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Pinkbike Photo of the Year - and the Winner is...

Dec 12, 2011 at 14:17
by Ian Hylands  
This is it, the post you've been waiting for, the wait is over, we have a winner!

First off I'd like to apologize for the delay in announcing the winner, or I guess more accurately the premature post claiming that we'd be announcing the winner on the same day that the contest ended. In a perfect world that would have been the case, and if the win had been by a large margin that would have been an easy thing to do. However it wasn't a large margin, and there was a lot of checking of votes that was done to make sure everything was fully legit. I know a lot of you have been waiting patiently, and some not so patiently. Your wait is over. After a total of 275,329 contest votes the whole thing came down to a difference of only 68 votes between the last two images:

photo

Going into this round there were two images that could win, and there were varied opinions from a great many people about which one should be the winner. The thing that really surprised me though is how many great comments there were about each shot. There was no one sided bias in the comments, and that's a great thing, it means that it all worked out fairly well and two amazing shots made it into the final. If the comments and the votes had all been one sided we would have had to question how the lesser liked image made it in, but as it was it was tight competition. The final votes came in on Saturday, and in the end it was 50.4% to 49.6% in favor of John Wellburn's shot of Darren Berrecloth in the Gobi Desert.

The Winner of the 2011 Pinkbike Photo of the Year Contest

Claw airs into a classic China sunset glow...
Pinkbike would like to congratulate John on his win, and also Grzegorz Wawryczuk for making it into the final round, it was a tight competition!


John wins a Complete 2012 Specialized Demo (MSRP $6600) and ANY F-stop bag plus 2 ICU's plus a Dakota accessory kit (MSRP $500), as well as all the prizes from the previous rounds.

Round of 32 - All 32 receive a pair of SPY Sunglasses (MSRP $120 each)
Round of 16 - All 16 receive two pairs of Tioga Psycho Genius tires (MSRP $200 for two pairs)
Round of 8 - All 8 receive a set of Black Race Face Atlas cranks (MSRP $339.99 each)
Round of 4 - All 4 receive a Marzocchi 66RC3 Evo Ti (MSRP $1199.00 each) and an F-stop Guru bag with ICU (MSRP $245 each)

photo

Thanks to Specialized, Marzocchi, Race Face, Tioga, F-Stop Gear and Spy

photo


Author Info:
IanHylands avatar

Member since Jun 23, 2008
588 articles

269 Comments
  • 407 50
 I much prefer the chairlift - It relies less on the scenery to make it look good - but hey I'm not going to loose sleep over it. I would like to say though that it would have been much nicer to see the prize going to a relatively unknown 19yr old Polish photographer than a big-shot professional who gets paid to travel the world with film crews and has stacks of gear already...
  • 121 13
 totally agree, one of the reasons i voted chairlift.
  • 81 11
 completely agree
  • 26 9
 scratch that, it was the only thing that split the two photos. i literally couldnt choose between them otherwise.
  • 64 8
 Well put. I agree 100%. I personally thought there were many other photos in the mix that were better than the winner. No disrespect to the photographer, it's a nice shot, but not PB photo of the year.
  • 10 2
 Someone's always going to disagree about everything...i voted for the Gobi shot but in retrospect I should have gone for the other one...but clearly the majority of the pb community decided otherwise...congrats to both photographers though
  • 18 3
 Grzegorz still got to win all the gear leading up to the final round which is cool. John, donate the bike to a good cause or Grzegorz. Awesome competition!
  • 12 2
 At first, I was like Oh... that it? but, if its not an edited shot... its pretty spesh!

And yeah... chair lift shot does it for me too... not loosing sleep over it though.
  • 11 2
 Oh... I want a Framed Photo of the chair lift one too! frigging GORGEOUS!
  • 5 1
 Hindsight is 20/20, and you always wonder later what it was that made you vote one way or the other. for me, it was just the epic factor and scenery of the Gobi shot. The creativity and how the other shot works so well for having basically nothing going on in it though is phenomenal, and I would have liked to see the swag go to someone who needs it more. But hey, everyone voted one way or the other for different reasons, and no griping about which ones made the final- we all did it, not the judges!
  • 7 1
 I agree that it would have been nice to see a non-pro win. There were many excellent shots narrowed down in the original 32. Can't wait to see next year's selection!
  • 13 27
flag poozank (Dec 12, 2011 at 16:26) (Below Threshold)
 both were boring
  • 7 2
 guys... in the end they are both REALLY sick photos.they both got to the finals. altho my vote was with the chair lift this photo is pretty cool too. they both were close
  • 10 3
 my fave was the chest mounted cam shot of r-dogs fat unturndown on the dh bike
  • 2 1
 yes that was a dope pic tooooo,
  • 2 1
 agreed
  • 35 4
 Guys, it's "photo of the year" and not "photo that belongs to the photographer that needs the prize more". With that said, you have no clue what photographers make and to say that they don't deserve a prize because you deem they have enough already is absurd. What I've found out is that what you consider "pro" for a rider or for someone who documents riding, does not mean they all make a comfortable living, at all. I'm stoked on what won because I felt that a lot of photographers now, on a foggy day, can take a chairlift picture and isn't anything special other than it's nostalgic. But comparing that setting to a shot in the Gobi Desert, that's never been ridden before, is hardly a competition. I'd say that based on the votes that more people based their votes on the picture itself OR because they would have rather see an "unknown" photographer win... I'd rather believe the former but these comments are making me figure otherwise right now...

Remember, second place still got a LOT of prizes and exposure which is something to be stoked about enough.
  • 8 1
 Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but to think that in a "Photo of the Year" contest, you dont want it to necessarily go to the best photo, but to the other guy just because the other photographer is a pro? Come on, Man! Give yer head a shake, they are both great shots and one was liked slightly more than the other, props to them both.
As far as gear goes, the last time I saw Wellburn, this fall, he was riding an older xc hardtail, so I'm pretty sure he's stoked to win the Demo

Congrats John!!
  • 2 1
 scott and chicken, you are right. It wasn't a charity contest.

my opinion - they are both awesome and in a way they compliment one another, one is yellow, one is blue, one is going up, one is coming down. yin and yang my brothers and sisters. too bad there isn't another demo kicking around for #2, but hey I'm sure that dude is stoked to get all this press! I was gonna say he's the "people choice" but that's not true is it.
  • 4 1
 Both of them are awesome photos, but really thats what we have to choose from? I saw some better ones.
  • 2 1
 This contest was a GREAT idea. However, it needs to be refined and corrected so that the only people who are angry are ones who really believed the wrong photo was selected. However, I have seen just as many complaints about the system (why was it started before the end of the year, for example.) I, personally believe that the chairlift should have won, but it lost fair and square. I have seen a ton of POD's in the last week or two that could have made this competition but were slighted because they were posted after the beginning of the contest.
  • 3 0
 It is pissing me off reading comments telling the winner what to do with the prize. YOU didn't win, so he can do whatever the hell he wants with it.
  • 1 0
 Damn right^
  • 2 0
 Thanks conv3rt, Scotts reply wasnt posted before i wrote mine or else i would simply have agreed with him. Its a contest, most votes win, simple as that. Agree or disagree but the process was followed and a winner declared.
  • 2 1
 To be honest i didnt really like either of the final photos
  • 28 1
 and for all those talking about John being a big time pro you need to learn a little about what you're talking about. The last time I saw John (Crankworx this summer) he was shooting with pretty old beat up gear, and while he may be a "pro" he's hardly what I would call big time. He needs that gear just as much as anyone else. Probably more so because he's a pro, it's not a high paying job... If you look at the metadata for this shot it was taken with a Nikon D300, not even a newer D300s but a plain old D300. That's a borderline consumer camera that's more than 3 years old...
  • 4 0
 I personally didnt really like the chair lift one, it's a good photo and all but i'm just not a fan
  • 7 1
 I've ridden with John and the guy fully deserves, and could really use, a new demo. People who think he's living on champaign and strawberries need to get a life before making such wild assumptions; he deserves it more than you.
  • 3 4
 it would be cool to see john give Grzegorz Wawryczuk the prize....
  • 3 0
 You guys are saying you voted for the chairlift because of the photographer, this wasnt photographer of the year, it was photo of the year, its about the best photo, just because one photographer may be more "deserving" does not mean that their picture is. In the end they are both sick pictures and it was really close, between the two, i think it wouldve been better to see this competition start after the end of 2011 and maybe have some categories, like professional photo of the year and amatuer photo of the year because the professionals obviously have the advantage of better gear compared to amatuers. Hopefully this competition will be built on and return in 2012!
  • 2 0
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/5235446 Looks like he's riding that POS so he deserves the bike if you ask me! (And I voted for the chairlift one!)
  • 2 0
 I liked some other photos more, but i'm glad this shot won over the lift. I have seen so many better lift shots either is cycling and snowboarding. Congrats to John Wellburn! It's not about your name, how much pro you are or who is more likable, it's about the photo and the best of these two has won in my opinion.
Oh by the way, do we get a comment from all the judges about why this photo has won?
  • 1 4
 I like the other too, but it was too much photoshoped... props to the winner!
  • 3 1
 definitely think a riding photo should always win over a non riding aka the chairlift one
  • 2 4
 Lol @ All these butthurt f*ggots.
  • 3 2
 oh lord, fellow pinkbikers. It has been voted. wich mean the winner diserved it. you all voted. They are both really sick. i voted for the charilift one but i'm stocked for both. Pinkbike should invent the "pinkbike day". like today-> on the pinkbike day, nobody bitch about pod/vod/article sources/end of the line product price tags/bitching/etc.

sorry i have exams today and i needed to let go off some frustration Smile
  • 2 0
 I don't personally agree with the choice of POY but it wasn't only my vote that counted unfortunately!! The winning shot is sick though, no doubt. I'm just stoked that PB put on a comp like this in the first place. It's great for the photographers and great for us too. It may be seen as a bit of a shame that the 19 year old didn't take home the big prize but I can't see him moaning with what he won! Besides, there's always next year...

Oh yeah, it's funny seeing people asking the winner to give up his prizes-- why on EARTH would he do that? Ok he is pro, but he's pro for a reason- HE'S GOOD AT WHAT HE DOES!! No matter how old you are you can't beat getting a new bike- let's leave the man to enjoy his!!
  • 1 0
 I was stoked that Number 1 won. It actually represented mountain biking. I know there was a lot of magic in the chairlift shot, but come on. If you were trying to make someone try out mountain biking, what would you show them? The one in Utah or the one of the chairlift?
  • 3 0
 the helmet cam of the invert was the best
  • 2 0
 Personally, i think cheese and pickle is an ideal sandwich filler. Forget the rest, just cheese and pickle complimenting eachother beautifully. You can't go wrong
  • 1 5
flag nomorepb (Dec 13, 2011 at 8:59) (Below Threshold)
 bunkey: 1000% agree with u + The winner is from Williams Lake British Columbia Canada.there are photo MUCH BETTER than that.much better. but the winner needs to be front Canada.

this two photos are better than those other final two.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/6219822

www.pinkbike.com/photo/7333621
  • 1 0
 remove wade and the winner looks like something my parents had on their wall in the 70's, would be killa with a mice macrame frame . how about two contests or two categories. there should be a differentiation between professional photographers and amateur. possibly one for most creative.
  • 1 0
 Awesome contest, well done to the competitors and winner, but creatively speaking, how can you say this picture of the year? Photography is about being creative in some aspects, therefore saying that one picture is this years best is surly not right? maybe it is? but either way, i personally would have liked to see a compromise to do with categories and selected images not just a single winner like you never display one images at a gallery i am correct?... please feel free to question me on my thoughts...
  • 3 0
 No all of your thoughts are valid, and I wouldn't agree that this is the "Best Picture of the Year" either, but this is the photo that won the Picture of the Year contest on Pinkbike, as voted on by the users of Pinkbike. That's simply the way the contest was run, and this is what the majority voted on. Although I do have to say it was barely a majority... It would be interesting to do a contest with categories, however it would be logistically a lot more work. Pretty much the same as organizing 4 or 5 of these at the same time. And coming up with a lot more prizes. Not going to say it won't happen, but it would be a lot more work.
  • 3 0
 @stillmrg I'm not sure what you mean by the "winner needs to be from Canada" The contest was open to anyone around the world, and it was voted on by the users of Pinkbike, so there is no bias to country there...
  • 2 0
 @katinasd I can make a guess at why this photo one, but as I didn't have anything to do with judging it outside of the initial selection I can't give any official comment. The judges were the users of Pinkbike, I believe they're commenting here already...
  • 2 0
 I don't like the chairlift picture and would have much preferred the flip no hand to have beat it.
  • 1 5
flag nomorepb (Dec 13, 2011 at 11:14) (Below Threshold)
 @IanHylands Everything is about business and patriotism Pinkbike is Canadian Web Site.so guess what...........................................right
  • 1 0
 @IanHylands Sorry mate, I was pointing to the initial selection, in the first article of this contest it told: "The judges will then spend several sleepless nights narrowing the nominated photos down to 32 after which we will open things up to the public."

It was net meant as criticism, thought it would be a sweet thing to let the judges say something about their best 5 shots or whatever, or just about the winning shot. Just an idea.
Cheers.
  • 5 0
 @stillmrg Pinkbike is based in Canada, but it's a global site, 30% of Pinkbike users are in the USA, 10% in Canada, 7.5% in the UK, and it goes down from there...

@katinas it would be good a good thing to have the judges say something about both of the winning images, and also about the initial selection. I'll see what I can arrange...
  • 5 7
 'If you look at the metadata for this shot it was taken with a Nikon D300, not even a newer D300s but a plain old D300. That's a borderline consumer camera that's more than 3 years old...'
hardly a f*cking council estate to stardom story. They are like 1k for the body, get your head out of your arse Hylands
  • 1 0
 MAAAATE
  • 1 0
 joe701, im pretty sure the d300 is like one of the cheapest dslr, my friend bought a d3100 which is newer and it was like 650 bux after tax.
  • 1 0
 d3000 is the really cheap one. i googled it to find out anyway
  • 1 1
 leon you dont have any friends youre canadian
  • 2 0
 haha well thats just not very nice at all
  • 3 0
 Congrats to the winner!

My experience in the design world.. A large proportion of a pay check will be spent on travel/living costs and pumped back into kit, that's if the client pays up on time. Throw into the mix the fact that there's always someone who will be prepared to work for free, for experience. I can guarantee a lot of the photographers on the hill do it for the love and really don't earn a great deal!
  • 8 0
 @joe701 I'll say the same to you, you obviously have no idea what you're talking about. Yes, it may be £1000 for the body, but that's literally pennies in the world of professional photography. Don't profess your ignorance by spouting off just because you think you know something about camera gear and what it's worth. For most 'pro' sports photographers a decent quality pro camera starts at around £3500 and even my much cheaper smaller prosumer DSLR runs around £2000. And that's just the body... If you're a working photographer in the mtb business chances are you don't make much money, I'm willing to bet you the reason John is using a cheap prosumer camera is because that's what he can afford. Most amateur photographers have far more money than pro photographers for the simple fact that they have day jobs that pay relatively well. Council Estate to Stardom? Probably not quite, they don't have Council Estates in Williams Lake, but I haven't seen where John lives so who knows. But since when does that have anything to do with the discussion at hand?

My comment was primarily in response to the first comment "big-shot professional who gets paid to travel the world with film crews and has stacks of gear already..." and several others that were similar. John is far from being a "big-shot" photographer, I guarantee you he paid for the trip to the Gobi desert out of his own pocket and had to recover that from money made selling the photos, and I also guarantee that he doesn't have "stacks of gear"

I'm not trying to put you down, but seeing as you told me I have my head up my arse I think I need to clarify that. I'm a professional photographer who knows what he's talking about, you're an 18 year old kid who doesn't. Please take the time to think before typing.

thanks!
  • 4 3
 I guess it's the way you write, 'a plain old d300'. I do have some idea, a friend of my dads was a pro climbing photographer in the days before a lot of the new kit and the pictures he has taken with really old kit mean that i am not impressed if someone 'struggles' as a pro with a d300. I am also aware of the general pricing of SLRs as i know a lot of people who are into photography and am fairly keen myself. I can see why you came back strongly, i wouldn't expect anything else from that comment. I guess its likely that he can't afford better, or he might just realise that you can do plenty with around 2 grands worth of kit, i mean POY isn't bad going. I think i had a reasonable point, was mostly just trolling though. Finally anyone, in any business, who calls £1000 pennies, is somewhat ignorant.
By the way in Britain being 18 doesn't make me a 'kid'.
  • 4 0
 Great response, thank you! It's not meant to be impressive, just to outline the difference between a 'big time pro' and most people who shoot action sports for a living, including climbing. I wasn't meaning that 1000 was pennies, if it was I'd have a few more cameras, but it is pennies when you're comparing it to real world pro photographers. I know more than a few big time pro photographers, and they make a lot of money and spend a lot of money on gear. None of them rely on something like mountain biking for a living... When we shot film, cameras weren't as important, we all used the same film, but now that everything is digital cameras are very important. And good cameras make a world of difference. I can take a 20 year old film camera and take an amazing photo with it, it's all the lens and the film. But digital is different, there are many situations where I would struggle with a D300. While I don't consider the D300 a professional camera, that's not to say that it can't take amazing photos, but it doesn't have the same sensor and features of the better pro cameras. I'm sure John would much rather have a new Nikon D3s than the Specialized bike, wouldn't surprise me if he sold it to help pay for new gear, that's what I would do...
  • 2 4
 yeah, i get where you're coming from more now. I think your defensive style can seem confrontational, that and wanting to troll is why i put it so harshly. You did refer to seeing him with 'pretty old beat up gear' which is probably an exaggeration. I think if you changed the way you spoke just slightly people would respect you a lot more for what you are and it might not provoke very very special people like emotion-captured to go off like that. Although that is just an extreme version of what i'm doing.
  • 2 2
 And i wasn't just referring to film, he got some of his pics in a Berghaus ad only 5 or so years ago and i know hes never had the money for the kind of kit you're talking about.
  • 2 0
 Yeah understood, sorry to come across that way, it's probably something I need to work on. But I stand by his gear looking pretty old and beat up looking. Mine looks that way as well and most of it's less than 2 years old. When you shoot in the dirt, dust and mud your gear doesn't stay in good condition very long...
  • 2 1
 Don't change Ian.
  • 2 0
 Joe its not ian who has his head up his arse because session603 is doing it for him...
  • 3 1
 You caught me, I desperately want Ian to like me. It's a problem I have had with bearded men on the internet for a while now.
  • 1 1
 @ Scott and Chicken- of course it wasn't a charity contest and in no way was I suggesting that any other shot should have won. No one knows what John's situation is, but I've seen Dakine banners with his photos on it, and lots of his magazine photos. If you're getting stuff published and making money, you're pro. Why couldn't we see shots from the judges panel included? Because they are pro. I voted for John's photo every step of the way because I liked it more than the ones it was pitted up against. I intentionally voted the initial round of 32 without reading anything or knowing the photographer's name. It was a simple statement, "would have been nice to see a non-pro win". Doesn't really mean anything.
  • 4 0
 @everyone this contest was open to pros and amateurs alike, and there were a bunch of pros in the top 32. The judges were exempt because we were choosing the photos, not just because we're pros. Hard to be unbiased and have your own shots in the mix. If making money as a photographer is the definition of a pro then there are a lot of pros on Pinkbike, and a lot of amateurs that are just as good. Although 'amateur' is a misnomer as some of them are as good as the pros, even better, nothing amateur about it. Let's call them 'hobby photographers' instead. I know many that spend a lot of time shooting and have way nicer gear than I do. Some are doctors, lawyers, accountants, cops, doesn't really matter what there day job is, they have one. And they make money during the week, then go and shoot on the weekend, for fun. If you're serious about it this is a great recipe for creativity, there is no stress of having to produce images for clients, no expectations.

What I'm trying to say is that the distinction between professional photographer and hobby photographer in terms of quality of image is not always that great. So there is no real reason to exclude pros from a competition. And it would be far to difficult to define who was a pro and who wasn't.
  • 1 0
 True! And again, I will reiterate for the third time, it was a simple statement that I will continue to stand by, "It would have been nice to see a non-pro win".
  • 1 0
 your are all argueing about the price of photography equipment but when it comes down to it a photographers sucsess is down to his ability to see a shot creativly and present it how he/she wants. i use a fujifilm s1900 i got for £99.98 and for me its all i need.
  • 1 0
 Yeah my desposable camera from boots is a world beater...
  • 1 0
 i was trying to get the subject off cameras and on to the photographers.
  • 1 0
 @IanHylands your exactly right, www.pinkbike.com/buysell/1116795 selling it to buy new photo gear
  • 39 1
 thx for all votes!
  • 3 1
 all go0d bro
  • 12 1
 No, thank you for the great photo
  • 1 0
 ^^this!
  • 3 0
 Congratulations!!
  • 2 0
 trust me you deserved those votes!
  • 38 7
 Dear John, Send me all the shit you won!!!!! Congrats on a sick pick!
  • 1 3
 stoked on all ur new gear sik photo!!!
  • 3 1
 Both are amazing pictures, congrats to the photographers! And 68 votes is insanely close, really shows how good both the shots are.
  • 1 1
 i would be satisfied with ANY of the shit he won!!!
  • 1 1
 i thought the moment would never come :')
  • 13 2
 If only he made 68 fake new accounts. I bet he's regretting it.
  • 5 2
 Congrats on the win!! I voted for the other one tho..
  • 2 2
 Weoo! Knew it was gonna win. Congrats to the winner
  • 17 4
 If my memory serves me correctly, voting for this matchup has closed in monday 12.12 not in saturday 09.12. 68 votes - hmmm. Photo with a professional freerider for Specialized won a Specialized bike. Fail.
  • 4 1
 No, voting closed Saturday December 9th at I believe 3PM PST. Although it's always easy to think up some sort of conspiracy theory. However it was voted by the people of Pinkbike, not by us, so that throws out any "Specialized" input. Unless of course Specialized was paying people on Pinkbike to vote for their photo. That's a pretty big stretch of the imagination though...
  • 1 3
 Ian...don't try to convince tikk , he KNOW that all voting it's fake and it was bought by PB and Specialize that they could promote "their" own.Both photos are unike and special on theri own way , the winning one it's just pure action , and 2nd place photo captured the moment before action...that moment of waiting and exicement before you go for a ride :]
  • 1 0
 It's a conspiracy!!!11!
  • 2 0
 It is a conspiracy, you're right! It's a conspiracy to bring some beautiful images to front of Pinkbike and let the users of Pinkbike vote on what they like. I would have to say that Pinkbike users seem to like both of these images about the same. Some like one, some like the other, but the reality is that the likes were pretty much split almost 50/50. Both photos are amazing and either photo could have won, neither 'deserved' to win, that's an invalid concept in a contest like this...
  • 3 0
 It's a damn shame you guys put on this contest, let the members of the website vote for the winner, and then they turn around and try to blame you and the website for supposedly rigging the contest or ruining it, etc..... The stupidity being established here is profound and nearly palpable.
  • 1 0
 It's always conspiracy for some of us...i'm sorry for my folks , that's one of our Polish flaws , some of us never belive that actualy someone better could fairly win...they always try to find bribes , some backstage agreements...ehh.It's the remains of old system in our heads..
  • 1 0
 I think Dick Cheney had something to do with it.
  • 7 1
 I chose the chairlift, Main reason, I would hang a 24x36" version of it on my wall in my living room, and it makes me want to ride. The Gobi shot is just epic and deserving in its own right, just wouldn't hang it on the wall.

Nice job on the contest PB!
  • 11 3
 oh snap have been waiting on this. congrats on the win there. i was eying the chairlift photo but still really enjoy this.
  • 4 1
 68 votes??? good competition! so excited when i saw the link pop up! can't wait till next years!!!
  • 1 0
 main reason gobie shot epic. look where he took off, and look at that landing. gonna slam that hard. sending it with like 6 layers of mtns all shaded oh so nicely. i see no reason why this didnt win. chairlift shot brings good feelings. but not as sick as it would be to be that high comin down that hard in the middle of butt fuk gobie desert
  • 7 1
 in my opinion the second shoot is definitly better then photo on gobi desert
  • 7 1
 I like how a pro specialized rider shot with a photog, and the photog won a specialized bike. kind of cute.
  • 3 0
 Sawweeeet! Thanks everybody for all the votes, wow, such a tight contest, so many great shots, congrats to everybody, every shot that was chosen to be in this is a nugg in it's own right.. You hit the nail on the head Ian, about my gear and how I came to be in the Gobi to have the opportunity to take this shot, running by the seat of my pants, so stoked this shot made it so far!. Cheers folks, RIDE ON!
  • 7 2
 FINALLY! Props to both photographers. Both pics are truly awesome and either one could have easily had POY.
  • 2 1
 Along with plenty others that didn't seem to even make it to the shortlist. Oh well, you can't please everyone i guess.

One thing though, is Bearclaw coming towards us or going away from us? I can't tell and whilst irrelevant, it's annoying me.
  • 1 1
 I think he's coming towards us.
  • 2 0
 Regardless of the fact that the other photo was better, the photo of the year for a mountain biking website needs to feature someone actually riding a bicycle, and so I'm glad this one won. As a standalone piece of photography, I'd much rather have a framed print of the chairlift image on my wall, but that's not what this is really about (or so I'd like to think anyway).
  • 2 0
 Quote -> IanHylands
And for all those talking about John being a big time pro you need to learn a little about what you're talking about. The last time I saw John (Crankworx this summer) he was shooting with pretty old beat up gear, and while he may be a "pro" he's hardly what I would call big time. He needs that gear just as much as anyone else. Probably more so because he's a pro, it's not a high paying job... If you look at the metadata for this shot it was taken with a Nikon D300, not even a newer D300s but a plain old D300. That's a borderline consumer camera that's more than 3 years old... End quote.

MEGA PROPS TO JOHN! I'm sure Grzegorz is more than happy with coming second place to a great shot like that. If anything its given him confidence to carry on and take even better shots! John deserves the prize just as much as anyone else and people should stop being so jealous!
  • 2 0
 almost 300,000 votes, but the victory margin was only 68, naturally you are going to see quite a few people (almost 150,000) that don't agree with the winner, but by majority vote, we have our pinkbike picture of the year. It's definitely a rad shot. I like all the photos that entered frankly. Could make a calender out of the top 12 or something. Radness.
  • 1 0
 Both of the final pics were at sometime wallpaper on my PC. To see both of these coming down to head to head was tough enough. Congrats to evryone who send in POD- it is one of the things that makes me check out PB everyday. Keep up the great work you shutter bugs !
  • 2 1
 I think it's funny how many people are claiming there were so many better shots, yet the fact that these two made it this far meant that on the whole people disagreed with you.

Props to both guys, I'd be stoked to have either photo in my portfolio (though more stoked to have the 2nd since it would have meant I won a sick bike...)
  • 1 0
 There were a ton of better shots that were forgotten about from earlier in the year and others that were posted after the contest had started.
  • 2 0
 There were a ton of better shots that didn't make the cut because of how they were initially paired. Two amazing shots would be competing againts two terrible shots - the net result is losing a good photo and pushing ahead something lesser. As far as I can tell, whoever chooses the pairings decides the winner. If it's randomly chosen, so much the worse. Booo.
  • 2 0
 Well the method should work fine to chose the overall best of the finalists but the 2nd and third places may not be quite right. Either way it doesn't change the fact that the competition doesn't seem to represent the full years worth of photos. It seems a little odd that it just so happens that nearly all of the photos were from the last quarter. that's why I think there are other better photos that could have made the shortlist but its just for the fact that they were forgotten about as they were a bit older.
  • 4 1
 I think the chairlift should have won. It shows the freeride communtity much better than the other picture. They are both good though so props to both photographers.
  • 3 1
 It is funny that in the winning photo is a sponsored Specialized rider and this contest was sponsored by Specialized. Still an awesome photo though as were all the runner ups.
  • 1 0
 My vote was for chairlift. Just to proof that mtb is not just a beautiful scenery and extreme stunts. Other photo is great too, but there's no emotional thing in it... which is a must in both - photography and mtb. And i believe new Specialized Demo ir really rare in Poland, so why not to promote biking even more in such countries?
  • 2 1
 What a drag. The Sunset picture?? So boring, so obvious, so unexciting, so corny. I am deeply dissappointed. The aim of taking the picture #1 was to take a picture that will have a chance of being the POY - cold, deliberate, calculated action. The picture #2 just happened - that is why it is truly beautiful,... indeed it is.
  • 2 0
 The POV shot that appeared like a chest mount was also shot solely as an entrance for POY. I don't think it's a bad thing- if you have a clear concept in your mind that you believe is worthy of entering POY then you want it to be perfect. With photography everything is calculated- composition, light, depth of field etc etc- if people were just going out with their cameras on Auto and just hoping to get something good then the photos in this contest wouldn't be anywhere near as good as they are. Ok I admit that some candid shots work brilliantly, but there are times when it takes a really clever and inspired mind to control so many variables and produce a results like this.
  • 1 0
 Actually the chest mount shot was shot for the Deep Summer Photo Challenge at Whistler, we hadn't even announced this contest at that time. And the aim of John when he shot the winning photo was probably to shoot a beautiful photo. Again the contest didn't even exist when he shot it...
  • 1 0
 I stand corrected- I recalled reading about it and got the wrong competition. The rest of my comment I stand by.
  • 1 0
 Yet, the so called process of production is by far so less natural, and I dare to say less graceful, than the act of taking a photograph off the cuff.
  • 1 0
 Whatever, I am bored of this conversation now. Gees the thought of going out for a drink with Hylands- probably end up being the dullest night of your life.
  • 1 0
 dear john due to the fact that you are a professionall photographer and travell alot taking awesome photos such as this one. would you like to invest your bike in me? as i would use it often and to its full potential

many thanks

a jelous 18 year old.

I WANT YOUR BIKE!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Amazing shot!!! It shows something beyond what we love to do (MTB)... it shows the feeling of being in nature and enjoying the epic places we ride our bikes!!!

PROPS to the photographer!!!! You got my vote mate!!! Enjoy your new bike and give us more of this shots in the future!!!
  • 1 0
 The thing I didn't like about this contest was that it was heads up. So in the initial round there were two photos against each other that I didn't like, but I had to promote one of them (for lack of a better word). On the flipside, there were two photos i really liked and I had to chose against one of them. Both of them I would've picked over the aforementioned pair. shrug. that's how the contest was created so no arguing. BUT, if i were making up the rules (which i didn't Smile ) I would said, here's 32 photos, pick 16 that you like. Out of the top 16 vote getters, choose 8, then 4, then 2, then 1. I think the heads up format didn't allow me to pick the photos that I thought were the best of the year. In the end, the final two were both in my top 16 from the initial round. Smile
  • 8 3
 #2 was better
  • 6 2
 That's right, buddy. Perhaps someone tampered with the results.
  • 1 4
 Dissidents within the enemies forces were influenced to defect, sabotage implemented in various counterintelligence subversions informed operatives of the domestic secretive trade-craft to over throw Pic #2 here at the industrial Technology mountain bike summit. It work. Specialized Team riders gained ground by protecting falsified documents then influencing the size and strength of institutional efforts surrounding the mysterious voting procedures conducted under candlelight just 2 nights ago. Unauthorized Collectives are spinning PinkBike… insurgent spies were sent in to clean up remaining defective voters, creating domestic secretive unrest that resulted in the over turning of the original vote count.

Now Now..!

#1 is clearly the WINNER...!!!
  • 1 0
 Someone swallow a thesaurus??? That's one bad case of verbal diarrhoea!!
  • 1 0
 Status Bro, Gotts to keep up my image....!!!!
  • 2 1
 Chairlift was much better IMO. It had detail, relied less on scenery, and invoked feelings. This photo is beautiful but looks over-edited and almost cartoon like with no detail. Not enough focus on the rider.
  • 13 9
 dissapointing. the other photo is so much more intresting to look at
  • 6 2
 Great photo, Deserves photo of the year for sure.
  • 5 1
 Never scrolled down so quickly in my life!
  • 6 5
 i dont feel like this picture shouldve won. its such a cliche picture. theres hundreds of them out there on the web. the other picture had more sole, but more importantly it was original. my two cents
  • 19 2
 You based your vote solely on the fact that the 2nd pic showed more shoe bottoms? Damn.
  • 4 1
 Oh wow, now that's funny! Spelling is important kiddies!
  • 1 1
 Definitively two amazing photos. It was a tough decision between these two, but in the end I chose the Gobi shot.
These two deserve a giant version of them in my living room

P.S: With all of these great photos, a poster service on the online shop could be a really nice thing. What do you think Pinkbike?
  • 1 0
 Hell yah! i would love a poster sized print. I'm gonna have to talk to John...
  • 1 0
 Great idea, let me look into it...
  • 1 1
 Personally, I enjoyed second place more, but this also sick !! congrats to everyone that got their photos in the top 32 and thanks for capturing those amazing photos! They would make a great calendar "cough cough...pb calendar 2013....cough cough"
  • 4 2
 Pinkbike's "POY" is a joke. This photo is great but there were a handful of other ones I liked so much better that I would have had them tattooed on my butt.
  • 1 0
 Disappointed with the pinkbike head to head voting system. A lot of worse shots got through and better shots eliminated way too early... that said the winning photo is still sick.
  • 1 0
 LAMEEEBig Grin Sorry I prefered the chairlift, sure other dude was riding, but the chairlift is in the pump up calming experiance getting ready for the hill. Plus chairlift looks cooler, lol oh well congrats on the winner!:P
  • 1 0
 a great and deserving photo. Would like to see the voting system restructured next year though cus there were some epic shots eliminated in the earlier rounds that i think should of gone waaay further.
  • 4 0
 No chyba was pojebało.
  • 3 1
 My christmass is ruiend now....no gifts from pinkbike. booooooooooooooooooooo
  • 3 2
 if there was a rider coming out of the fog actually riding a bike at the bottom of the right pic it would've won, it only lost because there wasn't actually anyone riding
  • 3 2
 The True winner. Going somewhere incredible and taking an amazing picture. This isn't about the underdog or the local boy, this is the best picture. The best picture won.
  • 6 4
 People have terrible taste on this site. This picture has no detail or soul.
  • 1 0
 dear pinkbike not beaking the picture its cool and all but there are plenty photos on here that are more worthy of poy then this one
  • 5 3
 I love this photo... good job!!!
  • 1 1
 YES! i'm so glad this won
  • 3 1
 the other pic should have won so much more dept in it
  • 2 0
 both are amazing pictures.
  • 2 0
 omg Smile
0.5% to win Big Grin poland rulez Razz
  • 1 0
 So many oppinions supporting the photo of chairlift. Well, it's a nice photo. But is mountainbiking about riding chairlifts?
  • 4 2
 Deserved winner, sick shot!
  • 2 1
 Nice! i was waiting and waiting after they said they would post it the next day! congrats John enjoy the new bike!
  • 3 2
 congrats John! Epic photography in its own right. No point and shoot here! Awesome!
  • 3 1
 winner winner, chicken dinner
  • 2 1
 congrats on winning! i voted for the chairlift but this is an amazing shot nonetheless!
  • 2 2
 I think next year there should be different categories, like dirt jumping, scenic, non-riding, racing and so on. And then pick 1 overall winner out of the category winners.
  • 2 1
 I liked all the photos in the competition.. but I'm glad that a riding photo won ..and you can't say it wasn't close
  • 2 1
 Both are pretty sweet photos but im stoked the winners pic was actually riding a bike. Looks like a mammoth jump!!!
  • 2 0
 good photo, but not happy with the winning choice.
  • 1 2
 I closed my eyes and jetted down the page. Haaaa..... Satisfaction... !! A WINNER... John wins a Complete 2012 Specialized Demo.. Im Jealous..... SO coool... Best pic...
  • 1 0
 Congratulations john, and all who took part, a lot of great photos in this comp!
  • 1 1
 Damn, my name is John and I guess I am not a winner.....LOL. well more than half of the photos I picked lost. Man I am such a Loser. hahahahaha
  • 2 0
 Good choice, i'm happy, riding wins! (and i've lost vs the winner)
  • 2 0
 I'm very dissapointed. Frown ((
  • 1 0
 Is there any way we can get a big version of either of these (Pref chairlift Wink ) so and that we could get them printed?
  • 1 0
 i am very upset with the result. i know i will not change anything. just saying
  • 1 0
 They should sell those things on Canvas ! I wouldnt mind finding that under the x mas tree....
  • 2 0
 In my opinion 2nd foto is better! Smile
  • 2 0
 love em both! congrats John!
  • 2 4
 Please, tell me is it a joke? I likie both photos ( ofc secound one more because of Polish roots ) but what the hell is wrong with the PinkBike owners? Announcing the winner three days after the end of the competition? And people could still vote during those days? Its not a fair play in my meaning.

Congratulations to John but next year please take a part in World Press Photo instead of POY.

Grzegorz have fun with all of prizes from your road to the finals.
  • 3 0
 Voting was closed on Saturday December 9th at 3PM, not sure where you got the idea that people could still vote after that? And yes it did take 3 days to properly assess the voting. The computer database gives us an exact number in a matter of seconds, but with only 68 votes separating the two images we took a lot of care in assessing each of thousands of votes to make sure that people weren't creating fake accounts to vote more than once. I'm sure you can appreciate how long that took. We could have announced an unofficial winner immediately after the voting closed, but how would it look if after 3 days of checking votes it turned out differently? Three days is actually a very short period of time for a contest winner to be announced, there are many photo contests that take weeks before announcing a winner. I'm not an owner of Pinkbike, but I do know how things were done, and as it was I didn't even know who had officially won until yesterday. I can't think of a better way to do it...
  • 1 0
 Epic location, but sorry this shot reminds me of a 70's cheesy velvet painting.
  • 1 0
 Aaaaaw, I wish I had voted for the winning picture.... So I could be vote #69
  • 1 0
 Both are great...but I prefer second one - it`s only my private opinion.

zdravim P.
  • 6 5
 now can everyone be satisfied?
  • 24 3
 ya this was not my personal favorite
  • 4 0
 Isn't it funny that the bike in the photo is a demo
  • 16 1
 i think that everyone on pinkbike should get a prize
  • 5 1
 It was such a difficult choice but i like this one, its awesome, I'm personally satisfied..i loved the other picture too but democracy did its job though..cheers!
  • 2 3
 so what does second get? 1st gets a demo plus everything else.... and second gets what the top 4 got, but theres nothing special for second.... just saying. Congrats everybody and good pic John. Maybe that sick whistler scrub will win something else.... that was my pic.
  • 4 2
 sick! such a good photo
  • 2 1
 Cool pic can you buy the print anywhere?
  • 2 1
 Congrats to both....the chairlift has been on my desk top since its debut.
  • 1 0
 My wife just told me she went to School with John, crazy small world.
  • 3 2
 Photoshop wins.
PB, Is this a joke?
  • 2 0
 Everyone says that the winner uses photoshop, i think he didn't know anything about photography and light... or he haven't see a good sunset in his entire life...
  • 1 0
 Congats man. It is an awesome photo...
  • 5 4
 I liked the other one but whatever its still a sick ass pick
  • 4 2
 Good.
  • 3 2
 both are winners, love them both!
  • 3 1
 Both outstanding shots
  • 5 4
 Disappoint. #2 was such a better picture, much more depth to it.
  • 2 2
 I think the other one was a better picture but this one deserves to win because it has riding in it.
  • 2 1
 I demand a recount. But not in the state of florida.
  • 2 2
 I dont like the photo ... sorry but there were much more wicked shots...... bit disappointed this year.
  • 1 1
 I think they work good as a series, just one pic missing with blue-ish colours.
  • 2 1
 bout time.... the one I wanted didnt even win ... maybe next year
  • 4 3
 The winning photo is a real piece of art! congrats to both
  • 2 1
 My pic went out in the first round. I'd like to see the Judges' finalists.
  • 1 1
 Chairlift pic has been my background for months now. Epic shot but the other is pretty amazing too.
  • 1 1
 Whats he going to do with that 66 now that he rides a demo? Hmmm... I do need a new fork for my AM rig..
  • 1 1
 Great job on POY it was pretty close and wasn't easy for me to chose who to vote for.
  • 1 0
 Both pics are great!! Congrats to the winner!!
  • 1 0
 BIG congrats John! Nice work!
  • 3 1
 BULLSH*T !
  • 1 0
 IMO this should have been POY Razz

www.pinkbike.com/photo/7186594
  • 1 0
 I laughed at the shot almost as much as your username! Class mate
  • 1 0
 very disagree with this picture Chairlift!
  • 1 0
 Will these pics be available as posters now?
  • 1 0
 ITS ABOUT TIME IT WAS ANNOUNCED! >Blank Stare it was a good match for sure
  • 2 2
 Man that's a shocker i was rooting for the other one Frown
  • 2 2
 Congrats John that is a sweet photo!!
  • 1 1
 Now that this is over lets start the VOY compitition
  • 1 2
 NEWS!! It was rigged, The real winner was the chair lift, there was a delay so they could allow more votes for this pic!!
  • 1 0
 John....beautiful!
  • 1 1
 Real photography 1 - 0 Photoshop! ;-)
  • 1 0
 Не не катит.
  • 1 0
 pff
  • 4 3
 AWESOME PIC
  • 7 6
 fail
  • 4 3
 Congratulations John!
  • 3 3
 Both shots were nice. Very moody. The winning one was better, IMO.
  • 2 3
 Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa John Williams lake boys always come out on top!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 1
 Definitely the right call.
  • 1 1
 Congrats man that is an awesome shot!
  • 1 1
 Congrats John! Have fun with the prizes!
  • 1 1
 yeah john buddy sick photo you finally got a dh bike yaya
  • 1 1
 So happy with the winner !
  • 1 1
 Chairlift Gould have won :/
  • 1 0
 Congrats!
  • 1 1
 disappointing. i think the top comment speaks for itself.
  • 1 2
 Holy crap he just won a 2012 Demo. lucky
  • 3 3
 Awesome
  • 1 1
 finnaly aboot time
  • 2 3
 Thank God I have a dual screen. Awesome WallpaperS.
  • 1 1
 Hell yeah!!!!!
  • 1 1
 Utter fucking wank
  • 1 1
 ghtfrdhg
  • 1 1
 gay
  • 1 3
 sick as fuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!
  • 3 4
 fuuuuuuckk
  • 5 8
 anyone with an iphone and instagram couldve taken the chairlift photo. im surprised it made it past the first couple rounds
  • 2 5
 Congrats to the winner, reminds me of a shirt
www.ridesfo.com/servlet/the-358/rideSFO-Freerider-Red-Red/Detail
  • 1 4
 Amazing photo!How he did it?
  • 7 2
 £3000 worth of Nikon and lens, and the opportunity to travel to the Gobi with a pro rider...
  • 1 1
 agree with batesie
  • 2 0
 That's probably about right. Although that's not a lot of money for camera gear, a pro DSLR body costs more than that without any lenses. John shot this with a three year old consumer DSLR and a nice lens, proof that you don't need the most expensive camera to take a great shot. The opportunity to travel to the Gobi desert with a pro rider is a big part, but he earned that opportunity by taking amazing photos and being invited. There are a great many photographers that could go to the Gobi with Berrecloth and not come back with anything like this, probably myself included.
  • 1 0
 We local guys really like the photo,it's very nice.We will follow U in the next year.May I ask when will you show us the video "where the trail ends".Can't wait for that...
  • 3 5
 Solid work John!
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