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Photographer: Lorenz Holder, Athlete: Xaver Hoffmann, Location: Raisting, Germany

2013 Red Bull Illume winners unveiled!

The wait is finally over. The 2013 Red Bull Illume Overall Winner, Top 10 category winners and Top 50 finalists were unveiled at a spectacular ceremony held in Hong Kong on August 29th. German photographer Lorenz Holder was crowned Overall Winner for his remarkable shot of a snowboarder next to a giant satellite dish. As Overall Winner, Holder received a Leica S camera, a broncolor Move Outdoor kit and Sun-Sniper gear — a prize worth over €30,000 in total. He also won the Experimental category.

“The quality of the images in the Top 50 was amazing, so for me it is a great honour to be voted number one. It’s so unreal. It will take a few days for the news to sink in,” said Lorenz Holder, the Overall Winner of the 2013 Red Bull Illume.

“There are talented photographers and then there are gifted photographers,” said Jym Wilson, senior photo editor at USA Today and one of 50 Red Bull Illume judges. “I saw a lot of talent but also saw some truly gifted photographers. These are not just action photographers but people with great technical and artistic skills.”

Other category winners included Scott Serfas (Illumination), Daniel Vojtěch (New Creativity), Romina Amato (Energy), Chris Burkard (Spirit), Morgan Maassen (Lifestyle by Leica), Jeroen Nieuwhuis (Close Up), Zakary Noyle (Sequence) and Samo Vidic (Wings). All category winners walked away with a Leica X2, a broncolor Para 88 P Kit and an assortment of Sun-Sniper gear. The Athletes’ choice, as voted by Red Bull athletes, went to Morgan Maassen for his underwater shot of surfers chatting in-between sets of waves.

The Winner Award Ceremony was a true celebration of action and adventure sports photography with hundreds of leading photographers and editors attending. Highlights from the evening included performances by BMX flatland athletes Viki Gomez and Matthias Dandois and an illuminated dragon dance.  

Afterwards the 50 images were unveiled on 2m x 2m life-size lightboxes along Hong Kong's famous Avenue of Stars, where they will remain for the next three weeks as a free public exhibtion. Appropriately for a city known for its awesome noctunal lights, the illuminated exhibition will open at night time only, from 8pm to 11pm from August 30th to September 15th.  Red Bull Illume will then go to the US before traveling around the world's capitals and cultural hubs for the next two years as a unique night-time exhibition.

The Top 50 Red Bull Illume Winners:
Overall Winner: Lorenz Holder (GER), Playground
Athletes’ Choice: Morgan Maassen (USA), Lifestyle by Leica
Category winners are in bold below.
 
CLOSE UP
(AUS) Stuart Gibson
(IRE) George Karbus    
(NED) Jeroen Nieuwhuis
(SUI) Claudio Casanova    
(USA) Morgan Maassen     

NEW CREATIVITY
(ARG) Juan Cruz Rabaglia    
 (CAN) Jussi Grznar
(CZE) Daniel Vojtěch
(EST) Jaanus Ree
(GER) Lorenz Holder

ENERGY
(CAN) Sterling Lorence  
(FIN) Rami Hanafi    
(SUI) Romina Amato
(SUI) David Carlier    
(USA) Christian Pondella    

LIFESTYLE BY LEICA
(CAN) Jussi Grznar
(ESP) Ismael Ibañez Ruiz
(USA) Morgan Maassen
(USA) Theodore Van Orman
(USA) Jimmy Wilson
    
ILLUMINATION
(CAN) Scott Serfas
(CAN) Jody MacDonald
(SUI) Nicolas Jutzi
(USA) Clark Fyans    
(USA) Ryan Taylor    

SPIRIT    
(AUS) Stuart Gibson    
(IRE) George Karbus
(POL) Rafal Meszka
(USA) Dave Lehl
(USA) Chris Burkard
        
PLAYGROUND
(AUS) Martin Lugger
(CAN) Paul Bride    
(GER) Lorenz Holder
(ITA) Olaf Pignataro    
(USA) Scott Dickerson    

EXPERIMENTAL
(AUT) Rainer Eder
(CAN) Ray Demski    
(GER) Florian Breitenberger
(GER) Lorenz Holder  
(SWE) Elias Kunosson

SEQUENCE
(CAN) Scott Serfas
(FRA) Vince Perraud    
(GBR) Dan Carr
(USA) Blotto Gray
(USA)  Zakary Noyle

WINGS
(AUS) Krystle Wright
(GRE) Dimitrios Kontizas
(SLO) Samo Vidic
(USA) Lucas Gilman
(USA) Benjamin Ginsberg


Check out the 2013 Top 50 gallery right here

© Red Bull Content Pool / Markus Berger
© Red Bull Content Pool / Markus Berger
© Red Bull Content Pool / Markus Berger

Read the latest stories

Jimmy Chin on capturing moments no one else can

“I had this sense that life is really short… even when I was young, it just seemed like I didn’t have that much time. And there was this urgency to live in a meaningful way – in a way that made sense to you.”

What made ‘sense’ to Jimmy Chin, was to become a world-class climber, adventure junky and extreme photographer. Check out this behind the scenes video of Jimmy as he talks about what drives him to tackle the world's most difficult expeditions with his camera in hand.

You can also visit Jimmy’s website here, or follow him on Facebook here.

© Jimmy Chin / Red Bull IllumeVICE Sports

Making of series: Shooting sports events

In our very latest throwback videos series, Red Bull Illume revisits event photographer Jesper Grønnemark as he heads off to shoot a sports event. From location-scouting to gear, to positioning and final selection, find out what it takes to shoot an event and get a good idea of what you can expect!

Visit Jesper's website or find him on Facebook.

© Dan Vojtěch

Dan Vojtech sheds some light on night sky photography

Red Bull Illume photographer Dan Vojtech recently captured a series of awe-inspiring shots of canoe athlete, Martin Fuksa in his native Czech Republic. The Red Bull Illume team caught up with Dan to discuss how he went to work...

Tell us about the shoot.
“For night sky photography, it’s very important to select the right place and time. We selected a place close to the small village of Stedra in Czech Republic. It’s a dark sky area with special streetlights that don’t corrupt the dark night sky. You can see more than 2000 stars – normally in the city, it’s 10 times less."

So the setting was the perfect huh?

"Yes. There are also several ponds, so it was perfect. When you want to shoot stars, you have to select a date when there is no moon so you can see more stars."

Who’s on the canoe?
"It’s one of the best world canoe athletes Martin Fuksa, who is the new U23 1000m canoe world champion."

How’d you go to work?
"I had a new Nikon D810A camera, which is designed for night sky photography. We also had several flashes. Some of them were in waterproof cases so we could use them on or under water. It wasn’t easy to shoot, because we had to capture Martin from the water and could only use the lights during action. 

But we had a great team and it was really fun! After the shoot we made a fire, cooked some meat and enjoyed this great place."

Hit up Dan’s website & Facebook page for more of his inspiring work.

© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© David Carlier

Letting it all hang out above Lake Geneva

As part of his adventure film and photography project “13 Faces of Valais”, Red Bull Illume photographer David Carlier recently found himself sitting in a helicopter, shooting two hang gliders high above Lake Geneva, Switzerland. We caught up with David after his latest excursion:

Tell us about it…
“13 Faces of Valais” is all about outdoor sports in the Swiss region of Valais. As I was directing the movie, I also took still photos on every set. In this case, the hang glider is well-known skier Jeremie Heitz who finished 2nd in the last Freeride World Tour. The images were shot at sunset above Lake Geneva.

How did you manage to get the shots?
We filmed the action from a helicopter using a Cineflex. I shot from up-close, while sitting next to the Cineflex operator with the doors open.

How did you prepare?
I’m a keen paraglider and know the area very well. So I proposed the location to Jeremie and his friend Pierre – and off we went. We travelled there twice to prepare for the flight and to find the perfect shooting angles.

What challenges did you face?
Trying to understand the flow of the action and large amplitude maneuvers. Jeremie flies at over 100km/h, so it doesn’t last very long and there’s little chance to repeat the flight. We also wanted to catch that amazing orange golden light just before sunset, so timing was essential. Then you have to factor in the wind, the challenges associated with two hang gliders taking off simultaneously and shooting from a helicopter.

What gear did you use? 
The Leica S system with a 35mm and a 120mm. It’s the only camera capable of catching that amount of light while still getting the low light information. The dynamic range of this camera is huge!

What’s next? 
Lots! A downhill MTB shoot, a portrait series for US Powder Magazine, some sailing shoots in the Mediterranean… and probably some time off! I also have the “13 Faces of Valais” premiere coming up, which includes the hang gliding footage.

Check out the “13 Faces of Valais” trailer or visit David’s site for more of his work.

© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© Ben Thouard / Red Bull Content Pool

Barrel of Fire: A Human Torch Goes Big-wave Surfing

Two action sports photographers, Tim McKenna and Ben Thouard recently captured some unique shots – of a surfer on fire. The surfer, Jamie O'Brien, is known as a barrel-riding master, movie producer, web series guru and all-round game changer. What people might not know is that Jamie O’Brien is also a complete madman.

After asking fans for stunt ideas for his original web series, he received a direct message on Instagram: “They said ‘it would be cool if you lit yourself on fire’ and I thought, might as well. So I went into Red Bull and I said ‘hey, I want to light myself on fire and go into a barrel at Teahupo’o,’ and they looked at me like are you for real?” Jamie recalls.

He was for real.

Over the course of the next 12 months, Jamie prepared for the challenge of his life – to ride a notoriously ferocious wave that happens to break over an extremely shallow, sharp coral reef off the coast of Tahiti – while on fire.

A year of preparation and numerous safety tests later, Jamie and his nearly 25-strong team were ready to make his fiery surfing dream a reality. “They were telling me how some people panic and react differently around the fire. So I was like god I hope I don’t panic,” says O’Brien. He didn’t, and the result was indescribable. “When you’re on fire in the barrel, the whole wave lights up fluorescent orange. It’s a really crazy feeling that you can’t even explain.”

It’s not an easy (or safe) process, but the result is a brilliantly illuminated surfer in the middle of the dark ocean. “It was pretty insane,” he says.

Check out Tim McKenna's and Ben Thouard's unique shots in the gallery below.

© Tim McKenna / Red Bull Content Pool
© Tim McKenna / Red Bull Content Pool
© Ben Thouard / Red Bull Content Pool
© Tim McKenna / Red Bull Content Pool

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