The Playground by WhiteWall category is all about celebrating some of the incredible locations and environments where athletes get to play. Few are quite so remarkable or hostile as the glacier ice cave where photographer Markus Berger struggled to capture Dominik Hernler in action, riding a meltwater stream inside the Hintertux glacier. He got the shot, and it has become the winner of the Playground by WhiteWall category.
But it could easily have gone the other way, Berger explains. Such was the cold and the wet conditions, he battled to keep his cameras – and himself – alive and functioning.
‘It was a crazy location,” he recalls. “In terms of photography, this was an extreme challenge, as we were facing intense cold, moisture and also very cold water. After more than three hours in the water I didn't feel anything below my waist and one of my cameras failed as well. When Dominik finally arrived and pulled the action it was also a matter of luck if I got the camera to trigger at the right moment. It was such a relief to see the image pop up on my screen and get the shot. Right after this shot the camera shut down and didn't work for three days until it dried up completely!”
The other category finalists were Federico Ravassard for his shot of a Marzio Nardi climbing marble quarries in Italy, Andreas Busslinger for his shot of paragliders above a frozen lake, Bruno Long’s unique image of a ski tourers on a glacier and Ebrahim Adam, for a shot he captured inside a production facility for prefabricated homes in Singapore.
If you missed this announcement and want to see Markus’ reaction then you can rewatch it on our Instagram channel.
The overall winner will be announced on Saturday, December 4 during the Red Bull Illume Exhibition in Aspen Snowmass, USA. Stay tuned to our channels for the latest updates.