How to break into the Top 25!

The Best of Instagram by SanDisk Category saw a first for any Red Bull Illume Image Quest; the public choosing each monthly winner via a community vote. The public votes for their favorite from a shortlist of 25 selected by our internal judges, but what are the judges looking for in a Top 25 image? We asked them…

Two months have flown by and two of the five monthly winners have now been chosen by the public, but before your image can reach this stage it has to catch the eye of our internal judges. The judges are all photographers, but that doesn’t mean they always agree, so what does it take for your image to get unanimous approval and make it into the Top 25? Here are six images from February and March with explanations on why the photo was picked:

1. Aidan Williams

"Color and composition are what was interesting in this picture. Although what really spoke to me above all else, is that this image was captured at the critical moment."

2. Leo Zhukov

"The lines obviously! Glowing lines with the brightest part in the center and the light fall-off to the edges make this a compelling picture. It looks like a photograph that was really made, not just taken. Let's call it 'dynamic lining'!"

3. Tristan Shu

"I liked the composition and the change of perspective. You are looking at the shadows of the real world. Furthermore, the red dot provides great contrast to the white-blue hue of the rest of the picture."

4. Riley Seebeck

"Black and white images always help to set the focus on the object, without distraction from an array of colors. Here this is enhanced and magnified. The flashlight and the few white spots we can see create great dynamic, it grabs your attention and forces you to look again!"

5. Lorenzo Mittiga

"The moment here is given even more impact by the mystical setting. The water, fish and rays of light combine for a natural composition, this can’t be reproduced easily. Many things have to come together to make this shot, but as a photographer, luck is definitely earned and not given!"

6. Dean Barnes

"Playing with the depth-of-field creates the unexpected. The photographer looks underground to create action below the surface. The element of surprise is always refreshing when you are judging a group of thousands of super high-quality images with little to separate them.“

Want to see your image break into the Top 25 this month? Submit to the Best of Instagram by SanDisk April Category NOW!

New for 2019: The Emerging by Red Bull Photography Category

We are pleased to introduce Red Bull Photography as the title sponsor of the new ‘Emerging by Red Bull Photography’ category. If photographers under 25 years old needed any more incentive to enter this category, then look no further; as the category winner will now also be invited to take part in a ‘Red Bull Rising Talent’ workshop.

© Miriam Lottes / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Photography stands for authentic and absorbing imagery telling real stories. Their global education program ‘Red Bull Rising Talent’ has a mission to promote upcoming, Gen Z photography talent which has lead them to become the new title sponsor of the Emerging by Red Bull Photography category for the Image Quest 2019.

Alongside all the benefits of being one of the 11 category winners, the Emerging by Red Bull Photography category winner will now also win an invitation to a workshop with ‘Red Bull Rising Talent’. Participants receive an interactive program full of inspirational lectures, social media training, photography workshops, team building activities as well as a surprising photo challenge.

The winner of the challenge is awarded with the funding of a personal photography project to be produced in cooperation with Red Bull Photography. The ‘Rising Talent’ of 2018 was none other than Miriam Lottes, who was invited to bring her dream project ‘BMXplore Santorini’ to life. To understand the magnitude of the prize, we spoke to Miriam to find out what this meant to her:

"For me personally, it meant a lot. It was the very first time that I got such a positive response and helpful feedback for my work from experienced people in the industry. They showed me that my dream job isn't unachievable and gave me a lot of motivation I honestly have to say, I think learned more in those 4 days than in two years of studying photography!”

The project saw Miriam travel to the Greek island of Santorini for some BMX flatland action with Matthias Dandois. She is now looking forward to entering the Emerging by Red Bull Photography category:

“I'm 22 years old and yes, I'm planning on submitting pictures for the Red Bull Illume. I’m just having a really hard time to decide which ones could have a chance!”

The Emerging by Red Bull Photography category seeks a fresh approach offering new angles. It offers the chance for the next generation of adventure and action sports photographers to make their name heard on a global stage.

If you’re an aspiring talent under 25, get ready to submit your image between May 1 – July 31, 2019 on redbullillume.com.

For more on Red Bull Photography check out their website.

The March Best of Instagram by SanDisk winner is…

Baptiste Fauchille, with his black and white BMX shot at the bowl of Fillinges, a small French town in Haute-Savoie has been chosen by the public as this month’s winner!

UNICORN WE ARE LEGENDS / Photo by Baptiste Fauchille

© Baptiste Fauchille / Red Bull Illume

The second month of the Best of Instagram by SanDisk category saw thousands of submissions, and 25 amazing images were chosen by the Red Bull Illume internal judging panel. The phenomenally high quality of the submissions saw much activity in what turned out to be an incredibly close voting race!

There could be only one winner, and Baptiste’s picture is now confirmed as one of the 55 finalist images of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019. Baptiste has booked his place at the Winner Award Ceremony and is in the running to win the Best of Instagram by SanDisk category, and could even be the overall winner!

So, how does that feel? We asked Baptiste to put it into words:

"Winning seems unreal to me as the other photos were incredible! I will continue to explore my region and take pictures of my friends. And why not try my luck again!”

About the winning shot:

“We were a team of riders, photographers, and videographers, leaving for the very first trip of the new BMX clothing brand linked to the BMX: ‘Unicorn, we are legends’. We travelled for 5 days in the middle of summer, through different spots in different cities; it was a buddies trip with a business goal.

“This photo was taken at the bowl of Fillinges. I remember the heat was insane like it rarely had been in the Alps. When I arrived on the spot the first thought I had in mind was to make a top-shot video with the drone: a fixed plan with a rider who makes his line with the intention of creating a loop. Then I realized that the bowl was really clean: no tags, no dust. I was able to have the rider and his shadow to come out well. I asked Alex Bibollet — one of the riders — to do what he did best, and I immortalized this moment!”

With so many epic submissions in March, huge congratulations go out to Baptiste. Check out a select few in our gallery below, and see all of the Top 25 Images here.

Submissions for April begin Monday April 1, 2019 at noon (CET). Make sure to submit your most-gramworthy moments to the category by simply tagging @redbullillume and #rbi19submission on your post

Emerging Photographer: Dasha Nosova

She may have just made Red Bull Illume history as the first monthly winner of the new Best of Instagram by SanDisk Category, but the success of Dasha Nosova has been building for some time. We spoke to Dasha to find out more about the person behind the pictures and for any photographers out there looking for inspiration, this is a must read!

© Dasha Nosova

Give us a small intro about yourself – who’s the person behind the pictures?

I’ve been living in Moscow, Russia all my life, but I was born in Kazakhstan. I mostly shoot in the US or Europe because the industry and all the right people are there. Whenever I’m in Moscow I either hang with my friends and just rest in between trips, or I shoot some random stuff if I’m the city for longer than a week. Sometimes I don’t even take my camera out the backpack when I’m home. That’s weird. Lack of inspiration, I guess.

So, you just won the Best of Instagram Category in February, how does that feel?

I’m really excited that I have reserved my spot in the finals! I’m now looking forward to submitting my photos to other categories in May, to test them against the judges as well.

Do you use Instagram for your career, or more to have fun and share experiences?

I’d say my Instagram account is a mix of everything. It’s obviously made for fun first and to show all the beautiful locations I get to travel to. I don’t mind posting photos of myself and sharing stories of my friends partying, though I’m pretty selective with what I post.

You made the top 275 of Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2016 at the age of 23, what impact did that have?

Well, it didn’t make me instafamous or anything but it sure did give me some needed motivation to keep doing what I do and gave me a better feeling of what judges are looking for. Also, having a photo printed in the Red Bull Illume book alongside other 274 amazing images simply made me happy. Some friends of mine and people who I didn’t even know would tag me in their stories or send me photos of themselves with the book every once in a while, which was pretty fun.

How did it feel taking on so many established adventure and action sports photographers at such a young age, were you nervous?

I didn’t really stress about other photographers’ submissions. I mean, I expected all those photos to be insane so I just wanted to see how people from a non-snowboard industry would react to my work. Also, I almost blew the submission deadline. That was ridiculous actually. I was on a trip in the mountains when I got a phone call and the guy said ‘Hey Dasha, we saw that you’ve signed up but we don’t see anything submitted from you. And just for your information, we extended the deadline for another 12 hours’. Of course, that was the first thing I did when I got back down to the hotel! I wasn’t sure if any of my photos would make it through, especially when I made a selection so chaotically, but somehow one of them did.

What advice would you give to young photographers that are thinking about entering the new Emerging Category?

Don’t compare your work to other people’s.

From your experience, would you recommend the Image Quest 2019 to young photographers as a way to get noticed?

For sure. Starting with motivation and inspiration that you would get from taking part in this, then some social media hype, and ending with a possible exhibition traveling around the world is all together a great exposure and experience.

Did you choose snowboarding or did snowboarding choose you?

Good question. I’ve never been asked about snowboarding this way. On the one hand, it’s me because I was studying at university and was trying to go snowboard once a month and eventually I escaped and combined snowboarding with photography which led into having a job as an action sports photographer. On the other hand, I didn’t know snowboarding existed until I was 16 years old or so. I quit playing tennis and fell in love with snowboarding after randomly watching some of the snowboard movies and magazines and actually trying to ride down the hill outside of Moscow.

Are you excited to see women making big moves in the sport, both in front of and behind the camera?

Always! Especially in front of the camera. The girls are seeending it these days. So much progress within this winter season, it’s crazy!

Describe a typical day shooting…

I’m gonna describe one of the days from our trip last week; Landed in Sochi, Russia, took a car and drove it across the border to Abkhazia at 7am, just over 2 hours later we were at the lake at the bottom of the mountain, then we got picked up by two sleds where we had another 18km ride deep into the mountains, reached the base at around 12pm. After lunch, we grabbed our snowshoes/splitboards and went up to explore the mountain, got a couple shots and rode back down to the base at 6PM. Then we made a stove, ate dinner, went to bed. We had no hot water due to low water level in the river the whole time we were there so that was quite a challenge. We were seriously in the middle of nowhere with no phone service for 5 days, but I loved it!

See more from Dasha.. follow her on Instagram!

Want to join her in the finals? Submit to Best of Instagram by SanDisk

February Best of Instagram by SanDisk Winner Announced!

The first month of the new category is in the books, the community has voted and we are more than happy to announce the winner: Dasha Nosova! Dasha tells us everything about her shot, and what it means to be the first of the 55 Finalist Images of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest!

© Dasha Nosova / Red Bull Illume

While it’s quite the honor, it’s no surprise for the talented photographer from Moscow, Russia, who focuses mostly on snowboarding. Dasha´s image is now guaranteed to be one of the 55 finalist images from the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019, and she will receive an invitation to the Winner Award Ceremony. She also has the chance to become the category winner and to win the overall contest with this very image.

Check out Dasha's winning image on Instagram:

www.instagram.com/dashanosova

About the shot:

“We traveled to Folgefonna, Norway for some summer snowboarding, which is kind of a tradition for many of us. That summer it was raining a lot. We were there for seven days and it rained for five days straight, so we basically only had the last two days to shoot anything and just one day to make this jump session happen. 

“This shot was taken during a short one or two-minute window when some light finally broke through the clouds. It was around 11:30pm which is sunset time at this time of year in Norway, so I set up a flash behind the jump to make the rider really pop. Orange and pink skies are pretty typical when shooting at this location, so in the end I was pretty excited to get more of a unique look with the dark clouds in the background. I’m thankful for the stormy weather, and to the guys for still wanting to hit the jump!”

The first month of this category was a success and the new concept is a total hit – there’s already so much incredible stuff to see. From over 3,500 submissions, 25 amazing images were chosen by the Red Bull Illume internal judging panel – including photos shot just a few days before being submitted. See the full shortlist right here!

Submissions for next month begin tomorrow, March 1, 2019 at noon (CET), and the submission phase will last two weeks, followed by a one week voting period.

Want to join Dasha as one of the five monthly winners of the Best of Instagram by SanDisk category? Make sure to submit your most-gramworthy moments to the category by simply tagging @redbullillume and #rbi19submission on your post

The New Red Bull Illume Best of Instagram by SanDisk Category Starts Today!

Submit your most gram-worthy adventure and action sports images on Instagram by tagging @redbullillume and #rbi19submission now!

Photographer: Corey Wilson Red Bull Illume 2016 Category: Spirit Athlete: Mick Fanning Location: O'ahu, Hawaii, USA

Photographer: Corey Wilson Red Bull Illume 2016 Category: Spirit Athlete: Mick Fanning Location: O'ahu, Hawaii, USA

Red Bull Illume, the world´s greatest adventure and action sports imagery contest, returns for a fifth edition with the entirely new Best of Instagram by SanDisk category which starts today! This category is for photographers most gram-worthy moments of show-stopping adventure and action sports submitted on Instagram. This category begins on February 1, 2019 which is three months earlier than the submission phase for the main contest and each month a winner will be chosen by the community. However, and this is important, the category is an essential part of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019 and is not separate to the main contest.

From February to June 2019, photographers can submit their images within the first two weeks of each month, from noon on the 1st until noon on the 14th (CET). They only need to tag @redbullillume and use the hashtag #rbi19submission in the caption on their Instagram post. After the submission phase a shortlist of 25 images will enter the public vote (link to page) which is open from noon on the 15th until noon on the 22nd (CET) of each month. The monthly winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Best of Instagram by SanDisk is considered as an official Image Quest 2019 category; the five monthly winning images will automatically qualify as one of the 55 finalist images of the overall contest and will be on display at the Exhibit Tour. Winning photographers will also be invited to the Winner Award Ceremony at the end of November 2019 and have the chance to become the category winner as well as the overall winner of Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019.

Remember, Best of Instagram by SanDisk means exactly that; the Best of Instagram.  If a photographer has a great image that’s not best suited to the Instagram category, no problem. From May 1 until July 31, 2019 this image can be submitted to the main contest with 10 other categories that make up the Image Quest 2019.

So, whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer it’s time to submit your images!

Make sure to tag @redbullillume and #rbi19submission to enter!

Red Bull Illume is back! And it’s easier than ever to enter

Red Bull Illume begins again – the contest that was already at the pinnacle of adventure and action sports photography is taking things even higher.

© Chris Burkard / Red Bull Illume

Good news, photography fans: Red Bull Illume returns – and it’s better than ever.  The adventure and action sports imagery contest has evolved – but it’s still the ultimate window into the world of outdoor athletes and the incredible lives of those who document them.

Two incredible new submission categories
There’s two great new categories (yes, including one for video) that bring new challenges to image creators everywhere – and inviting a whole new world of incredible action into the Red Bull Illume ecosystem. The next new category brings some of the best news – it’s easier than ever to enter! For the new Instagram by SanDisk category, with just two tags - @redbullillume and #rbi19submission -on your most gram-worth shots, you’re in – it’s that easy. Learn more here – and start submitting your best Insta stuff ASAP!

Submissions start May 1 – but Instagram by SanDisk starts sooner

For the general contest, the submission period opens on May 1, and ends July 31. As in years past, just register here at redbullillume.com to submit your images for the contest. But for the contest category Best of Instagram by SanDisk, you can start tagging and submitting as soon as February 1 – more on that here.

New Partners arrive, good friends return

A contest of this scale simply wouldn’t be possible without some help from our friends – we’re happy to say that Sonyis on board as a major sponsor, specifically for the Innovation by Sony category – as well SanDisk standing strongly behind the Instagram by SanDisk category.

Other sponsors include Skylum – producers of next-generation photo-editing software – and photography accessory and apparel brand COOPH.

The categories of competition

One of the defining marks that set Red Bull Illume apart as a photo contest was the unique categories for submission. These carefully chosen themes helped shape the atmosphere of the contest, challenged photographers, and helped judges narrow down their selections from thousands of incredible images.

2019 Categories

  • Creative
  • Energy
  • Innovation by Sony
  • Playground
  • Wings
  • Spirit
  • Masterpiece
  • Moving Images
  • Instagram by SanDisk
  • Raw
  • Emerging

A quick note: Raw is a category for images is aptly named after industry term for files ‘straight out of camera’ – RAW. Distilling the requirements means no post-processing – so it’s all about it getting the shot, in camera. Composition, exposure, timing. How good can you get?

The Emerging category is something we’re particularly excited about – it’s for content creators aged 25 and under, who we believe bring a fresh new look to photography and imaging.

Red Bull Illume – now every two years & global exhibitions

2019 marks the fifth edition of the contest, which began in 2006. We’re happy to announce that Red Bull Illume will now happen a little more regularly – with submission phases opening up every other year, with exhibition years following. Exhibitions will be more global than ever before, with three tours running in parallel, including both the famous nighttime outdoor exhibitions, and the new indoor exhibitions – all touching down in capitals and cultural hubs worldwide.

The best Red Bull Illume yet

With all these changes – plus all the stunning images Red Bull Illume photographers have been shooting over the last 2.5 years – we’re absolutely confident this will be the best Red Bull Illume yet. So, don’t waste any time – start shooting and gathering your images for submission now – and maybe drop a couple into the Best of Instagram category right away!

For up-to-date information on the Best of Instagram, make sure you're following Red Bull Illume!

Infographic: Your guide to Red Bull Illume 2019!

The Red Bull Illume Image Quest is back for more! With new categories, new submission dates and more. To help you keep up, we have put everything you need to know in 2019 into one handy infographic!

For up to the minute updates - follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Youtube!

Video Teaser: Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019

Red Bull Illume is back! The world's greatest adventure and actions sports imagery contest returns in 2019 for a 5th edition... and this one is set to be better than ever!

In this video we introduce to you what’s new, what’s returning and how to enter the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019!

We are social! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Youtube!

Gallery: 9 Ice Cold Images from Red Bull Illume History

Shooting epic photography in icy conditions is challenging, but that makes it even more rewarding. Here's 9 of the most stunning ice images from Red Bull Illume history that show you why!

© Kirsten Quist / Red Bull Illume

Shooting epic photography in icy conditions can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs in all of adventure and action sports. Whether you’re in an ice cave, or climbing the north face of a mountain, it’s definitely not an activity for the sun chasers among us. Ice formations and landscapes, however, provide one of the purest aesthetics in photography. Add to this a human aspect, and suddenly you have a powerful visual metaphor of the relationship between people and nature. So, find a warm space, get comfortable, and enjoy this gallery of 9 of the most stunning ice images from Red Bull Illume history!

Follow Red Bull Illume on Facebook and Instagram for updates on the 2019 Image Quest!