Who's Judging Who? The Jury Process Who's Judging Who? The Jury process 02/17/2010 created by Red Bull Illume Red Bull Illume will attract the world’s best action and adventure sports photographs, so it’s logical that the Jury has to be world-class too. We spoke to judge Peter Taras and former Red Bull Illume category winner Jimmy Wilson, both from Surfing Magazine, to get an inside-view on the judging process.Jimmy won the New Creativity category in 2007 for his stunning night-shot of surfer Alek Parker in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. Does he think that the Red Bull Illume judges will be able to distinguish the best shots and the effort that went into them? “I feel that the complexity is what got me the win last time. The judges I talked to couldn't figure out how I lit the photo with my flash - but honestly, it wasn't that complicated!” What did Peter Taras think of the shot as a judge in 2007? “A lot of people hadn’t seen the night surf remote flash look, so I think it was cool that he was the one that brought that to the competition.” What are the ingredients of a winning photo for Jimmy? “I am a firm believer that the hardest part of getting a special surf photo is planning a trip and getting the perfect conditions of waves, weather, and lighting. Those are things you can’t control, being in the right place at the right time can be tough.”Peter says luck plays a massive part in how good the photo is. But are judges looking for stagecraft or spontaneity – or both? “The lines blur a little bit these days. Even in surf photography you can stage the composition and the light somewhat, but water moves.” Peter thinks that photographers “want to stage the perfect spontaneous photo, so to speak.”What is Peter looking for in particular in Red Bull Illume 2010? "You’re looking for those five images that really jump off the page in each category. You’re looking for how hard it was to get the shot, the composition, the light, the creativity, spirit, emotion of the subject, the thought that went into the image. Right off the bat you’re hyper-analyzing each image."What advice would they give to photographers hoping to impress the jury? For Jimmy, location is most important for a surf photographer. "If surf-editors see lots of images from regularly photographed breaks, you're going to have a hard time impressing them. That's not to say we at Surfing Magazine don't every once in a while get something that ‘wows’ us, but it's a lot tougher because those places have been photographed from every angle. Show a location that is fresh and different."Regarding the standard of the photography competition itself, Peter is delighted to be involved again. "Being a judge made me glad that I’m mostly doing photo-editing as my primary job because the talent I saw in 2007 was out of hand. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like now that digital has come so far in three years. Overall, Red Bull Illume was an amazing experience in 2007."What does Peter feel distinguishes the contest? "The Red Bull Illume images have a certain spirit and emotion about them. They’re not your stereotypical action sports photos. They’re deeper than that. I’m looking forward to the spirit category because there’s always a couple of images that evoke a sense of emotion that you probably only see in this competition."Although Jimmy has benefited from the platform the contest offers, he thinks Red Bull Illume has had a genuinely positive impact on the action and adventure sports scene as a whole. "I just feel like anytime you have a stage that showcases the best action sports photography in one place, it's inspiring to look at. There's a good vibe about Red Bull Illume. Photographers I know are excited."As for Peter, he predicts more intense competition. "I think the bar is going to be raised ten-fold this year." Will Jimmy enter again in 2010? "I haven't entered yet. I won't enter if I don't think I have a chance of winning again."How the judging process worksThe Red Bull Illume team selects the best 250 images from the thousands submitted to be presented to the jury. In order to ensure fairness and anonymity, the Jury see only the images and not the photo credits.Each judge receives a high-quality book with the top 250 images and then votes online for five images in each category to advance to round two. After all the judges have voted, the five images of each category with the most votes will advance.The five finalists of each category will be announced. Each judge will vote for their favorite in each of the 10 categories. The image with the most votes in each category will be named a category winner. In case of a tie, the image with the most votes in round one will advance.The judges will view the ten category winners and vote for the Red Bull Illume Image of the Year. The image with the greatest amount of votes will win the overall winner’s prize.