The Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards have once again delivered some amazing shots from passionate enthusiasts and professional photographers from all over the world.
But this year, there was a twist. In the craziness of the past year, it was clear from the entries just how much freedom the bicycle (and the camera) granted.
The unusual, solitary norm that has now become established helped create some fascinating new perspectives for entries in the competition, with some meaningful moments captured in photos and told through captions.
Out of hundreds of entries from every continent (except Antarctica), our judges whittled their selections down to a shortlist of 10 images in both the Professional and Amateur categories, avoiding bias by judging without seeing the photographer’s name.
Each of those shortlists and the arguments behind them were brought to a call earlier this week, where the judges debated for over three hours to arrive at a consensus of the top 10 in each category, and ultimately, the winners.
Jojo, Brazo, James: our deepest thanks for your expertise and your time. It was an absolute pleasure.
We are proud now to showcase the winners here, their images, and the story behind those images, as well as the top 10 in both categories.
Thank you to everyone who was part of this year’s awards, whether as a photographer or as a reader. Thank you also to Wahoo for generously providing prizes in the Amateur category.
And finally, and most significantly, thank you to Leeanne Gatien, the driving force behind the awards. Leeanne is Mark Gunter’s wife, and when Mark tragically died of oesophageal cancer, leaving Leeanne and a one-year-old son behind, the awards were established as a fundraiser for cancer charities and to allow Mark’s name to live on. Thank you, Leeanne.
The wait is over. Here are the winners and the top 10 in each category! Congratulations to all.
The professional category is open to anyone who makes a living income from their work in the field.
This category is all about prestige – there’s a perpetual trophy that passes down each year for the winner, along with medals for the top three. Some of the finest photographers in the sport have taken out this award over the duration of the competition.
We’ll start off with third place and taking the final spot on the podium…
Third place, professional category: Wout Beel
And in second place is…
Second place, professional category: Matt Grayson
And, the 2021 Mark Gunter Professional Photographer of the Year is…
First place, professional category: Sean Hardy
Congratulations, Sean! You are the Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year. You’re in esteemed company and custodian of the perpetual trophy for the next year.
The rest of the top 10 in the professional category, in order, are as follows:
The Amateur category was open to any photographers that didn’t fit into the professional category. The category was open to non-professional photographers using high-end cameras, and anyone with a smartphone or drone, or action camera.
Wahoo generously offered up some fantastic prizes for the top three Amateur winners, as they have for many years now.
And in third place is …
Third place, amateur category: Filip Funk
Filip, you’ve won a Wahoo Elemnt Rival.
Second place, amateur category: Gabe Lloyd
Great shot, Gabe. You’ve scored a Wahoo Elemnt Roam.
And the 2021 Mark Gunter Amateur Photographer of the Year is…
First place, amateur category: An Ha
Congrats, An! You’ve won a Wahoo Kickr.
The rest of the top 10 are as follows:
Graham Watson has been involved with the awards since they first began, deliberating as a judge for the first three years of the awards. And, for the last three years, he’s continued to offer his experience and insight as an honorary judge, selecting his top 10 from the Amateur category.
Here are the 10 photos that most caught the eye of a cycling photography legend this year.
For the third time, Leeanne and Mark’s son Lucas is back with his selection of his favorite shots. Below are Lucas’ top three in each category.
Although entries have closed for the Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year awards, donations are still being accepted for Tour de Cure, our charity partner. Donate here.
And, stay tuned for the announcement of the Young Cyclist Assistance grant. The grant will support up to two young cyclists with AU$1,000 of financial assistance each to help them in their development in the sport of cycling.
Thank you to all entrants and readers. We hope you’ve enjoyed it – let us know in the comments below what your favorite shots are.