The 2017 Photo of the Year Winner is…

Feb 16, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  
Robb Thompson's Winning Image for 2017 Photo of the Year.

When the weather does amazing things it s all about finding a way to make the most of it. Even though we got completely soaked and I couldn t see through my viewfinder it s moments like these that we all live for.

We gave you the top 32 images from 2017 and after more than 375,000 votes were cast you, our readers, have voted for the winner and ultimately chosen the 2017 Photo of the Year powered by SRAM. The winner will be divvying up the $10,000 in CASH with the top four.

Check out the voting page for all the results from each bracket.

The 7th annual Pinkbike Photo of the Year Contest is a wrap and Robb Thompson will be joining the ranks of Sean Lee, John Wellburn, Toby Cowley, Sterling Lorence, Christoph Laue and Steve Shannon in the Pinkbike Photo of the Year Hall of Fame.



How Did Photo Of The Year Work?
From thousands of nominated photos, 32 were selected to pit against each other in a college basketball bracket-like showdown. At that point it was up to you, the users, to vote on the match-ups. The photos with the most votes moved on to the next round. So 32 photos narrowed down to 16, then 8, 4, 2 until there was a single photo deemed the 2017 Photo of the Year Powered by SRAM.



What was at stake? $10,000 Cash

Robb Thompson will receive a check for $5,000
• Dave Trumpore will receive a check for $3,000
• Satchel Cronk and Filip Zuan will each receive a check for $1,000

There was also a Voter Prize this year. The winner of the SRAM Code RSC Brakes with Centerline rotors and a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain is @Nicksand5. Congratulations Nick!


Thanks to SRAM.

We'll post an interview with Robb Thompson next week.


MENTIONS: @SramMedia / @robb / @davetrumpore / @FilipZuan / @satchscratch



108 Comments

  • + 291
 I picked Rob's shot to win from the beginning... And voted for it in the final as well.
  • + 32
 #Class
  • + 8
 Both Beautiful Pictures. I really like how your picture was shot Dave.
  • + 4
 Now I feel lame for being bummed my top pick didn't take it. Congratulations on runner up, Dave!
  • + 92
 Dave, thank you! Nothing but respect for you and the rest of the photographers in this contest. So many great photos in the mix. Super inspiring!
  • + 3
 Class act !
  • + 5
 @davetrumpore & @robb: Thanks to you both and all of the finalists for capturing these amazing shots!
  • + 2
 I have the photo as my desktop background. It's really impressive how many amazing photos in the contest this year
  • + 12
 Also Dave is in Chile crossing a desert-based mountain range...my hero.
  • - 26
flag Ryanrobinson1984 (Feb 17, 2018 at 6:25) (Below Threshold)
 I actually had a better photo and I'm kicking myself for not entering. It was a picture of me on the beach with my bike, looking towards the ocean. I had my ass and balls hanging out and the setting sun's rays bounced off my scrotum to make a photo that is truly 1 in a million
  • - 5
flag Ryanrobinson1984 (Feb 17, 2018 at 6:30) (Below Threshold)
 I call the winning photo- "A magnanimous magnificence" or "Light of Transcendence"
  • + 1
 @davetrumpore My bet was on yours since the beginning, love this
  • - 7
flag gapos999 (Feb 17, 2018 at 14:00) (Below Threshold)
 This years votes were a big let down!
  • + 7
 I voted for it from the beginning as well. The shot makes me want to be IN it. It’s even got a story already: I finally got the money, time and the most difficult thing of all to attain, clearance from the Mrs. to go up to BC or AK for a trip with a couple friends. (In this pic) we’ve been riding for 6+ hours and are milking the last bit of light before the storm that’s been nipping at our heals all day finally overtakes us. At the bottom of the trail, there’s a fully stocked cabin with beer to drink and strips and fresh-caught fish to grill. The storm ends up not being that bad and rains just enough to keep the dirt perfect for tomorrow’s ride on the other side of the lake.

It’s not just the composition, timing and light that make this photo epic. It’s because I can see myself in a similar ‘story’ both in my past and in a wished for future. Epic shot!
  • - 2
 @jeremiahwas: sounds like you've got the wrong Mrs.
  • + 1
 A true gent Mr Trumpore and a true professional how it should be bro :-) And Rob this is exceptional image :-)
  • + 48
 Congrats to Robb Thompson. That's a beautiful image. Still a little surprised that one came out on top.
  • + 21
 I think there's a divide between art people, photography people, and freeride/DH people. This isn't a sick air / get stoked/ go fast picture. OTOH it's clearly the best art in the contest by a big margin and was my pick the day the contest opened. I was just annoyed by the tournament format.

Composing a picture like this and getting the shot are so difficult- hats off to a work of genius
  • + 4
 @Mtmw: All my favorites from the beginning (DH/Air photos) got shut out quick
  • + 24
 @Mtmw: Exaclty right. I'm a professional photographer who has judged photo competitions and agree this was the best artistic and technically executed photo of the set all while conveying a sense of time and place that tell an awesome story. I'm mean who looks at this photo and doesn't think "I wish that was me!" But at the same time it's not a DH/big air photo so I'm pleasantly surprised it won among a whole set where any image was publish quality.

Well done Robb, really great work! Thanks PB for doing this contest, really great to see you pushing photographers to do their best.
  • + 1
 @photodog: Very good point. Also from a photographer's standpoint, I have seen in years past that the DH/Freeride guys undoubtedly decide the final outcomes, based solely off of that "Wow" factor for them. I would love to see in a future contest a place where the judges are mainly professional photographers, who can define the art and essence behind the photo when voting.

There is much more than just the photos from the photographers that follows the bare basic principals, stuff we have seen way to much of in past contests.
  • + 8
 @photodog: Considering this is a MTB POTY competition I ask myself when looking at the pictures if it would work without the rider(s). And a surprising bunch of pictures in the contest did, including this one. I am not saying it isn't a great shot because it is, but imagine this w/o the riders and the Gwin shot w/o him. One would still be beautiful, the other would not work at all. In my opinion it is not all about the artistic and technical execution of a shot but also how much it captures the biking aspect. So a blurry race shot might work better for me than a perfectly composed and executed landscape + riders shot.

Maybe PB needs to have different categories: action, landscape, lifestyle?
  • + 5
 @photodog: It would be great if PB did a feature at the beginning of the competition where each photographer describes how they got the shot and some peers detailed what was impressive about the photo (difficult lighting, composition, etc.)..
  • + 43
 BETTER THAN THE ROOST
  • - 28
flag NolanFJ60 (Feb 16, 2018 at 16:57) (Below Threshold)
 Why does everyone keep calling that picture the roost? Mountain bikes can't roost unless its an E-bike. Oh wait those can't roost either...
  • + 38
 @NolanFJ60: Maybe for you, slow boi.
  • + 30
 PB Inbox (0)
  • + 2
 Same Frown
  • + 3
 pinkbike mailed me to inform me i didnt win anything. Thanks
  • + 13
 I wasn't a fan of it at first but it grew on me. The more I look at it, the more I can feel being there. I can taste the Kulshan Sunnyland IPA waiting for them at the bottom. Smile
  • + 10
 Went instantly as my Desktop Background and will stay there for probably about a year.
  • + 3
 Until next POTY Big Grin
  • + 6
 Maybe the contest could be "larger", with different categories, "best action shot", "best mood shot", "best makes-me-want-to-be-there shot", "best composition" etc, and maybe ditching the tournament format for a "championship" format, where you'd give a certain amount of point to the best 3 pictures or something.

Anyway, this was one of my favourite as well.

Nice to see that despite all the technical talk and ever changing standards, riders are a bunch of poetics idealists that sunflowers can bind together Big Grin
  • + 5
 @robb

Robb Thompson congratulations!

That photo very nicely captures the
fleeting feeling of those moments spent up in the hills with good friends, when you can actually manage to overcome the weight of responsibilities and commitments that our lives demand of us and break into that amazing flow palace of now.

You never know exactly when you are going to hit a day like this, but you sure savour every dynamic lovely second of it when you do.

That is my take on it anyhow.

Well done man!
  • + 3
 The flow palace of now... Like it.
  • + 7
 Ya buddy! Nice work. Such a good photo with a great story behind it.
  • + 2
 Meh.....another sunset photo.....I would rather see a man with a beard.....and in that beard have it full of bees......have you seen him? I hear a chant from the back if a truck deep in the hills.....goes some thin like this....."good job Robb.....good job Robb....good job Robb......" Great shot congrats man!!
  • + 3
 That little crack of sky between the clouds an the mountains with the sun poking through looking like an eye is Awesome in the truest sense of the word.
Oh an there's some bikes in it Smile
  • + 6
 this photo makes me want to ride my bike.....well done
  • + 3
 Congrats, I guess this is the image people liked the most, regardless the contest format.

I suggest this one to go straight to 2018 POY contest!
m.pinkbike.com/photo/15608269
  • + 5
 Glad Robb won. Congrats to all POTY photographers, and hope I win the SRAM stuff. Wink
  • + 7
 Yeah Robb and the boys!
  • + 3
 Both photos are absolutely amazing! But the first time I saw Robb’s photo, I just had a feeling about it. It was POY from the beginning; my first nomination too!
  • + 3
 Very nice picture. Slight complaint though. I don't see the black pearl in the background.
  • + 5
 Yeah bro!
  • + 4
 Congrats! Such an awesome photo that deserves the win.
  • + 2
 Congratulations Robb! the picture is beautiful and inspiring. Congrats to Dave too, you were pretty close, Iago Garay, you are great stylish rider.
  • + 4
 This contest was Robbed.
  • + 1
 Robs got norbed
  • + 2
 I mean, its not exactly the craziest mountain biking shot, but it sure is a cool photo.
  • + 2
 Literally riding off into the sunset, what more could we all ask for. Beautiful
  • + 3
 Hell yeah buddy. Stoked for you!!
  • + 3
 Can we please get a higher version with higher resolution?
  • + 2
 Glad to see this was the winner. Such a mood photo. Captures the essence of why we ride.
  • + 2
 Really awesome photo but it would be even more awesome if the contest was SHIMANO photo of the year Big Grin
  • + 2
 They were not easy to pick towards the last few rounds. Al great shots guys!
  • + 3
 Well deserved.. congrats.
  • + 3
 really defines the feeling you get from riding
  • + 1
 It's a great photo, but it's silly we can't get it in the original HD resolution to use as desktop wallpaper.
  • + 1
 really wish it'd been the Brendog roost photo just to trigger all the anti-roost gang
  • + 2
 your valdez pictures are amazing
  • + 2
 It won because it is a glimpse into heaven, where you can ride everyday
  • + 1
 stoked to get to know some locals this year, our first season in vernon coming up. congrats robb!
  • + 2
 Congrats to the winners - that said I liked the image by FilipZuan best.
  • + 2
 So glad Rob won I picked his from the start shot a nice shot !!!!
  • + 2
 gorgeous man. i was pulling for that shot from the beginning. mesmerizing.
  • + 2
 Congratulations Robb! It is a beautiful image!
  • + 3
 Yeeeah! Congrats Robb!
  • + 3
 Congratulations Dave
  • + 1
 Great shot, the smooth ride out after gripping the bars all day up higher.
  • + 1
 Is that rain or pollen in the air?
  • + 1
 Here we are, the roost win again...
  • - 1
 I don't get it, nothing special about this photo to me. I never voted for it, so many better pics. I wonder if bots are involved.
  • + 1
 you didn't vote for it to win so must be rigged, yes, exactly.
  • + 2
 GOOD JOB ROBB!
  • + 1
 Looks like the one rider is about to fall.
  • + 1
 Very nice moment in time. Congratulations!
  • + 1
 What’s all those white dots in the photo?
  • + 5
 Looks like raindrops to me...
  • + 1
 Seeds
  • + 1
 @BenPea: a lot of seeds.
  • + 0
 Glad to see anyone that can balance on two wheels and hire a photographer is worthy of photo of the year.....
  • + 1
 There’s nothing in my inbox. Must be a mistake right?
  • + 0
 When did bike photography become less about the bikes and more about the landscape? Lame.
  • + 1
 Meh…
  • - 1
 I didn't vote for trumpore in any round because he comes off as a huge dick anytime he comments here.
  • + 15
 Or he just has no trouble calling out the bullshitters, trolls and haters on here, and they don't seem to like it that much ;-)
  • + 2
 @davetrumpore: There's quite a few of us who enjoy this very much...
  • - 1
 Congrats, not my cuppa tea though, liked Gwin's pic the most.
  • + 0
 Its nice.
  • + 0
 cool beans.
  • + 0
 NO E-mail .......
  • + 0
 grats!
  • - 2
 Nice arty landscape but says nothing of mountain biking at all, Gwin shot was killer.
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