If the enthusiastic cheering and gasps of awe at the Conference Centre, the $10,000 prize and the professional track record of Jordan Manley aren't enough to convince you he's an incredible photographer, just ask some other local professionals.
After the Whistlerite snagged the championship at last Thursday's (April 23) Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown, Facebook was full of comments from other shooters marvelling at Manley's images. Talk about a successful peer review.
While you have to see his work to grasp how creative Manley gets with subjects, composition and point-of-view, you might get an idea of the scope of his talent when you find out he's won every photography competition he's entered to date. And don't forget about his ever-increasing collection of ski magazine cover shots - Powder, Ski Press, Skiing, Ski Journal and international publications this season alone.
A relative newcomer to professional ski, mountain bike and lifestyle photography, the 24-year-old Manley is blazing an impressive path so far in his career. With only about three years of professional photography under his belt, it's exciting to think about what the future holds for the local innovator.
The Pro Photographer Showdown is a popular event at the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival that typically draws a sold-out crowd looking to be inspired by slideshows set to music produced by some of the world's top action sports and lifestyle photographers. The 2009 event was no exception, with standing room only at the Conference Centre and more than a few people outside hoping someone would have spare tickets.
While all five finalists presented impressive sets of images, Manley's unique photos drew the most enthusiastic response from the audience and clearly impressed the judges. The macro shot reflecting a mountain biker in a single drop of water at the end of a blade of grass seemed enough to earn him the championship.
In January, Manley was also named King of Storms for the second year running in Whistler Blackcomb's Deep Winter Photo Challenge.
In an interview with The Question before that competition, the North Vancouver- and Whistler-based Manley said his love of skiing and mountain biking with friends first inspired him to start taking pictures. Pro photography has allowed him to continue having adventures in the mountains, and given him the opportunity to ski around the world.
Visit www.jordanmanley.com to check out some of his work.