Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas, frohe Weihnachten, joyeux Noël! Wherever you are, have a great holiday. Red Bull Illume is signing off for the next week but we'll be back in the New Year.
2013 promises to be an exciting year as the world's greatest action and adventure sports photography contest kicks off. Already the applications have flooded in and some fantastic images have been submitted. Photographers have until the end of April to enter their best images so there's still plenty of time to get that winning shot. In the meantime, happy holidays and see you in 2013!
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Red Bull Illume People’s Choice Award Winner announced!
The people have spoken. In what turned out to be an easy victory, Florian Breitenberger is officially crowned the people’s champ after winning the Red Bull Illume People’s Choice Award for 2013.
The award allows the public to vote for their favorite image from the 50 finalists as chosen by the judges. With more than 8300 votes on redbullillume.com, Florian’s Experimental Category shot of Xavier Pasamonte at Nine Knights Mountainbike event at Wildkogel, Austria has earned him the coveted prize. He also takes home some cutting-edge broncolor equipment.
“I’m super stoked to win the People’s Choice Award! I was very lucky to produce this high-contrast black and white photo, combined with Xavier’s perfect style – there was such an incredible atmosphere at the event,” he says.
Despite bad weather conditions, Florian managed to capture the winning shot by getting creative: “Xavier threw that superman a few times during the event. So I found this little lake beside a wooden castle and thought about producing something different. During the sunset session, I switched off my flashes and caught Xavier backlit by the setting sun with the reflection of the water at the same time. I then adjusted the contrast in post-production.”
Growing up just south of Munich, Florian says his work is strongly influenced by the Alps: “About five years ago, I picked up my first camera and followed my friends into the mountains. It’s my passion to highlight the culture and mountains that surround me.”
After moving to Innsbruck, Austria, his passion for action sports photography grew even further. He became a team photographer for the German Salomon Freeski Team and started working for the Freeski Journal as an intern. The opportunity led him to the Nine Knights event in 2012 – where he would capture his award-winning image.
Along with the street-cred that comes with winning the People’s Choice Award, Florian also walks away with a broncolor Light Shapers Master Kit that includes an Octabox 150cm, a Strip Softbox 30x120cm and the brand new versatile Beautybox 65. The light effect possibilities that these three Softboxes offer are endless – and they’ll certainly inspire Florian to capture more jaw-dropping shots in the future.
Visit Florian Breitenberger’s website to see more of his work or head to broncolor for quality lighting gear.
2016 Red Bull Illume Image Quest Announced!
It’s official! The 2016 edition of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest has been confirmed. The submission phase will open in December 2015 and you will be able to submit your photos until March 2016.
We’re also excited to announce we’ve already got some great partners on board for the next edition – G-Technology, broncolor and Tamrac will all be supporting our mission in scouring the world for the finest action and adventure sports photography.
One big change that can be expected is the introduction of a Mobile category… So now we’re also looking forward to see just how awesome your smartphone shots are! Alright, so now you’ve had your heads up, start planning your shots.
More information will follow soon – stay tuned, we'll keep you updated!
Tips on Shooting Sailing Stars
Action sports photographer Olaf Pignataro recently shot the Red Bull Foiling Generation – the competition designed to unearth the next generation of sailing stars. We caught up with Olaf to discuss how it went down and the ins and outs of shooting a sailing event…
How was the event?
Shooting the event was fun, but stressful as well; we were on sea for five days, and as English coast goes, the weather surprised us with any weather condition: from bright sun to thick mist to rain showers. One day was exceptionally rough, and it was hard to shoot with the super tele from the full speed moving rib boat jumping on the waves!
The competition was open to the best UK sailors between 16 and 20 years old. They were very talented, but some of them never sailed a catamaran before, and they all needed some time to adapt for these innovative Flying Phantoms. So it wasn't easy to catch, especially for the first stages, to have four boats aligned in good action; on the other hand, we had some very spectacular bail and capsize!
What gear do you use?
I really trust Nikon tropicalized equipment, and I don't use any kind of protection against rain and salty splashes. But I do carry a lot of lens tissues to get rid of the salt in front of the lens.
I prefer to use super zooms instead of super tele: a 200-400mm f4 is more versatile then a 300mm or 400mm f2.8; also, Nikon super zooms are lighter and slightly smaller then fixed lenses, and these features are really handy when you hold the zoom without a tripod or monopod.
How do you get unique angles?
I also mount GoPros on any place available, that on a 5.5 meters catamarans are not that many, as they tend to get stuck with ropes. Still, mounting the GoPros on the mast and on the front, and using the time-lapse function, I was able to have unique views of the races.
I think the most important advice I can give is: hire a good rib boat pilot! You want to have someone who knows a lot about sailing, who can predict where the catamarans are going to tack and foil, someone who is brave to put you very close to the action without getting in the way of the sailing boats.
Be sure to catch up with Olaf on his website, and on Facebook & Instagram.
Five new talents chosen for broncolor Gen NEXT
In its second edition, five more young talents have been selected as broncolor Gen NEXT ambassadors, and will be supported by the Swiss flashlight systems manufacturer for the next three years. The second generation of Gen NEXT members are Gonzaga Manso (ESP), Lauri Laukkanen (FIN), Anita Anti (UKR), Cristina Otero (ESP) and Yulia Gorbachenko (UKR), who stood out from competitors from all over the world with their exceptional work.
As Gen NEXT ambassadors, each photographer will receive broncolor equipment to the value of $24,000. Furthermore, they will be presented with the opportunity to showcase their work through broncolor’s worldwide channels as well as the project's blog, gennext.broncolor.com.
Be sure to follow all the winners and their exciting projects as they put their new broncolor gear to work!
Taking a stylish skate tour on a cruise liner
Red Bull Illume photographer Roberto Alegria was recently part of a lucky crew that got to travel around the Mediterranean Sea on a big cruise ship, stopping and skating some of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean in some unexpectedly good spots. We chatted to Roberto to find out more…
Can you tell us a bit more about the project?
The idea behind this project came from photographer and friend Gaston Francisco. It’s the first skateboarding tour on a boat so it was kind of crazy! In a normal skate tour you have to spend time driving from city to city and finding places to eat or sleep. The cruise tour was like a luxury tour – five star dinner, jacuzzi, sauna and all the time to enjoy it.
How has it been so far?
Better that we expected. To be honest it was one of the best tours that we ever had. The only bad thing was that we didn't have too much time to skate in each city. We had less than 6 hours so it was a bit stressful but on the other hand we had all the facilities offered by the cruise.
What's been the highlight so far?
The highlight was the unselfish help from the guides in different cities, you realize how the skateboarding scene can connect people that they have never met before and all just for the love of skateboarding! I would like to say thank you to everyone who make this trip possible!