Red Bull Illume Photography Contest

Epic Red Bull Illume Photography 

Red Bull Illume is the world’s greatest contest for action and adventure sports photography. Four of this year’s 275 semi-finalists reveal how to get amazing shots under difficult circumstances – using drones, on the ocean bed, or skydiving on a jet-black night

Photography: Ben Thouard
Category: Masterpiece by Yodobashi
Location: Teahupo’o, French Polynesia

“I decided straight away only to shoot underwater photos that morning, because the waves were perfect: they were completely glassy, as there was no wind at all. I spent four hours shooting below the surface. Everything lined up perfectly and I was really happy with the result. However, it took me almost a year to find out who the surfer was. Thanks to social media and the three-coloured fins, Landon [McNamara] was later able to identify himself to me.”

Red Bull Illume Aaron Chase
SCREEN grab 

Photography: Ale Di Lullo
Category: New Creativity
Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA

“I’d been shooting through transparent surfaces for a few years, but it was during a drive across Europe that I had this idea. No one had done an extreme sport shot from inside the car, with someone riding across the windscreen. And what better to use than a New York cab? Aaron Chase was the natural choice for the rider. I kept shooting, scared the glass would break, and 12 shots later I’d nailed it.”

Red Bull Illume
big air 

Red Bull Illume: Adrenalin shots

Red Bull Illume has been celebrating outstanding achievements in action and adventure sports photography every three years since 2007. For this year’s competition, we received 34,624 images from 5,645 photographers in 11 categories. The winners, as decided by a jury of experts, will be announced on September 28 in Chicago. The best 55 pictures, plus the 11 category winners and the overall winning photo, will then form part of a travelling exhibition. The Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour will take the images around the globe, presenting them in light boxes after dark, until 2018. 

For more semi-final pictures, information on the award ceremony and all exhibition dates, go to: 

Photography: Lorenz Holder
Category: Playground
Location: Munich-Riem, Germany

“I found this spot on Google Earth, which is a great tool for scouting when shooting with a drone. It’s just a garden with small hills and winding concrete tracks, but I thought it would look really good from above, especially if a skater did a kickflip and the sun’s shadow made the trick visible. The plastic surface was horrible, but Conny [Mirbach] is a hell of a skater, so he could fire flips even on that terrain.”

Red Bull Illume
the light fantastic

Photography: Kuba Konwent
Category: Energy
Location: Kazimierz Biskupi, Poland

“I began jumping from planes in 2014, but I had to gain experience before I could do it with a camera. Shooting a night jump had been on my mind since I heard my dropzone does one each year. My first try was unsuccessful – too humid – but it was worth another year’s wait. The camera was fixed to the wing with a mount I’d made myself. I took the picture with a wireless remote, then we all jumped.”

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10 2016 The Red Bulletin

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