• The contest is 'open submission'.
  • There is no entry fee.
  • Any professional or amateur photographers may submit.
  • Photographers from all over the world may submit photographs.
  • To register and enter this contest you have to agree to these Rules and Regulations.
  • Entrants must be 18 years of age or older to participate.
  • If the subject of a photograph is a minor (under the age of 18), the photographer must provide a written release form unrequested, signed by the parent or legal guardian of the minor.
  • Only the photographer can submit his or her images. Images may not be submitted from a third party on behalf of a photographer.
  • Entries may only be made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry.
  • All images must be submitted through the official contest website.
  • An official digital submission entry form must be completed with each individual photograph submitted.
  • Any image taken with a mobile device can only be submitted to the mobile category.
  • Submitted photos may have been previously published or submitted to another contest.
  • Upon request, photographers must include a model and location release for all photographs submitted.
Failure to provide such release upon request may result in disqualification.
  • Photos that have been digitally or otherwise modified to change the original impression are only eligible for submission in the 'Enhance' category. 
  • If any doubts occur regarding the authenticity of the digital image, the original file (RAW or original file in case of mobile) will be requested by the Red Bull Illume judges for analysis for all categories.
  • Inappropriate submissions will disqualify the photographer from the contest. 
  • All decisions by the Red Bull Illume judges are final.

Qualifiying Images

Only images that capture the action and adventure sport culture and lifestyle may be submitted. Whether they take place in the air, sea, mountains, cities or on rivers and trails, a broad range of adventure sport submissions are accepted. Excluded, however, are traditional team sports and motor sports, such as formula one, stock and sport car racing and MotoGP. The decision to accept and judge will be at the discretion of Red Bull Illume judges. The Red Bull Illume judges' decision is final. 

Submission of photographs / specifications

  • The submission phase takes place between December 1st, 2015 and March 31st, 2016, midnight CET. Photos must be submitted during this period. 
  • Submit images well in advance of the deadline to avoid complications caused by high upload volumes. 
  • Photos must have been taken after April 30th, 2013. 
  • Photos must be submitted to one of the eleven categories.  
  • Photographers may submit photos to every category. 
  • Photographers may not submit the same image to more than one category.
  • Photographers may only enter a maximum of five images per category.
  • Once a photograph has been submitted, it is final and may not be replaced by another photograph and cannot be moved to another category.


Images shot on film or digitally will be accepted. All film prints and transparencies must be drumscanned at high resolution and delivered digitally. No prints will be accepted. 

Image Files/Format for Submission

  • Online submission format: JPG.
  • Minimum picture size: 8 mega pixels.
  • Maximum file size: 10 megabytes.
  • All digital images must contain original metadata. If such information is not provided, imagesmay be disqualified.
  • All digital images must be shot with a camera of at least 8 mega pixel.
  • All images must be available for re-submitting in their original size.
  • All semi-finalists will be required to re-submit the originals in RAW or tiff format at 300dpi. For the mobile category the image will be requested in its original format with no adaptions.

Judging Format

Judging Criteria

Official contest judges will base their decisions on a mix of technical superiority, composition, creativity, impact, artistic flair and overall qualities of photographic excellence.

Pre-Selection Judging: Red Bull Illume internal judging panel, consisting of several photography experts.

Rounds 1 and 2: Photo editor judges without Red Bull Illume internal judging panel

In case of a tie (in any round) Red Bull Illume internal judging panel  will determine the winner.


A panel of about 50 esteemed photo editors from international top publications will judge the 275 semi-finalists. The list of judges will be announced on redbullillume.com.

Pre-selection judging

Red Bull Illume internal judging panel will choose 25 images from each of the eleven categories to advance to round one.

Round One

Official contest judges will receive a book of the 275 images (semi-finalist). No metadata or photographer information is included to maintain impartiality. Each judge will vote for five images in each category to advance to round two. After all judges have voted, the five images of each category with the most votes will advance to round two.   

Round Two

Each judge will vote for one of the five finalist images in each of the eleven categories. The image with the most votes in each category will win first place honors. In case of a tie, the image with the most votes in round one will advance.   

In case of a tie

In case of a tie (in any round), Red Bull Illume internal judging panel will cast a determining vote and choose a winner.

The decisions of the official judges are final.


Overall Winner

Official contest judges will vote from the eleven category winning images for the Red Bull Illume Overall Winner. The image with the greatest amount of votes will win.

Athletes' Choice

Who better to choose the best action and adventure sports image than the athletes themselves? We will invite elite action and adventure sports athletes to give us their opinion. Athletes will vote for one image from the 55 finalists. The image with the most votes will win the Athletes’ Choice Award.

People's Choice

We also ask the public to lend us their eyes. As soon as the 55 finalists are announced members of the general public will have the opportunity to vote for his or her favorite image. The image with the most votes will win the People's Choice Award, presented at the end of the Image Quest  in July 2018.


Overall and category winners will receive a selection of outstanding prizes from reputable photography brands. 

The Overall Winner will walk away with a Yodobashi voucher to the value of €40,000, which can be redeemed for any number of the company’s massive selection of consumer goods.

Electronics giant Sony will award the various winners with photography gear worth over €60,000. The prizes will include cameras such as the Sony ILCE-A7RII or the Sony DSC-RX1RII along with a variety of accessories and lenses. 

Other prizes will be announced shortly.