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Photographer: Dean Treml, Athlete: Steve Black, Location: Hamburg, Germany

Red Bull Illume Opens in 10 days

Just 10 days remain until submissions open for the 2013 edition of Red Bull Illume Image Quest, the world's greatest action and adventure sport photography contest. From December 1st, photographers will be able to enter their images online at www.redbullillume.com in a bid to compete for the honor of winning the prestigious competition.

Already the first judges have been confirmed. These include Kim Scott-Clark, former picture editor of the London Daily Telegraph and now a picture editor at the Daily Mail – one of the world's most popular online newspapers. Other judges include Jym Wilson, senior photo editor at USA Today and Richard Brooks, deputy photo director for Asia-Pacific with AFP.

A number of editors from top sports publications will also sit on the judging panel. These include Steve Fine, photography director at Sports Illustrated, Hannah McCaughey, Creative Director at Outside magazine, Simon Caney, editor-in-chief of Sport (UK) and Naima Mancini, photo editor of Italy's Sportweek.  

And because Red Bull Illume also looks at the culture and lifestyle behind action sports, a number of judges come from the world's coolest urban and lifestyle magazines. These include Gina Batlle, photo editor of Complex, Sebastien Zanella, editor of France's Desillusion and James Mullinger, photo director of GQ (UK).

In all, 50 judges will be selected from around the world. They will have the difficult task of selecting the 50 best images in 10 categories and an overall winner.

For a list of the confirmed judges, please visit this link.

Dimitris Karathanos is typical of the judges who have come on board. The senior editor of SOUL magazine says he's looking forward to the competition. "I  love sports photography for its charisma to portray humanity during extreme conditions. I love the effort, courage and determination in those pictures. It's a great honor to be a Red Bull Illume judge."

With Leica, broncolor and Sun-Sniper Red Bull Illume has found the perfect partners. The overall winner will receive the new Leica S camera, while category winners will each receive a Leica X2. Other prizes will include broncolor's new Move, their portable flash and the latest strap system from Sun-Sniper.

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Photographer: Morgan Maassen, Athlete: Frankie Harrer, Location: Huntington Beach, CA, USA

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! 

© Olaf Pignataro

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.

Any advice?
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.

© Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
© Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
© Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
© Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
© Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool
© Olaf Pignataro / Red Bull Content Pool

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!

© Roberto Alegria

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!

© Roberto Alegria
© Roberto Alegria
© Roberto Alegria
© Roberto Alegria
© Roberto Alegria
© Roberto Alegria
© Roberto Alegria
© Roberto Alegria
© Roberto Alegria
© Roberto Alegria
© Roberto Alegria
© Roberto Alegria
© Claudio Casanova

A Mind-bending Shoot with Claudio Casanova

Red Bull Illume photographer Claudio Casanova recently completed a mind-bending shoot inspired by the Olympic Games and the subject of ‘rings’. The final concept is in an illusion – with Casanova seemingly hurling a ring in the air and a rider jumping through, but it is clever trickery. We caught up with the Swiss photographer to find out how he did it…

“For this project I needed a crew of riders that harmonized well, so it was only right to get the creative head and multi-talented Mike Knobel, the always motivated and positive thinker Deniz Cinek as well as perfectionist and style wizard Roger Schuler. These guys are familiar with each other and have already proven to work well as a team,”
says Casanova.

“We headed to one of NBCs sacred grounds, where countless classic NBC Shots such as my top 50 Red Bull Illume Photo have been taken. During the summertime this spot is a soccer pitch, so it is perfectly flat and has a great inrun and a landing attached to it as well as a fence surrounding it.”

“We borrowed both soccer goals which we flipped on their sides to achieve the height of the whole construction so we wouldn't have to remove any undesired objects in the framing in photoshop. We then hauled a gigantic tree trunk on top of the goals so we had a big frame where we could hang the ring from.

“We were really sceptical as it wouldn't have been unlikely to see one of the riders get caught in the ring and tear down the whole thing and injuring himself. The ring was solely held up by some silk strings, so they wouldn't be to visible in the shot.”

“The challenge here was to get the timing right as i could not see the rider as I was shooting because I had to look like I was throwing up the ring and looking after it (basically staring into the blank white sky). The camera was placed on top of the drop-in, equipped with a tele-lens and a pocket wizard receiver, where Deniz was giving me the countdown when to shoot. Luckily I didn't need a flash so I could just shoot in sequences. After a couple of tries we got the hang of it and started having fun with trying different tricks and positions such as also holding the ring in my hand to get a more compact framing.

“In the second part of the shoot, we had set up this gigantic construction and were having fun riding it (how many times do you get to jump through a ring on a snowboard) and so it was only right to try to get some single shots with flashes from another angle to achieve a totally different look. This session was more of a ‘bonus’ because we just had some leftover energy and the evening was still young. So shot into the night until my flashes gave up!”


Visit Casanova’s website here and visit him on Facebook.

© Claudio Casanova
© Claudio Casanova
© Claudio Casanova
© Claudio Casanova
© Claudio Casanova
© Claudio Casanova
© Claudio Casanova

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