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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© Davy van Laere / Red Bull Illume

Remove your lens caps!

It's back! Now in its 4th edition, Red Bull Illume Image Quest will once again showcase the most outstanding and creative action and adventure sports photography on the planet, while illuminating the passion, lifestyle and culture behind the photographers that shoot them.

This year, the contest takes an exciting new turn with the inclusion of a Mobile category – celebrating the rise of smartphone and tablet photography by allowing photographers to enter the best shots stored on their mobile phone galleries.

“With mobile phones in our pockets, action and adventure sports photography is more accessible than ever before. The addition of the Mobile category allows us to explore the quick moments that would otherwise be lost and celebrate the creative freedom that mobile phone photography allows,” said Ulrich Grill, Red Bull Illume founder and photographer.

Once entries close on March 31, 2016, a judging panel of 50 photo editors will sift through the entries and select the 55 best shots, including the 11 Category Winners and one Overall Winner. Finalist images will then be unveiled at the Red Bull Illume Winner Award Ceremony before traveling to capitals and cultural hubs across the world as part of a unique nighttime photo exhibition.

As if gaining priceless exposure and street cred wasn’t enough, the Overall Winner, Category Award Winners as well as the Athletes’ Choice Winner will all walk away with amazing prizes from some of the biggest photography brands in the world.

Red Bull Illume has also teamed up with external storage brand G-Technology, who joins photo bag manufacturer tamrac as a new official Red Bull Illume partner.

Submissions open December 1, 2015 when photographers can start uploading their images – right here on

For more, go check out the past contest galleries, or head to the rules or updated FAQ section. You can also catch up on the latest by visiting or

Photographer: Florian Breitenberger, Athlete: Xavier "Sherwy" Pasamonte, Location: Wildkogel, Austria

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, 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.

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,

Be sure to follow all the winners and their exciting projects as they put their new broncolor gear to work!


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