Voting Closed for the FINAL ROUND of the 2018 Pinkbike Photo of the Year Contest

Mar 12, 2019
by Pinkbike Staff  

Well, here we are. Almost 300,000 votes have been cast in the 8th annual Pinkbike Photo of the Year Contest presented by Jenson USA, and we're down to the final two. Who takes home the larger piece of the $10,000 in cash is up to you.

Below are the Round 4 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 vote in the next round!

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

Match Up 1 - Winner: Richard Baybutt

Richard Baybutt 56.8%

Flip no hander on a fine spring morn. thomasgaffney
Thomas Gaffney 43.2%

Match Up 2 - Winner: Sterling Lorence

Brett Rheeder fully clicked off a natural rock quarter lit by overhead drone strobe during the filming of his segment in Big Water Utah for Return to Earth by Anthill Films.
Sterling Lorence 50.9%

Definitely one of the most beautiful places on Earth. And if that 39 s not reason enough to come here there are trails too.
Dan Milner 49.1%

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. One lucky Pinkbike reader that votes for the Photo of the Year will win a $1000 Jenson USA gift card.

Thank you Jenson USA.

How can I enter for a chance to win the $1000 Jenson USA gift card?
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.

MENTIONS: @jensonusa

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  • 100 18
 Hot take: Richard Baybutt's photo is incredible but to me it's not really a mountain biking photo, it's a landscape photo that happens to have a mountain biker in it. Like, is that a trail? Is the rider moving? Different strokes though I guess - if grandeur is what you're looking for then it's tough to beat! Props to all photogs
  • 49 4
 Ye I was definitely riding/trying not to fall off the cliff
  • 4 1
 @boredatwork: Right on, haha no doubt! Legit!
  • 43 5
 It's a photo, not a video, so the rider won't be moving. Razz
  • 7 0
 If the rider was dropping the cliff it would be POY no doubt.
  • 24 2
 Still don't understand how Christoph Laue's photo didn't make it to the end. I don't think I've ever seen one like it, which without disrespecting the other photographers, can't be said about the other photos.
  • 11 7
 agreed on Baybutt's photo. (in my opinion) it looks too planned out/staged. Is he really going to ride down that section in front of him or was this just an amazing photo op?
  • 1 0
 @Joegrant: Who knows, Markus's photo went out first round
  • 3 2
 @rrolly: Yep, it's an astonishing image. The other photos are really good but Laue managed to frame some magic.
  • 3 0
 @crysvb: I've seen the photos of him riding down.
  • 23 0
 @crysvb: What's more staged than a lit up trick, even if it's on a natural feature?
  • 11 4
 @iammarkstewart: I was going to say the same thing... Baybutt's photo has more soul
  • 7 0
 For me i always vote for the Photo that make me want to got for a ride!
  • 3 0
 @rrolly: that photo is my POY, so steeze.
  • 2 0
 Same thoughts here, and I am saying that as a landscape photographer who likes landscape photography.
  • 1 1
 @Rozza52: Yes, what? Big Grin
  • 2 1
 I agree. It looks too staged.... It’s beautiful but it just look off as trail isn’t visible.

Is rider even on a trail? Doesn’t look good for those opposed to MTB...

  • 4 0
 @endlessbiking: Opposed to that totally natural shot, of a rider who just happened to be pulling a trick on a perfectly manicured jump, underneath a drone with a remote flash on it. Perfect timing by the photographer. So lucky to be there at that exact moment that professional rider just happened to be cycling past... /s

I'm joking, of course, but I do find it funny people calling one photo "staged", as if they got the dry ice out, but the other, that's literally a trick that was probably pulled multiple times under an unnatural light source, perfectly acceptable. Hypocritical, no?

With regards that being a designated trail, we have very different access rights in UK to other parts of the world, with shared access on many walking/hiking trails. So I don't think the first photo will be doing any harm to the image of mountain biking among the locals
  • 2 0
 Photography wise they are both amazing images and both photographers have immense skill behind a camera. Appreciate all aspects of the photo, it's good to see some diversity in the competition
  • 2 0
 @crysvb: some of the best photos in the world are staged. You can't always wait for a moment, photographers sometimes have to step in to make a moment happen.
  • 1 0
 @sheffman: 100% disagree on that one. how can you capture magic if you've planned out the entire shot? you're not capturing a moment, you're just taking a photo
  • 44 3
 Came her to see if anyone said " I LIKE BAYBUTT'S AND I CAN NOT LIE!"
  • 5 0
 Laughing my baybutt off
  • 30 0
 My voting skills are getting sharp; each successive round takes me half as long to complete!
  • 18 4
 this year has been really difficult, so many good photos! Lorence's photo has obviously taken patience, timing and skill to capture. but for me, Baybutt's photo captures what mountain biking is for me riding bikes in the mountains!
  • 17 1
 The trees got robbed.
  • 11 0
 Rare that a portrait photo has been so popular on photo of the year contest. It would be interesting to know if people viewing on phones has affect their choices or not.
  • 14 4
 I'm sorry but whoever picked Richard Baybutt's photo instead of Thomas Gaffney's one is mad. Where is the originality in a landscape photo with a bike somewhere hidden in it ? I know truth hurts, but I ain't wrong.
  • 8 1
 A wise photo editor once told me while reviewing my portfolio, "If your grandma/grandpa could take that photo then it shouldn't be in your portfolio." The same logic should be applied to POY. I agree Tobias Handcock, the trees absolutely got robbed. The two landscape photos in the final 4 are really nice photos, I actually voted for them throughout the competition. Are they POY worthy though? I suppose time will tell... Best of luck Sterling!!!
  • 2 0
 So that photo editor would reject anything by Jose Ortiz-Echague?
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: But what if your grandma/grandpa is an amazing/professional photographer? Eek Big Grin
  • 9 3
 this is a no brainer situation now Smile there is a photo done in postprocess with all saturation knobs and there is this skill-master-packed monster... I think the word art does not capture all the calculations, timing etc etc that has been put into Sterling's photo. Masterpiece!
  • 11 4
 I think this contest shows the ageing demographic of mountain bikers/pink bikers and the shift from free ride to enduro/trail riding. What is the average age on pinkbike?
  • 74 0
 biological - 40
mental/emotional - 14
  • 2 1
 @rrolly: wireless or new design for -95
  • 1 0
 It’s like you know me@rrolly:
  • 9 2
 I find Richards photo more desirable as a rider, thats the kind of place I want to be riding my bike rather than sitting at my desk
  • 10 2
 last two are awsome....hard choice....good luck
  • 5 7
 Was very hard to choose. It came down to what is the story in the photo.

In the mountain vista photo, it isn't clear what the story is. All you can tell is the rider is there. You can't see where they are going or where they came from (plus there is a road behind the fog - boo).

For the trick, you can see why the rider is there and they are at their destination. The sun directly above is the icing on the cake.
  • 16 1
 @vapidoscar: Pretty sure that's the drone flash, judging by the post-sunset-colored sky... Wink
  • 3 2
 @vapidoscar: Honestly what impresses me most about it is not a mountain biking aspect but the fact that the photographer has convinced so many that it is a mountain when it is approx 300-400m, if that, above sea level.

That and the fact he's made a mountain biking photo out of an area that is adored by roadies rather than mountain bikers.
  • 2 1
 @mtbikeaddict: That's funny. Not sure how I missed that. Guess I forgot the sun actually illuminates the world.

@Denning76 looks pretty mountainous to me. But I live at 800 ft above sea level and our trails have maybe 150 ft in elevation to work with but they are still fun.
  • 3 0
 @vapidoscar: I think the hint of the road almost makes it better. He could be climbing the road, sticking on the pavement and manmade world and features that so many of the population spend their whole lives on, but instead he’s out on the dirt alongside a nice cliff. I don’t know, I rather like it (:
  • 9 3
 If you know the Peaks, you know that Baybutt grafted for that moment and that light with the inversion, it's a window of literally minutes per year....
  • 6 1
 I love the shot, but can't get over how out of focus the rider is.. in an MTB photo.
  • 2 0
 It's an incredible landscape shot for sure, but it doesn't emphasise the mountainbiker enough for a mountainbike photo contest in my opinion.
  • 2 1
 with the sun on the horizon, there should be darkness on the slopes in the front. There should be a shadow of the rider. Too much photoshopping for my taste
  • 1 0
 @bressti: Agreed. I felt like a couple of the early ones to lose were kind of in the same boat.
  • 8 2
 SL pic a crafted work of art w massive skill in front of and behind pic, a masterwork period win or lose...
  • 7 1
 Both the finalists are wonderfully technically shot landscapes with a rider in the distance. I'm out.
  • 1 0
 Sterling Lorence photo is how The Martian should have finished.

“As with most of life's problems, this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation.”
― Andy Weir, The Martian
  • 1 1
 Something weird about the Baybutt lighting. Can't figure it out
Time lapse with a dark filter then a brief instance of full exposure while the rider posed?
Composite of more than one photo?
Fill in flash (but distant hill also has weird lighting where it should be in dark shadow)?
  • 5 0
 I find it interesting that there are comments about the lighting in the Baybutt photo, when the Lorence photo has such overtly UNNATURAL lighting. It is just because the lighting is awkward on purpose that makes it okay?
  • 4 0
 @marky-d: pretty much
  • 10 7
 Still dumbfounded the dog with a 1 foot drop got so far...
  • 2 2
 Baybutt's foto is beautiful, but on a first glance I wondered why it is in a contest, where is the bike. The mountainbiker is rather a distraction to a beautiful landscape as my eye is drawn to a sunset horizon...
  • 3 1
 That Low light shot from Sterling while still showing the foreground fade is incredible.
  • 16 13
  • 4 1
  • 7 4
  • 2 0
 vote for me because i was a FOOKIN LEGEND in gin alley
  • 2 0
 sterling again? gee
  • 1 0
 God damn I'm stupid sometimes
  • 3 3
 Roost got robbed
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