FREESKIER introduced its inaugural Photo Shootout this past fall, a web-based photo contest through which photographers could submit imagery for a chance at winning up to $10,000. With more than 4,000 photos submitted by 1,126 photographers, it’s safe to say the contest was a smashing success. Our readers cast north of 65,000 votes for their favorite photos, helping us to narrow the vast pool of imagery down to a batch of finalists. Our esteemed judging panel then had the tough task of picking winners for categories including action, scenic, lifestyle, abstract and overall. And then, we took things one step further, taking the winning photos on the road for a full-fledged gallery tour. All told: This was our way of giving back and saying “Thanks!” to the hard-working photographers out there.
Here’s a snapshot of the inaugural Photo Shootout. To all you fine photogs out there: Stay tuned for information on the second annual affair.
2016 Photo Shootout Winners
Action ($1,000) and Overall ($5,000) — Tal Roberts
Scenic ($1,000) — Steve Shannon
Lifestyle ($1,000) — Cam McLeod
People’s Choice ($1,000) — Eric Hobbs
Abstract ($1,000) — Kristi Barile
The Photo Shootout Gallery Tour
An excerpt from The Photo Shootout Gallery Tour just rocked Bend, OR’s Velvet Lounge, posted April 24, 2016:
I couldn’t have imagined a better closing for the inaugural Photo Shootout Gallery Tour. Last night, we invaded Bend, Oregon’s Velvet Lounge: The self-proclaimed “funky haunt,” and home to absolutely delectable cocktails, New American cuisine and a rustic-chic interior with trinkets and art galore adorning its walls of reclaimed wood. The decor is markedly Oregonian and caters to the outdoors lovers among us, complete with antler chandeliers, abundant greenery and drinks served in mason jars. As one Velvet-goer put it, the establishment attracts people “who might have stopped for a shower in between their trip from Mt. Bachelor to the bar.” True, I surmised. Collared shirts and slicked-back hair trumped any presence of tall t’s and beanies. This place was a happy blend of fancy and funky, attracting a fun-spirited, cultured crowd—just the folks we wished to connect with.
Velvet Lounge certainly embraces the art scene; every “first Friday” new works are strung or hung from the walls and rafters. Recent show-pieces included beautiful bamboo skis and snowboards produced by Bend’s Snoplanks—highly functional art, indeed. But last night, the space was stripped clean and the room was all ours. Rather, the walls belonged to the top-ranked photographers from our inaugural Photo Shootout contest. This would be the fifth and final showcasing of their works in a three-week span.
The tour, having made appearances previously in Denver, Steamboat Springs, Copper Mountain and Portland, consists of 20 blown-up photographs, free, tasty hors d’oeuvres, DJs, raffles and prizes. Perhaps the most attractive draw is the hearty fraternization among mountain folk. Hosting this tour was our way of putting the “art” in party, and simultaneously a way of saying “Thanks!” and giving back to the hard-working ski photographers out there. We were thrilled to have 1,126 photographers submit imagery to our Photo Shootout contest this fall and we were excited to award $10,000 to five worthy entrants. Sharing the photogs’ work before live audiences has been a fun, unique way to put the cherry on top of what was a dramatically successful undertaking for FREESKIER.
We took no shortcuts when it came to displaying the imagery; the winning photographs (and many other great shots, too) were printed with infused dyes onto specially coated metal sheets; the metal prints take on a spectacular luminescence, and because the images are infused into the metallic surfaces and not on ’em, the archival qualities of this unique process are top-notch. Essentially, we’re working with durable, archival prints without glass. Event-goers were extremely complementary of the display — not just last night, but at each and every event.
April 7, Denver, Colorado’s Tavern Uptown played host to the first of our swanky soirées. We put a (temporary) hold on the spraying of champagne, the shot-skis, the head-banging and absurd dancing in favor of a more laid-back, artistic experience.
The vibes were high at Steamboat Springs on the weekend of April 9; The ski resort’s springtime tradition, Springalicious, always goes down in the first two weeks of April and offers up rockin’ activities including the Splashdown Pond Skimming Championships and loads of free music (this year’s lineup included acts like Ozomatli, Leftover Salmon and Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad). Adding to the mix this time around: FREESKIER rolled into town with banger images in tow. We set up shop at Steamboat’s Base Club, just a stone’s throw away from the snow at the base of the ski hill, and attracted skiers in the prime-time après hours of 3-6 p.m. As Borat says, “Great success!” Just ask this guy (below), who walked away with a brand new photograph for his wall, courtesy of our raffle.
Copper Mountain, CO
What’s better than admiring beautiful skiing-related photographs while knocking back cocktails at après hour, munching on free food, soaking up live music and bantering with like-minded mountain folk? Doing all of those things while continually peering out the window, taking note of the massive, unrelenting snow accumulation. This was the case at Incline Bar & Grill on April 15. By my estimate, over one foot of snow had fallen between the time we arrived at Incline and the time the party came to a close, some three hours later. These two individuals (below) were just a few of the fine folks who went straight from abundant face shots to abundant tequila shots. Chock that up as a win.
April 21, FREESKIER’s Photo Shootout Gallery Tour made its mark on the heart of Portland, Oregon’s brewery district, setting up shop at Base Camp Brewing Company. Inside of a tented, decoratively-lit open air patio, skiers and non-skiers alike gathered to admire our display; to enjoy the pleasant 70-degree weather in the Rose City; to chow down on a smorgasbord of free food offerings; and to indulge in Base Camp’s array of innovative lagers and ales. The event represented the first of two appearances for the tour in the Pacific Northwest.
If you read the excerpt above, you’ll know that our evening at Velvet was one to be remembered. To those who joined us that night, thanks for helping us close out the 2016 Photo Shootout and the accompanying gallery tour with a bang. Until next time…