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Lights, Camera, Wakeboarding

The lengths to which photographers and athletes go to nail a shot is often extreme — especially with sights on an entry into Red Bull Illume in mind.

Just a few miles down the road from the lights and magic of Disney World and Universal studios was the setting for this light-painting photo shoot at Orlando, Florida’s OWC Cable Park. Onsite were Red Bull wake riders Adam Errington, Dallas Friday and Mike Dowdy.

After the park closed to the public, photographer Patrick Rochon shot the Red Bull Riders as they attacked the sliders and kickers on boards tricked out with intricate LED lighting. Play the video above for a behind-the-scenes look at the shoot, which took place over three nights in late March.


The shoot – which was done in conjunction with a local Red Bull-supported photography event called Snap! Orlando – included many challenges in preparation. It’s hard enough to shoot high-speed action in the dark – add in the tasks of outfitting the boards with the waterproof LCD light systems to staging the cameras, lighting and athletes in proper position to secure the shot, and you have yourself a serious photographic mission.

Some of the most inspired by the project were the athletes themselves. “It really is my movements painting this picture and helping this photo come to life!” says Errington, the 24-year-old wakeboarder at the top of his game.

For Rochon, the set-up and planning were extensive, but the motivation while shooting was simple: “Focus on the art, the creativity, and the beauty,” said Rochon, mid-shoot. Fortunately for him, he knew he could rely on the riders to offer performances worthy of the occasion. “I’m really impressed by the athletes,” he added. “They are so fluid in the water, and they understand naturally what we are trying to do here.”

Will the effort pay off? The best images have been held back to enter into Red Bull Illume. It will now be up to the judges to decide...

How hard would you work to get a shot into Red Bull Illume Image Quest? Don’t delay – show us your stuff. The submission period ends at the end of April! Enter here. 

Snap! is a 4-day photography celebration showcasing the work of renowned photographers from May 2nd-5th. snaporlando.com

©Patrick Rochon
©Patrick Rochon
©Patrick Rochon

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@ Stu Gibson

Talking drones with Stu Gibson

As drones become more and more affordable, an increasing number of photographers are getting in on the action. Red Bull Illume finalist Stu Gibson is one of the photographers who has been producing a lot of aerial footage recently as can be seen on his Facebook page, so we caught up with him to discuss…

What drone did you go for? What's your setup?  
It changes from shoot to shoot. I use a range – from DJI Phantoms to octocopters, mostly with some home modifications. 

Has it changed your approach to photography?
It’s made me very bored with normal stills, aerials are way more fun – but I can swap from stills to video on all rigs. Even on my phantom I use a Lumix for stills. 

Are you getting more gigs because of it?
It’s just another piece of equipment to the kit now but I’m sure its helped get some jobs as the client knows I can do both. My drones come with me wherever I go! 

Getting your hands on a decent drone may be a worthy addition for action sports photographers. Get some inspiration from Stu’s latest video here and be sure to check out his website here

@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
@ Stu Gibson
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)

Underwater Photography with Freedivers Alex & Alex

Freediving is a sport in which you should never dive alone, so it’s good to have a wingman. Ten years ago, two French freedivers Alex Roubaud and Alex Voyer teamed up and began taking every opportunity to travel to new dive spots. The pair also began Fisheye, a small association showcasing their breathtaking freedive photography from their dives.

What’s interesting are the benefits that freediving offers underwater photography: “Freediving allows us to see the world differently to a traditional scuba diver. It’s the most discreet way to get in the water, and to approach any animal in its environment. Although we can’t go as deep, we can dive faster in all directions,” explain the duo.

“We always alternate the dives, one on the surface and one in the deep – this is for security reasons but it also allows us to double the contact time with animals and get them used to our presence without undue stress for them. Working together is essential for us – we know each other perfectly and a few words are enough to understand each other.”

Enjoy the accompanying gallery of unique freedive photography from Alex & Alex, be sure to visit their website here, and hit them up on Facebook here.

© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
© Fisheye (Alex Roubaud / Alex Voyer)
Meet Alex & Alex: Alex Voyer (left) & Alex Roubaud (right)

To the Ends of the Earth with Krystle Wright

"I've an insatiable desire to explore with a camera. Adventure photography is a lifestyle I live and breathe. But, also a passion and obsession." 

Red Bull Illume photographer Krystle Wright needs no introduction to the adventure photography community – yet the above video by Canon Austrialia showcasing the photographer’s lifestyle and philosophy will help you get to know her a little better. With stunning footage, examples of her brilliant work and some great BTS scenes, the video provides great insight into the lifestyle of an adventure photographer.  

You can visit Krystle’s website here, and follow her on Facebook here.

© Mike Campau & Tim Tadder, Lifeproof

Time to go CGI?

Creative duo Mike Campau and Tim Tadder recently created a series of commercial advertisements with sports athletes using CGI to create compelling effects.

As a concept, it is fair to say that the team nailed it with the final execution. Photography purists may be dismayed, but it’s hard to disagree with the fact that CGI creates infinite possibilities –and the eye-catching effects are what many clients will be looking for. The shoot was for tablet and phone case maker Lifeproof.    

You can watch the full studio BTS video of the Lifeproof shoot here, and see the final results in the gallery.


(Thanks to Mike Campau, Tim Tadder & Lifeproof for permission to post the images)

© Mike Campau & Tim Tadder, Lifeproof
© Mike Campau & Tim Tadder, Lifeproof
© Mike Campau & Tim Tadder, Lifeproof

Skate the Line

In his latest shoot, Red Bull Illume photographer Dan Vojtěch used reflective tape to produce an eye-catching series of images of athlete Maxim Habanec skating in a dark skatepark.

“There were no lights on at the skatepark, so we used 25 LED film lights to provide enough light for Maxim,” says Vojtěch.

“The main photo from the top was taken on a Nikon D4 via wifi transmitter, with a flash mounted on a helicopter and controlled from the ground by PC. We also had other two strobes on the ground. This session took from 7pm until 3am – it was really cold and windy so I would love to say thanks to all participants again!”

Be sure to check out Dan’s website & Facebook page for more creativity.

© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch
© Dan Vojtěch

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