Whistler's own Blake Jorgenson won the Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown Thursday night during the resort's TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival. He was up against tough competition including photographers Re Wikstrom, Bryn Hughes, Russell Dalby, Steve Lloyd and Mike Yoshida. Hughes won the People's Choice Award.
The Pro Photo Showdown was established in 1998 as a platform for the world's best action sports photographers to showcase the best work that spans a career. "It's about the still image and how you use that image to create a show of your life's work, set to music," explained TWSSF Multimedia Event Producer Lilli Clark.
This year saw 45 submissions from across the globe, including a show from the event's first female finalist, Wikstrom. Five judges, all renowned in various sectors of the action sports industry, made their determination based on overall impression of each of the five finalist's shows. This year's judges included Whistler-based author Leslie Anthony, surf photographer Aaron Chang, Paul Morrison, Eric Berger and Dylan Doubt.
"Everyone was really pleased with the caliber of the photos and photographers. There was a lot of excitement to see Bryn take People's Choice, and Blake always blows everyone away with his photos. He was on point with every image," said TWSSF Communications Manager Jess Smith.
Jorgenson, who has lived in Whistler for 18 years and co-owns a gallery of his namesake in Whistler Village, first won this same contest 10 years ago. "I'm totally stunned and inspired," Jorgenson said upon accepting his $10,000 check. "There is just so much creativity bursting out of Whistler right now."
The five, nine-minute photo slideshows were shown to a sold-out crowd at Whistler's Conference Centre.
We spoke to Jorgenson a few months ago about his Whistler photo gallery, his photographic inspirations and what's in his camera pack. You can check out that Q&A with him and images from his award-winning collection.