Who's got the best Mountain Photo

There is an additional prize this year for the Best Mountain Photo.

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© Alexander Wick / Red Bull Illume

Here are some great shots from the Red Bull Illume archives to get you inspired for the Best Mountain Photo. Black Diamond is going to select the winner, and the prize is a generous product deal worth up to $5,000. Shots can belong to any category – it’s just a bonus prize for the best mountain image. So while there’s still time, head to the hills and nail that shot. 

The countdown for the winners' unveiling is on

The winners of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 are about to be revealed. Over five days beginning November 29, we shall start announcing the names of the eleven category winners and their remarkable shots on Instagram Live and on the website.

Red Bull Illume 2021 Photobook - Limited Edition

This limited-edition photobook features the top 256 images of the Image Quest 2021.
Be the first to see those inspiring images printed and pre-order your exclusive copy now! 

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Untouched and unfiltered - the last round of semi-finalists is announced for the RAW by Leica category

The RAW by Leica category finalists are revealed, which means there’s only one week until the finalists and winners are announced during the Unveiling Week from November 29 to December 04, 2021.

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© Wayne Reiche / Red Bull Illume

The past few weeks have been overflowing with absolutely mind-blowing imagery with the last set of semi-finalists for the RAW by Leica category announced today. But don’t worry, that means there’s even more to be excited about because in a few days the Unveiling Week begins, from November 29 to December 04, 2021, where we find out all the finalists, category winners, and the one-and-only overall winner!

The RAW by Leica category celebrates the fundamentals of photography, calling for images straight out of camera. These images didn’t rely on photo editing or enhancements which make them the most difficult to achieve, making the reward even greater. A feeling semi-finalist, Nicolas Brizin, knows all about, “I remember when I saw the shot on the screen, the sharpness, the colors, the action... I was filled. Photography is magic when it works like this. Pushing a button and time is stopped.”

We’re proud to say a massive congratulations to every single semi-finalist for their technicality and creativity!

Nicolas Brizin
Lukas Cairns
Ian Collins
Jan Kasl
Dan Krauss
Jean-Baptiste Liautard
Sterling Lorence
Marcelo Maragni
André Maurer
Roman Neimann
Tommy Pyatt
Wayne Reiche
Satoshi Saijo
Steve Shannon
Noah Wetzel
Colin Wiseman

Every photographer in the world knows about Leica. The brand’s German craftmanship and attention to detail has earned the brand its legendary reputation. It’s an honor to have them on board as a partner for the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 and we’re pretty sure the winners will feel the same way. Why? Well, every category winner will take home a state-of-the-art Leica Q2 camera, with the overall winner earning a Leica SL2 with three premium lenses!

That’s all the semi-finalists for this edition, which means that next week you will find out who the finalists, category winners, and ultimately, the overall winner of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 is. Stay tuned, as the Unveiling Week starts on November 29, where we will reveal two winners every day via a livestream, building up to the overall winner announcement on December 4, in Aspen Snowmass, USA. To discover all the details and times click here!


Looking back: RAW by Leica

The last semi-finalists will be unveiled this week, and they are from the RAW by Leica category! To make the wait shorter, we’ve selected eight of the most noteworthy images of the last edition. All of them are the best semi-finalists, coming straight out of the camera, so check them out while you get ready for the last semi-finalist announcement coming on Thursday!

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© Grant Gunderson / Red Bull Illume

The countdown for the Winners’ Unveiling is on

Top athletes and adventure legends to join us online every day from November 29 as we unveil the winners of Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021.

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© Trevor Lyden / Red Bull Illume

For the world’s top adventure and action sports photographers, as well as photography fans around the world, the wait is almost over. The winners of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 are about to be revealed. 
Over five days beginning next Monday, November 29, we shall start announcing the names of the eleven category winners and their remarkable shots. 

Every day we will go live at 6PM and 8PM CET on Instagram to announce two category winners. During the broadcasts we will also be joined by special guests from the world of action sports and photography, including former Red Bull Illume Overall Winner Chris 
Burkard, world champion snowboarder Anna Gasser, freestyle skier and entrepreneur Jon Olsson, and adventure legend Will Gadd. The winning photographer will also join us live to give their reaction.

Unveiling week kicks off on Monday, November 29, at 6PM when we announce the winners of the Best of Instagram by Lenovo category and then the winner of RAW by Leica two hours later, at 8PM. The rest of the week follows a similar format – every day, two live broadcasts revealing a category winner. On Friday, December 3, we reveal the last of the 11 category winners at 8PM, Energy by Red Bull Photography. 

While the category winners are announced from Monday to Friday, the climax of the week is the revealing of the overall winner. That will take place during the opening of the first Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour Stop in Aspen Snowmass, CO, USA, on Saturday, December 4.

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“The wait is finally over and we can’t wait to reveal the winning shots of this year’s Red Bull Illume,” says Red Bull Illume’s founder, Ulrich Grill. “The standard of action sports photography has once again surprised us with its quality and originality and in many cases it has been a difficult call for the global panel of judges. Prepare to be amazed and inspired by the range of creativity and professionalism behind the winning images.”

This year the total value of prizes on offer to winners is more than €200,000. The package for the category winners includes a Leica Q2 camera, a Lenovo Yoga 9i PC, workflow bundles from SanDisk Professional, adventure gear and pro deals from Black Diamond.
WhiteWall will give all category winners a printed and framed copy of their winning image.

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This year the total value of prizes on offer to winners is worth more than €200,000. © zooom

But the real prize is priceless – that’s the exposure and prestige associated with being a Red Bull Illume winner. The images are not only displayed in a limited-edition photobook but tour the world in a unique exhibition. Many photographers credit Red Bull Illume for being the spark that ignited their careers. 

Don’t miss the live announcements, kicking off from Monday, November 29 at 6PM CET on our website and all social media channels.

These semi-finalists captured the most insane locations on earth!

The Playground by WhiteWall category semi-finalists are revealed and so are all of the unique places around the world where they capture adventure and action sports.

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© Esben Zøllner Olesen / Red Bull Illume

Location, location, location… That’s what this category is all about, because Playground by WhiteWall calls for images that capture environments which inspire the athlete’s every move. Whether it’s an undiscovered valley, an underwater cave, or simply the local hangout around the corner; these images show us where you play. As Ryan Creary, one of this year’s semi-finalists can tell you, there’s a lot to consider when shooting adventure and action sports photography, “Being able to showcase the weather and elements alongside the action is when I am most creatively fulfilled.”

There’s an entire world of adventure and action sports out there and these images show us the wild and jaw-dropping places athletes play in. Congratulations to all of the semi-finalists of the Playground by WhiteWall category!

Florian Breitenberger
Andreas Busslinger
Clement Chouleur
Ryan Creary
Jairo Díaz
Adi Geisegger
Léo Grosgurin
Marcelo Maragni
Benny Marr
Esben Zøllner Olesen
Evgeny Pavlov
Wayne Reiche
Rein Rijke
Satoshi Saijo
Steve Shannon
Dave Smith
Andreas Vigl
Volodya Voronin
​​​​​​​Noah Wetzel

Red Bull Illume discovers the world’s greatest adventure and action sports imagery and WhiteWall honors them with state-of-the-art gallery framing. WhiteWall is the photolab for everyone who loves photography, with fourteen years of experience and run by a passionate team of experts. The best part? They’re giving the winners of Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 their very own gallery-style framed image!

It’s not over yet… the countdown to the Unveiling Week has just begun with only ten days to go until we find out the category winners and ultimately, the overall winner of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021! There’s one more category of semi-finalists to be announced next Thursday so make sure you keep checking out social media and our website for all the big news and updates.

Looking back: Playground by WhiteWall

Unique landscapes, locations and environments are what the Playground by WhiteWall category is all about! Today, we share a collection of the best semi-finalists from the previous editions with you, showcasing just that. Check them out to get in the mood for the semi-finalist announcement coming this Thursday!

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© Lorenz Holder / Red Bull Illume

Every image is an artwork with the semi-finalists for Masterpiece by SanDisk Professional

Unveiling the semi-finalists of the category for images which express the photographer’s unique style and outstanding artistry.

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© Adi Geisegger / Red Bull Illume

The Masterpiece by SanDisk Professional category blurs the line between photography and fine art. It gives the photographers an opportunity to create images which represent adventure and action sports in a new light, using their exceptional skills and one-of-a-kind imagination to express their ideas.

Exceptional artworks; that is what we were looking for and that’s what we got! Our judges were blown away by the pure creativity and artistic flair in this edition’s submissions. So, we’d like to say a huge congratulations to the photographers for bringing their best and rising up to the challenge.

We’re very proud to share the Masterpiece by SanDisk Professional semi-finalists with you:

Vegard Byrkjeland Aasen
Janessa Anderson
Anthony Chenot
Marc Daviet
Adi Geisegger
Jason Halayko
Lorenz Holder
Ismael Ibañez
Marcelo Maragni
Antoine Mesnage
Ryan Moss
Roman Neimann
Yuriy Nikityuk
Haruki ‘Harookz’ Noguchi
Rein Rijke
Tal Roberts
Kamil Sustiak
David Nogales Tarragó
Bartek Woliński

This category is about changing the way the world sees adventure and action sports photography and having a world-renowned brand like SanDisk Professional on our team is an honor. After all, they are revolutionizing how photographers work with their incredible storage solutions, which this edition’s winners will be able to experience themselves with SanDisk Professional giving out prizes worth over €30,000!

Another week, another round of semi-finalists announced. Remember that next Thursday we’ll be revealing another category full of awesome imagery. So, keep your eyes glued to our social media and website for all of the latest news and updates, because we’re just getting started. Excited yet? Just wait till you check out what we’ve got planned for the big finalists’ and winner’s unveiling, or just click here and find out now!

Looking back: Masterpiece by SanDisk Professional

Today, we are kickstarting Masterpiece by SanDisk Professional week by taking a look back and reminiscing on some of the semi-finalists from the previous editions. We’ve selected eight of the most noteworthy images of previous editions, illuminating the artistic skill and unique style of the photographers, so check them out while you get ready for the big semi-finalist announcement coming on Thursday!

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© Kamil Sustiak / Red Bull Illume

Step into the world of adventure and action sports with the Lifestyle by COOPH semi-finalists!

The semi-finalists are revealed for the category that illuminates every moment before, after, and in-between the big moves.

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© Jordan Manoukian / Red Bull Illume

The Lifestyle by COOPH category is all about images that visually capture the lifestyle and culture that surrounds adventure and action sports. So, it’s really about the little moments, the big emotions and the lifelong memories made along the way.

The real secret to capturing winning entries for this category is to always have your camera ready, just ask 2021 semi-finalist Hugo Vincent, who says, “As a photographer, the day does not end when the climb is over. Even if I am usually more tired than the athletes, I always keep my eyes open and my camera ready, to capture these genuine instants that make the stories of our mountain adventures more real.”

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© Hugo Vincent / Red Bull Illume

We’d like to say thank you to everyone for letting us into your world and sharing your creativity, showing us the other side of adventure and action sports. Congratulations to all the Lifestyle by COOPH semi-finalists:

Vegard Byrkjeland Aasen
Oskar Enander
Jay French
Nick Green
Ben Herndon
Colton Jacobs
Adam Kokot
Jordan Manoukian
Julian Mittelstädt
Will McKay
Daniele Molineris
Takahiro Nakanishi
Markus Paladino
Matteo Pavana
Matt Power
Dylan Sherrard
Ryan Taylor
Hugo Vincent
Jeffrey Ward

COOPH has once again partnered with Red Bull Illume in their endeavor to support people behind the lens in breaking creative boundaries. Their apparel and accessories are stylish yet functional and designed for photographers, by photographers. The best part is that the winners of Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 will get their very own COOPH accessories to update and upgrade their shoot wardrobe.

Another round of semi-finalists will be unveiled next Thursday, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for all the news. Don’t forget, this is all just building up to the really, really big announcement of the finalists happening in December! Keep up to date by following our social media and checking out the website regularly.

Blindly follow your dreams and work on projects that blow your mind!

Sergey Shakuto, whose images made it into the selection of the 2016 and 2019 edition, is living his childhood dream – always with a camera in hand. We spoke with him about his creative influences and what makes his work unique.

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© Sergey Shakuto / Red Bull Illume

How did your fascination with traveling and extreme sports begin?
As far as I can remember, I have always dreamed of adventure. Despite the fact that I was born in the Soviet Union, back in the 80s I watched a lot of popular Hollywood films about the adventures of archaeologists, about uninhabited islands, about time travel. My dad was an artist and before my birth he was in the army as a paratrooper. He drew a whole series of comics about the life of paratroopers in the army. What more could a little boy need to make him want to jump with a parachute? So, at the age of three, I already knew what I wanted! Point Break, Cutaway, Blue Crush and Deep Blue also influenced me a lot. All these films are about blindly following a dream.

When and why did you begin to combine your passion for sports with photography?
I started photography when I was twenty and digital cameras appeared. Working as a designer in the most popular design studio in Russia, I took a camera in my hands to make some fine arts. After a little while I started to design snowboarding clothes, our brand was the most popular in Russia. I began to communicate with professional athletes, we skated together and instead of learning tricks, I thought about how cool it would be to photograph all of this for magazines.

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© Sergey Shakuto / Red Bull Illume

You were born in Russia and lived in Indonesia – have these countries influenced you (artistically)?
I think that not only in Russia or Indonesia, adventure and action photography is not the most profitable thing, which greatly affects everyday life and family.

Is there a dream project you would like to realize one day?
My brain is always full of all kinds of crazy ideas, which, thanks to a great team, have sometimes turned into reality. In those moments, tears ran down my cheeks and I could not believe that everything turned out exactly as I imagined, and sometimes even better!

What makes your images unique? You were a graphic designer before capturing sports with your camera – does this help you with photography?
My secret is that I only take on projects that really blow my mind. I try to find new perspectives, experiment a lot with equipment and try to make the photos look more like paintings without using computer graphics. Only color correction and light retouching. I also try to only work with professional athletes who are most interested in a good result and know what hard work is. When I manage to infect them with an idea, the most incredible result is obtained. I look at some photos years later and to me it still looks like it is hardly possible to surpass the result.

This year, I focused on filming videos as much as possible. I created my own production company and the videos that I shoot try to show my dreams, fantasies and desires.

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© Sergey Shakuto

Have you entered the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021?
Of course, I participated in Red Bull Illume 2021, but I have submitted very few photos. I hope that I will be able to get to the finals, because much of the work has left an indelible mark on my soul.

Where can we find more of your work?
I publish all my works on Instagram, @shakuto. Also, my work can sometimes be seen on the covers and pages of international sports magazines and, of course, in advertisements for my clients.

Looking back: Lifestyle by COOPH

Images that capture the lifestyle of adventure and action sports are the focus of Lifestyle by COOPH and what we will share with you this week! We’ve selected eight of the most noteworthy images of recent years for you to check out while you wait for the big semi-finalist announcement coming on Thursday.

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© Geoff Holman / Red Bull Illume