Rucker, Graves in Pro Photo Showdown

Whistler, BC, February 11, 2004 -- Organisers have just announced the line-up for the action lifestyle photography event of the year -- the 7th annual Panasonic Pro Photographer Showdown. The Showdown ( is part of Whistler’s TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival that runs from April 16-25.

Set for April 22, The Panasonic Pro Photographer Showdown anchors the Festival’s visual arts pillar and is the ultimate action arts event. The Showdown is a one of a kind gala event and has been compared to the Sundance Film Festival for the action sport industry. This year, the Panasonic Pro Photographer Showdown returns home to the TELUS Conference Centre in the heart of Whistler Village. The TELUS Conference Centre has been renovated and expanded, allowing for the largest ever audience to attend the Panasonic Pro Photographer Showdown.

Three internationally renowned photographers have been invited to present a choreographed 9-minute slide show of the best work of their careers in front of 1,800 spectators at this prestigious event. Each legendary in their own field, the Showdown contenders are snowboard photographer Embry Rucker, Bali-based surf photographer Jason Childs, as well as long-time snowboard photographer Trevor Graves. Below are brief biographies of each of the photographers invited to compete in the Panasonic Pro Photographer Showdown:

Los Angeles based photographer Embry Rucker, has been traveling and photographing people and subcultures for 10 years. Currently a freelance photographer, he has worked as Photo Editor & Senior Photographer for Transworld Snowboarding Magazine. His portraits, travel and action images have also been published in, or aired by, leading media including: Outside, Maxim, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Snowboarder, Frequency, and The LA Times. His images have also been used in advertising campaigns for several companies, including Volcom, Rossignol, Quiksilver, Roxy, Billabong, Gravis, Nixon, Option-NFA, Oakley, OP, Boost Mobile/Nextel, Clive Backpacks, Burton, MTV & Zumies.

The subculture of snowboarding has been a recent focus for Rucker, wherein his style emerges in action and form. The relationship between image and content translates in equal measure by Rucker’s experience and intuition – photography as communication craft. “I’m intrigued by the Showdown because it connects photographers, their subjects, and the public to share great stories, said Rucker.

An Australian freelance photographer based in Bali, Indonesia, Jason Childs is currently one of the most published photographers in surfing. Since 1985, his startling photography has received worldwide exposure in every major surf magazine including Surfer -- where he is currently a senior photographer. Childs, a specialist in water and outdoor photography, considers the beach to be his office and the ocean his studio.

Childs’ 10-year background as a photojournalist at The Age newspaper in Melbourne, Australia has given him a solid foundation in all aspects of editorial work with a focus on sports photography. He has travelled the world on assignment shooting advertising, corporate and editorial campaigns for a variety of major surf and camera/photography companies.

“As a photographer and historian, I’m as passionate about exploring new destinations and documenting scenic, cultural and indigenous images, as I am about capturing action and wave images, said Childs.

Portland, Oregon based Trevor Graves initiated a new era of snowboarding photography with his atmospheric and sometimes melancholy images. In the process of shooting portraits, landscapes and action Graves has documented the map of his life. Trevor’s signature style over the past two decades are portraits that reach into the subject, landscapes that inspire and action imagery that blow past the run of the mill. Photography has been the link in a list of achievements that includes being the longest practicing senior phootographer in the industry, winning the overall Crystal Awards champion, and working with a long line of clients supporting his commercial work.

“For years, I’ve been sharing my editorial and commercial work with up and coming shooters, said Trevor. “The Showdown is a chance to share my work and experience with my peers and with the public.

The Showdown reserves a fourth “wildcard seat for the winner of the Panasonic Pro Photographer Search, which invites pro and amateur photographers alike to vie for six finalist spots through an open world-wide call for entries. The Search takes place April 20, during the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival. The deadline for entries in the Pro Photographer Search is February 20, 2004.

“The Panasonic Pro Photographer Showdown is a tribute to the dedication, artistry and talent that action lifestyle photographers draw upon in bringing stories to life by capturing the essence of sport on film, said Doug Perry, Chairman of the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival. “It’s our privilege to honour these inspiring individuals who devote countless days to capturing the perfect shot and sharing it with the rest of us.

Since its inception seven years ago, the Pro Photographer Showdown has attracted top talent, rave reviews and sold out crowds vying for tickets to the event. A panel of esteemed judges will determine the winner of the single award -- Best of Show -- but the real honour is to participate and share the work with other great photographers.

Presented by Panasonic and co-produced by W1 Inc. and Inspired Beyond Borders -- Event Architects, the Pro Photographer Showdown is the pre-eminent action lifestyle event and forms part of the visual art pillar of the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival.