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Finalists announced in Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown, April 23, 2009

WHISTLER, BC, March 17, 2009 –

As the Canadian entertainment industry prepares to celebrate home-grown talent at the Juno awards, five international action sports photographers prepare to hit the West Coast to enjoy their moment in the spotlight.

The photographers have been selected as finalists in the Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown, set to take place on Thursday April 23 in Whistler at the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival.

The nominees for Best in Show join an elite rank of action sports and outdoors lifestyle photographers, and will contend for a $10,000 cash grand prize and a fully accessorised Olympus E-3 digital SLR camera, at the “Sundance Festival of Action Photography” by presenting a soundtracked 9 minute digital slide-show of the best work of their careers.

The remaining finalists will each win $1500 and a shock-proof, water-proof, crush-proof Olympus TOUGH-8000 camera, and enjoy a unique opportunity to watch their work on-screen, before a live audience of 2000 action sports fans.

Says 2008 Pro Photographer Showdown winner, Kari Medig, from location in Alesund, Norway, “Seeing my show on-screen at last year’s Showdown was a pretty surreal experience. When I walked in there for the test screening, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this is a little bigger than doing a slideshow at the Kimberly high school gym.’ It was great to hear the audience react. It is really nice as a photographer to show to a crowd that knows good photography.  They aren't fooled by pretty sunset shots, so if you have a show with some substance, and something grittier and different, the audience will appreciate it.”

The biggest impact of winning the Showdown, says Medig, is “that you become instantly known to everyone in the industry.” 

The 2009 finalists for the Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown are:

Scott Pommier (

Scott Pommier is a Vancouver-based photographer. He has shot features and covers for nearly every major skateboarding magazine in the world. He has worked as photo editor and senior photographer for SBC Skateboard and as Transworld Skateboarding’s field editor. For the past couple of years Scott has divided his time between skateboarding and motorcycles. In 2008 he shot both a catalog and an award-winning ad campaign for harley-davidson and is working on a book project to be completed next year.

Ian Ruhter (

Once upon a pro rider who was “hella new-school”, Ian Ruhter enjoyed his notoriety early, was “washed up by 25”, bought his first camera from Tahoe shred photographer Aaron Sedway, then saw his first shot published in Transworld in 1997. The South Lake Tahoe-based photographer moved to LA to push his craft and he now shoots for Vans, Forum, and Transworld Snowboarding.

Christian Pondella (

From his home base in Mammoth Lakes, CA, outdoors enthusiast Christian Pondella plays hard and shoots action sports from bike to paragliding to skiing, often from the perspective of the athlete. The head photographer Red Bull USA, and a senior photographer for Powder magazine, his work has also been published in Outside, Men’s Journal, Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, Maxim, FHM, and GQ Magazine.

Daniel Blom (

Daniel Blom, 27 year old photographer based in Stockholm, Sweden has been shooting snowboarding on a professional level since 2002. His work has been published in 30+ publications worldwide and his commercial client list includes Quiksilver, Volcom, Roxy and Nikita to name a few. Today Blom is senior photographer at Snowboardermag USA and Methodmag Europe.

Jordan Manley (

Jordan Manley is a Vancouver-Whistler based photographer. He fuses his passion for skiing and adventure with building creative imagery. At 24 he has been shooting skiing professionally for 3 years, affording him the opportunity to ski around the world. He has taken part in 4 photography contests recently, including Whistler Blackcomb's Deep Winter Challenge, and was crowned winner of each.

Sample images from each photographer can be reproduced for promotional purposes only and are available on request. Contact An exclusive interview with Kari Medig, winner of Best in Show at the 2008 Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown is available at


The TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is produced by Watermark Communications, a Whistler-based event production & communications company, and presented in partnership with Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb. Having grown over 14 years into the largest annual winter sports and music festival in North America, the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is a high-octane 10 day and night showcase of the best of snowsports, music, arts and mountain life.  Featuring major professional ski and snowboarding competitions, the largest free outdoor concert series in Canada, the legendary Pro Photographer and Filmmaker Showdowns, and many more unique art and cultural showcases, the Festival is the Mother of All Winter Wrap Parties. For information on the 2009 TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival, April 17-26, visit

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Sundial Management Inc
Phone: 1800 661 2321