Firing Squad: Ben Girardi vs. Abe Blair

It’s still September and it’s still officially summer. That’s not stopping everyone and their sister’s-jeans-wearing little brothers from talking about the half inch of snow that fell at 14,000′ last week in Colorado. It’s easy to get amped up for powder in the fall, I understand. Just remember: 6 months from now we’ll all be complaining about the cold and wondering when the snow will melt so we can drink our PBR’s on the porch &; talk shit on the skate photos in the comments.

This week’s battle is pretty simple: two pow turn photos that are pretty evenly matched in both composition and feel. You get to pick which one makes you the most psychotic with anticipation for winter. Good Luck.

Photo 1 by Ben Girardi

Photo 2 by Abe Blair

[poll id=”344″]

Think you can do this good or better? The Firing Squad is a weekly photo competition. When win a weekly battle, you will receive a gift certificate worth $50 good for anything at a select Burton dealer near you. Each month, the three winning photos will again do battle for a place in the Champions Gallery and a Burton Camera Pack! To enter your own photo in the Firing Squad, check out our submission guidelines. Happy shooting!


  • Tim Bradley

    Abe, that’s pretty epic with the bird!

  • Dunno

    They’re both pretty killer. #2 FTW though.

  • Sam

    I really like the color in the first picture. I like the turn much more in the second photo. The bird kinda of distracts my eye, though. Still going with photo 2.

  • C.B.

    nice timing with the bird in the frame… American

  • sick

    both are cool to look at

  • speed king

    #2, photoshopped?

  • tomas

    way more pow on ben’s photo!
    (which kinda gives me an anticipation of winter)

  • blindman

    No photo shop in #2 straight organic!!!

  • Fernet Branca

    Wow two masters at their craft! Epic timing with Abe’s shot and no one can slash like Dirksen, but Girardi’s shot was taken in JULY….Blower!!! its a tie for me:)

  • “the bird distracts from the photo” are you kidding me?????

  • thizzelle

    both are totally bitchin but i like the color and contrast in the first one

  • matt

    #2 is epic.

  • MRKD

    They’re both sick but #1’s snowy trees get me
    Love that

  • Sam

    Darcy –

    No I am not “kidding [you].” You scroll down the page and the first thing you see is the bird. And you’re all like “I think the guy is going off the cliff but then that sucks because that’s a stupid way to shoot that cliff and that’s a bird anyways.” And then you keep scrolling and you’re all like “Oh, there he is.” And you keep looking at the photo and every time you do you just remember the incident with the bird.

    I imagine it’s probably a lot like getting food poisoning camping and spending the next 24 hr. arms length from a toilet. Sure you only ate Pop-tarts for a solid day before said incident, and the place where you had your pre-camp meal was sketchy at best. And yeah that burger was pretty pink. But despite being pink, which is actually preferable, you know the kid making it wasn’t wearing gloves and that tray of meat from whence your burger came was sitting out for who knows how long. Regardless, the last thing you ate before you pooped out everything from the last six years of your life was a Pop-tart and every time you see one or smell one your mind just goes back to “that.”

    So you can see my obvious dislike of the distracting bird. It’s kind of like someone pointing out to you how power outlets look surprised, or that there’s an arrow between E and x in FedEx. Whenever you see it, you’re gonna think about it.

    I even tried zooming out in my browser to get the image all on there (I’m working on a laptop here and I don’t have a 1000000000 inch screen) but still couldn’t get pass the eagle. I’m sure if I always keep my browser zoomed out this kind of thing wouldn’t be a problem. But at that distance, all the photos look like trash anyways.

    And besides, having to read text all the time at that small a point would kill my eyes. My eyes aren’t even that great to begin with. I mean they are not as bad as some people, but I do need glasses or contacts. I could actually get along without them though. My prescription is a -1.37. Things within about three feet are crystal clear but if you asked me to make out that persons face from across the room I’d struggle. And don’t even get me started about reading the screen from the back of the lecture hall. That just wouldn’t happen. I could always sit up close. I actually even tried that for awhile. But then it’s a never ending battle for front seats. After a while I was done with that struggle. Even though my vision is pretty easily corrected I don’t want to make my eyes even worse by reading small font all the time. I hear reading on the computer isn’t even that great for your eyes to begin with!

    And I hope you don’t think it’s a black and white thing, either. I did mention I really liked the colors in the first photo. But please don’t thing I didn’t appreciate the B&W in the second photo. I wonder if it’s actual B&W, though. I know a lot of people like to shoot in color and then convert, but I think that’s tacky. Sometimes I can tell, sometimes I can’t. I prefer to just shoot B&W from the get go if I think that’s what I’m going for. And if I’m going to do B&W I’d even prefer to do it on film. It’s just feels a little nicer.

    Well, I hope my answer was adequate for your question. Your question in response to my comment was kind of “big,” but I did my best to be concise and accurate as possible for you. I chose to give you the short version. But if you’d like more detail please feel free to contact me again with your request.

    Thanks! Have a great evening.

  • shit


    #2 is photoshopped

  • Paynuses

    Sam, you know how i know you’re gay? You just wrote an essay on the internet. You clearly get LAWTS of pussy. Oh and if you dont vote for the second one, you are anti-american and should go die. YOU CAUSED 9/11 YOU SLUT.

  • Sam

    I did vote for the second one. Was that not clear?

    And hate reintroduced to photo battle, mission accomplished.

  • futuredrunk

    all i got from this is that Sam has IBS, or some other poop induced problems. number two

  • Joshua

    #1 got me so stoked! … you scroll and scroll and all you see is pure pow… and then a guy covered in more pow shows up.

  • For what its worth the dusting of snow that fell in CO came down as low as 12k feet. Just sayin’….and Loveland is going to be the first in the nation to open once again….Neener, neener, neener.

  • ahhh … so nice to see some hating back on the Firing Squad

  • I digg shot #2 with the bird. Great little unplanned piece. That was about as unexpected as a firing squad on YoBeat sponsored by Burton

  • bird makes number 2 for sure, those shots don’t happen very often

  • Z

    I love that Sam took 20 minutes to write an essay, I took 15 seconds to read the first couple sentences and press the thumbs down button. Photo 2 is killer, photo 1 is pretty tight too, but damn man; birds are fucking sweet.

  • Justin Wiegand

    Shot #2 is amazing. What a moment to capture! How often does that happen? Slim to none I say. It’s like some spirit eagle watching over Dirksen! HA! Snowboarding is our version of flying like a bird. Double the cheese! For me, this picture has a story and meaning behind it. Sure the 1st photo is good. There is a lot of pow flying around and the moss looks kewl on the trees. However, it doesn’t half as much of a story or meaning than pic #2, and that’s the kind of photography that captures my attention.

    Good work abe. Right place at the right time with epic framing and composition.

  • crack den lurker

    both are fucking epic, the eagle really did it for me though

  • Jonatan

    Come on man, that bird must be fake? Even though, it’s a tough desition… b&w looks way more nar but the color makes me really wanna hit the pow on there…

  • Abe Blair

    The bird in the photo is the real deal. It flew out of the pine tree on the left side of the frame and followed Dirksen through his turn and was gone. Thanks for the votes.

  • Trusting your word settles it, bro!

  • Jeff Harvey

    How can you not go with #1 with all that fresh snow in the trees and powder trailing off him completely across the frame? Gets me dreaming about those epic days coming up in a few months. Now if it will just turn cold and turn all this rain into fluff…

  • Seriously?? “The bird is fake?”??? This is a snowboard photography website not a pixar digital rendering site. The photographers are snowboarders too… What the hell kind of photoshop pixel-ninja do you think he is?

  • upstatemike.