Round 4 Voting Closed: Pinkbike Photo of the Year Contest

Feb 25, 2021
by Pinkbike Staff  

Here we go, the semi-finals of the 10th annual Pinkbike Photo of the Year Contest presented by Jenson USA are kicking into gear. With more than 310,000 votes cast, we are down to the top 4, in the running for their piece of $10,000 in CASH.

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 will join John Wellburn, Toby Cowley, Sterling Lorence, Christoph Laue, Sean Lee, Steve Shannon, Robb Thompson, Richard Baybutt, and JB Liautard in the Pinkbike Photo of the Year Hall of Fame.

Match Up 1 - Winner: Jan Cadosch

Riding in front of the Matterhorn just after some snowfall at sunset
Jan Cadosch: 57.6%

From a focus bikes trip to Madeira
Jacob Gibbins: 42.4%

Match Up 2 - Winner: Ross Bell

Ross Bell: 58.8%

One of those moments where everything comes together. The location the light and of course the riding The sun broke through the clouds and created these rays perfectly over the hip at the top of the Darkfest line but it only lasted for maybe 5 minutes. Just enough time for Brendog to make his way down and boost the hip with effortless style
Tom Bowell: 41.2%

Match Up 3 - Winner: Trevor Lyden

POY 2020 entry. Cody Kelley at Mt. Bachelor Oregon with a massive berm explosion while shooting for the release of the Fox Racing 2020 fall apparel line.
Trevor Lyden: 52.7%

Christoph Breiner: 47.3%

Match Up 4 - Winner: Mason Mashon

Mason Mashon: 56.9%

2020 POY entry. Shot by Skye Schillhammer while on location shooting Jaxson for Transition Bikes.
Skye Schillhammer: 43.1%

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. Five lucky Pinkbike readers that vote for the Photo of the Year will win $200 Jenson USA gift cards.

Thank you Jenson USA.


How can I enter for a chance to win one of five $200 Jenson USA gift cards?

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.


Author Info:
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Member since Jul 22, 2013
3,465 articles

  • 177 6
 public opinion is wack, yo.
  • 87 6
 So boring. Blowing up a berm is going to win again.
  • 47 9
 @rewob: Nah, Ross Bell has this one in the bag
  • 24 2
 Apparently unpopular opinion: I don't like being able to see the post-processing in a photo.
  • 71 5
 Backlit Berm beat out Waterfall?!?

People, they're the worst.
  • 7 2
 @50percentsure: I’m in disbelief
  • 7 6
 @StefanProductions & @50percentsure : And trying to explain to anyone winner of matchup #4 is even in the contest could only be summed up with "Bots?"

"people are the worst" is the best way to just sum it all up
  • 8 0
 Crap, I kinda liked the movement in Tom Bowell's shot.
  • 1 0
 I think my eyes are wack. One of the photos , has no point of intrest in focus.
  • 1 0
 @N-60: I agree, dude is pitted.
  • 3 0
 @50percentsure: its because of the blue bottle
  • 2 0
 In general I dont rate "us", the PB comment section, high on " public" we are mostly just "opinion"...I suspect it is from all the un-diagnosed concusions.
  • 1 1
 @50percentsure: waterfall, or avalanche?
  • 1 1
 @pink505: you can't prove it and if you talk to my wife, I will deny it!!!
  • 10 0

The waterfall shot feels like "mountain biking" to me. Makes me want to go out and ride, and do/see things.

The berm shot feels like product placement photo. Good photo, but doesn't make me want to ride a bike in the same way.
  • 1 0
 @N-60: @N-60: kade edwards could sit still and still be the most stylist rider in the competition
  • 79 4
 If the wankers on this site could stop voting for roost every single time, maybe we could have nice things.
  • 2 2
 When was the last time a roost won?
  • 15 0
 Have you read the comment section? It's not hard to see why we can't have nice things.
  • 8 1
 @friendlyfoe: lol

the comment section IS "the nice thing" around here Smile

laughing is good for the soul
  • 58 7
 Aaaaah Christoph Breiner whoever you are you so very much should have won this with your water fall shot. Its just fantastic
  • 26 3
 Insult to injury to lose to that berm busting shot
  • 13 6
 I found that shot kinda boring in comparison to a lot of the finalists.
  • 2 4
 Completely agree.
  • 8 0
 +1, the waterfall photo is brilliant.
  • 8 18
flag jb2mntbike FL (Feb 23, 2021 at 4:16) (Below Threshold)
 How is this fantastic? Looks like someone pouring out spoiled mild decided to enter a mountain bike photo contest so they photoshopped in a biker. There is no emotion in the waterfall pic. The roost pic on the other hand makes me feel like going out and ripping the knobbies off my tires!
  • 2 1
 @jb2mntbike: that’s a bit dramatic don’t you think?
  • 13 1
 @jb2mntbike: The emotion in the waterfall shot is a sense of grandeur. It is epic how we ride in places that are so massive compared to us wee things. It's absolutely stunning. The roost pic, although well done, is overly produced/staged. We've seen that type of shot a lot before.
  • 12 0
 @rrolly: That's the thing. The pic of the year should be one you can point out several years from now and it still resonates as a unique angle or backdrop of riding.

You can toss that berm shotin with all the other berm shots. It is one more worm in a 5 gallon bucket of worms. Can't tell it apart. It's nice. But it's not unique.

Most iconic pic I've ever seen was the Bike Mag cover of a North Shore rider dropping down over a monster root ball that was glistening with the woods shrouded in fog and the trees dwarfing everything around.

Saw it at I think at age 19. My entire life I still to this day at 48 years old would love to ride that exact spot in those conditions. That is a photo of the year.
  • 6 0
 It would help the waterfall shot if it was in focus and exposed correctly, whilst a good image, technically it's quite poor, There is very little texture or shadow and highlight in the water and rocks.
  • 4 0
 @johntaylorphotos: And that's exactly why we need a "Photographer's Photo of the Year" that only pro photogs can vote on.

I really want to see what the best think is the best.
  • 3 0
 @50percentsure: it's being judged pinkbike academy style I take it. I'm guessing pinkbike wants Logo visibility/ pumping certain manufacturers as the most important aspect of the photo.
  • 7 1
 I find the waterfall shot to just feel flat, not a fan. On top of that it's a waterfall pic, not a mtb'ing pic. One of my favs was out early, the pic by Dave Smith
  • 2 2
 @synchro: If your supermodel of choice were in place of the mountain bike, would you still call it a "waterfall pic" ?
  • 2 1
 @cuban-b-can-blow-me: mountain biking is about action to me. Scenery shots where the mountain biker looks like they're parked and could be having a cup of tea are boring to me. The nature is beautiful in the waterfall and Matterhorn shot, but it doesn't get me excited to ride. The perfect shot should be an action shot and have good scenery.
  • 2 0
 @genemk: The Matterhorn one has me curious about the back story only because that dude has a REALLY big pack on. I want to know why.
  • 2 0
 @jb2mntbike: I think this photo matchup is telling because it really exposes the difference in why we ride in what photos we connect with. I tend to lean more adventure than shreddy, and connect to the waterfall photo more, but I can see how if speed is your game, the roost shot is what gets your blood pumping.
  • 2 0
 @johntaylorphotos: while I can't speak to the photographer's true intent, I get the vibe that the photo is intentionally minimalist. Whether we like the effect or not is different, I think, than if it is technically good, which is more linked to artist intent. An example is a photo series I saw in Nat Geo a few years back, where a photographer used a camera obscura to cast famous vistas in Yosemite onto the ground and captured the projection on the dirt and leaves. I didn't find the pictures particularly compelling, but the photos were what they wanted to capture.
  • 45 1
 Blow away that Skye's got knocked out by Masons. Always a trip when I'm reminded not everything thinks the same way I do!
  • 4 0
 My thoughts exactly
  • 7 0
 Ditto. Wish the artificial light on Mason's shot wasn't so blatant, otherwise it's a banger.
  • 4 2
 For me it was that I prefer Skye's as a photo but I prefer Mason's as a mountain bike photo.
  • 26 3
 Stink, Christoph Breiner's shot is way better.
  • 11 1
 Yeah, it is way better than a berm getting blown up.
  • 5 0
 @jmtbf: and that berm shot might even be an advertisement?
  • 3 0
 @cuban-b-can-blow-me: true, they angle the bike perfectly for it to show the logo.
  • 1 0
 @cuban-b-can-blow-me: @jmtbf: an ad for a beverage or type of water bottle?
  • 4 0
 @taprider: I noticed that too. Awfully bright for a bike visual. I know nothing of photography and it could just show up that color, but the bottle looks doctored intentionally to me to draw attention to a drink or just the color contrast.

It's an awesome pic, but for reasons already discussed, not "the one"
  • 5 0
 @cuban-b-can-blow-me: zero light adjustment to the bike or the bottle. My job is to take photos for a living so it wasn't a coincidence we were at this location as this exact time. All natural light, low setting sun, ultra loose moon dust, and Cody Kelley going mach speed. Not nearly as much editing as people think.
  • 2 1
 @cuban-b-can-blow-me: @jmtbf: @trevorlyden: what's wrong with editing?
it was good enough for Ansel Adams
  • 5 0
 @trevorlyden: Wish you guys could put the back stories to these photos to allow us, the viewer, to see behind the curtain as to what's been done in a pic.

With our individual vantage points, we all might see it with unintended bias, like I just did. Apologies for my assumption. Without you spinning the yarn, we're left to ASS-ume. Wink

If you win, congrats. And so you know...I love roost photos. But my eye is always drawn to ones that make me start planning my fake dream vacation. Big Grin
  • 14 1
 Slightly confusing results eh? Says the name of the winner, then shows that they lost with the X
  • 2 0
 Fixed, cheers! Jan Cadosch, Ross Bell, Trevor Lyden, and Mason Mashon have advanced to the semi finals!
  • 15 4
 ross bells photo should win imo. it shows someone the rider and not just the mountains or whatever scenery behind it, also i just think it looks sick
  • 1 0
 I thought his photo from last year should have won. Last years was better, but hopefully he gets an award this year.
  • 10 0
 105% voter turnout on matchup 3 I see
  • 5 0
 Edited - thanks!
  • 15 3
 Stop the steal!!
  • 7 2
 About Cadosh's picture I gotta say at first I thought it was "just" a beautifull landscape picture with a biker in it. But if you remove the biker it falls apart, the perspective doesn't work anymore and the Matterhorn and whole horizon are boring and out of place.
So the rider creates the perspective with the Matterhorn and the "void" between them drags you in.

Now Bell's picture has at least 4, or 5, or more layers depending on how you count them. And while it may not have a lighting as powerfull as Cadosh's, it has moar "MTB action" in it.

Maybe I just won't vote.
  • 3 0
 Replying to myself :p , the waterfall shot is a bit similar, in that without the tiny rider the sense of scale isn't conveyed as well, and the dynamic of the picture is different as well, without the rider it's "just" a magnificent waterfall, and you look here and there as you can't even see it in its entirety, but with the rider the dynamic changes, it grabs your sight at the top and leads to the rider.
  • 1 0
 I have similar impressions. But Bell's photo captures so well both the beautiful terrain and the incredible feeling of action - a win for me!
  • 6 0
 I thought this was going to be Ross Vs Skye from the start for the final 2 but I guess not.
  • 2 4
 it shoulda been but old guys on here vote based on the scenery alone
  • 1 2
 The Skye one looks like a rider shaped balloon was tethered above a nice background. So, without some roost or dust or something else, to show that it is actually a real rider moving, a photo just looks staged or photo-shopped
  • 10 2
 Jacob Gibbins was robbed
  • 4 0
 Haha cheers, appreciate the support ???? The image that connects with people's imagination best won out. Let's make the aim to make the top 32 for 2021 now! ❤️????
  • 3 0
 Ignore those question marks, typo ????‍♂️
  • 6 0
 everyone was robbed
  • 3 0
 Here to say the same thing. However I'm somewhat astounded that a waterfall is getting so much attention..
  • 3 4
 @Geearmo: Because it is stunning. It puts into perspective what one rider is compared to the epicness of what we ride.
  • 12 7
 Watching the roost rise in the polling is like watching the 2016 presidential election all over again. Oh god. Please no.
  • 2 0
 People are probably voting for it because water bottles are "cool" now...although to be fair, I do actually quite like the shot
  • 3 1
 I have mixed feelings for Jan Cadosch photo. Its an awesome scenery photo with a bike in it. You could easily photoshop add the biker in this nice scenery photo. The body position of the rider subject he is goin either 0.5km/h or actually just stoppie there for the shot. Although, I see the effort it takes to bring a bike to high elevation like that. I hope no helicopter is involve.

What I like to see for a photo of the year is a mix of incredible photo skill, rider skill and nice background. This one is the worst of all the photos for rider skills.
  • 6 1
 Round 4 Matchup1. Impossible decision. Both EPIC!
  • 5 1
 Went with Jan Cadosch. This is how you do mtb landscape photos!
  • 2 1
 @Ktron: Those cool colors are amazing. Really sets a mood.
  • 6 1
 That roost one got edited way too much
  • 3 0
 All of these photos are so good. I wish you guys published a wallpaper pack of all of these.
  • 3 0
 Wait, so who took matchup 3?
  • 2 0
 @sarahmoore typo somewhere
  • 5 0
 @trevorlyden: You did buddy! Nice work!!
  • 3 0
 Nice job Trev!
  • 2 0
 This is the hardest round of voting by far! These are some of the coolest pictures I've ever seen.
  • 5 6
 What I learned from this competition is that my favourite pics are the ones I can 'hear'. Time and again I pick the one with dust or debris being kicked up, and I can hear the sound of it. Matchup 2 were my favourites from the start, so hard to pick between them.
  • 3 0
 Matchup 4 winner has the wrong name posted
  • 4 1
 Really Pinkbikers ? I had 0 on 4 last round
  • 11 10
 Hopefully, we get a winner that highlights someone shredding on their bike... and not just a nature photo that contains a bike.
  • 3 1
 Submissions by Mashon and Cadosch were my favorites from the first round, great to see them make it through!
  • 4 1
 roost shots are lame ya friggin simps.
  • 2 0
 are the X's wrong or the descriptions wrong?
  • 6 4
 lets gooooo ROSS BELL!!!!
  • 1 0
 That watterfall! Damn. Getting that on print ????
  • 2 0
 I'm not mad this year
  • 1 0
 If you don't think the Jan Cadosch photo is the best. You are wrong!!
  • 1 0
 I'm just happy that waterfall picture is gone!
  • 1 0
 kamloops + mashon + aggy ftw
  • 1 0
  • 3 4
 why must a roost shot always be picked. tom bowel had the best picture in my opnion

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