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As 2019 draws to a close, it’s time for one of the highlights of our year to take place – the Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards.
The Awards are an annual event held in honour of Mark Gunter (June 10, 1974 – November 29, 2015). Mark was a widely respected and popular photographer in the cycling community who tragically died of oesophageal cancer, leaving behind a wife and young son, as well as a sadly truncated portfolio of amazing work.
In partnership with Mark’s wife, Leeanne Gatien, we wanted to honour Mark and let his name live on through an award that would grow in prestige every year – a way of commemorating Mark’s contribution to the community and to showcase the best cycling photographs of each year.
The inaugural edition was an incredible success, with some amazing submissions, and the 2017 and 2018 editions only built on that legacy. This year marks the fourth running of the Awards, and we can’t wait to see what this year has in store.
There are three categories that photographers can enter, giving everyone a chance to take part – Professional, Enthusiast and Smartphone/Action Cam. The only requirement is that the photo has a connection with road cycling (track, cyclocross, gravel grinding, cycling landscape scenery and cycling culture are all permitted – if in doubt, think ‘drop bars’).
The Awards this year will be judged by a panel of professional cycling photographers – Chris Auld, Simon Wilkinson and Pauline Ballet – who will determine the winners in each of the categories. We’re honoured to have Graham Watson returning as an honorary judge, providing his guidance through the process and offering prizes in the ‘Graham’s Choice’ category.
In the Professional category, there’s both prestige and a cash prize of $2,500 to compete for. Meanwhile, the Enthusiast and Smartphone/Action Cam categories will be in the running for great prizes from our generous sponsors: Felt, Mavic, Wahoo, ParkTool, Bontrager and Castelli. We thank them for their generous support in donating these prizes for this competition.
Of course, the prizes are just one reason to get involved in the Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards. There’s a greater good at the core of the competition – funds raised from entry fees will in part be donated towards cancer research through Tour de Cure, and financially help promising young cyclists through Young Cyclist Assistance – a cause close to Mark’s heart.
For the first week of the competition, we’ll be running an early-bird promotion, allowing you to enter five images per entry (instead of three). We’ll be featuring posts on Instagram under the hashtag #markgunterphotoawards2019, and will publish a couple of galleries on the site showcasing our favourites throughout the competition.
Entries are open now, and will close on January 5th, with winners to be announced on January 13th. We look forward to seeing your photos!