LIFESTYLE Category (© Patrick Camblin // Athlete: Ben Marr // Location: Kalinga Province, Philippines)

Choosing the Right Category

With only a couple of weeks until submissions open, we take a closer look at the different categories to help photographers decide where to submit their images. Below, we describe each one, and also provide a gallery with prime examples from the 10 categories.

Images that visually capture the creativity of the lifestyle, music and culture that surrounds action and freesports, or represents what happens before, between, and after the action.

Images that showcase the landscapes, locations, platforms, and environments in which athletes play.

Images that demonstrate the force that powers an action and show the energy, speed and strength required for an athlete to perform.

Images that portray the spirit or personality that athletic performances produce, as well as the pain, emotion and struggles that go along with trying to achieve one's goals, whether due to injury, failure or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Images that show extreme detail of one or more aspects of an athletic feat: a tight shot of the action, the equipment, the body, the face, etc.

Images that capture the point in a performance in which the athlete jumps, catches air, free falls, soars.

Images that tell the whole story in a single frame and capture the progression of an action at every stage.

Images that reveal a unique angle, a visual idea, a different format, light and flash effects... something never seen before! It's the purely creative image without digital alterations.

Images that have been enhanced digitally or in the darkroom through alterations made in the production or digital editing process.

Images that illuminate your artistic skill, your personal best, your unique style; this is an open category so anything goes - give us your best shot!

Check out the gallery below for some examples from each category... 

LIFESTYLE Category (© Devon Balet // Athlete(s): Chad Chaney and John Bailey // Location: Durango, CO, USA)
LIFESTYLE Category (© Vincent Perraud // Athletes: Alex Baret and friends // Location: Tallinn, Estonia)
PLAYGROUND Category (© Tim Korbmacher // Athlete: Stefan Lantschner // Location: Krefeld, Germany)
PLAYGROUND Category (© Ricky Adam // Athlete: Owain Clegg // Location: Dungeness, Kent, United Kingdom)
ENERGY Category (© Rutger Pauw // Athlete: Mark Vos // Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands)
ENERGY Category (© Jed Weingarten // Athletes: Luke Spencer // Location: Outlet Falls, WA, USA)
ENERGY Category (© Alessio Barbanti // Athletes: Taddy Blazusiak // Location: Città di Castello, Perugia, Italy)
SPIRIT Category (© Mike Killion // Athlete: Brad Tunis // Location: Hammond, IN, USA)
SPIRIT Category (© Tim McKenna // Athlete: Hira Teriinatoofa // Location: Teahupoo, French Polynesia)
SPIRIT Category (© Adam Kokot // Athlete: Michal Krol // Location: Spisske Tomasovce, Slovakia)
CLOSE UP Category (© Christian Pondella // Athlete: Tao Berman // Location: White Salmon, WA, USA)
CLOSE UP Category (© Tim Kemple // Athlete: Renan Ozturk // Location: Trango Towers, Pakistan)
CLOSE UP Category (© Pablo Azócar // Athlete: Bevan Hall // Location: Cardrona Valley, New Zealand)
WINGS Category: (© Rutger Pauw // Athletes: Daniel Ilabaca // Location: Mumbai, India)
WINGS Category (© Camilla Stoddart // Athlete: Josie Symons // Location: Rob Roy Glacier, Mt Aspiring National Park, New Zealand)
WINGS Category (© Marcel Lämmerhirt // Athlete: José Eber Pava Ordoñez // Location: Hamburg, Germany)
SEQUENCE Category (© Christian Pondella // Athlete: Mat Rebeaud // Location: Payerne, Switzerland)
SEQUENCE Category (Miguel Angel López Virgen // Athlete: Alfredo Salcido // Location: Guadalajara, Mexico)
SEQUENCE Category (© Agustin Munoz // Athletes: Orlando Duque // Location: Negril, Jamaica)
NEW CREATIVITY Category (© Rutger Pauw // Athlete: Ben Lewis // Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands)
NEW CREATIVITY Category (© Gian Paul Lozza // Athlete: Gian Simmen // Location: Davos, Switzerland)
EXPERIMENTAL Category (© Daniel Grund // Athletes: Alex Maclean, Nicolas Ivanoff // Location: Monument Valley, UT, USA)
EXPERIMENTAL Category (© Ray Demski // Athlete: Julius Brink, Jonas Reckermann // Location: Fuerteventura, Spain)
EXPERIMENTAL Category (© Marcelo Maragni // Athletes: Bruno Dias // Location: São Tomé das Letras, Brazil)
ILLUMINATION Cateogry (© Mattias Fredriksson // Athlete: Espen Linnerud // Location: Stranda, Norway)
ILLUMINATION Category (© Grant Gunderson // Athlete: Bryce Phillips // Location: Alta, UT, USA)
ILLUMINATION Category (© Gian Paul Lozza // Athlete: Markus Keller // Location: Soelden, Austria)

Read the latest stories

© Lucho Vidales

Catching up with Lucho Vidales

At photokina, the Red Bull Illume team met up with many talented young action sports photographers – one of them being Argentine photographer Lucho Vidales. We asked Lucho a few questions about his style, plans & photokina…

What’s your shooting background?
As I started as a photojournalist, I like shooting action sports photos with a tele, which for freestyle action sports is not very common. I like to incorporate the landscape into the action so it plays a big part in my composition!

What are you up to these days?
Right now, my goal is to keep pushing myself to keep learning and grow doing what I do. I have recently been incorporated into Epoch Adventures as their senior contributing photographer and they are looking forward to organize some photography-related trips, so that is going to be awesome. I also just teamed up with the guys from F-stop gear, so more cool things are coming!

What was the coolest thing about photokina?
You may be surprised by this, but I was really excited about having the chance to get my hands on some awesome equipment that I have never had the possibility to try or shoot with due to the difficulties that we have in Argentina. The coolest thing was that I got to spend some time with a couple of great guys and photographers that I admire and I am lucky to be able to call them friends!

Working on any cool projects?
I’m planning to keep on shooting local young talents in my home town in Córdoba – there are a lot of talented athletes and that naturally helps when taking photos and spreading the word for them!

Be sure to check out Lucho’s work on his website and social links below:
Facebook page:

© Lucho Vidales
© Lucho Vidales
© Lucho Vidales
© Lucho Vidales
© Lucho Vidales
© Lucho Vidales
© Lucho Vidales
© Lucho Vidales
@ 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


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