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.
(AUS) Stuart Gibson
(IRE) George Karbus    
(NED) Jeroen Nieuwhuis
(SUI) Claudio Casanova    
(USA) Morgan Maassen     

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

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

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

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

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

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

(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

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© Florian Breitenberger

Florian Breitenberger: What's in the bag?

With photographers dusting off their gear in anticipation of Red Bull Illume Image Quest, we’re kicking off another new series that takes a look at what’s crammed into their photography bags. 

To start us off, we explore 2013 People’s Choice Award Winner, Florian Breitenberger’s setup. Check it out:

You’ve got 5 seconds to grab 3 pieces of gear, go!
"I would probably take my dad’s old Canon A1, ‘cause I know there is always a film in it, ready-to-go. And the chances of forgetting your memory cards within 5 seconds are pretty high! Then, the analog motor-driven rewinder to never miss an action shot. And of course my spirit level to ensure that my images are in perfect shape."

Yeah, what’s up with the spirit level?
"There is a funny story about that – some of my very first photos came out a little bit tilted sometimes. So one of my rider friends gave me this tool on my 21st birthday to fix the problem. Even though my cameras these days have leveling capabilities included, I still carry this one with me as a lucky charm on important shoots."

If you could add one item to your bag?
"Oh, probably a full bottle of water! I always forget to carry one with me on stressful assignments."

What do you shoot on the Canon A1?
"That’s my dad’s old analog camera I mentioned. I usually only use it to shoot personal stuff, memories and ”behind the scenes“ stuff. I learned a lot from him regarding photography and it’s always a good feeling to carry this one with me on my adventures."

Florian’s full gear list:

Canon EOS 7D
Canon A1 analog

Canon EF 50mm f1.4
Canon EF 24mm f1.4
Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8
Canon EF 70-200 f2.8
Canon FS 50mm 1.8 analog

F-stop Nine Queens backpack
A battery grip
Battery chargers
A bunch of cables
Memory cards
A tripod
An analog flash
A fast analog rewinder
A self-made tilt shift lens
Two remote triggers

And most importantly: The spirit level

Visit Florian's website for more of his work or follow him on Facebook

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.

© Florian Breitenberger
© Florian Breitenberger
© Florian Breitenberger
© Florian Breitenberger
© Florian Breitenberger
© Florian Breitenberger
© Florian Breitenberger
© Florian Breitenberger
© Florian Breitenberger
© Florian Breitenberger
© Rutger Pauw / Red Bull Content Pool

The low light challenge - Rutger Pauw on shooting Red Bull Hardline

2013 Red Bull Illume finalist Rutger Pauw faced tough photo conditions during Red Bull Hard Line, but thanks to some quick thinking during preparation, he got some stunning photographs.

"I got to shoot Red Bull Hard Line last week, it’s one of the (if not) gnarliest down hill mountain bike races in the world. Dan Atherton spent months preparing this course with some of the biggest jumps and gaps mountain biking has seen," said Pauw. 

"Usually, I would bring two flashes to a race like this, and shoot at spots on the course, setting up, and moving to the next spot when I feel happy with the shot. In this case though, things worked out completely different."

"Because the course was so demanding (and intimidating), practice was done in one big group of guys coming down the mountain, and us photographers with shoddy knees trying to keep up with them."

"I was really happy I thought of bringing my broncolor Para 88 because it ended up saving my day. I had an assistant on site, who would follow the riders holding the Move head MobiLED through the air, making sure I always had the right light. This would have never worked with me setting up with light stands."

"Then, in the forest the Para really worked out great, light conditions were very poor, and most guys were cranking up the ISO very high. We just attached the Para, which took less than a minute, and could start shooting straight away, and I was so happy with the result. It doesn’t even feel like flash light to me, it’s so natural, but still crispy without harsh shadows."

This article originally appeared on the broncolor blog

© Rutger Pauw / Red Bull Content Pool
© Rutger Pauw / Red Bull Content Pool
© Rutger Pauw / Red Bull Content Pool
© Jody MacDonald / Red Bull Content Pool

The Illume Effect: Jody MacDonald

In a brand-new series leading up to 2016 Red Bull Illume, we sit down with notable former finalists and photographers to find out more about the impact the contest has had on their careers. First up is adventure sport photographer Jody MacDonald, who had two images in the Top 50 and another in the Top 250 in 2013. Here's what she had to say:

Has Red Bull Illume made any difference to your career?
"The great thing about Red Bull Illume is that it validates you as a professional photographer to the outside world. People definitely perceive you more as a professional and because of that you’re simply more inclined to get more work."

Did you get more assignments? 
"I would most definitely say it did! It gave me a lot more exposure. I did a lot of interviews and it got more people interested in featuring my work. But what it really does? It catapults your photography into the mainstream in a way that’s hard to do otherwise. Red Bull has such a broach reach."

Can you give an example?
"It’s not a quantifiable thing but Red Bull Illume has definitely had something to do with a couple of projects I’m working on, including a trip I’m about to go on."

Tell us more…
"I can’t! I signed an NDA but it’s a trip in Africa."

What’s your view on Red Bull Illume photography as a whole?  
"I’m a photographer. It’s candy for me! Over the years the caliber has gone up and up. It’s the best of the best."

So will you enter again? 
"Yes. I have one image that I know for sure I’ll submit."

What’s the secret to an image doing well?
"It has to be well thought through. It can’t just be a lucky shot, that percentage is so small now. It has to be one of the best shots of your entire career! It’s like that quote; ‘you’re lucky if you take 10 great shots in your lifetime’. Those are the ones that go into Red Bull Illume."

Lastly, what’s your own favorite image?
"That one where you got to see the whole dune. That photo encapsulates that whole experience in Mozambique. I love the colors, and it has a bit of meaning for me."

View some of Jody’s images in the gallery and find out more about her work on her 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.

© Jody MacDonald
© Jody MacDonald
© Jody MacDonald
© Jody MacDonald
© Jody MacDonald
© Jody MacDonald
© Jody MacDonald
© Scott Serfas/Red Bull Content Pool

Scratching the Serfas: Shooting Red Bull Joyride 2015

Legendary Red Bull action photographer Scott Serfas recently headed to Whistler, Canada to shoot mountain biking’s biggest contest – Red Bull Joyride. See how he went to work.

Combining elements of slopestyle, dirt jump and North Shore-style mountain biking, Red Bull Joyride fuses together rough natural terrain with man-made elements to create one of the most challenging slopestyle courses on the planet.

"Being able to shoot this event is an amazing opportunity. All the best guys from all over the world are here, and it's the contest that means the most to them, so it's definitely cool to be a part of it."

With an event like Red Bull Joyride, Serfas likes to let the athletes do their thing, while during other events, there's a lot more coordination between the athlete and the photographer. 

“Every event is different. During a competition like Joyride, I don’t say anything to them – they just want to win, the last thing they are concerned about is getting a good photo. I'm just there to document what happens," says Serfas. 

“But then for another event like Uncontainable, Drew and I spoke a lot about what angles were good and what kind of tricks he should think about doing. I'll offer up some suggestions but leave it in the athletes' hands to make the final call. We work together to create a great shot."

Joined by photography partners in crime, Jussi Grznar and Mason Mashon, Serfas and his crew scoped every possible vantage point to find the best angles to capture the 2-hour event. 

“I try to put the athletes in a good spot in the frame, and shoot from an angle that represents what they are doing in a proper way and then make an interesting photo around that. I really try to emphasize what they are doing – I am not doing abstract art."

With a sea of 25,000 fans, the biggest tricks and pure athlete emotion on display – the event was a real challenge to shoot. But with the skilled Mr. Serfas behind the lens, the results look amesome.

Check out the image gallery to the right or take a peek at the video here.

Scott Serfas is also a former Red Bull Illume Image Quest Category Winner – find out more about Red Bull Illume 2016.

You can also head to Scott’s website for more of his work.

© Scott Serfas/Red Bull Content Pool
© Scott Serfas/Red Bull Content Pool
© Scott Serfas/Red Bull Content Pool
© Scott Serfas/Red Bull Content Pool
© Scott Serfas/Red Bull Content Pool

In A Flash with Leo Rosas Morin: Bringing Skateboarding and Light Painting Together

In our first video for the brand-new 'In a Flash' series, photographer Leo Rosas Morin takes you through combining the worlds of light painting and skateboarding photography, with a little help from skateboarders Philipp Josephu and Max Geiselbrechtinger. 


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