Fri. Apr 17, 2015

To no one’s surprise, the heavy-hitting line up of sharp shooters invited to the OLYMPUS Pro Photographer produced slide shows that did nothing short of knocking the socks off the packed crowd.

The first photographer to brave the crowd and the judges was San Diego based surf photog, Todd Glaser.  To a crowd who mainly buries their heads in ski and bike photography, the glassy shots from Glaser were an exotic breathe of fresh air.  Highlighting his travels between stunning surf destinations like Tahiti and Europe, Glaser’s shots took the crowd through barrels, deep into the ocean and made us all want to take a stab at the surf-life, or at least go somewhere hot.  Props to this guy for putting his work on the line in front of a (likely) terrifying and foreign crowd, we salute you!

Next up on the chopping block, Whistler’s hometown boy, bike and ski photographer Reuben Krabbe. With no lack of support from the crowd, Rueben stunned the room with his skill, whether nailing ski shots beneath the northern lights of capturing the perfect moment of a skier beneath a solar eclipse (literally breathtaking!). Rueben has been dreaming about this event for years and it was clear that he put his heart and soul into not only his work, but his slideshow presentation.  The hoots and hollers from his shots made it clear that Reuben would go on to take him the People’s Choice award at the end of the night.

Tentative to take the stage after Reuben’s show was Brian Gaberman, a skateboard photographer based in Northern California.  This show was a personal favorite of mine, not only for his stunning action shots but for the interesting way his slideshow combined skateboarding and fine art photography.  Brian pieced his show together in a way that was thought provoking and different, and very very cool! The crowd got a little quieter during this one (until the huge cheers at the end), but this had nothing to do with the photos which were stunning in every way.  I think it’s because we were seeing something different than what we see in everyday action sports photography. Thanks Brian Gaberman, for opening our eyes to something new!

Mattias Fredriksson couldn’t make it out to Whistler, but showed up on the big screen all the way from his home in Sweden to introduce his slideshow.  Mattias is one of the most published and experienced photographers in the ski and bike industries and this definitely showed during his slideshow.  Mattias featured shots from all over the world, from Whistler to Sweden to Japan, and they were ALL perfect.  With back to back cover shots to blow the mind of the judge and the crowd, Mattais’s show was everything we would expect from a legend like himself, and then some.

Last up to grace the stage was German snowboard photographer Lorenz Holder.  The warm welcome from the crowd (this was Lorenz’s first time to Canada!), became even warmer when Holder’s photos started to grace the screen. Each photo topped the next and when it didn’t even seem possible to get better it would.  Lorenz’s style and stunning use of light and different angles than we are normally used to, made one of the most stunning and well put together shows (in my humble opinion) to grace the Pro Photo screens in recent memory.  This being said, after much deliberation from the judges (because all of the shows were literally amazing), it was Lorenz who took home “Best In Show” and pocketed the $10,000. Not a bad first trip to Canada!

Once again, the OLYMPUS Pro Photographer Showdown was a stunning show. If you weren’t there, remember this next year, and DON’T MISS IT!