Justin Olsen - Ten Shots from 2012

Apr 16, 2013 at 11:08
by Justin Olsen  
Here we are, on the brink of the 2013 North America bike season. It's about time right? Snow is melting, trails are drying, bikes are being tuned up, and interweb comment boards are firing. If you are anything like me, you're probably chubbin' out already to get out and ride. Before we take this thing to full mast however, lets take a quick look back at last season. Foreplay is good play right? Okay okay lets not take this metaphor any further... bunch of perverts.

Every year, I take literally thousands and thousands of photos, most of which never see the light of day. I am sure most action sports photographers can attest to this and have had similar experiences. Because of this, many of the best photos never get seen by anyone, and are doomed to be tucked away on some hard drive and eventually forgotten about. It can be very frustrating, because we photographers can get pretty attached to certain photos, and hate to see them left behind.

So here are 10 of my favorite photos from 2012 to get you all hot and bothered. They are in no particular order. Some of them have been seen elsewhere. Most of them have not. I hope you like them, because for one reason or another I am pretty attached to them...



The McKenzie River trail has been listed over and over in top 10 must ride lists. There is a very good reason for that. However when we rode it we did not see a single person anywhere on it. Weird...
   This shot of Billy Lewis was taken in April, while I was on the road in Oregon shooting with the Diamondback Team. First photo trip of the year. The McKenzie River trail has been listed over and over on numerous Top 10 lists and there is obviously good reason for that. However, when we rode it we did not see a single person anywhere on it. Weird.

This step up was built and shot for Where The Trail Ends but I don t think any of this footage made the final version of the film. This photo was taken the first time Tyler hit this jump. Pretty styling for just warming up
  I got the call to shoot with Freeride Entertainment while they were in Utah filming for Where the Trail Ends. This shot was taken in May, on their third trip to Utah. When I got down there they had already been in this zone for over a week building stuff, and waiting for the weather conditions to be just right. Lots of wind down here in the spring. This photo was taken the first time Tyler McCaul hit this jump. Pretty styling for "just warming up."

Sam Pilgrim stopping the DJ mid spin with a neon super flip... Teva Mountain Games 2012 Best Trick Contest
  Just a few days later I made it to Vail for the Teva Mountain Games. Teva always puts on a good show at the games and there is always a good vibe in Vail. After winning the slopestyle event, Sam Pilgrim had a heavy session on the best trick jump. Here he is flashing some neon and stopping the DJ mid-spin with a super flip.

You don t need to see his face. You should be able to tell who this is just by looking at these pants... Cody Gessel Teva Mountain Games 2012
  The Dual Stunt event at Teva got a little delayed because of heavy rain storms, but the weather made for some great clouds! You should be able to tell who this is just by looking at those pants, you don't need to see his his face right? Crowd pleaser Cody Gessel wasn't bothered by the weather at all. Maybe it's the pants.

Spring Riding in Post Canyon is unbelievable. If you haven t been there yet do yourself a favor and make the trip. It is well worth it. Billy Lewis knows.
  If you have been to Post Canyon in Hood River Oregon, and have ridden this trail, you probably know that this feature is really not that big. It is pretty intimidating jumping from wood to wood though, especially if you have never done it, but this is one of the smaller jumps in Post. What does that have to do with making a photograph? In my opinion, not very much. When you are shooting someone with as much style as Billy Lewis, everything looks good.

I am pretty sure I have never seen Brett Rheeder miss a tail whip.. almost positive actually. Colorado Freeride Fest 2012 Winter Park
  I am pretty sure I have never seen Brett Rheeder miss a tail whip... almost positive actually. Now I don't want to jinx him, but I am pretty sure he tail whips like the rest of us coast downhill. With great ease. This shot was from the Colorado Freeride Festival in Winter Park. July 2012.

Sam Dueck gives the lady fans what they want. Flip Whip. Don t be a pussy. Colorado Freeride Fest 2012 Winter Park
  Another one from the Colorado Freeride Festival in Winter Park. The lady fans know what they want and Sam Dueck delivers. Flip Whip. Don't be a pussy.

A bike park in Utah Yes. Finally. Eric Porter making laps on Rally Cat at Canyons Resort Park City Utah.
  Wait a minute, there is a bike park in Utah? Yes. Finally. Eric Porter making late summer evening laps on Rally Cat at Canyons Resort, Park City, Utah.

Rampage Realization. Brett Rheeder dropping into his first ever Rampage competition line. First drop Qualifying Day Red Bull Rampage.
  My first time photographing Red Bull Rampage was in 2003. A lot has changed since then, but one thing has stayed the same. Fear and realization. The Utah desert is one place that you can see the fear in almost every rider's eyes at one point or another. Especially the Rampage first timers. For those of us lucky enough to be around these guys throughout the season, and see them at different events, this can be shocking. I know it has given me a knot in my stomach more than once. Brett Rheeder drops into his first ever Rampage competition line and overcomes it. Qualifying Day, Red Bull Rampage 2012.

Over the last 10 years Rampage has progressed far beyond what the original riders builders and organizers ever thought was possible. This year the limit was pushed beyond reason once again. This was without a doubt the biggest hit of the event. Brandon Semenuk Top to Drop Red Bull Rampage 2012.
  Over the last ten years, Rampage has prgressed far beyond what the original riders, builders, and organizers ever thought was possible. In 2012 the limit was pushed beond reason once again. This was without a doubt the biggest hit of the event. Brandon Semenuk, Top to Drop, Red Bull Rampage 2012.



Thanks to all of the athletes/companies/and media outlets I was able to work with in 2012, and to Pinkbike for posting up these images!
If you would like to see more of my work feel free to check out my new website www.justinolsen.com or keep up with me on Twitter/Instagram @justinolsen

Bring on 2013!

Author Info:
justinolsen avatar

Member since Apr 25, 2011
20 articles

38 Comments
  • 123 2
 Wonder if that bloke caught anything fishing that day In the last shot?
  • 39 3
 maybe that's a boxing glove on a stick, and he tried to punch semenuk mid-flight?
  • 10 0
 There were quite a bit of drunk people out there this past year, but that guy takes the cake!
  • 5 0
 Haha true though
  • 3 0
 Look up Christian Pondella before you pass judgement on your "drunk guy"
  • 10 0
 haha, @davetrump, we pretty much all know and respect Christian as a kick ass photographer, just like we know you and Justin are as well. It's just fun to revert to 12 year old maturity and think people would take a long fishing pole and dangle it over the head of Semenuk as he does one of the most aesthetic gaps in rampage history when in reality, he's really just getting one of the sickest shots of his career...
  • 20 11
 Norbs got robbed
  • 6 1
 i knew someone was gonna say that
  • 5 1
 No, the guy with the pole got robbed. Went in for some trout, came out with Semenuk.
  • 1 0
 I'm gonna make a fishing pole mount for my Go-pro and take photos like that^^^!
  • 1 1
 Sorry, duplicate comment. Dumb internet explorer.
  • 3 0
 @dirtworks911 I'm guessing a fishing pole would be too wimpy, try a golf ball retriever pole? Looks like that's what he's using as well
  • 1 0
 If you guys think the drunk guy with the fishing pole is crazy look at the guy on the right hanging off the cliff.
  • 1 0
 Hey Brandon, wanna high five?
  • 19 0
 Amazing perspective on Brandon's step down... Great shots all around Justin
  • 8 1
 That Flip whip poster is awesome
  • 4 0
 Justin Olsen is one swell guy!
  • 3 0
 i was there on Rally Cat the same day of the shoot.
  • 4 0
 Rally Cat! Woot woot!
  • 3 0
 It's always cool to see a feature on PB that you've done yourself Smile
  • 2 0
 These shots are all going to be on my desk top. Which one first....... Semenuk!
  • 1 0
 Why does that girl with the orange poster not want him to be a cat I'm confused..
  • 3 0
 awesome shots Justin!
  • 1 0
 One word.........prgressed.
  • 1 0
 Brandon Semenuk for the win!
  • 1 0
 Most awesome sport in the world!
  • 1 0
 he must be riding a Trek Session...
  • 1 0
 That Semenuk drop was far away the best hit at rampage
  • 7 7
 About that last pic..... Norbs got Robbed!!!
  • 7 0
 Am I ever sick of seeing this. ^
  • 8 1
 our industry is ready for a new inside joke. any time now it will happen. i hope.
  • 3 0
 I hope Norbs won't be affected this time! Rampage judges, please pick someone else!!! Leave Norbs alone!!! He is a nice guy!!!
  • 1 0
 Bangers!!
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