Deep Winter, snow, ski, snowboarding, unofficial networks, unofficial whistler

Every year a select group of Pro  photographers are picked to compete in the Deep Winter Photo Challenge. The six photographers will chose athletes of their choice, have three “deep winter days” to shoot in-bounds on Whistler Blackcomb, then battle it out in a slideshow showdown presented to the public with a chance to win part of the $6,000 prize purse . All the action can seen on January 15th as the photographers will present their slideshow to a screaming crowd at the  Fairmont Chateau Whistler.  The Deep Winter Photo Challenge is an excellent event and really shows day to day skiing and snowboarding on the mountains of Whistle and Blackcomb. The teams have first chair Wednesday morning until last chair Friday. The photographer will then have one day to put together a 3-5 minute slideshow which will be shown on Saturday night.

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Tickets are $17 and can purchased at the Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations at the Whistler Village Gondola Base (7am-5pm) OR you can get tickets by calling: 1-800-766-0449. Get your tickets early because the event sells out fast. [Editors note: the event is sponsored by SKYY vodka Kokanee so you know it’s going to be good.  Doors at 7pm.

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I have attended the Deep Winter Photo Challenge for the past two years and witnessed the take over of Jordan Maley. He is not competing this year (decided to let someone else win) and I am thankful because I am skiing on Andrew Strain’s team, and without Jordan we now have a shot of winning. The six photographers are a mix of ski and snowboard specific photographers. Some only shoot skiers, some only shoot snowboarders and some do both. Here are the Photographers:

ILJA HERB – a 10+ year ski photographer, is known for producing defining pictures from lands both local and exotic. Assignments have taken him to world-class ski locations like Alaska, Utah and Europe, not to mention lesser known ski destinations like Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Indiana. Consistency, timing, and great storytelling abilities have made Ilja a go-to photographer for magazine photo editors globally.


BLAKE JORGENSON -The landscapes I work in are the focus of my photography. The skill and talent of the athletes I work with are what bring the terrain to life and a visual understanding of what the rider is doing. I need both to create the images I am looking for. Based out of Whistler, British Columbia, Canada for almost 15 years, 33 year old Blake Jorgenson has spent all of his time exploring mountains and mountain culture. Working for a wide group of editorial and advertising clients around the world, Blake has provided unique, and difficult to obtain images of the mountain sports community. Blake is a senior photographer for Powder magazine, Skier magazine, and contributing photographer to over 50 international publications.


ROBIN O’NEILL -is a commercial outdoor lifestyle and portrait photographer based in Whistler. She has shot for lululemon athletica, Men’s Journal, Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb, and spent last winter covering the Vancouver Olympics for Bell Canada. Robin moved to Whistler nearly a decade ago for the skiing and is now perfectly in her element. The first thing she reaches for when she rolls out of bed in the morning is the phone, to see how much it snowed. Nachos, however, make her gag.


JOHN SCARTH -Born and raised in Ontario in a photo oriented family, John made the move west at 17 to live with his older brother in Whistler. Fast forward 14 years and he lives in Squamish with his wife and son where he works as photo editor for Snowboard Canda. Life is go


ANDREW STRAIN –spends most of his time in the BC coast ranges – working as a prospector in the mineral exploration industry during the summers, and on his snowboard once the snow hides the rocks. The power and beauty of his rugged workplace inspired him to begin shooting photos 5 years ago; the more recent transition to documenting snowboarding and skiing is a natural extension of his love for the mountains. Andrew spent much of the 09/10 season travelling Katal Innovations and Surface Skis, but now calls Pemberton home and is stoked to be back at Whistler Blackcomb. He is honoured to be a part of Deep Winter, and is really glad that Jordan Manley isn’t competing this year…


TIM ZIMMERMAN -has made making the best look even better his stock in trade. Yet, there is nothing stock about the way Tim goes about his business. Though originally hailing from the foothills of Pennsylvania, Tim moved to Killington, VT in 1997 and subsidized his passions for shooting and shredding by snapping tourists as they got off the chairlifts. Three years later Tim joined the migration of East Coast riders to Mammoth and his talents, as well as those of his sideways standing subjects, grew at a rapid pace. In turn, when the world came looking for images of Danny Kass and Travis Rice, Zimmerman¹s portfolio satisfied every request. Tim now calls the alpine of the world his office and when he is punched in and shooting on-slope, few can match the images he creates. Hell, few could even keep up with Travis Rice and access the same terrain as him without carrying a 50 lb camera pack.

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6 pro ski and/or snowboard photographers have been invited to participate in this year’s event.
Each photographer will have three (3) days to shoot starting on the morning of Monday, January 10th and ending on Wednesday, January 12th.
All the photos in this contest will be taken on Whistler or Blackcomb mountains.
Each photographer will create a 3 – 5 minute slideshow and these slideshows will be shown Saturday night, January 15th, at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Doors at 7pm, slideshows begin at 8pm.
The photographers will also choose photos to be judged in the following categories:
Best of Show
Best Landscape
Best Action
Best Abstract
Best Lifestyle


Head over to Merlin’s after the contest for fun, music by ACE and icey cold drinks by SKYY Vodka and Kokanee. Mingle with the photographers, the athletes and grab some Deep Winter themed cocktails.

Deep Winter Photo Challenge, Photo, Andrew Strain, Unofficial Networks, Unofficial Whistler, Jake Cohn, Whistler Blackcomb, Photo Contest, Peak-2-Peak

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