More than just a snowboard photographer

It's not just about epic snowboard images for talented and well-known photographer Dasha Nosova. Although the sport plays a big part in her life, the Red Bull Illume finalist is constantly evolving. We caught up with her to find out what's going on in her life, what impact the current situation has had on her work and what it's like being a woman in a male-dominated profession.

Snowboarder Seamus O'Connor © Dasha Nosova

What were the three most significant things that happened to you since the Winner Award Ceremony back in November?

The first one got to be the trip to Atlanta, GA, for the Big Air World Cup back in December where I was offered a job to follow Jamie Anderson for the rest of her contest season. We’ve been on some trips before, so I was extremely excited to join the journey. It was a great few months of traveling together, shooting at every top event and doing some fun stuff in-between.

Second must be the two weeks that I spent just snowboarding in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, over the Christmas holidays. This doesn't happen too often when I can simply go up and do some turns or shred in the park, so that was awesome, aIso because I was riding with my boyfriend Vlad and his friends. By the end of our time there I was able to hit the middle jump line which is pretty crazy for me! We also got a really cool sunset session going one day. I was pretty hyped to shoot at a new location and see a 9-year-old talented shredder, Nico Bondi, in person.

Last, I would say our experience volunteering during the outbreaks of COVID-19. A random circumstance brought Vlad and me to Novosibirsk in March (right when all the international snowboard events got cancelled), and none of us expected getting stuck there. So, we joined the organisation in early April after we watched the newscast covering some students who were helping elderly people in the city. It’s been an amazing and fulfilling experience being able to give back to seniors. It is something that has always been on our minds and that we would periodically bring up in conversations with each other. I’m happy we did it. If you have the opportunity, research some local organisations and try it yourself.

How did Red Bull Illume affect your professional (and personal) life?

In 2016, Red Bull Illume gave me a lot of motivation and showed me that people value my work. My submission 2019 kind of woke me up and reminded me that it’s not about the event photography, it’s about those meaningful journeys and a love for the sport and nature. Plus, the ceremony was such a good vibe, Red Bull knows how to throw a good event and bring so many talented people together. I got to see many friends I had not seen in a long time and meet new people. It was fun! Many of us kept in touch and we still support each other.

Where do you usually find inspiration/motivation for your images?

Back in the days it was the good old snowboard and skateboard magazines and movies that fueled my inspiration. Now it’s more about new destinations, people and other sports, or even something that doesn’t have anything to do with sports. New equipment also helps me to go out there and play more.

Have you ever thought about shooting other action sports or do you stick to snowboarding?

Before snowboarding, I was taking photos of BMX and skateboarding, because it was more realistic to make these happen in my hometown of Moscow which is a concrete jungle. Nowadays, I get to shoot other action sports in summer when I have time. I think it’s so much fun to explore and shoot other sports and it’s definitely something that I would look more into. Maybe even more music, urban or fashion maybe. Hit me up!

What makes your images unique in your opinion?

The colors, I would assume. This is just the most common thing that people ask me about. Also, minimalism. I can’t say all of my photos follow this style, but I’m certainly a big fan of keeping it simple.

You already talked about your personal experience during the last few months. What impact has the global situation had on your work? Is it still possible for you to shoot?

It has had a big impact. Almost all my jobs are outside Russia and my job as an action sports photographer literally depends on being able to travel. I haven’t really picked up my camera for work since February 29th. That was the last day of the Burton US Open in Vail, CO. Given the situation in Russia at the moment it’s not really possible to shoot the way I used to. It forces me to be creative and find new opportunities. While we wait it’s a good time to learn new skills and maybe explore different sports and different industries even. Though, the most important thing now is that my family and friends are staying safe and healthy.

Under "normal" circumstances: What would your plans for this year be? Any projects along the way?

Snowboard-wise, I would try to go to one of my favorite places - Folgefonna in Norway, we usually go there in late May - early June. A mandatory surf trip would’ve happened, of course. My idea was to go to California and maybe finally Hawaii, but at this point I would be glad to go to any country that reopens its borders to tourists and that has waves. There are some non-snowboard projects scheduled that I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some of them will take place later in the year.

In the Top 260 images from the Image Quest 2019 were only 4 female photographers, you included. How do you feel about the male dominated action sports photography scene?

It always depends on the people and the setting. Some days it would not even cross my mind that I’m pretty much the only girl, but other days it can be frustrating, and guys throw comments that are not ok. Some guys can be sceptical at first, having this image in their head that all girls are just drama and having a girl in the crew would ruin the “dude-vibe”.  If you really mess it up, guys will be like, "Oh, girls…" and that can definitely add some pressure. Earlier this year, I was shooting at one of snowboarding’s most prestigious events, and one guy came to me and said something like “I’ve always been curious - how do you travel so much? I see you everywhere. Like, do you get paid for your photos?”. I don’t think this guy would walk up to another guy and ask the same question. I would say it’s a bit more challenging and uncomfortable, however it keeps me on my toes. It’s so cool to see that there are far more people and companies who are stoked to invite and work with girls now than it was even five years ago. Hopefully, we will see more girls in the industry in the near future!

Find more of Dasha's work on her Instagram!

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Red Bull Illume proudly announces partnership with Lenovo™

Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 teams up with global computing leader Lenovo to bring you the
 Best of Instagram by Lenovo category.

© Dasha Nosova / Red Bull Illume

© Dasha Nosova / Red Bull Illume

A new edition of Red Bull Illume Image Quest means another round of the world’s greatest adventure and action sports imagery. It is also the perfect opportunity for new partnerships, like the latest one with global computing leader Lenovo. The company is an industry leader in innovative and smarter computing technology that enables a more inclusive and inspired world, so it’s fitting that they are presenting this year’s Best of Instagram category; the only one that opens up the competition to everyone through public voting.

The Best of Instagram by Lenovo category is expected to receive thousands upon thousands of entries from all around the world. Entrants can submit their content using their public Instagram profile and tagging @redbullillume and #rbi21submission. Creators will be able to enter still or moving images up to 60 seconds, which will be judged separately. The submissions will be judged every month, first by an internal Red Bull Illume jury who will select the top 5 still and 5 moving images. These will be put to a community vote on redbullillume.com resulting in 1 monthly winner for still and 1 for moving image. The monthly winners will automatically become official Red Bull Illume Finalists. In total there will be 5 still and 5 moving image finalists and out of these, the public will choose their favorites, who will be crowned as Best of Instagram by Lenovo Category Winners.

Lenovo’s shared dedication to transformative experiences and pushing boundaries with state-of-the-art technology is what makes them the ideal partner for Red Bull Illume. This kind of meaningful innovation is what allows creators to develop and enhance their concepts, evolving with new ideas that inspire, influence, and simply put, leave us speechless.

Lenovo is proud to support the sixth edition of Red Bull Illume Image Quest that brings together photographers and content creators whose bold work continually inspires us,” said Matt Bereda, Vice President of Global Consumer Marketing, PCs and Smart Devices, Lenovo. “We see many of our consumer PC, smart home, and tablet customers are passionate hobbyists. They enjoy photography and digital storytelling, and not all of them are paid professionals—they just love capturing and enhancing imagery to share with others and hang on their walls. If this new normal has taught us anything about our world and ourselves, it’s that we’re resilient, our technology is adaptable, and that making meaningful connections with others through shared creative pursuits are the bright spots in life that really matter.”

Over and above the grand title of being an official Red Bull Illume winner, they are also awarded with prize packages that include trophies and the latest Lenovo products to power even more creative self-expression. Their work will be included in the official Red Bull Illume photobook, be showcased during the Winner Award Ceremony planned for November 2021 and will gain worldwide exposure.

Another edition of Red Bull Illume is here and full of exciting new developments, so be sure to keep a look out for important dates and news on redbullillume.com and start shooting because submissions are open from March 01 to July 31, 2021.

 

Get inventive for the Innovation by EyeEm category!

The next category to be announced calls for your most out-the-box imagery with EyeEm’s Innovation, open for submissions from March 01 to July 31, 2021.

© Daniel Bernstål / Red Bull Illume

© Daniel Bernstål / Red Bull Illume

Red Bull Illume is all about celebrating those who aren’t afraid to think a little differently and boldly step away from the norm to find new ways of portray adventure and action sports. We’re proud to say that the Innovation category is back and is brought to you by EyeEm. It’s only fitting the platform that’s home to the most powerful creative imagery in the world empowers photographers with this one-of-a-kind Red Bull Illume category. EyeEm is a global marketplace for premium stock photography and professional photo & video productions. Their worldwide creative community allows any company to book high-quality photo and video productions anywhere in the world.

Innovation by EyeEm is specifically for images that reveal a totally new angle, a visual idea, a different format, or unconventional ways of using lighting, lenses, and, well, that’s really up to you! Show us a new perspective of adventure and actions sports imagery that reflects the spirit of innovation.

If you want to win this category you need to rethink how you shoot. We’re looking for techniques and visual ideas we’ve never seen before. This is innovation at its finest! The judges will select the images that are not only stunning, but approach adventure and action sports imagery in a new way.

So, start brainstorming and start shooting because submissions open from March 01 to July 31, 2021. Stay tuned to redbullillume.com and our social media channels for all the latest updates and category reveals.

The category for RAW images and pure perspectives is back in 2021!

The RAW category returns to showcase adventure and action sports straight out of the camera, calling for imagery that is not enhanced in any way for submission from March 01 to July 31, 2021.

© Noah Wetzel / Red Bull Illume

© Noah Wetzel / Red Bull Illume

Introduced in 2019, the RAW category is all about taking it back to the fundamentals of photography, where planning the composition, lighting, and exposure are the basis of a good image. The greatest challenge with this category is ensuring that all of this has to be perfect before the shot. It’s for the purists at heart, for those who love the process.

RAW is for shots that are straight out of your camera, showing the real and original image. Everything is done in front of the lens, not on the screen. It is for imagery that doesn’t rely on editing or enhancements, it’s for the uncropped, untouched, and unchanged shots.

The images that are pure and untouched are the most difficult to achieve and therefore are the most rewarding. Perhaps you’re already a master of the unedited, or you’re ready to try a more difficult style with your adventure and action sports photography; the RAW category is the one for you.

Is this the category calling out to you? Remember to start shooting because submissions open soon, from March 01 to July 31, 2021. And even if this isn’t the one you’re feeling, stay tuned to redbullillume.com and follow us on social media because there are 10 categories in total for you to choose from, with more being announced soon!

Playground is for the environments inspiring every move

The category dedicated to the places you capture the action returns for Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021. Submit your awe-inspiring imagery from March 01 to July 31, 2021.

© Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Illume

© Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Illume

Where do you go when you’re looking for an unforgettable experience? The Playground category is back for another edition of crazy landscapes, grungy back alleys, and secret spots; because the biggest part of any adventure is where all the action takes place.

Playground is for imagery that showcases the landscapes, locations, platforms in which athletes play. It’s specifically for the epic imagery that showcases the setting which influences the athletes’ every move.

“In my photos I aim to share the beauty and vastness of nature. I seek a lot of inspiration from the landscape and terrain I am in and am always searching for ways and compositions to combine the human element.” – Guy Fattal, Semi-finalist 2019

The world is full of stunning scenery and every edition this category illuminates a whole range of never-seen-before imagery. This can be anything from an unbelievable place hidden between the hills to just finding a new way to look at the same place you visit every day. Playground category is about the athlete and their environment.

“I love to capture an athlete's interaction with the landscape.  These incredible landscapes are what drew me to photography as a medium, and continue to inspire me for new adventures.” – Steve Shannon, Semi-finalist 2019

Share your perspective and show us where you play. The very essence of adventure and action sports creation is looking for new places to perform, capture, and explore. We want to see your spectacular imagery, so make sure you enter as submissions for Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 are open from March 01 to July 31, 2021.

 Playground is only one of the 10 categories and definitely not the last to be revealed before submissions open. So, keep your eyes open for all of the updates and announcements on redbullillume.com and on our social channels.

The pinnacle of expression returns in the Masterpiece by SanDisk category

Masterpiece by SanDisk is back for Red Bull Illume Image Quest, inviting content creators to submit their unique styles from March 01 to July 31, 2021.

© Nils Ohlendorf / Red Bull Illume

© Nils Ohlendorf / Red Bull Illume

One of the most amazing things about Red Bull Illume Image Quest is that it allows people to truly express their ideas, giving creators the opportunity to share their works of art with a global audience. Creating imagery using outstanding artistry and skill is what the Masterpiece by SanDisk category is all about. It is truly the height of self-expression.

Joining as a partner for yet another edition is the digital storage specialist, SanDisk. A name recognized by content creators everywhere for setting the gold standard, both on the set and out on the field. Their products help make creating possible, which is why we’re excited to have them on board for another edition.

The Masterpiece by SanDisk category is for imagery that illuminates your artistic skill, your personal best, your unique style. We are looking for your best shot. The category blurs the line between fine art and photography. It calls for an image that represents the creativity of adventure and action sports. This isn’t just about the trick, but rather how the moment is transformed into a work of art.

Multi-time winner, Lorenz Holder, has become king of the Masterpiece category, winning in both 2016 and 2019. He’s perfected the skill of making images that stand out and gives us a little piece of advice on what to enter for the category:

“The Red Bull Illume Image Quest is undoubtedly the biggest action sports photography competition in the world. As an action sports photographer it’s such a good opportunity to see where I stand and what kind of images really catch people… For me, the Masterpiece category is a bit like the holy grail within Red Bull Illume. The images need to have a certain ‘WOW-factor’ and just blow you away when you see them. Anything goes there, but it just has to be stunning.” - Lorenz Holder

Show the world your unique skill by entering the Masterpiece by SanDisk category. Submissions open from March 01 to July 31, 2021, so don’t wait! Keep an eye out because the next category will be announced in a couple of days on redbullillume.com.

The Emerging category is ready for the next generation

Solely reserved for rising talent, the Emerging category is once again open for submissions from March 01 to July 31, 2021.

© Mathis Dumas / Red Bull Illume

© Mathis Dumas / Red Bull Illume

Three categories have already been announced, bringing us to the fourth one for the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 edition. This one is reserved for the youngsters, for the newbies, for the fresh talent, basically for anyone 25 years or younger. This is the Emerging category and it's back for its second edition!

The Emerging category is about finding new angles from those with a fresh approach to adventure and action sports imagery. It is for the up-and-coming rising talents, giving you the opportunity to get a foot up and compete at the same level as the pros. Anyone from the age of 25 and under can enter, so go on, show us your greatest capture!

Show the world your creativity and it could change the way you create. All Red Bull Illume Finalists will have their work on display around the globe, and along with great prizes, you get to become part of Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021. Submissions are open from March 01 to July 31, 2021.

Start shooting now and don’t forget to check out the other categories we’re announcing over the next few days. Make a big red circle to start submitting from March 01 to July 2021, and stay tuned to redbullillume.com and our social media channels for all the latest news and announcements!

 

Don't hold back! Anything is possible with the Creative category

The next category to return for Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 is Creative, the only one where anything goes. Submit from March 01 to July 31, 2021, to show us your best imagery.

© Denis Klero / Red Bull Illume

© Denis Klero / Red Bull Illume

The only category with no limits is back and ready for even more mind-blowing creativity, are you? The Creative category makes a comeback for the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021, giving creators the opportunity to push the boundaries with beautiful edits.

This is for images that have been enhanced, either digitally or in the darkroom, through alterations made during the production or editing process. The category is open and that means anything goes, Creative celebrates the most inventive, extraordinary, and surreal image edits in adventure and action sports imagery in the world.

Previous creations have included photo manipulation, illustration, and even merging various images together. Check out some of the work from previous editions for more inspiration, like this one from semi-finalist, David Jaramillo Ramírez, who said: “Mixing both the photo and the illustration, we were able to give life to the concept and transmit aesthetic with strength, all coexisting in one shot.”

Have you got ideas waiting to come to life? Make sure you start shooting because submissions open from March 01 to July 31, 2021. There are more categories to be announced soon, so stay tuned for all the latest news and announcements.

Get ready for the next category - Energy by Red Bull Photography

The second category reappearing for the world’s best adventure and action sports imagery contest in 2021 is Energy by Red Bull Photography. The second of ten categories to be announced before submissions open on March 01 till July 31, 2021.

© Ben Thouard / Red Bull Illume

© Ben Thouard / Red Bull Illume

It’s official, the second category returning for another edition of Red Bull Illume Image Quest is the Energy by Red Bull Photography category. This category is for imagery that demonstrates the real power behind every action; the energy, speed, and strength required for the athlete to perform. It’s about showing us the driving force of the athlete and their environment. These are images that you can feel. The category is sponsored by Red Bull Photography, who stand for authentic imagery that captures the lifestyle, culture, and landscapes the athletes put all their energy into.

 

When you capture the real energy of a moment, whether it’s the second before the move or the ecstatic jump for joy, it evokes something in the viewer. The Category Winner from 2019, Ben Thouard took a photo that was so powerful it also claimed the title of Overall Winner. He also submitted another, very strong image that captures the spirit of this category perfectly. Explaining how, "The leash being under tension, the position of the surfer, the explosion of the wave behind, this is something I’ve been looking for a long time while shooting underwater these last years and I’m happy to have captured it for the Energy Category!"

 

“I love to challenge or shoot images no one would even think about. The feeling, when all my energy and power focuses to ONE shot and connecting with the athlete is just beyond words.” - Satoshi Saijo, Semi-Finalist 2019

 

There are now 2 categories to get your creativity going: Lifestyle by COOPH and Energy by Red Bull Photography. The next category is going to be announced soon, on February 09, 2021, so make sure you remember to check it out! Submissions for the contest are free and open from March 01 to July 31, 2021.

First category has been announced - Lifestyle by COOPH

Red Bull Illume returns in 2021 for another round of the world’s best adventure and action sports imagery. Submissions to the contest open on March 01, until July 31, 2021, which makes it the perfect time to announce the very first category.

 

© Alexander Wick / Red Bull Illume

© Alexander Wick / Red Bull Illume

Returning for another edition is a category close to everyone’s heart – The Lifestyle Category. It’s for images that visually capture the creativity of the lifestyle, music, and culture that surrounds the adventure and action sports; or represents the moments before, between, and after the action. The imagery in this category shows the real reason people push themselves beyond the goal of landing the trick or sending the unthinkable, it’s about the passion of the people doing it.

The secret to capturing a winning entry for this category? Take your camera out before the action starts and carry on shooting even when you think it’s over. Capture every memory, from the laughter to the tears. Let us into your world.

The Lifestyle Category is brought to you by COOPH, the photography apparel and community-focused magazine that recognizes and supports people who are passionate about photography. It is the very first brand to design photography gear and apparel that is not only super functional, but also stylish. Their constant support of people behind the lens is what makes them the perfect sponsor for Red Bull Illume Image Quest, providing creators with the gear they need to capture every moment before, during, and after the action.

The Lifestyle Category is just the first of many aimed to spark ideas for your work. The next category will be announced on Saturday, February 06, 2021. The submissions phase opens soon, so make sure you mark March 01 to July 31, 2021, in your calendars and start shooting now!

Semi-finalist Nic Alegre and his one true passion

Nic Alegre is one of the industry's best-known winter sports photographers and his images are published in major ski magazines. He's usually travelling around the globe trying to capture the rawness of winter sports in a beautiful and unique way but he found time to talk to us!

© Nic Alegre

We talked to Nic about his work, his plans to submit to the Image Quest 2021 and the stand-out moments in his career! Check out the full interview and an exclusive selection of some of his most stunning images!

 

First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Could you give a little overview of your life as a professional photographer? How did it all start?

Always! I have a ton of appreciation for what Red Bull does for the industry and the way the company supports athletes and artists around the globe.
I suppose my path truly began when I started watching films from Standard Films, TGR (Teton Gravity Research) and Mack Dawg in my teens. My affinity for snow sports was already there – I grew up surfing on the end of Long Island, but there was something about snowboarding and skiing that got its hooks in me. Those films impacted me greatly and launched the connection I have to the winter sports world. When I took an action photography workshop in Whistler in 2010 put on by Blake Jorgenson, I decided that this was it and I was going to commit 100%.

 

How would you describe your style of photography?

Drama, contrast and a priority put on style. I appreciate athletes who have that thing which you cannot describe, an it-factor that makes them unique. I search for that in my lifestyle, portrait, and scenic shooting as well.

You’re well known for your ski photography. Is it your favorite sport to shoot?

I love to shoot both skiing and snowboarding. It’s more about who I’m shooting with that matters the most. Having a relationship with your athletes and crew is one of the most important ingredients that go into creating a shot that has impact.

What’s the most important thing to remember when shooting winter sports?

There are a few things that I consider to be the most important things to remember. The top three on my list are probably: Constantly moving to find different angles, trusting your instinct, and communicating with your crew.

 

Any tips on shooting the unexpected?

Knowing your camera, understanding setting specific exposure and depth, and then having the ability to change it in a split second is very important when shooting dynamic environments.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

The energy within the crew does the most to inspire me. I am at my best when I am perceiving everything and when the energy is high and there is a lot happening. I feel like everything about my senses is heightened and my ability to recognize moments as they are about to happen improves.

What are some stand-out memories or moments in your career?

That’s a tough question! I have so many amazing memories and moments that stand out that it really is hard to pinpoint one or two. My first POWDER cover, plus how TGR organized a surprise at the headquarters and filmed it is something I will never forget.
Winning Photo of the Year in 2018 at the Pow Awards and landing the final POWDER cover are high on the list too. TGR premieres are always a big highlight and all TGR trips are stand-out moments for me because of the experiences we share together. Getting the nod from Todd Jones to shoot with him in Alaska is a big deal to me and a sign of respect that I appreciate greatly. Biggest negative? Getting banned from Canada for overstaying my six month visa.

 

 

Do you plan to submit to Red Bull Illume 2021?

Absolutely!

Where can we find more of your work?

On my website, the pages of POWDER Magazine, on Instagram @nicalegre and @tetongravity!