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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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© Carlo Cruz / Red Bull Content Pool

Yet another good reason to go to photokina…

The Red Bull Illume exhibition will touch down in Cologne, Germany during the week of the photokina photography expo. From September 15 - 21 the Top 50 images will be displayed in a dazzling nighttime exhibition along the Rheinau Harbor. Visitors can stroll through the free public exhibition and take in the life-size, illuminated light boxes from 7pm to 11pm. The exhibition will be accompanied by a music set played by DJ Teams Creme Flash.

If you’re a photography enthusiast and wondering whether or not to go to photokina, you now have no excuse! Find more info about the exhibition here, and join the Facebook event here.

© Keith Ladzinski - "Walking on Clouds" - Outdoor Sports & Activities

Adventure Photography Lights Up Great Outdoors Photo Contest

Recently the winners of PDN magazine’s 2014 Great Outdoors photography competition were revealed, and the finalists included a number of Red Bull Illume photographers. Jimmy Chin, Michael Clark and Keith Ladzinski all landed top spots in the contest under the ‘Outdoor Sports & Activities’ category. 

You can enjoy a selection of stunning action sports and adventure photography from the contest in the accompanying gallery. Click here to see the full gallery of winners on the contest website. 

© Jimmy Chin - "Alex Honnold" - Outdoor Sports & Activities
© Michael Clark - "Ouray Ice" - Outdoor Sports & Activities
© Ryan T. Foley - "Aholehole and Friends" - Beaches Islands & Underwater
© Giordano Cipriani - "Enigma" - Beaches Islands & Underwater

Arctic Surf Photography with Chris Burkard

Red Bull Illume photographer Chris Burkard has featured in an inspiring short film about shooting in some of the harshest conditions in the natural world. The film covers Burkard’s journey with pro surfers Patrick Millin, Brett Barley and Chadd Konig as they brave sub-zero temperatures in the Arctic Circle. For action sports and adventure photographers, these mental and physical challenges are what it’s all about and this film is a beautiful showcase of the risks and rewards. 

Visit Burkard’s website for more inspiring photography. 

DIY Tube Light with Markus Berger

Action sports photographer Markus Berger, the photographer in Red Bull Illume's 'Reinventing Winter Sports Action Photography' video, has starred in the above video, "7 DIY Photography Tips Using Household Objects" by COOPH. Interestingly, one of the tips in the video is to use a cheap tube light, which is what Berger used for some of the portraits he shot during the winter action sports shoot. 

"I got a lot of questions about the tube light, so it was cool to demonstrate it again in this video. You can pick up a light like this at most hardware or Walmart style stores, add a plug and a bit of tape and you're good to go!" says Berger.

In the gallery, you can see some of the final shots he has produced with the tube light – as well as see how the DIY tube light was put together – a creative solution to have on hand if you're looking to mix it up in the studio!  

Check out Berger's website & Facebook for more.

@ Markus Berger / Red Bull Content PoolCOOPH
@ Markus Berger / Red Bull Content PoolCOOPH
@ Markus Berger / Red Bull Content PoolCOOPH
@ Markus Berger / Red Bull Content PoolCOOPH
@ Markus BergerCOOPH
@ Markus BergerCOOPH

The Mission behind the Mission: Shooting the Skycombo

The recent viral Skycombo video (above) certainly caused a stir in the action and adventure sports communities. Red Bull Illume spoke to photographer Dominique Daher, who revealed some interesting facts about the project and finding the best gear.

Basic facts:

- The whole project took a year and a half to complete – it was initially canceled twice, but came back to life.

- The window for the jump was tiny – there were two possibilities, only on the weekend and between 3:00 and 3:10pm.

- It took 45 minutes of preoxygenation (like a diver who has to go back slowly to the surface, the team had to breathe pure oxygen in advance) and then 35 minutes to get into position above Mont Blanc.

- Photography and light-wise the conditions were tough – with strong light and low contrast.

- 33,000 ft is very different to 12,000 ft – the air is thinner, so speeds are higher and the opening of the canopy is even stronger. This meant helmet cameras couldn’t be too heavy for videographer Noah Banson’s neck.


Finding the right camera:

- The team explored the possibility of pulling files from a Red attached to Noah’s helmet, but the Red was too heavy.

- Dom then tested the Canon 5D Mark III with a 128G Sandisk card, but it was also too heavy.

- Dom tried the Panasonic GH4 that the video crew used, but couldn’t push up the shutter speed enough. He also found the 16/9 format was not ideal and the JPG files were too soft – not great for post-production.

The final solution was to use a GoPro in photo mode.

“I was not happy about it as I usually try only work with the best gear (3D, 1DX, Z645). It may not be the brush that makes the painter, but even Picasso didn’t paint with his finger! I’m no Picasso in the field too, but at least I like to put all the odds in my favour!” says Dom.

“So I put two GoPros on the videographer, one vertical, the other horizontal. As Noah would also be filming, it was impossible to ask him to frame in a way I like. Without forgetting that he would be jumping mostly upside down, I oriented the GoPros to have my subjects at a third of the frame.”

“I also put some GoPros on the jumpers – one facing the other jumper and one facing their own face to show their goggles and the O2 masks reflecting the rest of the scene. All together, I used 5 GoPros. I set up all the cameras in time-lapse mode taking a picture every half a second. All together, I shot almost 20,000 pictures from 6 jumps, 5 low-altitude jumps (training) and the D-Day project,” says Dom.

Enjoy a selection of his shots from the mission in the gallery!
For more of Dom’s epic photography be sure to visit his site.

© DomDaher/Red Bull Content PoolRed Bull
© DomDaher/Red Bull Content PoolRed Bull
© DomDaher/Red Bull Content PoolRed Bull
© DomDaher/Red Bull Content PoolRed Bull
© DomDaher/Red Bull Content PoolRed Bull
© DomDaher/Red Bull Content PoolRed Bull
© DomDaher/Red Bull Content PoolRed Bull
© DomDaher/Red Bull Content PoolRed Bull
© DomDaher/Red Bull Content PoolRed Bull

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