Whistler, BC—Whistler is gearing up for a clash of the titans, when five of the world’s best lifestyle and action sports photographers compete in the tenth annual Pro Photographer Showdown at the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival, April 18 2007.

Chosen from a stellar showing of international submissions, the finalists for the tenth annual Showdown, hailing from Norway, Colorado, California, and Vancouver BC, were announced today.

The five selected photographers will be flown to Whistler for a gala presentation on April 18, 2007, lured by the bright lights of the Festival, the industry’s preeminent celebration of action and lifestyle photography and a $10,000 prize purse.

At the Pro Photographer Showdown, the most dynamic moments in action sports are captured and mounted, trophy-style, for an appreciative 2000-strong crowd in a series of self-curated 9 minute multimedia presentations.

The “Best of Show designation conferred at the renowned photography expose will see the winner join an alumni that includes Kevin Zacher, Eric Berger and Aaron Chang, who will judge the Showdown alongside Whistler’s “King of Light Paul Morrison, and long-time host of the Pro Photographer Search, writer and creative mastermind Leslie Anthony.

“The early years of the Showdown were simply our best friends shooting skiing and snowboarding. Now it’s morphed into an iconic and unique celebration of action sports – surf, skate, bike, AND snow,” says Jack Turner, Commissioner of the Pro Photographer Showdown. “The night of the Showdown is all about the passion and commitment to the culture of action sports whether you’re a photographer, an athlete, or someone lucky enough to have a ticket to the show.”

Throughout its ten year history, the Pro Photographer Showdown has featured stunning photography from renowned surf photographers Aaron Chang, Jason Childs, Jeff Divine and Warren Bolster; skateboard gurus J. Grant Brittain and Jon Humphries; acclaimed mountain bike photographer Sterling Lorence; ski & snowboard legends Kevin Zacher, Eric Berger, Paul Morrison, Blake Jorgenson, Mark Gallup, Scott Markewitz, Dave Heath, Vianney Tisseau and Mattias Fredriksson, among others.

Tickets for the gala event are $20 and available online at www.whistler2007.com/2007/estore

The five finalists are:

Peter Taras — San Clemente based Taras comes by his boho-creative blood legitimately. His grandfather was a revolutionist photographer who fought the reds and was hung by Stalin. Having worked as Photo Editor for Transworld Surf Magazine since he was 24 means Taras spends more time in the editing suite than out shooting, and his brain is full of shot-lists still to be captured. Prior to his reign at Surf, he was the youngest photo editor Surfing Magazine had ever hired, and managed the mag’s photo agency. He’s been recognized as one of the West Coast’s best water photographers.

Endre Là¸vaas — This 36 year old Norwegian says he has no plans to quit his day job as Marketing Manager and Senior Photographer at Fri Flyt, Norway’s biggest ski and snowboard mag to focus solely on photography. “Shooting action sports is a small world with many photographers competing for a few pages of space, so you either have to be really dedicated or really talented. He claims he’s neither, but just likes capturing the action with good friends. He’s shot with Matchstick Productions and produced images that have been published all over the world.

Nick Hamilton— He’s got the mongrel accent of a half Finnish, half British, half American guy, with multiple seasons in the French Alps under his belt. Currently photo editor at TransWorld SNOWboarding magazine, the 29 year old shutter-veteran edited British snowboard mag White Lines before moving to Cardiff, SoCal to take up his current role. There, he earned TransWord a Henry R Luce Cover of the Year speciial citation. And still can’t surf worth a damn.

Jeff Curtes — Boulder-based Curtes is the Principal Photographer for Burton Snowboards, and has been tripping around the world shooting for Burton since his big break in 1994. He has a degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a single credit in photojournalism from the Agricultural Journalism department and a stash of childhood memories of snowboarding with his brother Joe in the backwoods of the Wisconsin countryside.

Jody Morris — Before Jody Morris took up photography, Canadian skateboarders were rarely represented in the major magazines. Vancouver-bred Morris, who lives more out of a suitcase these days, changed that. He spent a 10 year stint as senior photographer for Transworld Skateboarding magazine, and has freelanced for almost every major skateboard magazine in the world, as well as Men’s Fitness, Transworld Snowboarding and shooting a host of skateboarding’s most iconic and influential ad campaigns, such as DC Shoes, Etnies, Adio Footwear, Quicksilver, Nixon, World Industries, Dakine, and Tony Hawk Inc. These days he is the in-house photographer and media director for the newly revived Plan B skateboards.