LAST CHANCE - Round 4: 2016 Photo of the Year - $10,000 Cash Prizing

Feb 13, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  
Here we go, the semi-finals are kicking into gear. With more than 255,000 votes cast we are down to the top 4, in the running for their piece of $10,000 in CASH from our sponsor: SRAM.

Check out the voting page

Photo of the Year 2016 Powered by SRAM

The 6th annual Pinkbike Photo of the Year Contest voting is now well underway. Below are the Round 3 matchups and who won each after the votes were cast. Once you see whether your favorites made it through, head on over to the voting page and cast your votes for the next round!

The winner of the contest will join John Wellburn, Toby Cowley, Sterling Lorence, Christoph Laue and Sean Lee in the PB Photo of the Year Hall of Fame and they could walk away with $5,000.

Vote in Round 4

Matchup 1

No Hand
39.4% Valery Bekishev

that moment when you realize you re too close but it s worth it... Rider Nicola Pescetto
Bartek Wolinski 60.6%

Matchup 2

On saturday march 19th Matt Macduff sustained a terrible fall attempting to make his way around the Loop Of Doom. After over 3 year of research determination and hard work Matt managed to find everything he needed to make his project happen. Built in a month at the Garden Route Trail Park in South Africa the gigantic structure rises up to 40 ft. in the sky. The crash left him with 10 fractures in his right wrist and 3 fractures in his right ankle. The story behind his stunt is as impactful as the structure itself. A real story of determination.
44.7% Julien Grimard

Images by Margus Riga for the Tippie Doerfling and Stowards Generations - Video and Photo Epic
Margus Riga 55.3%

Matchup 3

Reg Mullett riding Mount 7 from the summit to valley bottom. There was beer at the bottom so we rode fast.
35.4% Reuben Krabbe

KC Deane and Geoff Gulevich in rsm rk Iceland underneath a spectactular Northern Lights show. The town of Reykjavik even demanded all lights be shut off in the city during this night due to the intensity of the showing here. Our crew went to Iceland with a vision to riding under the Northern Lights and we continually got shut down by weather. We photographed this the last night we were there on a 10 day trip and only saw the lights for two nights at the end of our trip departing our journey beneath a river of green in the skies.
Paris Gore 64.6%

Matchup 4

Jungle magic on La Palma.
51.1% Steve Shannon

About the photo The picture is called Icarus 2.0. Our inspiration for this shot was the Greek myth of Icarus. The symbol of the first flying man beating the laws of nature and gravity. According to the myth Icarus got wings form his father Daedalus to escape a maze on the island where they were imprisoned. The wings were made of wax so Daedalus told his son not too fly too close to the sun because the heat would melt the wings. He also told him to keep some distance from the sea because the water would make his wings too heavy. Their plan seemed to work out They managed to escape the maze and the island. On the way to freedom Icarus became a little bit too reckless. He flew too high and got too close to the sun - his wings melted and he fell into the sea. Our athlete Max Mey is flying - just like Icarus - over the water and very close to the sun. The difference between the two flying men is that Max lands safely. His skills and his experience let him know what risks he can take and when he should stop. And of course his bike is not made out of wax which is the advantage of the times we re living in today.
Christoph Laue 48.9%

Go Vote in Round 4

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 SRAM.

Photo of the Year 2016 Powered by SRAM

Mentions: @SramMedia


  • + 109
 It seems like every year there is a roost shot that's the same as every other roost shot I've ever seen. I don't understand what makes them so popular. Is this years roost shot turning left instead of right? What makes it different/better than any other roost you've ever seen?
  • + 77
 Its because a majority of PB members voting are between the ages of 12-17. "OMG sick roost brooo! POY!!!"
  • + 11
 Roost... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • + 33
 I must say I am not a fan of the bracket system. No way a Tonka was going to beat a Roost.

Haven't we learned America? - let's go to a popular vote.

PB, may we please all submit a ranking score by each picture? Each round the top half move on.

first round may take a little longer, but once you get to 16, it's much easier. plus, not a bad way to blow off work.
  • - 11
flag MrKona13 (Feb 10, 2017 at 20:08) (Below Threshold)
 @dtax: Odd comment saying "Haven't we learned America? - let's go to a popular vote. "
Are you implying that it's America's fault that the pinkbike community which is a global community is following a popular vote system?
  • + 10
 I'm going to start only taking roost shots from now on. Seems like an easy way to win $10k
  • + 2
 @dtax: @dtax: Aside from the ‘haven’t we learned from the electoral college because I don’t like it when it doesn’t work the way I want it to part’, I totally agree. (The electoral college has true value whether your’e a democrat or republican or independent.)

The bracket system may be efficient but it’s ridiculous. Judging a photographer’s work...yes work...not someone’s lucky shot...should be difficult. It should take time. Making it easier to choose between two completely different and unrelated shots leaves better shots out of the competition and elevates photos that otherwise wouldn’t have been chosen.

Honestly, what am I missing here? Why can’t there just be a ton of shots and people pick the one they like the best. Most votes gets it. Done. Honest.
  • + 1
 @scott-townes: I mean to be is a pretty sick roost..
  • + 107
 Am i the only one that doesn't want a roost shot to win?
  • + 12

Nope. I'm with you 100%. Sadly I thought that photo might win from day 1 simply because it's a roost shot. So many incredible photos to choose from that have come and gone. Not that it's not a well executed photo, but for me, it doesn't portray a side of mountain biking that I care about in the least.

I'm a fan of where the bike can take you, the scenes that unfold in front of you, and the camaraderie that can develop between you, the bike, and your friends as you experience new places, trails, and people. A roost shot doesn't convey any of that. I mean, I'm in South Africa right now. Bikes brought me here! WTF? And before that I was in the Middle East! There's so much more to biking than roost shots, bangers, and nugs.
  • + 3
 I'm with you too, I feel some people neglect the amount of work and preparation that went behind some of these shots, and it would be a kick in the butt of the other photographers if a - no offense it's a sweet shot - relatively simple roost shot would win. That's just my opinion. Imo the poy should be the shot where you just go wow, rather than another roost shot
  • + 3
 100% don't want it to win. Great photo, sure, but every year there's a roost shot in the running and it's played out. Riga FTW!
  • + 34
 Am I the only one who doesn't really like the aurora one?

The aurora is really just too beautiful to have bikes in the foreground - their color of their clothing and bright headlights kinda detracts from what would be an amazing nature shot

Personally, if I was under an aurora in Iceland, I would get off my damn bike and WATCH it!

Basically, the bikes just don't belong in the shot
  • + 1
 True, many photos would still be beautiful without bicycles.
  • + 22
 @pinkbicycle f*ck you troll
  • + 4
 I see your point but the world is saturated with aurora shots. I’ve yet to see one that incorporates my favorite pastime the way this one does. It gets my vote.
  • - 1
 I'm judging as a rider and not a photographer... I just ask which one makes me want to ride the most and to be honest out of the remaining options the roost shot is the only one which does that. I want something exciting from a rider's perspective rather than marginally above average nature shot with some riders in it. I haven't voted for the roost shot until this round but from now on it's the only one I could possibly vote for. If you want epic landscapes go to National Geographic.
  • + 2
 As a mountain biker one of the most amazing opportunities to ride your bike would be under the light of the aurora in Iceland!! I was in Iceland last October for a week and I can tell you that if I had the opportunity to ride under them (didn't bring my bike, was my honeymoon) I definitely would have! Plus the aurora last long enough you can do both! That photo is nearly a once in a life time shot where as we all do roosts every time we ride....
  • + 29
 I think there is a mistake with 65% ;-)
  • + 4
 Shit yeah man
  • + 22
 Unlucky dude, yours is my favourite of the year hands down. Would be good to let all the entrants have a vote and do a separate "judges choice" category because things would be quite different...
  • + 8
 I agree, I was hoping it would take the whole thing. Beautiful shot!
  • + 4
 You won Laue!!
  • + 4
 So sorry for you, your picture was my favourite out of all!
  • + 20
 So sad.
  • + 17
 Some photos that didn't get through are better than some of these.
  • + 10
 noooooooo i thought superman was going to win. it's so perfect with the exposure, the water, all that mist only teasing the jump and landing, the perfect extension exactly in front of the sun
  • + 14
 wow this is really sad
  • + 10
 Steve shannons shot is great and all but people really voted for that over laue's?!
  • + 11
 @JMBMTB Exactly! Laue's shot looks like a fairy tale of gnarliness
  • + 10
 Can't even be bothered voting anymore there are more deserving photos witch didn't even make it this far
  • + 2
  • + 4
 Even if I like the Spanish photo little bit more, I voted for aurora one, because it's only photo which has potential to win against the roost photo. It's not like the roost photo isn't great, but it's same theme again and again.
  • + 8
 Ahh. Macduff ????. Should've won.
  • + 3
 OK, I'll accept that Paris's shot isn't a photoshop composite but then I won't accept that the riders are actually moving. A well hidden strobe will freeze the riders' motion but not the streams from their headlights. So how does one shoot at a slow enough exposure to get the details from the sky (and there sure looks to be a bit of motion blur with the stars from the slow shutter speed), and yet the riders' headlights are frozen? Easy, shoot riders who are balancing with their back legs down for balance. Hence why Gully looks like he's pedaling and KC is riding right-foot-forward instead of his left like he usually does. Rad shot for sure, but I suspect there's a reason this is the only one from the Iceland article that has the exif data hidden.
  • + 5
 Hey man! I'm happy to clarify. There's actually more to it than meets the eye. I did scrub the meta originally as I don't want people to get the wrong idea on the shot. EXIF does show a 10 second exposure, but the shot is double exposed with a strobe. EXIF showing the exposure for the aurora, but literally two raw files shot in camera stacked on top of each other with the other exposed for the flash. Hope that helps!
  • + 7
 Damn! Was hoping Macduff would win. Such a great shot!
  • + 3
 definitely one of the most iconic shots of 2016.
  • + 6
 Roost shots are overdone. Margus Riga all the way
  • + 3
 roost=childish behaviour,by irresponsible ridders.
roost=another name for shit heads destroying berms.
and also while i'm bitching,this one v/s another format is bullshit.
superman gets my vote.
  • + 3
 Mountain biking is a childish sport. That’s why I (we...most of us) love it and do it. Those that take riding a mountain bike in an ‘adult’ manner are missing the point.
  • + 1
 Might want to run that by some of DH's finest. Sam Hill blasting roost into the bushes is far from childish.
  • + 5
 Dang, I voted opposite on the first 3!
  • + 0
 Actually the %'s don't add up right now, I'm sure PB is probably fixing it as I type
  • + 5
 One of my eyes is crying for Christoph Laue, but GO MARGUS YEAHHH!
  • + 3
 well i voted mcduff against my favourite photo. hard choices. backflips make shit photos. roost can cock off.
  • + 5
 *shakes head*
  • + 4
 Wow. What a disappointment
  • + 3
 Some say riding down a hill is better than fucking falling out of a 40 ft full loop, I don't.
  • + 4
 Yeah there are loads of riders who could do that but only 1 who would do that loop. The dust trail and blue water is really nice but i could look at that pic of macduff for hours and it would still look insane.
  • + 5
 MacDuff just got robbed.
  • + 1
 Head to head in a photo contest? You are joking right? I don't really care about the outcome, but that seems like a bit of coin to be offering in contest where fairly dissimilar are paired against each other.
  • + 1
 Although Laue has one before, I still think his Icarus shot is by far better than any other photo in that lineup, but oh well.
  • + 2
 1 of my round 1 favs is still in the competition. Steve Shannon has to win now
  • + 3
 wow...I was sure Grimard's would be a cert for the final at least
  • + 3
 Grimard got robbed, loop photo is not something you see everyday
  • + 2
 Every single shot I voted for in the last round didn't get through Frown
  • + 2
 both pics at matchup 4 deserve to win it. unfair duel.
  • + 2
 Spannish light ftw, who wouldn't love to ride in such place?
  • - 3
 Boom! Another roost ftw don't fight it!
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