Deep Summer wildcard entry open 

Crankworx announces photo, video competitors

click to enlarge KIKE ABELLEIRA - A large group gathered on the lawn at Whistler Olympic Plaza last August to take in the Deep Summer Photo Challenge as part of Crankworx.
  • Kike Abelleira
  • A large group gathered on the lawn at Whistler Olympic Plaza last August to take in the Deep Summer Photo Challenge as part of Crankworx.

Last year, a whopping 5,000 people packed the lawn at Whistler Olympic Plaza for the Deep Summer Photo Challenge.

Heading into its 11th year, the event has become a major part of Crankworx's offerings. "Now that we're in our 11th year, (photographers) really have to bring something new to the table," says Jennifer Smith, who organizes both Dirt Diaries and Deep Summer. "Storyline has become a big focus. It's also become a big focus in content creation too. It's important they can put together a show."

While the mountain bike festival might still be a couple months away, organizers are now accepting submissions for Deep Summer's "Wildcard" entry.

Five professional photographers have been selected to spend three days shooting a team shredding on their mountain bikes in the Sea to Sky corridor (that's a change from previous years when images had to be from Whistler Valley) and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park and turn in a three-to-five minute slideshow. However, the wildcard photographer—who makes up the sixth competitor—is chosen a little differently.

To earn that position, photographers submit three images to a panel of judges who will select five finalists. Their photos will then be posted on Pinkbike for readers to vote on their favourite.

"The people who do shine in that are obviously seasoned photographers," Smith says. "That said, one of the wildcard people last year was 18. His work was pretty phenomenal. One big change over the years is the level of work that comes from even a high school student is markedly different. They have photo labs and digital photo labs in high school. They've got skills coming right from an early age."

The contest is open to photographers anywhere, but often those in the Sea to Sky have an advantage when it comes to voting. "There is a little bit of Sea-to-Sky bias," says Smith. "There's an element of popularity, but part of being a great content producer and professional photographer is being able to market yourself and being a player in that social space."

Meanwhile, the professional photographers already invited to compete include Katie Lozancich, Peter Jamison, Michael Overbeck, Cassandra Prochera, and Jim Topliss.

The overall winner with the best resulting slideshow—which will be on display at the event on Aug. 13—will win $5,000.

As for the selected competitors, Smith says organizers aimed to represent a range of talent. "We really focus on bringing more women into Crankworx and being as equal as possible in that brand," Smith says. "It's really important the creative industry be reflective as well. We're out specifically looking for women, and I also looked for an age range. There is unique talent coming from young people and also unique story lines you can only truly understand if you've been riding for decades."

Dirt Diaries, which will screen mountain bike "diary" films, is set to take place on Aug. 14 at Whistler Olympic Plaza. This year's competitors vying for the $5,000 first-place prize, second $3,000 prize, and third $2,000 prize include Damien Vergez, Paul Cain, Anne Cleary, Max Sauerbrey, Michael Sousa, and Tom Wilson.

The deadline to submit a wildcard entry for Deep Summer is June 15. Voting for the best entry out of five will take place from June 25 to July 5 with the winner announced on July 9. For more information or to enter visit www.pinkbike.com/contest/deepsummer/.

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