The PocketWizard Firing Squad Ultimate Champion Battle


After a year and a half of weekly Firing Squad battles, we’ve crowned eight champions. That means that the below photos have survived four weeks of battle, each beating out four other photos to earn themselves a place in our Champions Gallery. And now, PocketWizard has stepped in and  sweetened the pot with a package of radio triggers and accessories, very useful in “getting the shot.” It’s up to you to vote for your favorite photograph, and on January 18, 2010, the first ever PocketWizard Firing Squad Ultimate Champion will be crowned. The winner will receive a package worth over $800 from PocketWizard including: 1x MiniTT1 Transmitter, 2x FlexTT5 Transceivers, 1x AC3 ZoneController, 1 case for said items, and a Showcase on


Each one of these photographers has already received a Camera Pack from DAKINE, but only one can walk out with this killer kit from PW. So take your civic duty very responsibly and vote for the shot you like the best below.

Special Thanks to PocketWizard for hooking up a great prize package.


Jay Cagney
Inducted: October 27, 2008

Robbie Sell
Inducted December 23, 2008

Ian Matteson
Inducted January 19, 2009

Paul Miller
Inducted February 16, 2009

Darcy Bacha
Inducted March 30, 2009

Marek Ogien
Inducted July 14, 2009

Brian Walnum
Inducted: September 1, 2009

Lucasz Skornog
Inducted: October 20, 2009


[poll id=”121″]

The results from week one, shown above, will be added to the results from the week two poll below. No fake votes will be counted.


The Firing Squad is a weekly photo competition. Winners of a single battle will receive a pair of Da Kine gloves and should a photo survive 4 weeks, the photographer receives a place in the Champions Gallery and a Da Kine Camera Pack. To enter your own photo in the Firing Squad, check out our submission guidelines. This special Ultimate Champion Battle is brought to you by PocketWizard.

104 replies
  1. carl mcgnarl
    carl mcgnarl says:

    this must be some kind of twittering contest, because how the fuck is cagney winning? with all due respect, his shot has a cool vibe, but its basically a point and snap of someone buckling in. The images from matteson and sell are so far beyond that shot technically and artistically…

  2. mike
    mike says:

    sweet popularity contest. pro photogs vs amateur photogs, thats awesome! skate pix vs snow pix on a snowboarding site in the middle of winter. good luck skate photogs.

    Yobeat kicks ass even if the battles are a lil wack sometimes.

  3. Corey
    Corey says:

    Carl, point and snap with off camera flashes? your funnny. Jay’s photo of that kid strapping in is one of the sickest shots ever. all of these photos are dope but all are far too different to be battling against each other.

  4. Jimmy
    Jimmy says:

    I agree that Jay’s shot is just a basic shot.I voted for Lucasz’s photo.Some thought was put into it and overall is a great photo.Hopefully this is not a popularity contest?

  5. jacksooonn
    jacksooonn says:

    how is jay’s shot a basic and thoughtless? The back lit is awesome and the way everything is frozen with the snow and the kids breath looks great. Plus its film and not all photoshop.

  6. naw
    naw says:

    Who gives a fuck anymore about popularity contests and tweeting to win. Such is life dudes, some guy prob just gave head to your boss to put you out of your next job. Gotta learn to deal with shit like that now, and I don’t mean by giving head. And I’m pretty sure any of you would advertise your photo in this contest if you had the chance to win that PocketWizard package. Let’s be real here.

  7. brett stewart
    brett stewart says:

    yo jays shott is straight killerrr. he def should win this one!! kid has a eye for this whole art shitt. and paul miller… your shot is gnarrr. hopefully that kid didnt fall

  8. porterfield
    porterfield says:

    good to see skate photo’s killing it. It’s getting to be a lost art. That said Robbie Sell’s photo and Ian Matteson photo kill it on action and art, not just art

  9. GIJOE
    GIJOE says:

    I think this should be geared towards amateur photogs who actually need gear. Why is Robbie Sell even in this? I voted for photo number one sololy for the vibe it gives off. Action isn’t everything.

  10. Dave Brewer
    Dave Brewer says:

    It might be interesting to note that these are the NEW pocket wizards that allow for faster shutter/flash sync speeds up to 1/8000 of a second. Which if you shoot snow bro photos, you know how insanely valuable these are. Also, as of now, these are only available for Canon, but PW is scheduled to release the Nikon version within a few months (I am counting down the days and saving up my pennies)
    Love, Digital Dave

  11. Robert Harold Sell III
    Robert Harold Sell III says:

    I feel this isn’t even a photography competition, but more of a social networking challenge.

    I am going to spam the internet just to drive traffic to Yobeat, so they can raise their advertising rates, and pay their contributors, which will bring you better content. You’re welcome, everybody.

  12. Matt Fong
    Matt Fong says:

    This must be serious, I’ve already gotten two mass emails from Robbie. Jay’s is a sweet shot, but it’s also the only shot without any action.

  13. scott
    scott says:

    if my shot was up for vote i would tell every last person i knew simply because that prize is killer. fuck any other reason.

    on that note, just like to say i hope Paul wins because that is a 1 in a mil shot.

  14. Robert Harold Sell III
    Robert Harold Sell III says:

    Matt- before you make me out to sound bad; my email was an invite to check this competition and to vote for who ever you liked, which of course I hoped would be my photo.
    GIJOE- if you only knew how little my snowboard photography profits…
    To the rest- Thank you.

  15. Rebecca Seb
    Rebecca Seb says:

    just letting you all know since your so uptight about level of difficulty and technicalities and stuff that an audience votes for what they think is cool. they dont care how difficult it was to shoot or any of that. its what appeases their own tastes. so if something like cagney’s picture captures their attention, they aren’t gonna know how easy of a shot it was.

  16. asdfghjkl
    asdfghjkl says:

    i think ive seen that robbie sell photo in EVERY issue of original?
    cagney knows where its at. its just an epic shot. action isnt everything.

  17. Cheaters
    Cheaters says:

    I like how the votes have gone up by hundreds in just a matter of hours. Keep cheatin boys, Brooke can finally afford dinner.

  18. craig'r
    craig'r says:

    If someone wants to win they should rally their friends nothing wrong with that.
    I voted for Miller but I came from Cagney’s post. So it can work against him too.

  19. jeffroken
    jeffroken says:

    jays picture is wicked cool. beautiful picture, but come on!! I coulda taken that outside my daughters hockey game. It’s a real pretty picture, but this isn’t the Ms. America pagent, or for the cover of US magazine. A great photo goes hand and hand with the person takin the picture and the person posing. Robbie’s shot is amazing as well but we all know it’s Miller time!!! That’s my cousin, Paul. Nice job bud, keep up the great work, I hear that your doing really good and that makes me happy and proud. CHEERS!!!

  20. Heitz
    Heitz says:

    Cagney feels more like a still from a video than a photo. I would like to see the original shot and not a cropped version. (I assuming he isn’t shooting medium format)

  21. sean sullivan
    sean sullivan says:

    Ian’s photo is hands down the most legit, without question.

    Cagney – guy strapping in in the middle of a parking lot, not tracks from dropping in, obviously no feature anywhere in sight. Great photo if it was in the context of real snowboarding.

    Sell – good photo, but engh, not great. maybe a lil more contrast

    Ian – epic shot, but since im hating, i dont like the aged processing. i think it would look way better in BW, or keep it aged and ad jus push the blacks +3

    Miller – Siiick shot, but its not telling me enough…is he traversing for his life? is he about to pop off that toe edge and make a heelside turn? Dope forsure, but engh, that was a tough one to shoot forsure

    Darcy – Respect, nice light

    Marek – Needs better composition and it would be amaaazing

    Walnum – lotta potential in there, like the leafs and shit on da bottom right, like the trick too

    Lucasz – super sick shot, but have you ever heard of the rule of thirds.

    Good work everybody, hope whoever wins enjoys those pw’s. YEEE

  22. english muffin
    english muffin says:

    Maybe the reason why you saw Robbie’s photo in EVERY issue of Transworld is because it captures the true essence of snowboarding? This photo was recognized by Transworld because of the back lit shot that casts a perfect shadow. Great that Robbie directed lots of people to this website. Seems like a win-win for everyone? Art is art, skill is skill and luck is luck. Robbie’s photo captures it all! By the way, thanks to all the photograhers who entered this competition.

  23. Heitz
    Heitz says:

    I stand corrected Jay. Side note, the more I look at Ian’s, the more I wish the shadow of the cement tube wasn’t cropped.

  24. Ian.
    Ian. says:

    The shadow of the tube ran into another tube that is the the left out of frame this is why it is cropped. Thanks for the votes and I hope the winner uses these PW’s to create some more graphic eye candy for all you readers!

  25. kcav
    kcav says:

    how is the picture of someone strapping in while its snowing in b&w winning? that isn’t snowboarding it’s kneeling potentially thinking about going snowboarding. big up miller

  26. burbs
    burbs says:

    “I feel this isn’t even a photography competition, but more of a social networking challenge.

    I am going to spam the internet just to drive traffic to Yobeat, so they can raise their advertising rates, and pay their contributors, which will bring you better content. You’re welcome, everybody”


  27. admin
    admin says:

    Hmm. It appears we’ve had a spider infestation over night. Never fear our nerds are working on it and it’s easy to tell which votes are fake. thanks robots!

  28. dashizznit
    dashizznit says:

    Ogien’s photo is sick as fuck. The smoke under the deck is doing the job. I love the vibe of this picture. there are more photos i like tho.
    but anyway, fuck the haters, some of you bitches are claiming about this and that but everybody knows you’re doing it because you;re whack and jelous. some comments made me sick to my stomach.

  29. Max Mayfield
    Max Mayfield says:

    instead of tearing everybody else photos apart and praising the one you believe is best, learn that everybody has a unique style and should be appreciated for creating art out of what you may see every day. everybody has a great photo on the wall im excited to see who wins.

  30. admin
    admin says:

    Whoever installed click software on this poll, thanks. i really enjoy counting the votes manually so i can delete your fake ones. also, why do you hate Darcy?

    For those of you voting, keep it up. Only real votes will be counted.

  31. mike
    mike says:

    Just wanted to say that Matteson’s photo is amazing. It is a bummer he had to crop out the end of the shadow, but aside from that it is nearly perfect. Not sure why he is so far behind, even without the fake votes.

  32. Kevin Lindsey
    Kevin Lindsey says:

    It’s all about the shadow in this image for me. I really like the composition of this photograph. The athlete and the the big air portrayed in secondary to me. It’s the way I get to see the effect of light and shadow in a moment of time. I like this photo.

  33. Pablo Azocar
    Pablo Azocar says:

    I’m just happy to see a great prize that you actually can use, not just a “I’ll put your photo in the website” kind of prize.

    Good luck to all of them and if you cheat voting I hope your pocket wizards triggers randomly

  34. Really?
    Really? says:

    Off camera flash is such a fucking cop out. DUUUDE IT”S EPIC! No, it’s not … someone just knows the basics of aesthetic lighting. I could light my cock from either side and it would probably win one of these battles. That’s actually not a bad idea. Throw some Ashbury goggles and an Airblaster beanie on it and call it a winner. Look for it in the next few weeks.

  35. Tackitt
    Tackitt says:

    How is knowing how to light your subject properly a cop out exacty? All of these photos are sick! Quit being so angry. Lighten up.

  36. KIRA JOY
    KIRA JOY says:


  37. Roxy
    Roxy says:

    All these are really great pictures. My question is how does one person add over 500 votes in less than 10 minutes at 5am on a Sunday morning? Questionable? I hope Tobeat takes this information into account.
    I’m with Kira Joy, Mr. Walnum has all the talent to win this contest.

  38. luke
    luke says:

    If You clear all cache and cookies in your browser, reset modem You can vote like a neverending story, so good luck to everyone!

  39. Jimbo
    Jimbo says:

    “Off camera flashes are a cop out….”

    Really? This has to be the quote of the century. I feel your pain buddy, I can only afford a single, basic off-camera flash myself. But that doesn’t mean I get all butthurt about the people who can afford them.

    And besides, you can light your cock from any angle and put whatever beanie you want on it, but it’ll still be a vagina

  40. Charlotte
    Charlotte says:

    If there was a spider infestation last week, as reported by admin,
    why would not throw all the vote out from last week?

  41. souney
    souney says:

    The votes from last week were gone through manually and the spider votes removed. Thus the institution of the new poll. Prior to the removal of the spider votes, that poll was showing several thousand more votes, not in any one person’s favor, just in general. That was addressed. It’s very easy in that Poll application to tell the difference. Just a pain to stop it. So a new poll was used. There’s no way to stop all cheating of course, it’s the internet. There’s a way around every form of security, unfortunately. So removal of spider votes was the fairest way to do it.

  42. Gonz
    Gonz says:

    I doubt that if a ‘hacker’ got into the system that the votes were counted right! If they were smart enough to get around it im sure they couldve done more that admkn couldnt get to. There are some smart dudes out there. I say that the previous votes should be thrown out too. Jeopardizes real legitimacy…

  43. souney
    souney says:

    blah blah blah. Whine, whine, whine.

    There was no “hacker in the system.” There was a simple web vote spider early on, and the problem solved. It’s a common problem with an easy fix that’s easy to see in the back end. They all come from the same user. It’s not rocket science to rectify.

    The contest was fair as an internet contest can be. There are always ways to cheat. I mean, George W. Bush became President of the US. The spider votes were easy to see and those votes removed.

    But the fact is Marek rallied for his win from day one and didn’t stop till the end.

    Was it a popularity contest? Yes, but any contest is. Even getting your shit published in the magazine is a popularity contest. As a professional photographer the last 13 years and former photo editor, I can safely tell you that photography as a business is a popularity contest.

    As far as fairness, take it. If your friends don’t win don’t whine about it. Just try harder next time. If your friend had won someone else’s friend would whine. Just stoked for the winner. They’re all great photos.

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