Santa Monica, CA—A premier action and adventure sports photography competition, Red Bull Illume returns for its fifth edition. The contest showcases creative images while illuminating the passion, lifestyle and culture of the photographers who shoot them.
The Red Bull Illume Image Quest has 11 categories, including two brand-new categories: Best of Instagram and Moving Image. A judging panel of 50 international photo editors and digital experts will select the top 55 finalists (five in each category). Moreover, they will vote on the 11 category winners and an overall winner; the winner announcement will occur at a ceremony in November. After the winner awards ceremony, all finalist images travel to capitals and cultural hubs across the globe as part of the 2020 Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour.
Photographers may submit entries to Red Bull Illume through July 31, 2019.
“The creation of Red Bull Illume in 2006 as the first digital action and adventure sports photography competition was a smashing success; largely thanks to a revolution in print-quality digital photography,” the company announced. “The ability to practically shoot unlimited amounts of images in remote and difficult to access locations, in sports where the key action happens in an instant, saw a flood of incredible new photos.”
Since then, not only has the number of submissions grown, but so has the standards. For young aspiring photographers looking to make their name in a competitive industry, Red Bull Illume became a launching pad for careers.
In 2013, rather than submit existing images, photographers began shooting specifically for the competition, raising the bar further. The contest continued to evolve, adding mobile, social and moving image categories.
In 2016, 5,646 photographers from 120 countries submitted a record-breaking 34,624 images.
Red Bull Illume Submission Process
The 2019 contest features multiple new categories and a hefty prize purse. Photographers can submit images using either their existing social media accounts or an e-mail account. They must register and sign in at redbullillume.com and choose the categories for submission. Moreover, every image is eligible for submission to two categories, and in total 10 images per category. Only JPGs and MP4s are required for the initial entry.
New and Updated Categories
The 5th edition of Red Bull Illume allows mobile image submissions in all photo categories. In addition, there are two new categories. The Best of Instagram by SanDisk category is for the most gram-worthy moments of action and adventure sports. Best of Instagram submissions started February 1, with one winner selected by the community each month through June. Moreover, the new Moving Image category is for the best videos between 5–30 seconds long.
Also, three existing categories were updated. The Emerging category focuses on highlighting rising talents with submissions accepted only from photographers 25 years old or under.
The Raw category is for shots captured ‘straight out of the camera,’ showcasing the real image. All composition, exposure and lighting must occur in front of the lens.
Furthermore, images that reveal a unique angle, a visual idea, a different format, light and flash effects—in general something never seen before—are eligible for the Innovation by Sony category.
A complete list of category descriptions is found here.
Red Bull Illume Prizes
Each of the 11 category winners will garner a Sony Alpha a7 III camera kitted out with a 24–105mm f/4 G Master lens. In addition, SanDisk is providing three of their Extreme Pro memory cards with a card reader, plus an Extreme Pro portable SSD hard drive. Skylum also is supplying photo-editing software, including Luminar 3 and their signature presets. Plus, COOPH is awarding photography apparel and accessories.
In addition, Skylum will present a special prize to the winner of the Creative by Skylum category. The winner will become part of the Global Skylum Ambassador Team. Likewise, Red Bull Photography will grant the winner of the Emerging by Red Bull Photography category a spot at the Red Bull Rising Talent photography workshop. This includes travel, accommodation and board expenses.
Moreover, the overall winner will receive all of the above prizes by winning a category, as well as a Sony Alpha a9 camera with a 24–70mm f/2.8 G Master lens. SanDisk will also award the overall winner a shoot with a SanDisk Extreme team member.