Double-vision: shooting 3D with 2 cameras

Double-vision: shooting 3D with 2 cameras

Judging by the presence of 3D camera technology at Photokina this year, 3D is gaining some serious momentum with manufacturers. For professional photographers though, the last year has been a time of experimentation with a brand new "old" technique. Especially if you don’t have a 3D camera, how do you get the 3D effect?

Markus Berger at Red Bull Photofiles gave this video tutorial on how to perfect the photoshop method. Pro photographer Ian Coble used the other logical approach – he used two cameras. Read on to find out about his shoot with pro kayaker Tao Berman.

What brief did you get for the shoot?
What made this shoot so incredible wasn't just the sheer athleticism of Tao in front of the camera, but the amount of creativity I was afforded. When organizing the shoot, Red Bull essentially gave me free reign to shoot it however I wanted.

When did you start getting interested in 3D?
For the last few months I've been dying to try shooting something in 3D. Since I saw the James Cameron movie Avatar, I wanted to test 3D technology and see how it translated from video to still images. When this shoot with Tao came about, I knew this was the shoot to make it happen.

3D photography is still pretty new. What research did you do for the shoot?
I'd come across plenty of other 3D photos, but none of them were action or motion based. Everything I was coming across was static – whether it was a landscape, portrait or still life. Not finding any 3D (also called anaglyph) photos of sports got me really excited. This was going to be something relatively new. Also, it's always fun to be the guinea pig on new things as you never know what you're going to encounter or how it's going to turn out.

What shooting method did you use?
With new versions of Photoshop, it's now easier to create 3D images in post-production with a single camera and manipulate the single resulting image. But that's not what I wanted to do here.

With this shoot, I wanted to achieve a true 3D image, by shooting two cameras offset from one another. The advantage in using two cameras is that the resulting 3D image has more detailed depth and texture as it does not require Photoshop to extrapolate and create new information. Even with two camera method though, you still have to do some post-production editing.

When you have your two images, what post-production work is required?
The basics behind creating a 3D image in Photoshop are to stack images in layers. Once there, you have to determine the focal point of your image and align the two frames. From there, you have to remove the red channel from the right eye‘s image and remove the green and blue channels from the left eye’s image.

You can do this for example in the levels window by selecting the appropriate channel and changing the output level from 255 to 0. Once you have a right eye image (which will look green) and a left eye image (which should appear red) you need to adjust your blending mode from normal to screen. This will leave you with a 3D image that you can make any final density or color corrections to.

What camera settings did you use?
I shot these images with 2 Nikon D3’s. Both cameras were set to manual exposure mode with a shutter speed of 1/500th and an aperture of f/ 5.6. Given the dark nature of the canyon we were shooting in, I had to bump the ISO up to 1600 in order to be able to shoot at a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action.

I set the focus of both cameras by pre-focusing on a rock near the lip of the drop. Once set, I locked the focus off so that it wouldn’t slip during the sequence.

How did you mount the camera?
I mounted one of the cameras on a Manfrotto tripod with a Manfrotto 3265 joystick head. The second camera was mounted on a Manfrotto 244 Magic Arm, which was clamped to one leg of the tripod. This positioned both cameras on a relatively even plane, which would not have been achievable with two tripods, given the rocky terrain of the river bank.

Did you have to experiment to get the right distance between the camera bodies?
Determining the distance between the camera bodies was quite tough to figure out. I had to do a lot of research online, and eventually discovered that the ideal distance apart between the cameras is determined by how far away your subject is.

An easy way to determine the distance between cameras – this isn’t 100% accurate, but it’s pretty close – is to separate the cameras by a factor of 1/30th of the distance to the focal point of your frame. The further away the subject is, the further apart the cameras must be in order to achieve a 3D affect. For this location, I worked out that a distance of about 12 inches (30 centimeters) would provide enough separation to give the resulting image enough depth.

When shooting 3D, the cameras have to be perfectly level – or at least on the same angle “off” of level – or the resulting image will cause the viewer to get a headache as their eyes try to focus on two non-corresponding horizons. To achieve a level frame on each camera, I secured my iPhone to each camera and used the iHandy Level App to zero in on the horizons.

Did the cameras have the same lenses?
Yes, both cameras had the same lenses on them (a Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8 AFS lens). Both cameras have to have an identical field of vision for 3D to work, so both lenses need to be the same.

How did you trigger the cameras at the same time?
I triggered my cameras with two Nikon MC-30 remote trigger releases. I sandwiched the two releases together and pressed down on the triggers at the same time. I practiced this at home prior to the shoot in order to make sure that both cameras would fire at exactly the same time.

I experimented with a few other methods, including remote triggering with pocket wizards, but the MC-30 route gave me the most reliable results. Right now, I’m in the process of re-wiring the MC-30’s for future shoots so that one trigger will fork off to each camera and eliminate the need to press two triggers simultaneously.

What challenges did you have on the day?
Given the inherent danger in running waterfalls, and not wanting to subject Tao to any more danger than necessary, we only had a few attempts to make the shoot work. Just to make sure, we used 3 cameras at all times. I had two cameras shooting 3D and one camera shooting an alternative angle to ensure we had maximum coverage and guarantee differing angles and vantage points.

The other challenge was the inability to check our results in the field. Given the remote location, the limited amount of daylight we had to work with and the amount of time it takes to process a 3D image, we weren’t able to review the 3D image on location. All our research had to be done in advance and we had to trust that what we were doing was accurate. In this age of digital, it’s tough to go back to the times when you can’t check your work in the field and make adjustments.

Were you happy with the final results? What could be enhanced or experimented with?
In the end, the shoot turned out great. The 3D image turned out better than I could have hoped.

For future shoots, in addition to re-wiring my MC-30 remote triggers, I’m also trying to fabricate a sliding mounting bracket that allows two cameras to be mounted on the same tripod.  This will allow me to make quick adjustments to the separation distance between the cameras. The method I employed on this shoot worked, but it wasn’t really efficient for making quick changes.

Additionally, I’d love to shoot at a location that has more depth to it. The location of this waterfall didn’t have a lot of separation between the foreground and background. I’d love to experiment more with a location that provided more depth to it, as I think the resulting 3D image would turn out even better.

I'm excited to put this technology to use again on some more shoots in the near future, stay tuned!

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They said it: April Top 25 (part 2)

Part 2 of our story where we hand over to the photographers looking for votes in this month's Best of Instagram by SanDisk category. Read, view, and enjoy!

Once you’re ready to vote for the April winner, click here! 

© Abdo Magdy / Red Bull Illume

Me and friend Hany decided to take extraordinary shot from different angle for his parkour moves and I said to mix between the Architectural view and his flip In that place

© Adam Klingeteg / Red Bull Illume

It was the most beautiful day. The stars aligned and the new snow was way fluffier than expected, which we took full advantage of with a 9 hour long day up on the mountain. It was just too good to leave. I wanted the photo to have something more than just a rider and a big white cloud. So I added some snow on the lens to create the flares - Which always is a though task since the lens is super cold and the sun pretty warm. Gotta be quick and there’s no second chance on making it just right!

© Alfredo Moran / Red Bull Illume

I will never forget that afternoon of free flight in paragliding in front of the Popocatépetl. The recent activity of this volcano has given us incredible landscapes and one of the signs of the strength of nature before how small we are. Location: Chalchihuapan, Puebla, Mexico. Pilot on frame: Alex Gru, Mexico.

© Christian Pondella / Red Bull Illume

Will Gadd ice climbs in a moulin on the Greenland ice cap near Ilulissat, Greenland on October 14, 2018. After days of exploration in the moulin Will finally got the chance to ice climb allowing us to create some really unique climbing images in one of the wildest places we have ever been!

© Domenic Mosqueira / Red Bull Illume

An angle rarely seen at Teahupoo, from the inside of the impact zone of the wave and rider. Shot while tracking the wave on a jetski. Needed a clean swell and good conditions and on this day and frame it all came together.

© Emiliano Meucci / Red Bull Illume

I belive this photo is the testament of how hard is to ride this DIY Skatepark and how the skater where fully committed, charging this corner full speed. I told my self not to stop shooting even if the board was coming straight at me, I knew from experience that sometimes that unplanned element can add an extra layer to the photo, so I kept shooting till the board hit my forearm. The Rider walked away from the fall and kept skating like nothing happen.

© Fabien Maierhofer / Red Bull Illume

We tried to make a video about skiing on the moon last summer. The video is fun but all the pictures look 'out of time'. This is the making of video!

© Federico Ravassard / Red Bull Illume

It was shot in an abandoned quarry in the middle of Italy. Those kind of places are just perfect for skateboarding, because the rocks are cut in perfectly smooth shapes. Hope to continue in the quest!

© Frode Sandbech / Red Bull Illume

If the moon pops out when I am shooting, I will always look for angles and if it is possible to incorporate it into a photo. Most of the time the location doesn’t let it happen, but once in a while the situation is right and I am able to create these in-camera illusions. In this particular one we got Yuki Kadono walking on the moon!

© Geoff Coombs / Red Bull Illume

On a clear spring day in Lake Huron, AIDA freediver Andrew Ryzebol swims between a cathedral of bubbles rising from scuba divers deep below.

© Ebrahim Adam / Red Bull Illume

This photo was taken on one weekend when I travelled to the state of Johor in Malaysia to meet some local skaters and BMX riders. It was a 100km bike ride from my home to the skatepark. I had just bought a new drone and wanted to try capturing images using it. The sky was overcast the whole time. At around 4pm, the sun streaked out from the clouds. As I was observing the guys pulling the tricks, the shadows casted resembled the sketches from the old 'Etch a Sketch' toy I used to play when I was young. I flew my drone and focused on one of the skater as he was doing an Ollie flip on one of the curb. I took some images using the burst mode. The images look odinary until I toggle it left and right repeatedly and saw them forming a smooth sequential action. Back at home, I took all 3 images, stitched them together in Photoshop. I chose one of the image of the skater as the main layer and kept the 3 shadows to show the sequence of the trick.

Backside tube-riding is probably the best, hardest but most stylish part of surfing! Here is the view from underwater during the morning light at one of the heaviest wave in the world : Teahupo’o.

In their own words: April Top 25 (part 1)

With 25 images to choose between each month of the Best of Instagram by SanDisk category, voting for a winner isn’t always easy!

This month to help persuade the public we decided to give the photographers a line each to describe their image and how it was created to help voters make their decision. So check below to find out more about the story behind the shots!

Once you’re ready to vote for the April winner, click here! 

© Yhabril / Red Bull Illume

Oreo´s Wrath - We climbed the mountain very soon that morning looking for another shot we planned days before , but when we saw that wind lip we decided to go for this shot.  I decided I wanted that angry face on the right of the mountain in my frame, so I had to climb the mountain in front of that one. Oreo is the god of the mountains in Scandinavian mythology, in the image, the mountain is looking with wrath to the human that profanes it’s sanctuary.

© Tristan Shu / Red Bull Illume

This photo was shot as part of a photoshoot for Elinchrom. The team pulled another crazy stunt in Turkey and turned air into their own playground. You can see the full behind the scenes here.

© Stefan Mahlknecht / Red Bull Illume

I've seen this crazy rock formations years ago. I knew that there has to be done something special, so I asked my buddy Benjamin if it would be possible to install a highline there. After getting some local permissions we finally did the project on a pretty cold fall day. I was totally blown away by that scene, so it took me some seconds to get the first shots. 

© Sam Strauss / Red Bull Illume

In summer 2018 I was part of a wakeboard winch project we called “Falling Rocks“. We spent 12 days in this quarry to try something new in the world of wakeboarding. On the last two days of the production Timo Kappl, our friend and one of the most talented youngsters around, showed up after we invited him to ride a nice special feature. This was one of the very last photos i took after shooting non-stop close to two weeks.

© Sam Bié / Red Bull Illume

Climbers love what is beautiful to climb, easy or hard, high or short... In the south of France, in a small forest, we found old quarries with surrealist lines where the perspectives deceive the eye and the artificial aesthetic surpasses the natural. Arno Catzeflis on the first climb of the “Diédrissime”, 6a at the quarry of Beaulieu, France.

© Ryan Moss / Red Bull Illume

This photo is called 'Night Sky'. Boulder Problem: C.C.D.V.A. Rating: V10. Special thanks to the climber Justin Ridgely!

© Phil de Glanville & Ren McGann / Red Bull Illume

The shot was taken at The Right in Western Australia’s South West by Ren McGann and edited by Phil de Glanville. The surfer is Chris Shanahan

© Nitish Waila / Red Bull Illume

I was waiting for the Supermoon to rise above my home country India and missed one chance. I was tracking the lunar calendar since then and in March 2019 just 10 days before the Super worm moon, the last supermoon of this year, I went on to a ninja mode to plan and execute this shoot. After a few days of recce in the burning summer heat of Hampi, we finally found the right boulder to climb and that's when things started to turn in place and eventually landed me this shot.

© Matthias Fritzenwallner / Red Bull Illume

The shot is from our Japan (Kiroro Resort) trip last winter. We were four motivated Austrian guys who wanted to explore the backcountry and awesome powder of Hokkaido. On our search for the perfect spot, we found this huge tree. I tried to find the right angel to capture the perfect moment and get an artistic and unique photo when Dani Maurer jumped through the tree.

© Marjan Radovic / Red Bull Illume

Three wakeboarders pulled off a first with a twist for their sport, using a crane to shift them over a floating course made up of obstacles and kickers created entirely out of shipping containers. German duo Dominik Gührs and Felix Georgi, and Austrian Dominik Hernler were inspired to come up with the project after watching a water skier being put through their paces in a YouTube clip!

© Lorenz Holder / Red Bull Illume

It was actually one of those days, where you think if it even makes sense to go up on the mountain. It was foggy, cold and hard to see any contours. But after 3 cups of coffee, we had enough and gave it a try. We navigated through the fog and built a jump. Austin Smith gave it a try tweaking it.. And just 5 minutes after I got the shot, the fog got even thicker and we barely found the lift station on the way back!

© Jimmy Schaffrath / Red Bull Illume

This spot is actually in my hometown. It had been on my spotlist for over 7 years but couldn't find anyone who would try and jump it. The runoff has several poles that you need to land in between. On that particular day Jack Niereath came to my city to film for his video part. As he got a sick clip on another spot I took him to this one while the adrenaline was still pumping. I scrambled to get my camera and angle, couple minutes later we were high-fiving and filled with pure joy.

© Jason Halayko / Red Bull Illume

Had a fun shoot with Tokura under some amazing Sakura trees here in Tokyo. Always love these relaxed / fun shoots and now that it’s finally getting warmer I want to head out more! Thanks Tokura!!

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow.. and don't forget to vote!

Red Bull Illume… now with video! The Moving Image category is here.

The content-creation industry is evolving – and so is Red Bull Illume. This new Moving Image category opens up a whole new world.

Did they land the trick? Some of the action from Red Bull Illume has been so incredibly unbelievable, you could absolutely be forgiven for asking. Now, we’ll be able to answer that question – at least for submissions in the brand-new Moving Image category for the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019.

This new category promises to bring in incredible new stuff from new athletes and new contributors – from jaw-dropping action to stunning scenery, we want it all – and (almost) anything goes. There are just a couple guidelines for submission.

Clips must be between 5 – 30 seconds long

Simple as that. You can cut between camera angles of the same trick or sequence (and the same attempt at that trick or sequence) or play around with retiming the videos. Slow-Mo? Absolutely!

You can film the most epic scene, take a quick snap, follow the action or show us an epic POV.

No digital manipulation of action, no sound track

Use your common sense here. Color correction: OK. Making an athlete appear to jump higher than they actually did: not OK.

A word about audio: it’s all about the environment. Natural sound is killer – but dubbed stuff, sound effects or Foley, or background music: no go.

How to submit:

You’ll need to register at Red Bull Illume and submit your video just like you do for all categories other than Best of Instagram by SanDisk.

What we’re looking for

Super-shareable, attention-grabbing action that stretches the limits of belief. Other-worldly, is-this-from-our-planet locations. Heartfelt, raw emotion. Here’s a couple clips we love. Now show us what you got!

Check out this video for some Moving Image inspiration!

For more information on all Image Quest 2019 categories click here!

How to break into the Top 25!

The Best of Instagram by SanDisk Category saw a first for any Red Bull Illume Image Quest; the public choosing each monthly winner via a community vote. The public votes for their favorite from a shortlist of 25 selected by our internal judges, but what are the judges looking for in a Top 25 image? We asked them…

Two months have flown by and two of the five monthly winners have now been chosen by the public, but before your image can reach this stage it has to catch the eye of our internal judges. The judges are all photographers, but that doesn’t mean they always agree, so what does it take for your image to get unanimous approval and make it into the Top 25? Here are six images from February and March with explanations on why the photo was picked:

1. Aidan Williams

"Color and composition are what was interesting in this picture. Although what really spoke to me above all else, is that this image was captured at the critical moment."

2. Leo Zhukov

"The lines obviously! Glowing lines with the brightest part in the center and the light fall-off to the edges make this a compelling picture. It looks like a photograph that was really made, not just taken. Let's call it 'dynamic lining'!"

3. Tristan Shu

"I liked the composition and the change of perspective. You are looking at the shadows of the real world. Furthermore, the red dot provides great contrast to the white-blue hue of the rest of the picture."

4. Riley Seebeck

"Black and white images always help to set the focus on the object, without distraction from an array of colors. Here this is enhanced and magnified. The flashlight and the few white spots we can see create great dynamic, it grabs your attention and forces you to look again!"

5. Lorenzo Mittiga

"The moment here is given even more impact by the mystical setting. The water, fish and rays of light combine for a natural composition, this can’t be reproduced easily. Many things have to come together to make this shot, but as a photographer, luck is definitely earned and not given!"

6. Dean Barnes

"Playing with the depth-of-field creates the unexpected. The photographer looks underground to create action below the surface. The element of surprise is always refreshing when you are judging a group of thousands of super high-quality images with little to separate them.“

Want to see your image break into the Top 25 this month? Submit to the Best of Instagram by SanDisk April Category NOW!

New for 2019: The Emerging by Red Bull Photography Category

We are pleased to introduce Red Bull Photography as the title sponsor of the new ‘Emerging by Red Bull Photography’ category. If photographers under 25 years old needed any more incentive to enter this category, then look no further; as the category winner will now also be invited to take part in a ‘Red Bull Rising Talent’ workshop.

© Miriam Lottes / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Photography stands for authentic and absorbing imagery telling real stories. Their global education program ‘Red Bull Rising Talent’ has a mission to promote upcoming, Gen Z photography talent which has lead them to become the new title sponsor of the Emerging by Red Bull Photography category for the Image Quest 2019.

Alongside all the benefits of being one of the 11 category winners, the Emerging by Red Bull Photography category winner will now also win an invitation to a workshop with ‘Red Bull Rising Talent’. Participants receive an interactive program full of inspirational lectures, social media training, photography workshops, team building activities as well as a surprising photo challenge.

The winner of the challenge is awarded with the funding of a personal photography project to be produced in cooperation with Red Bull Photography. The ‘Rising Talent’ of 2018 was none other than Miriam Lottes, who was invited to bring her dream project ‘BMXplore Santorini’ to life. To understand the magnitude of the prize, we spoke to Miriam to find out what this meant to her:

"For me personally, it meant a lot. It was the very first time that I got such a positive response and helpful feedback for my work from experienced people in the industry. They showed me that my dream job isn't unachievable and gave me a lot of motivation I honestly have to say, I think learned more in those 4 days than in two years of studying photography!”

The project saw Miriam travel to the Greek island of Santorini for some BMX flatland action with Matthias Dandois. She is now looking forward to entering the Emerging by Red Bull Photography category:

“I'm 22 years old and yes, I'm planning on submitting pictures for the Red Bull Illume. I’m just having a really hard time to decide which ones could have a chance!”

The Emerging by Red Bull Photography category seeks a fresh approach offering new angles. It offers the chance for the next generation of adventure and action sports photographers to make their name heard on a global stage.

If you’re an aspiring talent under 25, get ready to submit your image between May 1 – July 31, 2019 on

For more on Red Bull Photography check out their website.

The March Best of Instagram by SanDisk winner is…

Baptiste Fauchille, with his black and white BMX shot at the bowl of Fillinges, a small French town in Haute-Savoie has been chosen by the public as this month’s winner!

UNICORN WE ARE LEGENDS / Photo by Baptiste Fauchille

© Baptiste Fauchille / Red Bull Illume

The second month of the Best of Instagram by SanDisk category saw thousands of submissions, and 25 amazing images were chosen by the Red Bull Illume internal judging panel. The phenomenally high quality of the submissions saw much activity in what turned out to be an incredibly close voting race!

There could be only one winner, and Baptiste’s picture is now confirmed as one of the 55 finalist images of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019. Baptiste has booked his place at the Winner Award Ceremony and is in the running to win the Best of Instagram by SanDisk category, and could even be the overall winner!

So, how does that feel? We asked Baptiste to put it into words:

"Winning seems unreal to me as the other photos were incredible! I will continue to explore my region and take pictures of my friends. And why not try my luck again!”

About the winning shot:

“We were a team of riders, photographers, and videographers, leaving for the very first trip of the new BMX clothing brand linked to the BMX: ‘Unicorn, we are legends’. We travelled for 5 days in the middle of summer, through different spots in different cities; it was a buddies trip with a business goal.

“This photo was taken at the bowl of Fillinges. I remember the heat was insane like it rarely had been in the Alps. When I arrived on the spot the first thought I had in mind was to make a top-shot video with the drone: a fixed plan with a rider who makes his line with the intention of creating a loop. Then I realized that the bowl was really clean: no tags, no dust. I was able to have the rider and his shadow to come out well. I asked Alex Bibollet — one of the riders — to do what he did best, and I immortalized this moment!”

With so many epic submissions in March, huge congratulations go out to Baptiste. Check out a select few in our gallery below, and see all of the Top 25 Images here.

Submissions for April begin Monday April 1, 2019 at noon (CET). Make sure to submit your most-gramworthy moments to the category by simply tagging @redbullillume and #rbi19submission on your post

Emerging Photographer: Dasha Nosova

She may have just made Red Bull Illume history as the first monthly winner of the new Best of Instagram by SanDisk Category, but the success of Dasha Nosova has been building for some time. We spoke to Dasha to find out more about the person behind the pictures and for any photographers out there looking for inspiration, this is a must read!

© Dasha Nosova

Give us a small intro about yourself – who’s the person behind the pictures?

I’ve been living in Moscow, Russia all my life, but I was born in Kazakhstan. I mostly shoot in the US or Europe because the industry and all the right people are there. Whenever I’m in Moscow I either hang with my friends and just rest in between trips, or I shoot some random stuff if I’m the city for longer than a week. Sometimes I don’t even take my camera out the backpack when I’m home. That’s weird. Lack of inspiration, I guess.

So, you just won the Best of Instagram Category in February, how does that feel?

I’m really excited that I have reserved my spot in the finals! I’m now looking forward to submitting my photos to other categories in May, to test them against the judges as well.

Do you use Instagram for your career, or more to have fun and share experiences?

I’d say my Instagram account is a mix of everything. It’s obviously made for fun first and to show all the beautiful locations I get to travel to. I don’t mind posting photos of myself and sharing stories of my friends partying, though I’m pretty selective with what I post.

You made the top 275 of Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2016 at the age of 23, what impact did that have?

Well, it didn’t make me instafamous or anything but it sure did give me some needed motivation to keep doing what I do and gave me a better feeling of what judges are looking for. Also, having a photo printed in the Red Bull Illume book alongside other 274 amazing images simply made me happy. Some friends of mine and people who I didn’t even know would tag me in their stories or send me photos of themselves with the book every once in a while, which was pretty fun.

How did it feel taking on so many established adventure and action sports photographers at such a young age, were you nervous?

I didn’t really stress about other photographers’ submissions. I mean, I expected all those photos to be insane so I just wanted to see how people from a non-snowboard industry would react to my work. Also, I almost blew the submission deadline. That was ridiculous actually. I was on a trip in the mountains when I got a phone call and the guy said ‘Hey Dasha, we saw that you’ve signed up but we don’t see anything submitted from you. And just for your information, we extended the deadline for another 12 hours’. Of course, that was the first thing I did when I got back down to the hotel! I wasn’t sure if any of my photos would make it through, especially when I made a selection so chaotically, but somehow one of them did.

What advice would you give to young photographers that are thinking about entering the new Emerging Category?

Don’t compare your work to other people’s.

From your experience, would you recommend the Image Quest 2019 to young photographers as a way to get noticed?

For sure. Starting with motivation and inspiration that you would get from taking part in this, then some social media hype, and ending with a possible exhibition traveling around the world is all together a great exposure and experience.

Did you choose snowboarding or did snowboarding choose you?

Good question. I’ve never been asked about snowboarding this way. On the one hand, it’s me because I was studying at university and was trying to go snowboard once a month and eventually I escaped and combined snowboarding with photography which led into having a job as an action sports photographer. On the other hand, I didn’t know snowboarding existed until I was 16 years old or so. I quit playing tennis and fell in love with snowboarding after randomly watching some of the snowboard movies and magazines and actually trying to ride down the hill outside of Moscow.

Are you excited to see women making big moves in the sport, both in front of and behind the camera?

Always! Especially in front of the camera. The girls are seeending it these days. So much progress within this winter season, it’s crazy!

Describe a typical day shooting…

I’m gonna describe one of the days from our trip last week; Landed in Sochi, Russia, took a car and drove it across the border to Abkhazia at 7am, just over 2 hours later we were at the lake at the bottom of the mountain, then we got picked up by two sleds where we had another 18km ride deep into the mountains, reached the base at around 12pm. After lunch, we grabbed our snowshoes/splitboards and went up to explore the mountain, got a couple shots and rode back down to the base at 6PM. Then we made a stove, ate dinner, went to bed. We had no hot water due to low water level in the river the whole time we were there so that was quite a challenge. We were seriously in the middle of nowhere with no phone service for 5 days, but I loved it!

See more from Dasha.. follow her on Instagram!

Want to join her in the finals? Submit to Best of Instagram by SanDisk

February Best of Instagram by SanDisk Winner Announced!

The first month of the new category is in the books, the community has voted and we are more than happy to announce the winner: Dasha Nosova! Dasha tells us everything about her shot, and what it means to be the first of the 55 Finalist Images of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest!

© Dasha Nosova / Red Bull Illume

While it’s quite the honor, it’s no surprise for the talented photographer from Moscow, Russia, who focuses mostly on snowboarding. Dasha´s image is now guaranteed to be one of the 55 finalist images from the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019, and she will receive an invitation to the Winner Award Ceremony. She also has the chance to become the category winner and to win the overall contest with this very image.

Check out Dasha's winning image on Instagram:

About the shot:

“We traveled to Folgefonna, Norway for some summer snowboarding, which is kind of a tradition for many of us. That summer it was raining a lot. We were there for seven days and it rained for five days straight, so we basically only had the last two days to shoot anything and just one day to make this jump session happen. 

“This shot was taken during a short one or two-minute window when some light finally broke through the clouds. It was around 11:30pm which is sunset time at this time of year in Norway, so I set up a flash behind the jump to make the rider really pop. Orange and pink skies are pretty typical when shooting at this location, so in the end I was pretty excited to get more of a unique look with the dark clouds in the background. I’m thankful for the stormy weather, and to the guys for still wanting to hit the jump!”

The first month of this category was a success and the new concept is a total hit – there’s already so much incredible stuff to see. From over 3,500 submissions, 25 amazing images were chosen by the Red Bull Illume internal judging panel – including photos shot just a few days before being submitted. See the full shortlist right here!

Submissions for next month begin tomorrow, March 1, 2019 at noon (CET), and the submission phase will last two weeks, followed by a one week voting period.

Want to join Dasha as one of the five monthly winners of the Best of Instagram by SanDisk category? Make sure to submit your most-gramworthy moments to the category by simply tagging @redbullillume and #rbi19submission on your post

The New Red Bull Illume Best of Instagram by SanDisk Category Starts Today!

Submit your most gram-worthy adventure and action sports images on Instagram by tagging @redbullillume and #rbi19submission now!

Photographer: Corey Wilson Red Bull Illume 2016 Category: Spirit Athlete: Mick Fanning Location: O'ahu, Hawaii, USA

Photographer: Corey Wilson Red Bull Illume 2016 Category: Spirit Athlete: Mick Fanning Location: O'ahu, Hawaii, USA

Red Bull Illume, the world´s greatest adventure and action sports imagery contest, returns for a fifth edition with the entirely new Best of Instagram by SanDisk category which starts today! This category is for photographers most gram-worthy moments of show-stopping adventure and action sports submitted on Instagram. This category begins on February 1, 2019 which is three months earlier than the submission phase for the main contest and each month a winner will be chosen by the community. However, and this is important, the category is an essential part of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019 and is not separate to the main contest.

From February to June 2019, photographers can submit their images within the first two weeks of each month, from noon on the 1st until noon on the 14th (CET). They only need to tag @redbullillume and use the hashtag #rbi19submission in the caption on their Instagram post. After the submission phase a shortlist of 25 images will enter the public vote (link to page) which is open from noon on the 15th until noon on the 22nd (CET) of each month. The monthly winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Best of Instagram by SanDisk is considered as an official Image Quest 2019 category; the five monthly winning images will automatically qualify as one of the 55 finalist images of the overall contest and will be on display at the Exhibit Tour. Winning photographers will also be invited to the Winner Award Ceremony at the end of November 2019 and have the chance to become the category winner as well as the overall winner of Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019.

Remember, Best of Instagram by SanDisk means exactly that; the Best of Instagram.  If a photographer has a great image that’s not best suited to the Instagram category, no problem. From May 1 until July 31, 2019 this image can be submitted to the main contest with 10 other categories that make up the Image Quest 2019.

So, whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer it’s time to submit your images!

Make sure to tag @redbullillume and #rbi19submission to enter!

Red Bull Illume is back! And it’s easier than ever to enter

Red Bull Illume begins again – the contest that was already at the pinnacle of adventure and action sports photography is taking things even higher.

© Chris Burkard / Red Bull Illume

Good news, photography fans: Red Bull Illume returns – and it’s better than ever.  The adventure and action sports imagery contest has evolved – but it’s still the ultimate window into the world of outdoor athletes and the incredible lives of those who document them.

Two incredible new submission categories
There’s two great new categories (yes, including one for video) that bring new challenges to image creators everywhere – and inviting a whole new world of incredible action into the Red Bull Illume ecosystem. The next new category brings some of the best news – it’s easier than ever to enter! For the new Instagram by SanDisk category, with just two tags - @redbullillume and #rbi19submission -on your most gram-worth shots, you’re in – it’s that easy. Learn more here – and start submitting your best Insta stuff ASAP!

Submissions start May 1 – but Instagram by SanDisk starts sooner

For the general contest, the submission period opens on May 1, and ends July 31. As in years past, just register here at to submit your images for the contest. But for the contest category Best of Instagram by SanDisk, you can start tagging and submitting as soon as February 1 – more on that here.

New Partners arrive, good friends return

A contest of this scale simply wouldn’t be possible without some help from our friends – we’re happy to say that Sonyis on board as a major sponsor, specifically for the Innovation by Sony category – as well SanDisk standing strongly behind the Instagram by SanDisk category.

Other sponsors include Skylum – producers of next-generation photo-editing software – and photography accessory and apparel brand COOPH.

The categories of competition

One of the defining marks that set Red Bull Illume apart as a photo contest was the unique categories for submission. These carefully chosen themes helped shape the atmosphere of the contest, challenged photographers, and helped judges narrow down their selections from thousands of incredible images.

2019 Categories

  • Creative
  • Energy
  • Innovation by Sony
  • Playground
  • Wings
  • Spirit
  • Masterpiece
  • Moving Images
  • Instagram by SanDisk
  • Raw
  • Emerging

A quick note: Raw is a category for images is aptly named after industry term for files ‘straight out of camera’ – RAW. Distilling the requirements means no post-processing – so it’s all about it getting the shot, in camera. Composition, exposure, timing. How good can you get?

The Emerging category is something we’re particularly excited about – it’s for content creators aged 25 and under, who we believe bring a fresh new look to photography and imaging.

Red Bull Illume – now every two years & global exhibitions

2019 marks the fifth edition of the contest, which began in 2006. We’re happy to announce that Red Bull Illume will now happen a little more regularly – with submission phases opening up every other year, with exhibition years following. Exhibitions will be more global than ever before, with three tours running in parallel, including both the famous nighttime outdoor exhibitions, and the new indoor exhibitions – all touching down in capitals and cultural hubs worldwide.

The best Red Bull Illume yet

With all these changes – plus all the stunning images Red Bull Illume photographers have been shooting over the last 2.5 years – we’re absolutely confident this will be the best Red Bull Illume yet. So, don’t waste any time – start shooting and gathering your images for submission now – and maybe drop a couple into the Best of Instagram category right away!

For up-to-date information on the Best of Instagram, make sure you're following Red Bull Illume!