I’m Slovakian/Canadian photographer, born in 1965. Studied photography and fine arts. Professionally I have started at a local daily newspaper at Medicine Hat, Alberta,while contributing to the Canadian Press. After that I have worked for the Winnipeg Sun, TASR and Reuters. Since 2003, I'm on staff at Agence France Presse (AFP) in Vienna, Austria as the regional Chief Photographer responsible for Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. Between 2011–2014 I was based in Los Angeles, USA and moved back to Vienna until the present. I have been covering news, sports, politics, entertainment and documentary events.
A total of 50 world-renowned photo editors and digital experts from international publications in the news, photography and sports industries will choose the finalists – sorting through over tens of thousands of images to do so.
Each judge will vote in three rounds – first for the five finalist images and then for the one Category Winner in each of the eleven categories. From the eleven category winning images they will vote for the Overall Winner.
Judges will base their decisions on a mix of composition, technical superiority, creativity, impact, artistic flair and overall qualities of photographic excellence.
Andrew Clurman is the CEO and President of Active Interest, a media company comprised of more than 50 internationally renowned print, digital and social media brands, a state of the art video production company, and first-in-class events.
He says: "Photography provides a window to the soul of people, places and stories."
His philosophy on how to win: "When everyone's looking to the right, look to the left."
Evgeny Tchebotarev began photography in 2002 and since then he has spent the entirety of his professional career dedicated to the betterment of visual creativity, focusing on photography and design.
In early 2004, before Facebook and photo-sharing sites, he created a community for photographers to meet, share photos and information. He named it 500px.
In July 2018, he joined Skylum Software as VP of Growth Asia, applying years of hands-on expertise of working with Asian companies to expand Skylum’s award-winning products to the Asian markets.
He is an active photographer and has been honoured to judge many world class photo contests, including the previous edition of Red Bull Illume.
"For me, photography is the ultimate experience. Especially action sport photography. The amount of work, precision, and accurate timing that goes into that resembled more a scientific lab experiment rather than an action sport photo shoot.“
Graduate in the Faculty of Humanities at University of Milan, departement of Visual Arts, I’m photo editor at SportWeek, the saturday supply of italian sport daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, a weekly magazine in depth, with interviews, reportages and inquiries about world of sport, not only football, not only Italian but all over the world. We’re also very interested to adventures and newest cool styles of life. We like to show to our readers unhespected sides of sports.
I am a member of photo editor’s italian association (Grin) that promotes press photography in our country with exihbitions, meetings, and the photographic Award Amilcare G. Ponchielli. I’ve been part of contests juries, portfolio lectures and international photo festivals.
She says, "A great adventure and action sports image is a picture of big emotion and strongness, for extraordinariness of action and landscape and for the power of the light and the composition."
After a few years of studying to be a engineer in material science, I chose to change my future to something more creative, something that makes me meet creative people, and started to study photojournalism to combine photography and writing. After a few years at Swedens biggest newspapers, I found my spot at Kamera & Bild, where I started to work a technology journalist, testing cameras and writing articles, combining my technical experience with my photojournalistic ones. After a year I took over to be editor in chief, now leading the work to make the most exciting paper about photography here in Sweden.
As a photojournalist, my favorite photos are the real ones, the ones that are not staged, since they often talk right into my mind. This makes my relationship with photography close to the real world, and usually includes peoples in the photo too, because peoples expressions are so personal and individual. But I can also enjoy a good scenery, artistic and set-up photos too. But they have to have a meaning, a story. It is also amazing to see what it sometimes takes to get one picture – a lot of coordination, planning and – sportsmen doing the impossible.
Today it is easy to equalize the meaning of good photography with “good technical skills”, but a good photo has something deeper to tell, than just being perfectly structured pixels. I guess it’s pretty common to say “be unique” as a pro tip, but if you twist around your first idea for a couple of rounds, I’m sure you could find something that is one of a kind, and also have your personal twist merged into the photo. And perhaps you can make that photo part of a bigger story, a story that the viewer really want to dig deeper into.
Image credit: ©Gordon Andersson
About 14 years ago I started as a Graphic Design-intern at “Funbox”, a publication covering extreme sports and lifestyle, which in 2006 evolved into “Salt Magazine”. It turned out that I easily find or pick up the best images with the stories our editors have in mind, so my job naturally became more and more about image editing than the design job that I went to school for. Photography is very important in my job. You can have the best writers and stories, but an image still says more than a thousand words.
Her biggest piece of advice: “Just don’t take the shot that has already been shot a thousand times before.”
Tips and tricks from Laura: "A great photo needs to be ‘just right’. I can’t just name one thing. The composition, the light, the focus should be the best for the subject that you are photographing. You can take 100 pictures of a scene and have 95 technically good photos, some crappy ones, but just 1 might turn out to be perfect. I think that luck and timing add a great deal to make a great photo."
In 2005 I moved to New York to study at the International Center of Photography (ICP). I worked for as an assistant to a photo journalist and then as an assistant photo editor at GEO Magazine in their New York office. In 2011, I returned to Switzerland and started working at the Sonntagsblick Magazine – and now I work with all of the online and print publications at Blick Group. We focus on domestic as well as international news; in addition, we cover entertainment, lifestyle, and sports.
Creative risks often are what sets great photography apart from just good, or average photography.
Share what is in your head, produce it - don’t be afraid to take creative risks. Old fashioned face-to-face networking is a great way to meet people, share ideas, see what is trending and talk about who you are and what your work means. Get out there and see what people are doing – give and receive constructive criticism. Be inspired, and in doing so provide inspiration for someone else. In addition, I also think social networking in the digital world provides great ways to promote and share your work – but get educated about sharing your work online and be knowledgeable about copyright laws and the pros and cons that come with networking online. Don’t rely on one form of communication with your audience – but find the balance that works right for you.
I'm a professional editor and writer with more than 20 years experience in print and online formats. For most of my career, I have been based in Hong Kong, an ideal base for an inveterate traveller as I can live in a green, hilly backwater on the island of Lantau while also having one of the world’s most connected and efficient airports just 30 minutes away by taxi. There I am editor-in-chief of Action Asia, a regional adventure travel magazine that has charted – and I hope also helped inspire – the rising interest among locals as well as expats in active ways to enjoy the wild outdoors. In addition, I freelance for a number of other local and regional magazines, mostly concerned with travel of one sort or another.
Photography at is best is not simply eye candy. A shot may evoke wonder with is spectacular setting, vivid colours or high impact, but the truly great images cause us not just to 'stand back’ and admire but to 'lean in’ and ask about the inspiration that brought the photographer to that point in time and place, how the scene was anticipated or imagined, the mechanics of its capture and perhaps a serendipitous collision of circumstance that elevated the final image.
Within this there is a tension between the quest for authenticity and a creative's desire to push their skills in new directions. Much of the best work seen in past illume contests has seen photographers play with expectations, providing unusual perspectives and juxtapositions. Last year’s winner shows how this doesn’t have to mean 'bleeding edge’ technology, prodigious post-processing or complex storyboarding. It can be as simple as faultless execution of a beautifully simple idea.
"After having spent over 20 years as editor-in-chief and photo editor of several adventure, travel and leisure magazines, I can say one thing: photography is the lifeline of all my past and present endeavors. Photography says it all. And it says it even better when it catches your breath in a split second. This is what 30° magazine is all about: getting your attention and making you ponder. How on earth did he get that shot?"
On picking the right photo: "Being a photo editor isn’t always as fun as it sounds. To find the right picture, you may need to sort a 1000 of them. And go through a zillion photographers. I’m lucky enough I’ve hade opportunities to work with the best out there. The more daring. The more imaginative. The more profound. I’ve become very selective."
Some advice: "Technique is a given: you need to know how to handle your camera. Not just think you know. Then, practice sets in. Shoot, shoot, shoot. And shoot some more. Once your eye is sharp, then we begin talking."
Hideko Kataoka has been director of photography at Newsweek, Japan, since 2001. She joined the magazine as a photographer in 1991, covering national news, social issues and portraiture of world business and cultural leaders.
As director of photography, she oversees and directs photography both for the printed and digital editions of the magazine as well as its special issues. In 2004, Hideko launched the Picture Power section in the magazine, a weekly photo essay that captures underreported topics around the world.
Hideko is a lecturer at Tokyo Polytechnic University, does portfolio reviews and has served as a juror at international photography festivals and competitions, such as World PressPhoto and FotoFest, as an External Review Committee Member for Tokyo Photographic Art Museum.
"I am fascinated about the ability to capture intense moments of the human experience, and beauty of human body and activity."
I have been a photo editor for various magazines for over 20 years. Since 2012 I have been working at Red Bull Media House as a photo editor for the Terra Mater magazine. Meanwhile I am also responsible as photo director Servus World for magazines like Servus, Bergwelten and Carpe Diem. Terra Mater is a special interest magazine on nature, wildlife, sustainability and research. Terra Mater wants to discover the world and point out the beauty of our planet. The people sensitize that it is worth trying to preserve the planet as it is.
An adventure or action sport picture has to evoke an emotion. A photographer should always stay on the ball, constantly develop himself technically and stylistically and never lose his love for his profession.
For 25 years co-publisher and editor-in-chief of 7sky Magazine, 'skate, surf, snow, eco and awareness’. Since a few years founder 7sky.life, beaming the spirit of nature and beauty, evolution and consciousness on the of the collaborative media platform. My biggest pleasure is to connect people on heart level. And to tell and spread stories that can change the world in a positive way.
A great adventure & action sports image for me is when I feel an emotion looking at it. In these picture I always sense a love-story as well, the love-story between the photographer and its object.
Just connect to the object, find a nice, original and attractive angle, and click…
Born in 1972 I touched my first camera at 6 years old during a family vacation in Greece. I started taking pictures for a local newspaper at the age of 14 and went pro in 1990. I am staff photographer with Reuters since 2007 based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1851, Reuters is one of the leading news agency covering the world for its media clients with text, photo, video and graphics. It employs 600 photographers worldwide.
His thoughts on what makes on a great photo? “I am looking for a wow effect, a picture has to cause a strong emotion. Personally I prefer to take pictures of moving action where you only get one chance of getting the shot.”
As for advice to anyone wanting to submit, Balibouse is unequivocal. “Shoot, shoot, shoot, look at others for respectful inspiration and then go out to shoot, shoot and shoot more.”
"I've been striving to build something that genuinely gives a voice to people around the world who are passionate about nature and the outdoors. The outdoors transcends borders, yet existing media has tended to skew towards specific nationalities or cultures. We're breaking down barriers, with the ultimate purpose of protecting wilderness across the globe."
What makes a great image? "A great image must transcend the mundane and capture the spirit or essence of the moment, capture time, or capture the emotion of the photographer, as much as or even instead of the subject."
Some advice for anyone submitting: "Think before you shoot. Don't lean on the fact of having a zillion gigs of space on your card to fill it up with a lot of bad shots that you'll have to sort out later. Think differently - what angle are you not seeing? Think counter-intuitively. Shoot into the sun at the right hours of the day to use it as backlight, or while using a natural feature as a scrim. Shoot as wide open as you can so you have the bokeh. Shoot motion blur. Emotion is more important than tack sharp lines."
I have completed a master’s degree in communication studies and was a film critic before entering the world of photography. I have been writing about photography and photographers since the 1990s and have been editor-in-chief of fotoMAGAZIN in Hamburg since the beginning of this year.
fotoMAGAZIN is the oldest and most renowned photo magazine in Germany (since 1949) and it is published monthly. Once a year (in September) I produce the XXL - Fine Art - booklet fotoMAGAZIN EDITION.
A great action and adventure sports photo shatters our habits of seeing or imagining and shows us the action from a new, surprising perspective. The image is supposed to dynamically enhance the sport shown.
On how to win Red Bull Illume: "Think out of the box! Get inspired somewhere else and don't copy stuff. Go outside with your camera and try new things. And stick with it; don't get discouraged when an idea doesn't work out and the job gets frustrating."
For 10 years King Network has been Canada’s largest action sports media company, publishing King Snowboard magazine, Forecast Ski magazine and King Skateboard magazine. Founded by Ryan Stutt, he’s been at the forefront of action sports media for over a decade.
What makes a great shot?
Get weird. Get creative. The best photos are the ones that make you say “Huh? The f**k? How’d it shoot this?”
How to win Red Bull Illume?
It’s all about timing and knowing the sport you’re shooting. Any idiot with an SLR can shoot an action sports photo—it takes someone with knowledge and love of what they’re shooting to really make a photo special.
I've worked for photography magazines and websites for the past 20 years and have been editor-in-chief of Shutterbug for the last five years. Shutterbug is the leading resource for anyone seeking to learn how to shoot better photos. With a broad audience of amateurs, photo enthusiasts, aspiring pros, and working professional photographers, Shutterbug.com offers a collection of the web's best photography how-to-do’s, tutorials, photo gear reviews and industry news.
The two most important things for me with adventure and actions sports images are timing and composition. Dare to try something different but don't forget the human element.
Udi Tirosh is a Photographer, a relentless entrepreneur, a dad. Order of items is subject to daily changes.
He is also the editor of the industry-leading photography blog DIYPhotography.net - A one-stop shop for the photo and video industry.
He recommends: "Bigger and better said it before me (looking at you Robert Capa), If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough. Or if that is not an option, go really, really far."
Florian is the Co-Founder and CEO of EyeEm, the world's premier photography community and marketplace connecting its more than 22 million creators with brands. The platform is powered by its patented computer vision software that automatically understands the content of an image, and curates millions of visuals, surfacing the best results for their global customer base. The idea originated after his digital SLR camera was stolen in a New York subway while working as a professional photographer. He has been featured and exhibited in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, Wired Magazine among others and is an avid speaker on technology, entrepreneurship and the future of the photography industry.
Florian says, "It’s all about the decisive moment. Clean and simple backgrounds that shape all the attention to your subject. Knowing your auto-focus inside out. And good light!"
I started my photography career early in my teens at my high school in the U.S.A. where I was the photo editor on the student annual and photographer for the student newspaper. I had a head start with photography as a boy as my father was a sports and travel photographer. After moving to Europe on a study abroad program I landed a job with Reuters news agency as a freelance photographer in Madrid, Spain in 1989. In 1992 I was offered a staff job with Reuters in London where I worked as Photographer/Editor, covering news and sports. In 1996 I became the Chief Photographer for Reuters in Italy where I was in charge of coverage and covered news and sports. In 2001 I returned to Spain where I was based as Chief Photographer Iberia for Reuters and lead the team of photographers covering news and sports.
I am the CEO of 500px, a global community for photographers with over 15 million members from 195 countries, whom have shared 120+ million images to date and growing. Photographers, from hobbyist to high-profile professional photographers, and everything in between, come to 500px to discover and share incredible photos, gain exposure and get paid for their work and skills. The platform provides a variety of products and tools that motivate and help photographers to improve at every step of their creative journey.
A truly incredible image is one that captures the relationship between the action or surroundings and the emotion felt. Whether it’s the emotion of the subject or the emotion that you want the viewer to feel, this is the secret sauce that makes an image stand apart from the rest.
Evaluating and learning from your past work are key to improving your results. Look at what you were producing last week, last month, last year on a regular basis and push yourself to experiment and try new things - you’ll see the difference in your results.
I moved to Boulder 10 years ago because of its status as an adventure hub, and it has not disappointed yet. I’ve been working at BACKPACKER for 3 years where we try and encourage readers to participate in a growing revolution: in a society that assumes that progress and everything associated with it is to be embraced, we encourage people to slow down and enjoy the simple of walking in the woods. Although I primarily work with editorial content I still view photographs in terms of “making” vs. “capturing.”
To me, making a great photograph requires the same intentionality as a sculptor needs to create a statue; you will surely get lucky snapping away at a scene, but if you want to make great images again and again then it’s helpful to approach it as a construction.
I've been working as a photo editor for 30 years. And I've been photo editor in chief for 8 years of Le Matin Dimanche, the biggest newspaper in the French part of Switzerland.
For me emotions, unforeseen and breathtaking images are important.
Look for the unusual and astonishing when you are out shooting images.
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Andrew Fredrickson is the Managing Editor at Racer X Illustrated in Morgantown, West Virginia. When he's not at races shooting photos, you can find him going through the best of the best motocross images around the world to make Racer X Illustrated the most picturesque in the business.
"There are a lot of things to consider when deciding if an action photo is something spectacular. But one thing I tend to look for is the scene itself, along with the action presented.
"Learn about how light works! My best advice is to learn how to shoot on film and exactly how light relates to the shutter, aperture, film, and your lens."
I grew up in Florence, South Carolina being a little punk-rock, skaterat that fell in love with photography in high school. I was then able to turn my love of photography and skateboarding into a full-time career by working in skateboarding for the past 20 years, with 13 years at Skateboarder Magazine, and the last six years at Transworld Skateboarding. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t thank my lucky stars that I still get to do this for a living.
It’s not about the equipment. Photography’s about the moment, capturing a moment that will last forever.
Never get less than twelve hours sleep. Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city. And, never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.
Mr. Mukesh Kumar is an Indian Air Force veteran and has served the country for 10 years. He also has more than 13 years of corporate experience as a Business Consultant with reputed organizations like The World Bank, National Geographic, Deloitte & Touche, Tata Consulting Services, US Government, etc. He has experience of working with Event Management, Banking, Insurance, Healthcare, Non-Profit, Defense, and State/Federal Government projects, K12 and School Systems. Apart from this, he has traveled and worked in many countries like USA, Canada, South Korea, Austria, and China.
Founder and CEO of Chiiz, a platform for photographers to collaborate and showcase their creations, Mukesh Kumar has been working towards creating an ecosystem of photographers and other artists which would help bridge the gaps that he faced in his early days as a photographer.
Chiiz Magazine is an extension of chiiz.com and displays the work of photographers all over the world. A monthly photography magazine, Chiiz puts under the spotlight one genre of photography every month, effectively showcasing the work of renowned photographers in the genre. With limited space for advertisements, one can effectively browse through amazing work in photography without any distractions.
Micah is the Group Content Director for AMI’s Adventure Sports Network Group, and oversees all editorial and branded content for some of the largest and most respected brands in action and adventure sports, including Surfer, Powder, Snowboarder, TransWorld Skateboarding, and Bike. Prior to that, Micah wrote, edited and produced content across the sport and men’s general interest spectrum, garnering a Sports Emmy award for his work on NBC’s Olympic coverage, helping launch the digital media company Fatherly, and scripting 11 years-worth of ski movies for Warren Miller Entertainment. He is an accomplished skier, a much less accomplished surfer, and can still fall hard enough on a skateboard to make other skaters wince.
"The exact opposite of whatever everyone else thinks makes a great image. Whether it’s unexpected framing, a technical leveraging of external conditions that others find problematic to become an image’s focal point, or just looking over here when everyone is looking over there, the images I love best completely surprise me. Often, photographers find these images by going somewhere no one else has bothered to go; just as often, they create these images by coming at common situations in totally uncommon ways. "
Best advice you ever recieved?
"Technical mastery isn’t mastery without a point of view."
A Toronto native, Laura has over 13 years of experience as a professional photographer and photo editor. She got her first taste of photography adventure after successfully funding an Arctic expedition at the age of 15 through donations and equipment sponsorships.
Laura went on to combine her love of both storytelling and photography through an internship with National Geographic Adventure magazine in New York. Back in Canada, Laura went on to work for some of the country’s top magazines including OWL Kids, HELLO! Canada and Canadian Geographic Magazine.
Laura currently leads partnerships at Pexels, where she spends her days connecting the world’s most influential and creative partners to members of the world’s fastest-growing stock photography community. This includes working with brands and businesses who are looking to integrate the Pexels API as well as connecting partners to talented creatives from the community through custom shoots, photo contests, and strategic collaborations.
“What I love most and what I think truly makes great action and adventure imagery is something that gives you pause, or that instant roller coaster stomach drop feeling. Seeing a human go up against the world's most unpredictable elements shows us how strong we really are. I’m always blown away to think that behind every great action or adventure shot of an athlete or someone crazy enough to challenge these elements, there's someone equally as crazy, brave and skilled alongside them documenting those often death-defying moments of humans pushing the limits of their physical capabilities.”
I currently work at Conde Nast as the Visuals Editor for GQ, GQ Style and Pitchfork. Prior to that I was the Director of Photography at Golf Digest Magazine. I began my career as a Photo Editor at SLAM Magazine and then moved to ESPN the Magazine, working primarily on action sports and EXPN, a twice-yearly action sports insert. I covered stories ranging from athlete portfolios at X-Games to providing action photographers instruction on how to take a great moving shot. I've also worked at Red Bull as Head of Content Pool, and in advertising with the Converse Cons skate team.
Learning to create and live in your space behind the lens is critical. We live in an age where so much is shot on phones, which too can sometimes feel like a disconnect between photographer and subject. Learning to make and live in your space behind the lens is critical.
"There is one thing the photograph must contain: the humanity of the moment. This kind of photography is realism. But realism is not enough – there has to be vision, and the two together can make a good photograph.” – Robert Frank
Photography has always been on the frontlines of action and adventure sports — the relationship between the two is undeniable. These two art forms that have grown together, shattered expectations, and reached new heights of creativity. I'm very excited to see what the future holds for both.
There are definitely parallels between the world of photography and the world of extreme sports. Both require an incredible amount of patience and dedication to grow. You'll find that the more you practice and overcome your failures, the more likely you'll grow into a stronger, more focused photographer.
For me, what makes a great action and adventure sport image is the visual harmony between an environment and the athlete.
I work alongside the editors at SNOWBOARDER Magazine as the Director of Photography, curating global perspectives from those of us behind the camera lens. Our collaborations with one another, all who contribute, and those that support the magazine’s art of storytelling are amazing. Our publication produces four print issues annually, numerous snowboard films, major events, and releases a constant flow of content digitally through our website and social media to all our audience and subscribers. SNOWBOARDER Magazine has become the world’s largest snowboard media over the last 30 years.
If you’re making imagery that makes you happy, you should be on track for a long life in photography.
Actually doing the sport, and having a passion for what you photograph makes the deepest connection which helps you anticipate all the factors when setting up for the shot.
In addition to the creative process, make it a goal to establish a simple post-production workflow. This promotes good organizational habits. It’ll also save you time in the archival process and keep your clients happy.
Your network is huge for making ideas happen. Building quality relationships is really important.
I am a photo addict. Been in the photojournalism industry for more than 30 years. I first started as a news desker at Gamma Presse Images in Paris, then as photo assignment editor for Gamma Liaison in New York. Was then successively photo editor and news reporter at the French weeklies Le Figaro Magazine, l’Express and VSD before joining Paris Match 21 years ago. I oversee content on all web, social media, and mobile formats at Paris Match, including the magazine’s daily edition on Snapchat Discover. Previously, I was the French weekly magazine’s deputy and News Editor for 15 years.
Paris Match motto is the choc of photos and the weight of words. Visually oriented with great human stories angles.
Don’t forget where the story is...
What does photography mean to you?
"A photo a day keeps the doctor away!"
Eric Hendrikx is Action Sports Editor of REVOLVER Magazine. He studied photography composition and film development while completing his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Anthropology, ultimately seeking to become more like Indiana Jones. Hendrikx’s action sports and music photography work has been published in Rolling Stone, Playboy, Transworld, InsideHook, Adventure Sports Network, REVOLVER and more.
“As consummate writer, I find the most paramount action sports images are the ones that tell a compelling story — a photograph that you can gaze at and visualize the beforehand, the now, and the after,” says Hendrikx. “But also a tale that unfolds the more you connect with it. If the viewer sees the image, immediately gets it, and walks away — the photographer has failed to captivate.”
As Hendrikx explains it, some of the key elements of masterful photography include shooting wide enough so that the viewer feels as if he could step into the world created and play a role in its landscape. “Juxtaposition and inclusion of human subjects for scale and emotional connection are critical to relatability in action sports,” says Hendrikx. “And underexposing an image so that the viewer must dig deeper to discover its real treasures is often a photographer’s best-kept secret.”
Keri Bascetta first picked up a camera in high school, and her early passion for the medium eventually led to studying photography in college, and pursuing a career in publishing. She is currently acting as Director of Photography and Staff Photographer for SKI Magazine in Boulder, CO. Her job allows her to assign and source striking images from top photographers around the world, while also spending time shooting product in the studio during summers and ski traveling on assignment during the winter months.
What makes a great image?
"It’s not easy to capture an image that stands out amongst all of them. Composition, light and color are initial elements that make stop and look more closely, but the top images always connect to our emotions, which is why they stick in our memories."
Nick Galac is a Senior Photo Editor at ESPN. He started his career as an intern at Marie Claire UK and has spent the past 13 years in sports photography at vertical and pansport titles including the past 8 years at ESPN where he specializes in creatively producing premium photography for digital content, features, covers and The Body Issue
Photography is such a vast medium that’s always evolving and I love being able to conceptualize and collaborate on the creation of compelling imagery on a daily basis.
Advice for participants;
"Enjoy and trust the photography process. Find your inspiration. Keep exploring and experimenting."
What do you look for in a great picture?
"Combination of energy, visual tension, light and composition."
I have been in Marketing, Design and Photography for over 30 years. In this time I have worked in several agencies initially as a designer and then working up to Creative Director and ran my own design and photography studio for 15 years. I now finally find myself at the helm of Surfing Life, one Australia’s preeminent surf magazines. As a life long surfer, this in an amazing position to be in, to combine both my craft and my passion into a career. Surfing Life was fist published in 1985 (the same year I started surfing) and has been at the forefront of surf media ever since. In recent times, with the onset of online platforms, Surfing Life has had to adjust and in doing has developed a publishing strategy that says it apart from everyone else in the industry. We publish five issue a year focusing on the five pillars of surfing, Waves, Travel, Technique, Boards and Surfers. Our promise to every reader is they will become a better surfer, this is close to our heart.
My moto has always been “my best photo is the one I will take tomorrow”, this helps you to never stop pushing.
A great adventure & action sport image is something that evokes emotion, be it awe, amazement, fear, dreams, etc, etc, it doesn’t really matter, it just needs to move you. I firmly believe action images have that ability. Of course, colour depth, sharpness, framing and focal point all come into making the emotion jump off the page/screen, but unless it makes me stop in my tracks then it doesn’t have it.
Never think you have enough card space or batteries, always charge and dump every night while on assignment. Never think, ah that shot will be there tomorrow I’ll get it then, trust me it never is, it might be even better, but in my experience, if you don’t grab it, you’ve missed it. When it comes to surf images, water shots are always the best, so if can shoot in the water, always shoot in the water. And finally my moto has always been “my best photo is the one I will take tomorrow”, this helps you to never stop pushing.
My name is Thomas Heaton, I am a landscape photographer based out of the north east of England. I travel the world in pursuit of perfect light and inspirational subjects. I wish to experience and spend as much time in the outdoors as possible and this is what drives my photography.
My images are all inspired by nature and the elements around us and I share my work and my adventures through my YouTube channel. My goal is to create beautiful pieces of work and show people that anybody can enjoy the outdoors, connect with nature and make beautiful images too.
Being in the outdoors can be a relaxing and calming experience, it can also be a high-octane adrenaline inducing experience and the latter can make for some truly inspirational photography. A great action sports image should instantly change the state of mind of the viewer by stirring up feelings of excitement, fear, curiosity and inspiration. Ultimately a good sports/action image should be part of the building blocks that inspire a person to achieve great things and push new boundaries.
Capturing the moment, the pain and the struggle will help tell a powerful story. Atmosphere and the true moment come first.
Include the environment. When photographing your subject, it is tempting to fill the frame with their awesomeness, however space and context are very important. If you are photographing climbers scaling a glacier, try pulling wide to include the whole glacier and reducing the climbers to ant sized figures. This will give the image a lot of impact as the viewer can now see the scale of what the climbers face.
Don’t be afraid of getting things less than perfect. Sharpness, perfect exposure and a clean lens should be low on your list of priorities when photographing action sports. To get a great image you will have to get in amongst the action and this will mean shooting in hard, inhospitable environments. You will have to act fast and stay safe. Capturing the moment, the pain and the struggle will help tell a powerful story. If there is rain on your lens, then the viewer knows it was wet. If your image has motion blur, the viewer knows you were moving fast. If your highlights are blown out, the viewer knows that the sun was blasting down on the snow, but your subject was skiing in the shadow of the mountain. Atmosphere and the true moment come first.
Plan the perfect shot. Whilst a lot of sports are fast and frantic, some are controlled and more methodical. If you are planning a shoot of your friends climbing an E6, scout the crag first. See which direction it is facing and the time of day you will need to shoot to get the best light. Think about composition and which part of the route has the most dynamic move. All of this will help ensure you tell the best story.
Tyler Tate is the Editor in Chief and principle photographer for Action Sports Today/USA Today Action Sports. Tyler also runs a content provider media company T Squared Sports Media bringing additional content from the action and adventure sports community to mainstream media outlets like MSN, Yahoo and Apple News.
"Finding your comfort allows you to breathe and focus on the task at hand and that is to capture that moment. To tell the story. They say a photo is worth a thousand words. With the thirst for immediate information, a photo can be worth a million words now. Shot with intent and shot with purpose.
"Does the image tell a story? If it doesn’t then it is not a great photo. For many athletes, this may be the pinnacle of their career and it is your job to showcase their story in the image to share their passion with anyone who views your photo.
"Photography is the art of capturing the beauty of life in whatever capacity that may be. It is the act of appreciating and capturing “the moment”. As a photographer you need to have a relationship with your camera, know how to use the equipment and environment around you.
"Create Depth. Depth helps to create a story. In other words, make the viewer feel like they are there. Show passion, show heartbreak, capture the moment. If you think ahead and understand what you are shooting, you have a chance at getting 'the shot'."