dogs make everything better.
  • 6 1
 What does @ezrathedog have to say about that?
  • 4 2
 @philrossnz: Yeah! Hey @IAmTheDogEzra … woof!
  • 9 4
 It's almost an unfair advantage I'm such a sucker for dogs with bikes!
  • 12 0
 Preemptive "the dog got robbed!" post.
  • 5 2
 Yup, calling it now. Dog wins. Lets go home!
  • 5 1
 @mtbikeaddict: he's like everybody's favorite stray, never know when he will show up but you're always excited when he does.
  • 15 28
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 26, 2019 at 22:57) (Below Threshold)
 Dogs make everything better - sounds like a new no face couple profile on pornhub.
  • 10 18
flag lkubica (Feb 27, 2019 at 0:05) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, next time when I ride into dog's shit on a trail I will make a selfie and hopefully win 10k! Dogs on trails are so cool!
  • 12 20
flag BenPea (Feb 27, 2019 at 1:42) (Below Threshold)
 @lkubica: French pavements/sidewalks/public lawns are considerably worse thanks to dogs, or is it dog owners? Chicken/egg situation.
Any full bin bag left outside my house will dinsintegrate within minutes thanks to dogs, thus ruining half an hour of my life.
Also the faces of mauled toddlers could be better without dogs.
I could go on. I enjoy dogs and their free spirit and don't give a f*ck attitude, but let's not get too positive.
  • 10 18
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 27, 2019 at 2:11) (Below Threshold)
 @BenPea: I always knew you will be with me on this... on a side note: no, a dog does not make a ride with Hannah Barnes in Scottish Highlands better - It just doesn't. She has one, fine, but in scenario building exercise dog is not involved. it just isn't. Unless you are a dog owner and you want to say one of the things dog owners say: Oh our dogs can play together!
  • 26 2
 @WAKIdesigns: You sound like the kind of person who does not like dogs. I would say that I care but I don't. Because someone just dropped a hot dog somewhere in the world and it is currently going un-eaten and that is something I can't abide. If there was a photo of a hot dog in this list I would vote for it. No questions asked.
  • 6 1
 @Ride406orDie: True. Edit: He's here! Ezra for Pres. Razz
  • 5 0
 Dogs are infallible. Those who disagree are certainly communist-facists with questionable loyalties, and probably have poor dental hygiene. And, also not very good at finding a date on a Tuesday night. Change my mind.
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: I ran over human shit one time. true story
  • 1 0
 Dogs are great and the picture is fine... But that's a 50yo Brett F'ing Tippie rocking a crazy steep, super sketchy roller. Tippy deserves to beat the picture that gets votes mainly because: Dog.

Show your support for gnarly riding at any damned age. Vote for Tippie
  • 1 0
 @mammal: Gotta be honest,I voted for Tippie.That shit is nuts!
  • 1 0
 @Naturel: What other shot?
  • 1 0
 @Naturel: Cool thanks
  • 50 4
 I didn't vote for the roost in case anyone asks.
  • 40 3
 Me neither .... *secretly votes for roost*
  • 21 1
 It doesn't matter. There are so many bangers that even a roost shot couldn't beat. This looks to be the best year yet.
  • 2 2
 1.jones 2.di lullo 3. harookz honorable mention - brodie hood. yup the dog.
  • 19 1
 Not actually mad about the roost shots this year. Neither is a fisheye on the outside of a berm, and Matty's also carving epicly. Best thing for this year though is they've matched up the images brilliantly, so you can vote between two similar images, instead of a roost with a landscape, which has caused issues in the past.
  • 3 2
 @DemoB: Yeah, this year's roost shots seem to show 'justified roost' i.e. resulting from the actual riding situation (racing/carving down a steep loose slope) and not just loose dirt thrown onto a berm and then destroyed specifically for the photo. And it doesn't look like either happened somewhere it shouldn't have.

I like Harookz' photo, definitely not the generic roost pic like some in previous years.


I'll still vote for non-roost in the final given the choice Wink
  • 3 0
 @DemoB: @scott-townes Agreed on all counts.

Fantastic shots.
The best year yet IMHO.
Just GREAT match ups.

Well done PB. Brilliant.
  • 46 2
 That drop/role by Tippie is big balls insane.
  • 22 0
 Jesus Christ… It took me a while to find him but when I did I nearly pissed myself
  • 3 0
 Holy shiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.
  • 12 0
 I couldn't find a rider in the photo and wondered why it was in this. Then finally saw him going down LOL.
  • 4 0
 Tippie is a madman!
  • 4 0
 the guy is a legend
  • 8 0
 Overall, I was going to say that if I need a magnifying glass to find the guy on the bike, then it’s not really a mountain bike photo. But damn, that is crazy.
  • 5 0
 That's the Where's Waldo shot? I must have looked at every part of that picture except where he was.
  • 1 0
 And unfortunately losing to the Dog photo by about 100 votes at the moment... VOTE FOR TIPPIE!!
  • 35 2
 I hate that the Semenuk and Finn photos are paired up in the first round. They're both so good. Love this every year though, some seriously insane shots in here.
  • 7 0
 It does kinda suck, but I'd say it makes it "fairer" as they are the same style, so it's more who did it best.
  • 6 1
 The pairing is spot on because it forces people to vote for the actual better shot of the same type instead of going "hmm I like close-ups of tabletops more than wide shots of people riding a trail" or vice versa. This will obviously come into play in the second round, but by that point we'll have the best of each kind.
  • 5 0
 I disagree. I think that the matchups this year are some of the best ever done. They took the "like" photos and put them up against each other. If you are going to take a roost shot you need to be compared to other roost shots. I love it.
  • 1 0
 @Naturel: this isn't a round robin, though, that's when each competitor goes head to head against every other. This is a single elimination bracket. A round robin format might lead to a nice ranking of each photo, if that was the aim.
  • 30 3
 They matched the worst ones with each other so now a lot of the really good ones are going out and some of the bad ones are continuing. How does that make sense?
  • 9 10
 happens every year! the Semenuk/Iles matchup should be the final round.
  • 5 3
 @CullenHerring It makes perfect sense because they matched similar photos against each other. It's the only right way to do the first round. I know, I know... some people are sad that one of the roost pics has to go this early Wink , but that's the point. Choose the better pic, not the type of riding or terrain at this stage. Once we have the best of each type (best roost, best close-up, best panorama, best dirt jump pic etc.), you'll get what you're asking for.

@keeqan Nah, why would we have almost identical shots in the final? Besides, you would have to choose between them eventually anyway so might as well do it now.
  • 2 0
 @bananowy: yes same type of pics makes sense and all but what if the two dirtjump shots are mile above the two landscape shots? It isn't just a competition for first place so its kinda shitty that some of bangers get eliminated without making it to the semi finals but some "lesser" photos (they're all ridiculously good this year) don't.

I can't think of a better option right now but I'm not being paid to..
  • 2 0
 still, the most voted will win, so no problem Wink
  • 1 0
 @ismasan: yeah, but there are prizes for 2nd 3rd and 4th as well. not saying it doesn't work just its not ideal.
  • 15 0
 Jordie Lunn!!!!!!
  • 14 2
 Sterling Lorence?!!!! You're a secret special photo alien! That shot is unbelievable.
  • 2 1
 yeah stunning work!
  • 2 1
 Out of this world photo.
  • 2 0
 A strobe on a drone....or Aliens trying to steal a mountain bike? I prefer the latter. That photo is insanely good, even compared to the other incredible photos in the lineup
  • 13 1
 Hell of a crop this year. Congrats to all the finalists!
  • 11 3
 You lucky your autocorrect didn’t play tricks on you while writing this
  • 8 1
 @WAKIdesigns: ducking lucky.
  • 11 3
 Make sure to downvote this: There were way better pictures than some of these nominations smh
  • 4 0
 Yeah, I feel ya
  • 3 0
 There were several nominations that made me gasp and drop my jaw, but they weren't included. Ideally, all pics in the POTY contest should effect that reaction, but some were just, good. I suppose different people react differently though. :? I suppose I should be happy that one I nominated did get in.
  • 3 0
 @mtbikeaddict: Yea there were some awesome nominations in this voting for sure. Incredible photos. Then I see some other lame pics that the average joe could've taken like seriously... There were many other PODs from this year that definitely deserved to make it into this running. Photo recognition was honestly very disappointing this year
  • 8 1
 Smith's photo of Semenuk, man I'm still not over how much he looks like a samurai about to unsheathe a sword and cut a bitch. These are all SOOOOOO good
  • 6 1
 I found out a few years ago how to properly download these and love downloading all the photos every for my comp.

Here are the download instructions:

Whenever a photographer uploads a picture to Pinkbike, it is scaled down and then displayed on the site, but the original is still stored on the Pinkbike servers. To download the photo, all we have to do is make a URL that will take us to the high resolution photo.

Steps are as follows:

1. Choose a photo to download. (Must be an image with the # 1000000 or greater)
2. Type "" into your browsers URL bar followed by the photo # you wish to download, then "/", then the # again, and finally ".jpg"
3. Press enter and the photo should either load, or a message should pop up allowing you to download it.

To give you an example, your URL should look something like this: " #)/(image #).jpg"

Thanks @blendo who originally put this together
  • 3 3
 Pretty sure that constitutes stealing and infringes on the photographer’s copyright. If you want a hi res version of a shot, regardless if it’s for personal use, you should always contact the photog directly. Just because you can get a hi res shot through some backdoor hack on your computer, doesn’t mean you should.
  • 2 0
 @Susher: Can someone at PinkBike or one of the photographers confirm that they don't want us downloading the pics on the website?? This isn't some hack, it's basic computer use and in my mind equal to right clicking and selecting download. I'm actually more than happy to pay the photographers for their hard work, but I don't think any pictures put on PinkBike have any expectation of not being downloaded...
  • 5 0
 I once asked a friends father who is an art dealer who made millions in the 60s and 70s "What makes a work of art a great work of art?" his response was "its the one that you remember that stays with you," i always remember that when i look at "art" they are all awesome but to me that one is Thomas Gaffney. Something about it that makes it different to all the others. lots of them look like national geo photos and no matter how stunning they are ive seen stunning scenery many times in photos. or the doggo just because dogs...
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the comments man, means a lot!
  • 8 0
 That is what MTB is about.
  • 3 0
 This comp. should be done early Late Dec/Early Jan so that the top 12 form 2018 can be the PB calendar photos for 2019.... Maybe something to consider for 2019 POY and 2020 calendar....
  • 5 0
 Thomas Gaffney stood out immediately. The dog is great, but for long term wow, the Gaffney.
  • 3 0
 Gaffney ftw????
  • 1 0
 @ismasan: Yes.
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: Yo cheers man! Thats so nice to hear
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: totally
  • 7 2
 Only a 6.25% chance of disappointment! #antiroost
  • 3 0
 Markus Micheler's shot is absolutely jaw dropping. Well, they are all incredible shots, but that one is just spectacular!!! Best of luck when voting starts.
  • 5 0
 Here are your 2019 desktop wallpapers.
  • 4 0
 Milner, Baybutt, Oneil, Creary, and Micheler. Photos that make me want to be there.
  • 1 0
 Sterling Lawrence vs Ian Hylands...Matt DeLorme vs Harookz ? Kind of like making the main even the prelims. But I like it!!
Still don't like the "2 in the same theme" pairings though. You basically throw 2 stunners of your favorite scene against one another and then the finale comes down to 2 oddly paired pics.
Regardless, it's fun and engaging every year.
  • 4 0
 Is the bloke in the Ale Di Lullo shot still alive or are we looking at a man whose brakes didn't work up top?
  • 6 2
 The Harookz and Riga joints are mental. I might be sprung.
  • 2 0
 Walk it off.
  • 2 1
 A bit disappointed in myself for not pushing harder to get people to vote me into the 32 finalists but even more motivation to get selected for next year's comp. Good luck to all involved
  • 4 0
 Some amazing shots! No JB Liautard... sumtins not right?
  • 2 0
 The robbery will be round 11. Both are amazing photos (Iceland vs Scotland) and its a shame one of those have to go over some of the basic jump photos.
  • 2 0
 Richard Baybutt, Thomas Gaffney, Ale Di Lullo, Steve Shannon - Were the ones that really stood out for me! Best of luck guys.
  • 1 0
 Cheers dude!
  • 1 0
 All the contenders are absolutely cool. No, not that word. The shots are astonishing this year. I wont vote, cause all the works are great. To highlight one is to diminish the others.
  • 3 0
 That moab shot is insane!!!
  • 1 0
 When I finally found the rider, I shrieked 'whaaat'?..
  • 4 1
 "I hate berm explosions" ---Jesus
  • 2 1
 Can... not... compute.... too, dam:$-;:’ many ...!/ amazing, options)-(%]>|!¥\

Like holy balls can I have 32 votes please?!?
  • 2 0
 Not usually a fan of fish eye photos but that Markus Micheler one is insane
  • 3 0
 Haha Pinkbike- is that a joke?
  • 2 0
 I somehow thinking that Chris Bortels pic will reach the final. It's the whole racing of the sport in one pic.
  • 1 0
 So many sick shoots this year! In my opinion photo with brett rheeder is the best one but may be it should be cropped a little bit
  • 2 0
 I voted for the ones on the left, cause they are all awesome and I'm too lazy to move my mouse.
  • 1 0
 Baybutt!..-but where is trail? Hood with the pure energy!.. But the brand placement so heavy... Long with the riding, vista, no corporate... timeless!
  • 1 0
 When it comes to vids it's all about the rider riding but with photos i much prefer the scenery and there are some gems amongs this lot.
  • 3 1
 Kudos to all the photographers......great stuff in here!
  • 2 0
 Wow, great shots !! They're all winners !!
  • 2 0
 Holy crap, this is going to be hard.
  • 1 0
 Sven Martin EWS Chile '18? Or did it miss the list due to being a 'commercial' shot?
  • 1 0
 Probably wasn't nominated/didn't get enough nominations to make the final ranking - which was public
  • 6 8
 Hmmm... is it me or is the selection this year not that good. Don't get me wrong, there are a few gems but it's not all gems! I was expecting a ton of killer shots and this left me wishing for a little more! The last two years sure delivered!
  • 3 0
 Idk, I feel like this year is better than the past two years.
  • 2 0
 Can we get a pinkbike Calendar of the top 12?
  • 2 0
 So many winners, nobodies a loser.
  • 1 0
 That Rupert Fowler shot is amazing! I hope that or the one by Brodie Fowler make it far!
  • 1 0
 Holy hell, these are good. Don't wanna be in my cubicle right now waiting for the snow to leave...
  • 2 0
 Some photo's make me think about 'where is Wally?'
  • 1 0
 Ian Vs. Sterling in round 1 really?? Both of those shots are worthy of semi finals!
  • 1 0
 Too much Semenuk...Collie at full tilt FTW, also it's an 'everyman shot' not a 'superstar shot'...just sayin'
  • 1 0
 I'm voting for Brodie Hood just because of the name.
  • 2 1
 Wow, this is probably the best collection of MTB photos I've ever seen.
  • 3 2
 Dog wins. End of contest.
  • 1 0
 So many good ones! Some tough match ups.... So hard to choose!
  • 2 1
 Doggo should win because doggo
  • 3 1
  • 1 0
 Round 1, matchup 3 should be the TWO FINALISTS
  • 1 1
 Not a single shot from Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod's photo essay "East of the Divide". what a joke
  • 2 0
 Rock on Jay French!
  • 2 1
 Where's Yoann Barelli's entry?!?!?
  • 1 0
 Some of these photos were difficult to choose from.
  • 10 12
 The way the photos are matched up SUCKS! Who picks those? The very first options would be voted out immediately if they were matched up to the second photo options.
  • 31 2
 They did it so that they are actually comparable. To me a picture of huge landscapesand a tiny rider on a trail is completely different than one that is highlighting dirt jumps or roosts and its tough vote which is "better" as they are so vastly different types of pics. So it allows you to actually vote between similar items. I like it this way, at least for the first round.
  • 1 1
 I like em' all. Touch choice.
  • 2 1
 Harookz by a mile
  • 1 0
  • 2 2
 Sterling Vs Margus FTW I say
  • 1 1
 How do they expect us to choose!?!?!?
  • 1 1
 If Thomas Gaffney's photo doesn't win then this contest is rigged!
  • 1 0
 Thanks dude, fingers crossed eh! haha
  • 2 3
 Doesn't Dave Trumpore always win?
  • 1 0
 interesting comment. you can look back through the years yourself and see that no, Dave does not "always win"
  • 2 4
 Every single one of these photos could win, incredible photography all around
  • 1 2
 I think the level is much lower than last year...
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