For years, the Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown at the Whistler Ski and Snowboard Festival has been considered the pinnacle of action sports photography around the world and last night was no exception. With this being the 20th anniversary of the Showdown, the organizers and selection committee changed things up this year: instead of an open call for submissions, they handpicked 5 of the most talented action sports photographers from around the world. Competing this year were Reuben Krabbe from Whistler, Mathias Fredrickson from Sweden, Brian Gaberman and Todd Glaser from the US and Lorenz Holder from Germany. The sold out crowd was treated to the best show in recent memory as the 5 photographers had decades of experience they poured into their 9 minute shows. In the end, ski and mountain bike photographer and hometown local, Rueben Krabbe took home the people’s choice while snowboard photographer Lorenz Holder took home first place. It was Holder’s first time at the festival and even first time in Canada and has been blown away by the whole experience.
“I just arrived arrived yesterday and I already think Canada is one of my favourite places in the world. This festival (WSSF) is amazing, I checked out the 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown last night and all the work those crews put in within 3 days was amazing. And then tonight was so unbelievable. It’s so hard to judge your own work when you’re putting together your show and looking at the images over and over again. But then you come here and you see 4 other shows that are totally mindblowing. I really think in this 2 hour show we saw the most incredible photography in action sports on the whole planet. I’ve been to Red Bull Illume and it also showcases photography at an incredibly high level, but for the most part photographers only have a single image, maybe 2 or 3 at the most. Here you need a 9 minute show which you can either make super boring or have a show that people don’t even realize how much time has past. My main goal was to make a show that didn’t have people checking their watches around 5 minutes wondering when it would be over. I tried to keep it entertaining which is why i used 5 different songs to give different section in the show different moods.”
Check out the gallery below for a few images from Holder’s show.