2020 Photo of the Year

Presented by


The
Who managed to take the perfect snapshot in time that deserves to be named “Best Photo” in the World of Kayaking for that current year.

[ Full Interviews with Top 5 Photo Finalists Featured Below ]

WINNER

Johnny Chase

Rider :: Dane Jackson
Feature :: First Decent of Malupa, Indus River, Pakistan

Photo of The Year Winner

Whitewater Awards: Where are you? What river?
Johnny Chase: We were on the Indus River in Pakistan, watching Dane Jackson run the first decent of Malupa.

WA: What Camera you use? Settings?
JC: I shot this on a canon 7D, with a 28-135mm 3.5-5.6. My computer is down so I’m not sure of the settings, if I had to guess 800 iso, 1/500 shutter and 6 f-stop.

WA: Best way to carry your camera?
JC: Watershed bag is the only way!! 

WA: What are your favorite athletes / sports to shoot and why?
JC: I love shooting my close friend Kayaking the most! I always get stoked when I get a good shot of anyone in my group; but especially get excited when I get a good shot of Carson because he’s always getting bangers of me.

WA: What is one thing you want to work on or get better with your photography?
JC: I really want to get better at taking photos of the people in the places I travel too. 

WA: Who do you draw inspiration from in the photography world?
JC: Jimmy Chin is my favorite photographer I look to his photos a lot. I love the way he tells a story of an entire expedition in one shot. 

WA: Favorite type of shooting, action, portrait, landscape?
JC: I love shooting action sports, but I also really enjoy shooting mountain landscapes as well. 

WA: Plans for photo shoot in 2020 after this Covid clears up?!
JC: I want to document the climbing areas around my home town this year. 

WA: One thing unique about you that not many people know..
JC: I love anime! A lot of my motivation and drive come from so many different characters in different animes; ecpecially Goku.



• RUNNER UP •

Carson Lindsay

Rider :: Dane Jackson
Feature :: First Decent of Malupa, Indus River, Pakistan

Photo of The Year Finalist

Whitewater Awards: Tell us about the image. What is the story behind the shot.
Carson Lindsay:
The then un-run Malupa is the biggest rapid I have ever seen. I’m actually not sure we have done it any justice in the kayaking community and I’m not sure any photo or video or description ever could. Imagine at least 20,000 cfs cascading down at least 60 vertical feet and finishing through a slot about 20 feet wide. Now take that picture, make it twice as big, and you might have a picture of what this rapid looks like. I was the last one to get out of my boat to scout/portage and the first thing I saw was Dane’s huge smile and two thumbs up. After a brief moment of disbelief, I just started laughing at the size of this rapid, and the fact that I knew Dane was going to run it. After a quick scout and a chat about how we as a team felt about Dane running the rapid, we decided he should go for it. We all saw the line, assessed the potential hazards, and felt that we could adequately set safety and capture the moment. What we witnessed next was seriously one of the greatest feats in modern kayaking. Dane not only ran the biggest rapid I’ve ever seen, but he absolutely styled it. He had a better line than I could have even imagined. After a quick celebration, we hopped in our boats to continue downstream.

WA: Where are you?
CL:
Near Skardu, Pakistan

WA: What Camera you use? Settings?
CL:
Sony a6500 1/800, f/7.1, ISO 320

WA: Best way to carry your camera?
CL:
I like carrying mine in a Watershed Ocoee in the padded bag between my legs!

WA: What are your favorite athletes / sports to shoot and why?
CL:
I love shooting my friends while I’m kayaking mostly! My friends are badass and we get to go to some amazing places, so I love being able to try to combine those two things to make a compelling image with a cool rapid and epic scenery.

WA: What is one thing you want to work on or get better with your photography?
CL:
There’s always so much to work on. I want to get some new lenses to force me to shoot some different perspectives and work on compositions. I also just want to get better at using my software to work on the artistic side of photo editing. 

WA: Who do you draw inspiration from in the photography world?
CL:
There are so many sick photographers out there right now! I love Jimmy Chin, Chris Burkard, and Forest Woodward. But from the kayaking community, Eric Parker, Chris Korbulic, John Webster, and Dane Jackson have been crushing for a long time! 

WA: Favorite type of shooting, action, portrait, landscape?
CL:
Like I said above, I love shooting action in sick landscapes.

WA: Plans for photo shoot in 2020 after this Covid clears up?!
CL:
Definitely ready to get back on the water and in my kayak and hopefully get back to work!

WA: One thing unique about you that not many people know..
CL:
I have a degree in finance from a private Jesuit college in the Bay Area.



• THIRD PLACE •

Dane Jackson

Hiking into Middle Kings, USA

Photo of The Year Finalist 2

Whitewater Awards: Tell us about the image. What is the story behind the shot.
Dane Jackson:
Coming over the pass it was one of the most unreal views I had ever experienced, and something I knew I needed to capture. It was such a notorious place that I had been wanting to be for years, and that was  the moment where you had gotten to the peak of the pass after the grueling switchbacks. It was the reward for the first half of the hike, before starting the second, equally brutal half down to the river. 

WA: Best way to carry your camera?
DJ:
Get a small camera insert, and the Chattooga drybag, can’t beat it. 

WA: What are your favorite athletes / sports to shoot and why?
DJ:
Of course kayaking, because it gives me the opportunity to shoot the most incredible places that kayaking takes me and my friends.  It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose one day of just shooting someone. I would want to go do a day with Benny Marr at Skook or Mini Bus, because only he can make front surfing look steezy.

WA: What is one thing you want to work on or get better with your photography?
DJ:
Doing more than just pulling my camera out, snapping the standard photo, then putting the camera back. I want to start getting more creative and just taking that extra second to find that new angle, whether at a new place or somewhere you have seen a million times.

WA: Who do you draw inspiration from in the photography world?
DJ:
I have definitely become a fan of Peter McKinnon for many reasons. But I also aspire to become as good as someone like my friend Corey Rich, who takes epic photos, even when in the simplest of situations. 

WA: Favorite type of shooting, action, portrait, landscape?
DJ:
Definitely action, but I think landscape and lifestyle is where I will learn the most because you can’t be lazy. A 100ft drop is fairly straightforward to make it good, but you have to think and plan more to make something like hanging out at a campsite be as good as it can be.

WA: Plans for photo shoot in 2020 after this Covid clears up?!
DJ:
Take this time to learn new skills while I have my scholarship to the university of YouTube, then shoot some bangers!

WA: One thing unique about you that not many people know..
DJ:
Besides wearing hearing aids, probably that I aspire to be as multi talented as Rush Sturges, I gotta get on his rap game level.



• FOURTH PLACE •

John Webster

Rider :: Aniol Serrasolses
Feature :: Sahalie Falls, USA

Photo of The Year Finalist 3

Whitewater Awards: Tell us about the image. What is the story behind the shot.
John Webster:
I really wanted to get a drone shot of one of my favorite drops in the PNW (Sahalie). It was great knowing that Aniol and James Shimizu were wanting to fire up Sahalie while I was visiting. I was occupied with getting as many angles as I could of this session, so I set up my 5D on a tripod at the lip, another camera shooting video in the same spot, and then managing to fly a drone to grab stills. Thankfully the guys were patient with me while I set all that up. So when Aniol approached the lip I had a trigger for my 5D in one hand firing off frames and then in the other hand I was frantically pressing the shutter of the drone to get as many photos as I could. A junk show for sure, but I managed to grab a couple shots I like! Thanks to both Aniol and James!

WA: Where are you?
JW:
Deep in the misty jungle of the PNW, where legends are made.

WA: What Camera you use? Settings?
JW:
DJI Mavic Pro shot at ISO 100, 4.73mm, f2.2, 1/2500sec

WA: Best way to carry your camera?
JW:
Honestly if I am just gonna be on shore I just put all my gear in my Dakine Sequence photo backpack, it’s sturdy and you can store a lot. But if I am paddling, without a doubt my Watershed dry bag. I can’t believe how legit those bags are, and the waterproof seal has saved my bacon countless times. Always bring a cotton tee for drying things off!

WA: What are your favorite athletes / sports to shoot and why?
JW:
That’s tough! I really enjoy shooting anyone that’s comfortable in the water, air, or dirt. I love all extreme/adventure sports, they all have their unique elements that make shooting them challenging and fun. Also love anyone with their own style or tweaks, thats what speaks volumes to me as a photographer.

WA: What is one thing you want to work on or get better with your photography?
JW:
To be continually seeking out different ways and styles to shoot. Sometimes I feel like I get “writers block” with certain environments I shoot in, so bettering myself in that way is something I strive for. 

WA: Who do you draw inspiration from in the photography world?
JW:
Who DON’T I draw inspiration from is the better question, I think. I mean anyone who loves what they do… it shows pretty quickly in their instagram feed. I enjoy seeking out photographers and artists in general who aren’t even in the same genre as me, IE a portrait photographer in NY, or an illustrator in the skateboard community.

WA: Favorite type of shooting, action, portrait, landscape?
JW:
I love me some portraits, that can be a task with people who don’t really like being front of the camera. Which is fun and challenging. Also I can never look away from action, that’s been with me since day one. The dynamics you can get from a powder slash or a big boof is always fun.

WA: Plans for photo shoot in 2020 after this Covid clears up?!
JW:
Possibly a shoot in BC if there’s still water. And man would I love to get to Japan and find some POWPOW in the winter time.

WA: One thing unique about you that not many people know..
JW:
I can be domestic AF, I love cleaning my place, it actually relaxes me a ton. Also, love me some 80’s music.



• FIFTH PLACE •

Sandy MacEwan

Noeick River Expedition, Canada

Photo of The Year Finalist 4

Whitewater Awards: Tell us about the image. What is the story behind the shot.
Sandy MacEwan:
We were on day 2 of our first decent trip on the Noeick River in BC. We had just made the decision to portage high around an insanely steep gorge filled with a glacier. As I was making my way up the hill the sun came blasting through the heavy rain showers  putting some cool light on Ben and Chris. I managed to get a couple of pics and a video before my lens got soaked.

WA: Where are you?
SM:
Noeick River, British Columbia.

WA: What Camera you use? Settings?
SM:
Sony A73, Sony 16-35

WA: Best way to carry your camera?
SM:
I’m not sure if its the best way, but I carry mine in a Watershed drybag between my legs.

WA: What are your favorite athletes / sports to shoot and why?
SM:
I’m stoked to shoot any of my friends while we are out shredding summer or winter. I really like taking my camera on multi day trips.

WA: What is one thing you want to work on or get better with your photography?
SM:
I’d like to work on taking more portrait shots while on hard missions. 

WA: Who do you draw inspiration from in the photography world?
SM:
Eric Parker, Chris Korbulic, Lachie Carracher, Mason Mashon 

WA: Favorite type of shooting, action, portrait, landscape?
SM:
Probably action but a nice landscape is pretty amazing.

WA: Plans for photo shoot in 2020 after this Covid clears up?!
SM:
Hopefully just shoot the crew shredding all season in BC.

WA: One thing unique about you that not many people know..
Sandy declined to answer. One can only speculate – that either means that means we know everything about him… or maybe we know nothing…

Micho

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