Jan Cadosch's winning photo was pitted against some fierce competition throughout the 2020 Pinkbike Photo of the Year contest, including Ross Bell's stunning shot of a rider styling into the frame in the greenest of landscapes, Trevor Lyden's dramatically lit shot of Cody Kelley blasting dirt and Mason Mashon's photo of Graham Agassiz riding down a loose chute. After a frantic couple days of voting during the final round, Jan Cadosch's stunning shot of a rider in front of the Matterhorn was the one to take the competition.
We caught up with Jan Cadosch to learn more about his winning photo.
Coming into the competition, how confident were you that you had a winning photo on your hands?
I had no idea that my picture would make it this far. I’ve never seen such an amazing sunset and thought, well if you don’t enter you already lost. To see my picture in the top 32 was already a big achievement.
Where were you when you took it and what were you doing? Was it for an assignment?
We were in Zermatt watching the Pros ripping through the EWS. It was wet, cold and foggy. After the race we decided to go up the mountain one more time, no matter what weather it was.In the train to Gornergrat we broke through the clouds and had this unique scenery with unexpected sunshine. Luckily, I had my camera in my backpack, and we started taking some pictures before the sun went down. This wasn’t for an assignment. It was pure joy for riding mountain bikes.
Was it a planned shot or spontaneous?
It was more than spontaneous. We didn’t expect to even have a lot of light left to ride down from 3000msl/10’000ft back to Zermatt. No matter how the trail or conditions are, bring your camera because you never know what could happen.
Tell us about your photo – are there any interesting details to share?
In Switzerland we don’t have many rock slabs to ride. But the top part of Gornergrat is exactly that, what makes it kinda special. Lots of rock and boulders you can ride with different lines. I really wanted to get the whole landscape in the shot but couldn’t find a good spot until this awkward corner. It’s not the best corner for riding but I could capture the emotions and energy what really makes this picture unique.
How many attempts did it take to nail the shot?
We got it at the second attempt. The clouds were moving fast, and we had little light left to shoot. And we needed to get down to Zermatt again, which was another 5000ft descent, so we didn’t want to stay too long.
For the photography geeks out there, can you tell us about the camera, settings and lighting that you used?
I took this picture with a Sony a7iii and a 16-35mm F2.8. Shutter Speed 1/2500, Aperture 2.8 and an ISO of 200. All natural light.
What did it feel like during each voting round?
As mentioned, being in the top 32 got me already really hyped. After making it into round three I knew it would get really hard but figured it’s up to the Pinkbike community to decide. Didn’t expect to win against Ross. What a tight battle but after that I felt like we could actually win now.
Which of your competitors' shots have stood out for you this year?
For me Ross Bell and Trevor Lyden really catched me with the energy and power their picture transfers.
Any plans for the winnings yet? Some new camera equipment or an adventure to somewhere new and exciting?
I will for sure upgrade some of my gear especially for filmmaking. Always dreaming about riding a bike in BC one day, let’s see if that happens in the next years.
Anything else to add?
I want to thank Pinkbike and Jenson USA for making this photo competition possible. It’s always inspiring to see so many good pictures. Thanks to all the people that support me and my work. Makes me push even harder to shoot more for clients and magazines.
Thanks to Jenson USA