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FAQ & Rules
We advise you to read the Rules and Regulations/ Terms of participation of Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2023 here. Once an image is submitted, it is final and cannot be changed. Your images may be withdrawn from the contest if they don’t comply with the Rules.


Is there a specific time window in which the submission(s) for the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2023 must have been captured?

Yes, all imagery must have been captured after August 1, 2021.

How many images can I enter to the categories?

You can submit five images per category. You may not submit the same image to more than one category.

I have already submitted five images to a category but would like to add another one. Can I exchange images?

No. Once an image has been submitted, it is final and may not be replaced by another image or moved to a different category.

Can I submit images under more than one account?

No. It is against the rules and will lead to disqualification.

If I submit images with the wrong sports discipline, will these images be disqualified?

The decision to accept and judge the images will be at the discretion of Red Bull Illume Judges. The Red Bull Illume Judges’ decision is final. Please always keep the requirements for submission in mind!

If one of my images gets disqualified, will I be able to submit a replacement?

No. You may submit five images per category and these cannot be replaced after submission. Please choose your images carefully and consider the rules and requirements for submission.

If I submit images to the wrong category, will these images be disqualified?

No. It is up to you to decide if an image meets the requirements of a category or not. Please consider that images that do not fit into a particular category might not be judged well.

How many megapixels should my image have?

At least 12 megapixels. To determine the megapixels of your image, simply multiply the vertical and horizontal number of pixels and divide by one million, e.g. 12.2 mega pixels (2848 pixels x 4288 pixels = 12,212,224). You can also check your megapixel file size in Photoshop by opening the image and pressing Apple+Alt+I (Mac) or Ctrl+Alt+I (PC).

Is image editing allowed?

Basic image editing and color corrections are allowed, i.e. brightness, contrast, sharpening, mood and white balance. If any other alternations have been made, the image must be submitted to the Creative category.

If I make color corrections, can I only submit my image to the Creative category?

If only basic image editing or color corrections have been made and the image is not manipulated, you can submit to the other categories too.

Can I edit images I have shot on a smartphone?

If you manipulate your mobile image you can only submit it to the Creative category. For the other categories only basic image editing or color corrections are allowed. The same applies to mobile images. The decision to accept your image will be at the discretion of the Red Bull Illume judges. Their decision is final. For the RAW category, no image editing may be done whatsoever.

What is the difference between file size and picture size?

The image size of a graphic file is given in pixels (see above example calculating megapixels). File size measures the weight of a computer file. The file size can be reduced by compressing data using lossy compression encoding methods like JPG: For submitting your images, you need to save your image with a reduced file size (Less than 15 Mega Bytes) without reducing your megapixel count. We ask you to submit your images in JPG compression, so you can reduce the file size to about a tenth of its original data volume and still retain good picture quality. (Please be aware that you must keep your original RAW file and Final processed image in TIFF or JPEG).

I used a 12 megapixels or higher camera, but the resolution is still too small. Why?

If the resolution of your image is not sufficient, please check your camera settings:

- Even if you are using an 12+ megapixel camera you must also ensure that you are shooting at the highest possible resolution (e.g. JPG high, TIFF, RAW).

- Also, be aware that photo cropping in post-production may alter the size of your image and result in a final picture size of fewer than 12 megapixels.

- Submitted images that fail to comply with the requested picture size will be disqualified.

My images aren't 12 megapixels. Can I submit them anyway? Can I increase the megapixels in Photoshop in order to meet the requirements?

No. Images with less than 12 megapixels will be disqualified. It is true that Photoshop allows you to add pixels to your images by using rendering intents. Unfortunately, this procedure does not raise image quality to the required level and is therefore unacceptable.

Can I submit RAW files?

No. RAW files (and other formats) must be converted to JPG and meet all other submission criteria. All images must be available for re-submission in their original size. All semi-finalists will be required to re-submit the originals in RAW or tiff format at 300dpi. For mobile images the image will be requested in its original format with no adaptions.

How can I convert a RAW file into a JPG?

You can convert your file by using you default camera software or similar RAW conversion software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Open your RAW file(s) and select:

Color Space: Adobe RGB

Bit-depth: 8bit

Size: choose a size between 12-24.5MP, e.g. 2731 x 4096 (11.2MP)

Save your file as JPG with the maximum file size of 15MB

What type of images can be submitted to the RAW category?

The RAW category is for images that are ‘straight out of the camera’ – no post-processing done whatsoever, including cropping, adjustments to white balance or exposure, color correction, or other typical image editing techniques. This category is designed to challenge your skills as a photographer and get the best shot you can, on the spot! The format for your submission needs to be JPG. If your image makes it to the semi-finals we will then ask you for the RAW file of the image.

What does “no filter” mean in connection to the RAW category?

No digital filters are allowed for the RAW category, such as filters applied in the editing process or even special filters already integrated in the camera. Only standard camera filters such as B&W or Sepia are allowed. No change towards unnatural color temperature is permitted.

Am I allowed to submit images to other categories than Emerging even if I am under 25 years old?

Yes. The only restriction is against content creators older than 25 submitting to the Emerging category. Content creators under the age of 25 may submit to any category.

Why am I unable to upload my image(s)?

If you can’t upload your image(s) please check the format and file size of your image.

- You can only upload JPGs. JPG is a compression format that reduces file size. You cannot submit TIFFs, RAWs or similar.

- Please make sure not to exceed the maximum file size of 15 Megabytes.

If you still can’t submit, the file might be damaged. Try to open it on your computer and see if any errors occur.

How can I submit an image / video to the Photos of Instagram and Reels of Instagram categories?

Upload a photo or a reel up to 60 seconds on your public Instagram profile. If you use Instagram filters, make sure you save the final version on your phone. In addition to this, please also keep the original photo and the reel as we need to check that as well. Add the hashtag #rbi23submission and tag @redbullillume.

Can I use music in my submission to the Reels of Instagram category?

Yes, audio is allowed but you must own all rights. Please note that the usage of music provided in the Instagram Audio Library is only allowed on Instagram but images which are selected by Red Bull Illume Judges will be showcased outside of Instagram e.g. on redbullillume.com or in an exhibition where the music rights from the Instagram Audio Library may not be cleared unless you own the rights. Therefore, you must own all audio rights for your submissions.

What is considered as a reel?

A reel is a video clip or image sequence that can be up to 60 seconds in length. Files must be submitted in MP4 format in Full HD, with a minimal picture size of 12 megapixel. Acceptable formats are 9:16, (e.g. 1080 x 1920 pixel). Audio for reels is allowed. Creator must own all rights. Stylized clips, such as stop motions, hyperlapses, slow motion, rewinds, superzooms and boomerangs are allowed. Basic editing, such as subtle color corrections, transitions or overlays are allowed. Instagram Filters are allowed. By using them we may request all versions of the reel.

Can I submit the same photo to the Photos of Instagram category and to another category?

No, you may not submit the same image to more than one category.

How do I save all versions of an image including Instagram filters?

Go to your Instagram Profile -> Click on the top right burger menu -> Click on “Settings” -> Click on “Account” -> Click on “Original Photos / Posts” and activate “Save Original Photos”.

If I convert my image to black and white, does it mean that I must submit my image to the Creative category?

No. This is basic color correction. Black and white images can be submitted to any category.

How can I submit sequence images with original metadata when they are made up of multiple original files?

Submit the sequence image as you have composed it, but keep all the original files with the correct metadata. At some point we may request to see all original files and check the metadata. Sequence images can be submitted to every category.

Can I submit analogue images?

Yes, but all film prints and transparencies need to be drum scanned at high resolution and delivered digitally. Scan your images at 300dpi and check their actual megapixel sizes before uploading. Please note that your images must have more than 12 megapixels to be accepted. No prints will be accepted.

Do I have to be a Red Bull Photographer to be able to submit my images?

No. Any amateur or professional photographer can submit his or her images to Red Bull Illume Image Quest.

Does the photograph need to be Red Bull branded?

No. It does not have to be Red Bull branded. Any adventure and action sports image, as explained in the rules, can be submitted.

Can I use the login from the previous Red Bull Illume Image Quest?

Yes, you can use your previous login.

How do I log in?

Go to redbullillume.com and enter your email address. If you already have a global Red Bull account, you can use the email address that is registered there and enter your password. If not, you can create a new account after entering your email address.

Can I use my global Red Bull account to log in?

Yes, you can use your global Red Bull account to log into Red Bull Illume.

What is an inappropriate submission?

Images of a political nature, pornographic images, full frontal nudity and sexually explicit images of any kind.


Can I submit images that have been submitted to other contests in the past?

Yes. But make sure that you still have all rights for the image. Submitting photographers must own all rights to any photographs entered in this contest.

Please note that all images must have been taken after August 1, 2021.

What is a location release and why do I have to provide one?

A location release is a short agreement with the location that you have the permission to use the property for the purpose of photographing. Upon request you must be able to prove that the images you have submitted meet all legal requirements for participation in the Red Bull Illume Image Quest, which includes the proof that no rights of any third party are infringed. If you cannot provide such an agreement with your model, this may result in disqualification.

What is a model release and why do I have to provide one?

A model release is a short agreement with your model that proves that he/she grants you the permission to publish the photograph of him/her in one form or another. Upon request you must be able to prove that the images you have submitted meet all legal requirements for participation in the Red Bull Illume Image Quest, which includes the proof that no rights of any third party are infringed. If you cannot provide such an agreement with your model, this may result in disqualification.

If the subject of a photograph is a minor (under the age of 18), the photographer must submit a written release form unrequested, signed by the parent or legal guardian of the minor.

Can I still sell my image?

Yes. The copyrights of submitted images remain with you, however when you give away rights to third parties be sure not to collide with the rules you agree upon when entering the Red Bull Illume competition.

Generally, all submitting photographers must own all rights to any photographs entered in this contest.

Will my images be used for Red Bull advertising?

No. The submitted images can only be used in relation to the Red Bull Illume contest. In this context it might be used for public relations or event advertising without compensation, which is standard procedure for all other credible photo contests.


Judging and winners

How can you be sure that judges aren’t partial or unfair?

In order to maintain impartiality, all images will be made anonymous before the judges receive them.

What happens when two images have the exact same amount of votes?

In this case the Red Bull Illume judges will cast a determining vote.

If there is a tie in round two, the previous results will be considered and the image with the most votes in round one will advance.

Will I know how many votes my image received?

No. The number of votes will not be made public

Will I get notified when my image makes it into the next round?

All 250 semi-finalists will be informed about their progress into the next round. The 50 finalists will be announced in public and invited to the Winners Unveiling where the ten category winners and the overall winner will be honored.

FAQ & Rules