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Ale Di Lullo wins Deep Summer Photo Challenge

Paris Gore of U.S. comes second, Whistler's Sean St. Denis is third



Ale Di Lullo of Italy has won the Deep Summer Photo Challenge at Crankworx.

His slideshow, "Gone With the Flow," showed the experiences of his team coming to Whistler, mountain biking and enjoying the après scene.

Along with the shots taken on deep forest trails and in the alpine, what stood out in his work was that different scenes were connected by tightly shot sequences that played like stop-action filming.

The big jumps and big crashes were captured — as was a spot of snowboarding on the sand.

"Gone With the Flow" was shot in and around Whistler in a 72-hour period from Aug. 9 to 11.

The Di Lullo team celebrated the win by carrying the Lake Garda-based photographer to the stage in front of several thousand spectators at Whistler Olympic Plaza on Wednesday, Aug. 13.

Just before it was shown, Di Lullo told fans in halting English: "I am excited to be here... hope you enjoy the show."

Di Lullo took home the Bonny Makarewicz trophy, named after the renowned Whistler photographer and Pique contributor who passed away earlier this year, along with a $5,000 first prize.

Second place and $3,000 went to Paris Gore of Bellingham, WA., and Whistler's Sean St. Denis took home third place and a cheque for $2,000.

In an interview earlier in the evening, Gore gave an idea of the amount of work the photographers put into the three-day competition, saying the preparation time took several weeks.

"I spent one week doing a preliminary scout between Whistler valley and Squamish with Kevin Landry (Gore's main helper and an athlete in his work)," Gore said.

The 22-year-old added: "The opportunity to do a show like this is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Regardless of whether there was a slideshow or not and the prize involved, I'd be out there doing it anyway."

One shot, taken early morning on a ridge with a biker executing a flip right in the middle of a supermoon shot stands out in particular.

"It was hard trying to figure out where the moon was going to be and when... we had to stay loose. We made a jump on the first night and it didn't exactly line up but we were happy with that. I went to bed with a big smile on my face. I got up at 4 a.m. the next day to do some sunrise shots and the moon was still pretty high up. It started to come down and I ran back to basecamp and found the spot (to shoot it). It was so huge and I radioed up... and sure enough it lined up perfectly," Gore said.

Local photographer St. Denis had been nervous before the show and hoped to be on the stage with a big cheque at the end of the evening.

"In the 72 hours I slept two hours, but it didn't go too bad and I worked the day before and the day after (St. Denis was shooting for Crankworx). When it's all over, I'll sleep," he laughed.

"I wish I'd had a couple more hours. In my head there were a few weird shots I wanted to try. I don't know if they would have helped, but I just wanted to get them out there."

St. Denis said he loved the freedom of the competition.

"The great thing is that it's your own creative whatever. It's 72 hours, go have fun."

The winning slideshows can be seen at www.pinkbike.com.