Slideshow focused on the Simple Joys of Whistler Life Takes Top Prize in the Crankworx Annual Photo Competition
The King of Deep Summer in Whistler is crowned for another year. Sam Needham’s slideshow was named the winner of the Deep Summer Photo Challenge Wednesday evening in front of a crowd of hundreds of whooping and hollering mountain bike and photography fans in Whistler Olympic Plaza.
“It feels incredible. I actually didn’t think I’d get that,” said Needham, who takes home $3500 for the win. “The competition was really tough.”
The photographer beat out five others, including Grant Robinson, Ryan Worcestor, Tim Koerber, Laurence Crossman-Emms, who won his entry through the Pinkbike Deep Summer Wildcard Photographer Search, and one of Needham’s photography heroes, Gary Perkins.
“The reason I got into all this was because of Gary,” he explained, referring to veteran shooter.
Needham’s slideshow, ‘Life is a Journey,’ was born out of the simple idea to capture the fun of Whistler.
“You don’t come here to have a crap time. You come here to ride bikes, party, chill - that was the vibe we were going for, and hopefully it came across.”
Judge Sven Martin said the decision was extremely difficult.
“There’s a couple things you look for as a photographer, a couple things you look for with the criteria of the contest, and there’s a couple types of shots, so we had to take all of that into consideration.”
Event organizer Seb Kemp said he thought it might have been the longest deliberation period ever seen at the event. In the end though, while it was a competition, the feeling backstage was more of a community of like-minded peers, excited to see what each other had produced.
“People got to see six very different takes on Whistler, on mountain biking, on photography,” said Kemp. “It’s really special to get to see these people all compete together in such a respectful environment.”
Three other distinctions were awarded for the best photo in three categories - Black Tusk, which went to Laurence Crossman Emms, and Garbanzo Tree Island Hip Jump and GLC Drop, both of which were won by Needham.
There is still one additional piece of the creative puzzle that has yet to be placed. For the first time in Deep Summer history, Crankworx will be awarding an additional $3500 prize to the Viewers’ Favourite slideshow, all of which have been posted on the Crankworx website. To vote for a favourite show, fans must place a vote at www.crankworx.com before 10 p.m. Thursday, August 14.Laurence Crossman-Emms brought the house down as the clear fan favourite, though the next 24 hours will decide whether those fans are willing to support him with an online vote.The winning slideshows can be found on Crankworx.com or on YouTube:Gary PerkinSam Needham (Judge Winner)Grant RobinsonRyan WorcesterLaurence Crosmman-Emms
Crankworx LIVE webcast schedule:Ultimate Pump Track Challenge presented by RockShox
Thursday, August 13 7 – 9 p.m. Canada, 4 – 6 a.m. Europe (August 14), 2 – 4 p.m. New Zealand (August 14)Giant Dual Slalom
Friday, August 14 5-7 p.m. Canada, 2 – 4 a.m. Europe (August 15), noon – 2 p.m. New Zealand (August 15)Red Bull Joyride
Saturday, August 15 4:30 – 8 p.m. Canada, 1:30 a.m. – 5 a.m. Europe (August 16), 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. New Zealand (August 16)Canadian Open DH presented by iXS
Sunday, August 16 3 – 5 p.m. Canada, midnight – 2 a.m. Europe (August 17), 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. New Zealand (August 17)Deep Summer Photo Challenge - Viewers Favourite Vote Here