“I’ve been to a lot of competitions like this,” said photographer and Whistler local Andrew Strain as he stood onstage to introduce what would become his third-place-winning slideshow from the 2013 Arc’teryx Deep Winter Photo Challenge last Saturday. “And no place comes out in support of photography like Whistler.” The crowd erupted. With seating for 1,200, the MacDonald Ballroom at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler was packed to the gills. Everyone was fired up to see the hard work of the six photographers competing in the Deep Winter Photo Challenge.
Now in it’s seventh year, Deep Winter has hosted some of the world’s best snowsports photographers. Previous winners include legends like Paul Morrison, Jordan Manley, Blake Jorgenson, and Robin O’Neill. The invite-only contest gives photographers three days on Whistler Blackcomb to shoot, edit, and create a five-minute slideshow that will be shown at the sold-out event at the Fairmont.
Creativity, composition, and storytelling were even more critical to this year's challenge as the competitors battled tricky snow conditions. The overall quality of submitted work was amazing, a testament to the ability of the photographers in the event. While most skiers spent the week enjoying the sunny groomers on the mountain, the 2013 Deep Winter shooters, Reuben Krabbe, Russell Dalby, Mike Helfrich, Nic Alegre, Chris Christie, and Andrew Strain, were searching out hidden pockets and unique angles of Whistler Blackcomb.
In the end, Russell Dalby came out on top and was crowned the 2013 champion. Reuben Krabbe, the 2012 Deep Summer Photo Challenge champion, came in second place. And Andrew Strain, a late entrant to the competition, finished third. Mike Helfrich took home honors for the single best photo of the competition. Here’s a look at the slideshows that got them there. Be sure to vote for the People’s Choice award here.
1st Place: Russell Dalby
2nd Place: Reuben Krabbe
3rd Place: Andrew Strain
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