The 2017 Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards closed last week, and over its duration, we received hundreds of incredible submissions from around the world – truly some of the best cycling photography of the year. In addition to being a great showcase for the talented entrants, the Awards also had an important purpose – raising a significant amount of money for cancer research through Australian Cancer Research Foundation, Tour de Cure and for Young Cyclist Development.
Now that entries are closed, it’s over to our panel of judges – Graham Watson, Marcus Enno (aka Beardy McBeard) and Jim Fryer & Iri Greco of BrakeThrough Media – to decide who’s going to take home the spoils.
Each of the judges has gone through the difficult task of shortlisting their top 10 favourite photos from each of the three categories. From these shortlists, the judges will deliberate on the top three winners of each category in the coming days – with final winners to be announced on January 12, 2018.
Graham Watson is arguably the most well known and experienced cycling photographer on the planet. His iconic images have captured some of cycling’s most significant moments and with 44 years of photography under his belt, he is one of the pioneers of the sporting media. He kicks off with his shortlist from the 2017 Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards.
Graham on the judging process
“I was blown away by the quality and quantity of this years’ entries, and 2016/2017 had already been pretty impressive for an inaugural competition.
I look at the smartphone category and marvel just how much the shooters put into their photography, bearing in mind those phone cameras are not designed to do much more than capture a few selfies for the owner. Yet there they were, glorious scenery shots, impressive action shots and some eye-opening selfie-stuff taken by daring, one-handed cyclists going down hills and mountains way too fast!
Our ‘enthusiast’ entry went a step further in creativity and audacity, and took our judgment into so many different aspects of the sport – what a pleasure it was to see so much variety and skills.
As they should do, the professionals came up with the most dramatic, technically perfect, images of all, and made what is usually the easiest section the hardest one to judge. I made my ‘pro selection week by week, leaving just a few spaces for the final week’s entries – it seemed easier this way. But then the fifth and final week was of such a high quality I had to throw away my original selection and start all over again. “Save the best until last” seems to have been the spirit of these late entrants.
It’s going to be a huge task to choose the actual winners in all categories, but we’ll have a lot of fun doing it.”