Jiří Durdík, a self-taught hobbyist photographer from Czech Republic, won with an exhilarating motion blur shot of a dirt bike race.
Following this year’s theme, ‘A Split Second Story’, the image brings to life the fast-paced action at the Czech Republic Motocross Championship in Pacov and perfectly captures the organised chaos of the race’s crucial starting point.
Aside from multiple technical challenges such as positioning and light, Durdík also had to protect his lens from mud, giving him only seconds to frame and compose the shot. He will receive a Canon EOS R5 and RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM, alongside a mentoring session with Canon Ambassador Laura El-Tantawy.
Durdík said, ”I’m very happy to have won this year’s competition. I was initially going to send in a completely different photo, but after printing it, I was inspired to swap to this photo at the last minute – and I’m glad I did! I’m really looking forward to using my new kit, particularly the EOS R5. I shoot a lot of birds in flight, so the resolution and advanced focusing system on this camera will help me take a big leap forward with my photography.”
The winning photo was selected by a panel of industry experts and Canon representatives from 14,121 submissions in total.
Lars Lindemann, director of photography at Germany’s GEO Magazin and juror for this year’s competition, said, “Jiří demonstrated great intuition with this image, which is a really important skill when you are shooting sports. The composition is also really intriguing. At first, you almost need to look twice before you get it. And then you can continue to look at the photo for a long time and still find something new in it.”
Susie Donaldson, ITCG European marketing director for Canon EMEA, said, “The response to the brief has been fantastic. We’ve had such diverse entries; it has really captured everyone’s imagination. The winning image is all about action, chaos, energy! There’s so much going on that you could spend hours looking at it. Jiří managed to create a sense of emotional intrigue as you really feel right there in the middle of it. It’s the perfect split-second story.”