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 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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Red Bull Illume exhibition opens in Denmark

In addition to the northern lights, there is currently another visual wonder lighting up the Nordic night-sky – the illuminated night-time Red Bull Illume exhibition, which opened in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen last night. The open-air exhibition was unveiled in front of a large crowd on one of the city’s main squares, Nytorv, where it will be on display until October 18th. 

Scores of photo and sports enthusiasts, including photographers and industry leaders, came to see the exhibit of the world’s top action sports photography. One of Denmark’s leading photographers, Peter Hove Olesen, attended alongside Bugge Holm Hansen, one of several judges from around the world to select the winners. 

Says Hansen, chief editor at Luksus media: “It's great to see the Red Bull Illume exhibition here in Copenhagen and to see so many inspiring and creative images on display. Being a judge in this competition has been a big honor. Red Bull Illume is much more than just a photo competition. It gives something back to all the action sports photographers.”

The life-sized images will be showcased on 2x2m lightboxes every evening from 5pm until 11pm, bringing some of the world’s best photography to the heart of the city. The exhibition is open to the public and free to attend. More information on the event and the venue can be found here. 

The 2013 Red Bull Illume photobook, a beautiful hardcover featuring a glossy collection of the Top 250 images from the contest, as well as behind-the-scenes stories on how the photographers went the extra mile to get their shots, is available for purchase on-site. For those who can’t make the exhibition there is also a free Tablet App available for download.  

After Cologne, Copenhagen is the second tour stop on European soil. Red Bull Illume will continue traveling the world's capitals and cultural hubs and will next head to Gothenburg, Sweden.  

© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Content Pool
© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Content Pool
© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Content Pool
© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Content Pool
© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Content Pool
© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Content Pool
© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Content Pool
© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Content Pool
© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Content Pool
© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Content Pool
© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Content Pool
© Philip Platzer for Wings for Life World Run

Sign up for the 2015 Wings For Life World Run

The Red Bull Illume team has been proud to support Wings for Life with a percentage of proceeds from our Top 250 hardcover photobook. We were even prouder to participate in the 2014 Wings For Life World Run where 40.000 runners of all levels all ran together at exactly the same time at 34 locations on six continents…

The 2015 Wings For Life World Run will be on May 3, 11am UTC with new locations and entirely new countries. Registration is now open to everyone on the website and 100% of the proceeds go to Wings for Life – which funds spinal cord research projects all over the world. Millions of people around the world are living with a spinal cord injury. Every year, at least 250,000 more sustain a traumatic spinal cord injury, following traffic accidents, tragic falls and slips.

This is a cause the action sports and adventure photography community can identify with, so we ask all photographers, athletes and members of our community to join us in signing up!

The Wings For Life World Run has a super cool format: thirty minutes after the athletes start, the catcher car will begin to follow them. Driving slowly first but increasing its speed at given periods in time, the catcher car is the moving finish line. Equipped with electronic sensors, the catcher car will pass the athletes, registering their digital chips on its way to the leaders. The last athlete to be caught worldwide will be the global champion! Join us and lets run together!

© Bogdan Buda / Red Bull Content Pool
@ Christ Stock / Red Bull Content Pool

2014 photokina wrap-up

What a week!
From the successful opening of the Red Bull Illume exhibition in Cologne to a week of action sports photography activity at our photokina stand – it’s been a busy week…

Attended by a number of Red Bull Illume finalists, sponsors and other top photographers – the Red Bull Illume exhibition kicked off in style with a display from flatland BMX rider Viki Gomez who, much to the delight of the crowd, really tore it up before the crowds. It was the perfect opener before the after show party got going...

At photokina, the world's largest photo expo, things were just as explosive – live shoots with Rutger Pauw, Markus Berger and Lucas Gilman featuring various athletes were watched by crowds of photo enthusiasts. Take a look at some of the shots from the shoots in the accompanying gallery. There were also a number of talks on action sports photography as well as a full-day workshop by Fred Mortagne! Stay tuned – we'll publish some of best tips in the coming days.

© Leo Rosas /
© Leo Rosas /
© Leo Rosas /
© Leo Rosas /
Red Bull Illume opening night in Cologne, ©Chris Stock / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Illume opens in Cologne

 Red Bull Illume, the world’s premier action and adventure sports photography contest and exhibition, opened in Cologne, Germany last night in front of hundreds of spectators. The exhibition took place on the city's Rhine Promenade and was the perfect way for photography enthusiasts flocking from all over the world to kick off the renowned week-long photokina photo trade expo.

Scores of photographers and industry leaders including Leica's CEO Alfred Schopf attended the exhibition to take in the sights of the life-sized, illuminated lightboxes featuring the 50 winning images from the Red Bull Illume contest.

Many athletes also attended, among them Julius Brink, the German beach volleyball Olympic Champion, and BMX Flatland rider Viki Gómez who wowed visitors with some of his acrobatic moves.Alongside the athletes, the photographers were of course the stars of the evening.

“It's a great honor to be represented by Red Bull Illume, especially right before an international event as big as photokina,“ said Claudio Casanova whose image of a snowboarder seen through a crystal ball is a close-up category finalist. “The exhibition is a great showcase of action sports photography.”

The 2x2m lightboxes are on display until September 21, and the exhibition comes to life every evening from 7pm until 11pm.  More information on the event can be found here. 

The Cologne tour stop is the fifth stop after Hong Kong, Scottsdale, US, Vancouver, Canada and Atlanta, US. The exhibition is the first on European soil and will continue traveling around the world's capitals and cultural hubs for the next year and a half as a unique night-time exhibition.  

Viki Gómez shows some moves, ©Chris Stock / Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Illume opening night in Cologne, ©Chris Stock / Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Illume opening night in Cologne, ©Chris Stock / Red Bull Content Pool
Finalist Romina Amato shows her winning image, ©Chris Stock / Red Bull Content Pool
Alfred Schopf, CEO Leica, Julius Brink, Olympic Gold Medallist Beach Volleyball, and Red Bull Illume founder Ulrich Grill, ©Chris Stock / Red Bull Content Pool
Photographer: Fred Mortagne, Athlete: Charles Collet, Location: Secret Spot, France

Attend a photo workshop with Fred Mortagne

Would you like to attend a workshop with Leica & Red Bull Illume photographer Fred Mortagne in Cologne during photokina? Eight photographers will be chosen to first attend a workshop with Fred and then shoot Red Bull Offsprings – the German skateboard finals at the North Brigade in Cologne on Saturday, September 20th. After the event, you will receive constructive feedback on your images as well as suggestions how you could develop and improve your personal style. 

To apply you need to send an email to workshop(at) with one of your best action sports shots and a link to your portfolio (this can be your website, Tumblr, Flickr, 500px – wherever your images are on display) along with your contact details.
Please note this must be a shot that YOU have taken! Applications close September 7th. Fred will be selecting the eight participants, so be sure you pick your best photograph. 

Following the workshop with the Red Bull Illume finalist (and former winner), participants will be shuttled to the Red Bull Illume outdoor exhibition to wind down the evening enjoying some of the world’s greatest action sports and adventure photography. So what are you waiting for? Send in your application for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity today!

Photographer: Fred Mortagne, Athlete: Charles Collet, Location: Secret Spot, France


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