Working on just hours of sleep, Roberts Creek’s Nicolas Teichrob knew he would have to bring his A-Game to get all the shots he wanted on the final day of this year’s Deep Summer Photo Challenge.
And boy, did he bring it.
Teichrob, who took home the win and $5,000 in prize money at last Wednesday’s (Aug. 14) showcase, battled it out against five of the industry’s best photographers who were given just three days to shoot, compile and edit a winning slideshow that captured a variety of mountain biking action across the Sea to Sky.
The Whistler Blackcomb-organized contest, now in its sixth year, is widely considered the top photography exhibition in the sport, and with this year’s lineup featuring some of the most accomplished sports-action shooters in the world, Teichrob knew he would be up against some stiff competition.
“Everyone had stuff that I was really impressed with. I was lucky to (present my slideshow) in the last position, so every show that would go by I would watch and be like ‘Oh geez. That’s going to be tough (to beat),’” he said. “I liked my show a lot, so I was hoping that I’d win. I don’t want to sound egotistical, but I was hoping I’d win, and it worked out.”
Teichrob is no stranger to Deep Summer, having come in second in 2010, and said he was happy to return to the contest this year with such a strong field. Made up of Washington State’s Garret Grove, who placed second; Revelstoke shooter Bruno Long; wildcard entry Duncan Philpott of England; outdoor sports photography icon Scott Markewitz out of Salt Lake City and North Van’s Haruki Noguchi, the final slideshows were as diverse as they were crowd-pleasing.
This year’s winner said he wanted his slideshow “to outline the many different ways that mountain biking can remove you from your regular life” and highlighted everything from high-octane freeriding to the more serene all-mountain backcountry experience. He also camped out overnight with his team of riders before the final day of the shoot, and took advantage of the opportunity to engage in some night shots using a “green colour light method” that created an abstract, ethereal effect.
“We put ourselves in some environments where we hoped for new things to show up, new shot ideas or whatnot, and it happened,” said Teichrob.
A first for this year’s challenge was the expanded boundaries, meaning photographers were free to shoot not only in Whistler and its legendary mountain bike park, but in Squamish and Pemeberton as well. Noguchi, who placed third, created his slideshow around the theme of a road trip, and made sure to hit hard-to-reach terrain all over the Sea to Sky.
“We decided to make (the theme) about a road trip because it’s common for people to ride Squamish, Whistler and Pemby throughout the week,” he said. “Squamish and Pemby was really about all-mountain riding and getting the XE bikes out and shredding all-mountain on beautiful single tracks. Then obviously at the (Whistler) Bike Park we got the big bikes out and rode the heavy-hitting stuff. I thought that gave us diversity and allowed us to have fun on a multitude of bikes.”
While the spotlight of the Deep Summer Photo Challenge lands squarely on the world’s best sports-adventure shooters, the team of bikers accompanying each photographer can sometimes get overlooked. Noguchi was quick to thank his crew for their hard work, and plans to use the $2,000 in prize money to fund a trip to the Chilcotins for him and his riders.
“I feel bad that they just announce the photographers’ names because really the show is about the team. I’ve got seven guys on my roster, and I’m only responsible for a seventh of the final product,” said Noguchi. “They pump it up as a photographer’s show, but it’s really not like that, it’s a team event.”
Visit www.crankworx.com/whistler/events/deep-summer for more info on this year’s event and participants.