Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown Finalists Announced For 2014

Date: 3/10/2014
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Action Sports Photography Titans To Battle It Out At The World Ski And Snowboard Festival 

Whistler, BC March 10, 2014 -- The OLYMPUS Pro Photographer Showdown at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF) is one of the most prestigious action sports photography competitions of its kind in the world. Since its inception in 1998, WSSF has invited action sports photography masters from around the globe each year to compete at the Pro Photographer Showdown in Whistler, BC. On the line for the competitors is a shot at the $10,000 grand prize for “Best In Show” and an opportunity to showcase their life’s work to a live audience of over 1,500 sports enthusiasts, media and industry professionals.

Each photographer will submit a nine minute slideshow compiled of images selected from their entire portfolio. The slideshow themes are open to interpretation and can include anything from ski and snowboard photography, to surfing, biking, skateboarding, and lifestyle. The slideshows will be presented to a sold out audience on Thursday, April 17 at the Whistler Conference Centre, where a panel of industry experts will determine the winner. 

THE FINALISTS FOR THE 2014 OLYMPUS PRO PHOTOGRAPHER SHOWDOWN INCLUDE: 

Brent Benson
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Brent Benson began skiing at the tender age of two. In 1998, after about 2000+ days of skiing, he decided he wanted to take his passion for the sport in another direction, and thus his love affair with photography began. Benson’s inspiration in the beginning of his photography career was to get away from the “poser” powder shots and show people what was really happening in the world of skiing. He bought himself an old Nikon F3 and the rest, as they say, is history. In 1999 he introduced the legendary “Chad’s Gap” in Utah to the world in a two-page spread in Powder Magazine. Since then his photos have graced many ski and snowboard publications around the world.

Christoph Oberschneider
Originally from Salzburg, Austria, Christoph Oberschneider thought he would have a career in medicine, but after studying at the Medical University in Graz, Austria, he couldn’t shake his passion for skiing and sports photography. Now 30 years old, Christoph is looking to find a career that combines his love for nature, skiing, photography and general medicine, which is no easy task. In 2012 he presented his movie “Days of Powder in Sportgastein” in the supporting programme of the Salzburg Bergfilmfestival and in 2013 he placed first in the amateur photographer category of an online contest held by Backline Magazine. Christoph tries to showcase the emotions that occur during freeriding in his photography, while illustrating the mountain’s natural beauty and communicating the pleasure felt by the athlete in the captured moment.

Florian Breitenberger
Growing up to the south of Munich, Florian Breitenberger has always been strongly influenced by the surrounding Alps. He first picked up a camera three years ago and quickly brought his newfound hobby into the mountains to photograph his friends. Capturing the culture of the mountains quickly turned into his passion. Now based in Innsbruck, Austria, Florian is working towards his degree in Management and Economics while continuing to peruse action sports photography in his spare time. He is currently the German Salomon Freeski Team photographer and in 2013 his work earned him the “iF3 Photographer of the Year” and ISPO Awards.

Frode Sandbech
In 1994, Frode Sandbech sold his electric guitar to buy an old Pentax camera. Over the next couple years his interest and skill in photography grew and in 2001 he sold his first image. His international breakthrough into the photo industry came in 2004 when he landed the cover of the TransWorld SNOWboarding Photo Annual. Since then he has travelled the world with top athletes, has held international photo campaigns for a variety of companies and has secured more than 50 magazine covers. Frode attempts to balance creativity with clean geographical lines in his photography. He likes to find simple compositions that highlight the rider, tell a story, a make the viewer “dream”.

Morgan Maassen
Morgan Maassen is an American photographer based in Los Angeles, California. After graduating high school early, Morgan was able to concentrate on his passion for film and photography. The majority of Morgan's work is influenced by the water as seen by his various collections of surf and water photography.

For more information about the OLYMPUS Pro Photographer Showdown and to purchase tickets, head to www.wssf.com/event/olympus-pro-photographer-showdown.

Tickets to the evening gala events are now available for purchase at http://www.wssf.com/estore.

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View this release online: www.wssf.com/news-releases.

The 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 19 years into the largest annual winter sports and music festival in North America, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival is a 10 day and night showcase of the best of snow sports, music, arts and mountain culture. Featuring major professional ski and snowboarding competitions, the largest annual free outdoor concert series in Canada, cultural events that match up art-lovers with the art-makers, career-making fashion, photography and film showcases, the best spring snow conditions in the world, and burn-the candle at both ends nightlife, the World Ski and Snowboard Festival is the poster child for the ultimate ski and snowboard festival experience. In blazing the way for the youth of tomorrow, the World Ski and Snowboard Festival embodies the mantra: ‘Party in April. Sleep in May.’

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