High resolution photos available at http://www.watermarkinc.ca/twssfmedia/prophoto/. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WHISTLER’S 11th PRO PHOTOGRAPHER SHOWDOWN SET TO BLOW MINDSAnnouncement of Finalists Guarantees Global Showdown of Epic Proportions, April 17 2008 WHISTLER, BC, March 11, 2008 –  Action sports photographers from around the world bidding to be included in this year’s Pro Photographer Showdown set the bar so high with their 3 minute submissions that they vaulted out of the stadium and into a higher reality entirely, according to Multimedia Events Manager for the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival, Lilli Clark. “The quality of submissions was mind-blowing,” said Clark. “Capturing these moments of frozen time and conjuring stories with amazing pictures is a really hard job and we offer our kudos to the action sports photographers who are helping fuel the progression of these sports and documenting an ever-changing world.” What might be pain for action sports photographers striving out in the field is pure gain for the audience, with a spectacular line-up of photographers chosen to present at the eleventh annual Pro Photographer Showdown at the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival, April 17 2008. Hailing from Switzerland, Norway, Whistler, and Vancouver, the five selected photographers, announced today, will be transported to Whistler for a gala presentation where they will show self-curated 9 minute multimedia presentations of the best work of their careers.  The photographer judged Best in Show by a panel of the leading creative minds in the industry (including renowned photographers Paul Morrison, Eric Berger (Best of Show 1998), Aaron Chang (Best of Show 1999) and prolific writer and editor Leslie Anthony) will take home the $10,000 prize purse, with the other four finalists being awarded $1500 each.  Tickets for the gala event, which draws a 2000 strong sell-out crowd, are $20 and available online at the Festival e-store at http://www.whistler2008.com. The five finalists are: Dan Carr (Whistler, BC)– Born in the UK in 1981, Carr took a gap year in Whistler after high-school which planted the seed of a mountain obsession. While his passion for mountain life took a backseat while he finished his degree, it wasn't long before Carr returned to the mountains to start shooting his friends in action.  He has since turned avocation into vocation, with his work being published in ski and snowboard magazines around the world, including The Ski Journal (US), Fall-line Skiing (UK), Document Snowboarding (UK), WE Ski (FR), SBC Skier (Canada), New Zealand Skier (NZ), Bravoski (Japan). He’s also contributed a series on ski photography to UK’s Dark Summer magazine. (http://www.danncarrphotography.com) Blake Jorgenson (Whistler, BC)- Based out of Whistler for almost 14 years after he made the pilgrimage west from his Hamilton hometown, 32 year old Blake Jorgenson works and lives as a professional outdoor adventurer and mountain sport photographer. As senior photographer for Powder and Skier magazines and contributing photographer to more than 50 international publications, Jorgenson has also amassed commercial clients like United Airlines, Helly Hansen, Adidas, Oakley and Salomon. In 2001, Jorgenson became the only entrant in the history of the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival to win the wildcard Pro Photographer Search, and then take Best in Show at the Pro Photographer Showdown. In 2002, he won best of show at the South American Photo Challenge in Portillo, Chile, and in 2003, he was awarded Photo of the Year from Powder Magazine. (http://www.blakejorgenson.com) Kari Medig (Vancouver, BC) - Originally from the East Kootenays, photographer Kari Medig currently lives in Vancouver and divides his time between shooting for magazines, traveling and backcountry skiing. Whether capturing fresh powder summits in Canada, tea-sipping Peruvian elders, or suburban Elvis impersonators, Medig continues to explore the world with fresh eyes, a legacy of remote backcountry trips in northern Canada as a kid. His work has appeared in various outdoor and news publications including Climbing, Gripped, Kootenay Mountain Culture, Backcountry, SBC Skier, the Westender and the Star.  His work was showcased to much acclaim at the 2007 Kootenay Dirtbag Film and Photo Fest, and he received a Special Mention at the 2007 Banff Mountain Photography Competition. (http://www.karimedigphoto.com)Jancsi Hadik (Verbier, Switzerland) – A Swiss/American freelance photographer based out of Verbier, Hadik got his start working as staff photographer on the first Verbier Xtreme comp in 1996. Having subseqently shot for O’Neill, Swatch, Atomic, Red Bull and Nissan, Hadik has also worked with Warren Miller and as staff photographer for Nissan Outdoorgames, O’Neill Xtreme and Red Bull Hike and Ride, and remains a prolific documenter of the most extreme and remote places on the planet and the incredible athletes drawn there.(http://www.stillshots.ch)Frode Sandbech  (Norway) -  After trading his electric guitar for an old Pentax camera in 1994, Frode Sandbech began shooting and in 2001 sold his first photo. His  first international breakthrough came just three years later when he landed the cover of Transworld Snowboarding Photo Annual. 10 years of documenting the snowboarding scene has meant Sandbech has worked with magazines and clients like Transworld, Snowboard, Pleasure, Onboard, Methodmag, Oakley, Whiteout, K2, Burton, Helly Hansen and the Oakley Arctic Challenge, while continuing to explore ways to evolve and shoot unpredictable images. (http://www.frodesandbech.com)  The TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is produced by Watermark Communications, a Whistler marketing & communication company, and presented in partnership with Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb. Founded by W1’s Doug Perry thirteen years ago, and now 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 ultimate winter wrap party.  For information on the 2008 TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival, April 11-20, visit http://www.whistler2008.com/


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