Digital SLR Photography

High-energy antics in Red Bull competition

By Caroline Schmidt. Posted

The winners of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019 photography competition have been revealed. The selected images showcase high-energy antics and extreme sports set against beautiful backdrops in some of the most amazing places in the world, making for some truly stunning shots.

This year's contest attracted nearly 60,000 entries, which were whittled down to 60 finalists by a panel of 50 esteemed judges. The shortlisted entries are exhibited at the Lumen Museum of Mountain Photography in Italy, and from that winners were selected in the 11 categories, along with an Overall Winner.

The Overall Winner, and winner of the Energy category, was Ben Thouard from France for his underwater shot of a surfer in Teahupo’o, Tahiti. Ben takes home a Sony a9 camera with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and a shooting experience with the SanDisk Extreme Team.
Overall Winner, Image Quest 2019 © Ben Thouard : Red Bull Illume

Here's what Ben says about his winning image: “I‘ve dedicated the last few years to shooting underwater, looking for new angles and a new way to shoot surfing and waves. Shooting surfing from underwater is a whole new world and I love it!

“Tahiti has some of the clearest water in the world so it was easy for me to take advantage of it and explore it as much as I could.

“This photo was shot during a freesurf session right before the WCT event in Teahupo‘o. This is Ace Buchan kicking out from the barrel through the wave, a technique to escape a close-out wave.

“Luckily I was right below, breathless with my waterhousing waiting for this moment and I was able to capture the whole sequence of it; this frame from the beginning of the sequence is the most powerful one because of the water around his face and body.”

Finally, here are some of our favourite shortlisted entries.

© Lorenz Holder : Red Bull Illume © Noah Wetzel : Red Bull Illume © Laurence Crossman-Emms : Red Bull IllumePhilip Platzer:Red Bull Illume
Category Winner, Red Bull Photography JB Liautard