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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.

LIFESTYLE
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.

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

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

SPIRIT
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.

CLOSE UP
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.

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

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

NEW CREATIVITY
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.

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

ILLUMINATION
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)

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Making of series: Using a sun bouncer

For the third video in our throwback series, Red Bull Illume revisits photographer Leo Rosas' shoot with skateboarder Philipp Josephu. Leo demonstrates using a sun bouncer and its uses in a variety of settings, showing how it can be used as an effective way to fill-in shadows on an action shoot.

Catch Leo on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.

© Leo Rosas Morin
© Leo Rosas Morin
© Leo Rosas Morin
© Leo Rosas Morin
© Leo Rosas Morin

Making of series: Multiple exposures

The second video we revisit in our Throwback Thursday series is our video with photographer Marcelo Maragni, who demonstrates how to create multiple exposures at the Red Bull BC One Rio de Janeiro with b-boys Ronnie and Taisuke. Enjoy!

Equipment and settings:
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikkor 24-70mm
Shutter-speed: 1/250
ISO: 200
F-Stop: f/2.8

Athletes: Ronnie Abaldonado and Taisuke Nonaka
Credits: Photographer: Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

© Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool
© Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool
© Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

Making of: Morphing Sequence

In a Throwback Thursday style series, we’ll be revisiting some old Red Bull Illume videos. The first video we’ll be showcasing is this fantastic shoot on a Frankfurt rooftop with photographer Max Riché and trial-biker Petr Kraus. The pair took the idea of movement deconstruction and sequence shooting to a whole new level as Petr Kraus ‘morphs’ from amateur to professional in one sequence.

Equipment and settings:
Camera: Nikon D800 shooting tethered into Capture One
Lens: 14-24mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, and 50mm f/1.8
Lights: 3 broncolor Scoro 3200 S set on optimal flash speed, softboxes (for ambient and fill-in), a beauty dish for the key light and a pair of magnum reflectors, 1 kobold 800W HMI (creating the trail)

Athletes: Petr Kraus
Credits: Photographer: Maxime Riché / Red Bull Content Pool


© Maxime Riché / Red Bull Content Pool
© David Carlier

Matterhorn madness: A cool freeskiing gallery

Red Bull Illume photographer David Carlier recently attended the fifth edition of the Skiers Cup which took place on February 21-27 in Zermatt, Switzerland. In this unique freeskiing event, a team captain selects eight of the best riders from each region. In a face-off format during two days of competition, the teams compete in both Big Mountain (freeride) and Backcountry Slopestyle (freestyle) events. 

The conditions for the event were really good: “This year for the first time, the competition could literally happen on the Matterhorn, just below the gigantic North face, with huge glaciers in the background,” says David.

The result? Spectacular images – enjoy a gallery of David’s shots below!

Visit David’s website here and check out a video of the freeskiing action here!

© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© David Carlier
© Dale Tidy / Red Bull Content Pool

How to survive a freezing snowkiting shoot

Photographer Dale Tidy recently shot Red Bull Kite Farm, a ski and snowboard kiting endurance race, and the first of it's kind to be held in North America. We caught up with Dale to find out how it was to shoot the event in super harsh conditions…

How was it?

On the first day we had 70km/h winds and minus 39 degree temperatures including the wind-chill. Great conditions for the riders but not so joyful for the photographers! At those temps your camera starts to do funny things, auto-focus motors freeze in your lens, the mirror can seize up, my ISO was randomly switching from 200 to 1600 and back again without any notification, and accidentally breathing on the LCD screen would ice it over.

Having a second body stuffed down your jacket allows you to alternate between a frozen camera and slightly less frozen camera.Batteries at those temperatures drain rapidly too, I would keep one battery in my camera body and two in my pants pockets that had hand warmers stuffed in them. Once the body battery cooled down and died I would switch it out with a warm one that would be back up at full power.

A blizzard came through and started dumping snow creating “white-out” conditions that forced the event to be postponed until the next day. This made my frozen fingertips very happy! The second day was a relatively balmy minus 6 degrees and the winds had dropped significantly, making it an absolute pleasure to work in. 

How did you shoot your aerial shots?

When I decided that my key shots would need the advantage of height I looked around at various options. Helicopters, cranes, boom lifts, planes and of course, drones. I didn’t go with a drone for 3 reasons. 1) Drones, much like cameras, don’t like extremely cold conditions and they can freeze up. 2) There would be a good chance that it would be impossible to fly a drone in the high speed wind conditions required for the sport of Snowkiting. And 3) I am not a drone expert and the last thing you want to be doing when working in extreme conditions is using gear that you are not completely 100% comfortable with!

The two options I chose instead was one safe option, and one riskier option. The risky option was to rent a 4 seater Cessna airplane typically used for aerial photography, this would allow me to get the exact images I had conceptualized and proposed to the client. The rental price was reasonable but once again the cost of this option was putting yourself at the mercy of the weather. If the clouds were too low there would be no possibility of the plane being allowed to leave the tarmac let alone capture any usable photos, but the chance of this was smaller than that of relying on a drone. The safe option incase that failed was to get creative and strap a GoPro to one of the competitors kites, I used a specific mount which I had purchased online before the event. No matter what the conditions were this option would not fail. 

What's the hardest part about shooting an event like this?

Basically being prepared for anything. When you are out in the field you cannot ask for help, because there is no help available. You are the expert, it’s what you have been paid to do. Like our green friend Yoda says "Do... or do not. There is no try”. Pressing the shutter and “nailing the shot” is the easy part. The hard part is everything before and after that, all the planning that goes into it, and all the work you have to do after to make sure the image makes it out on time for the press release later that day. 

Check out Dale’s site and be sure to follow him on Facebook


© Dale Tidy / Red Bull Content Pool
© Dale Tidy / Red Bull Content Pool
© Dale Tidy / Red Bull Content Pool
© Dale Tidy / Red Bull Content Pool
© Dale Tidy / Red Bull Content Pool
© Dale Tidy / Red Bull Content Pool
© Dale Tidy / Red Bull Content Pool
© Dale Tidy / Red Bull Content Pool

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