The Illume Effect: Clark Fyans 10/29/2015 © Clark Fyans / Red Bull Content Pool Leading up to Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2016, we catch up with with key former finalists and photographers to find out more about their careers since entering the contest. In the second installment of The Illume Effect, we talk to Clark Fyans, whose shot of boarders scoping a line in Alaska earned him a category finalist award in 2013.Photography’s not your only profession, is it?"I’ve never been a straight-up 100% pro photographer. From a pretty young age I always wanted to be a heli ski guide. I followed that career path and fortunately have been very successful. But I’ve always loved photography. I’ve been shooting since I was seven years old, back in the film days. I did a course in high school and even learned how to develop in a darkroom with chemicals and all that stuff."So you’re proper old school! "Yeah! I’m fortunate to be honest. It broadens your eye."But you followed your passion into the mountains?"Long story short: I was always taking pics. When I first became a heli ski guide I started packing a camera and pretty quickly started working with pros in the ski and snowboard world. I’m super fortunate to be in helicopters flying around crazy locations. I never really thought I’d make any money off photography and never pursued it. It’s just been a passion."Tell us about your winning shot."I only entered one photo. I selected 50 photos to enter but I got super busy in the middle of a Red Bull event I was running and couldn’t get any of them to upload! I was freaking out and thought maybe I had blown it. I just picked my favorite photo and submitted it. To have it go all the way to the Top 50 was surreal."Did it bring any recognition? "It definitely got me more recognition and more of an international look. Everyone knows I was in Red Bull Illume. It’s one of the biggest honors."What was the best part? "The Winner Award Ceremony in Hong Kong was amazing – to be among all these guys who inspire me, like Scott Serfas and Chris Burkard. It validated me and made me think; maybe I do have an eye and need to pay a bit more attention to this. I received a lot of recognition, even within Red Bull."Open any doors? "100%! I’ve been featured in four or five publications. GoPro reached out to me and asked me to be a media ambassador. It’s all from that image. Maybe they knew me before but Red Bull Illume took it to a new level. It’s opened a ton of doors for me. I also sold the print and it’s on walls in a couple of places."So will you enter this time? "Red Bull Illume 2013 was a really cool thing to happen in my life. Since then I’ve had the contest in the back of my mind all the time! I already know which images I want to submit. This time, I’m not going to be an idiot and leave it to the last minute!"View some of Clark’s images in the gallery and find out more about his work on his website or Facebook page.The world's greatest action and adventure sports photography contest is back and better than before with the addition of a new mobile category. Find all information here and mark Dec 1, 2015 on your calendars! That's when submissions open. Visit the Red Bull Illume Facebook page for regular updates.