Red Bull Illume: Australian photographer crowned winner with electrifying shot of a climber in Long Canyon

Red Bull Illume: Australian photographer crowned winner with electrifying shot of a climber in Long Canyon



CNN
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Australian photographer Krystle Wright made history as she was named winner of the Red Bull Illume contest – the world’s largest adventure and action sports imagery contest – becoming the first female photographer in its 17-year history to take home the grand prize.

Her picture shows climber Angela VanWiemeersch illuminated in a crack, deep within Long Canyon, Utah, in the United States. “This is incredible. I wanted to earn my place in this industry and my work to get recognized. Red Bull Illume is the only platform that truly recognizes what we do,” Wright said.

She explained “that the idea hit [her] like a lightning bolt” and only came about once she had “embraced boredom” in her life.

“What a spectacular feeling it was to witness the crack come alive as the darkness enveloped around us,” Wright added.

There were several other spectacular shots that were recognized in various different categories at the contest.

The below image – taken by Ted Grambeau – of surfer and “local legend” Jimmy McKean, took home first place in the Energy Category.

One of the most extreme days at the incredibly challenging Shipstern Bluff on a remote stretch of coast in Tasmania Australia. The irregular bathymetry creates steps in the wave that adds to the unpredictably and creates a spectacular platform at the base of passive imposing sea cliffs. Local legend Jimmy McKean navigates a series of irregular steps in the face of a giant southern ocean swell. The steps are somewhat unpredictable and add to the precarious nature of one of the world's most spectacular and dangerous waves.

Grambeau describes his experience capturing the shot as “one of the most extreme days at the incredibly challenging Shipstern Bluff on a remote stretch of coast in Tasmania, Australia.”

A colorful image of BMX rider Senad Grosic on the La Muralla Roja apartment complex in Calp (near Alicante), Spain, was named the winner of the Sölden Category.

La Muralla Roja is a huge apartment complex in the Spanish town Calp and was built by Ricardo Bofill in 1969. This building is just a miracle itself -- there are stairs, small corridors, platforms and concrete walls everywhere and it's very easy to lose orientation. The building is divided in different zones that are all colored differently in pastel tones, but work together beautifully. Just walking through this masterpiece  is breathtaking and you feel instantly transferred into a different world.
For Senad and I, this was just an playground with almost unlimited spots and opportunities, where we both could live out our creativity. 
For this shot, I wanted to show the variety of pastel colors and different structures and compose this with an BMX-trick of Senad with the right balance of architecture and action sports. We had to wait a little bit, till the sun was at the right place, to illuminate all the scene pretty equality, so the colors of the building would show its full potential without having shadows within the image.

“This building is just a miracle itself – there are stairs, small corridors, platforms and concrete walls everywhere and it’s very easy to lose orientation,” said photographer Lorenz Holder. “Just walking through this masterpiece is breathtaking and you feel instantly transferred into a different world.

“For Senad and I, this was just an playground with almost unlimited spots and opportunities, where we both could live out our creativity.”

Sandy stairs

The winner of the Playground by Radiant Photo Category was this shot of freerider Kilian Bron taking on one of the highest sand dunes in the world, located in Peru.

We were shooting for a week around Cusco with the whole video team but when they left, we changed my flight to come to this place, I had to wait a couple more days at the hotel as Kilian had a race at the end of the week. The minute after he crossed the finish line, we took a car and drove 12 hours on mountain roads from 6PM to 6AM. We arrived at the hotel in the morning and after a quick nap, we were headed to the highest dune in the world. 
We only had one evening and one morning there as our plane was leaving from Lima the next day. We had to have good weather and all conditions come together. I was suffering from a knee injury and had to climb up the 500m high dune with almost just one leg. I flew my drone once up there and the view was absolutely breathtaking. The wind just shaped that huge dune with a perfect pattern, the same pattern we can see on a way smaller scale. It was so perfect it almost looked fake. 
Once I decided which line I wanted Kilian to ride, it was go time and we were lucky enough that he made a turn at the perfect moment to lift up some sand. It was that one shot this whole part of the trip was all about.

“We had to have good weather and all conditions come together,” said Jean-Baptiste Liautard, who captured the breathtaking image. “I was suffering from a knee injury and had to climb up the 500m (roughly 1,640 feet) high dune with almost just one leg.

“[The pattern] was so perfect it almost looked fake.”

Gonzalo Robert Parraguez won the Emerging with Canon Category with this striking image from Chile.

L'Usine is a dry-tooling cave situated over an old factory. On a Sunday after fun-filled night out with Virgile Devin and friends in Grenoble we decided to go for a climb at this spot. That's when I got to shoot Virgile hooked to the roof of the cave, the bright light coming from the outside of the cave on the original shot gave me the idea of a high contrast minimalist collage. To create this image, I decided to push the boundaries of my creativity by merging my photography editing skills with modern technological advancements. 
I designed the scene using a digitally generated block of ice. By choosing black and white, I was able to express my love for simplicity and contrast, while recalling the greatness of the mountain with an oversized ice element. This image is the result of many inspirations that have shaped my journey as a photographer: the mountains, the power of extreme sports, the exploration of new ways to create, all shared with some good friends.

Parraguez explained the commitment it took to obtain this shot.

“To get to the waterfall, you had to drive two hours, walk 10 minutes and then to take this photo I had to do a 15-meter (roughly 49.2-foot) rappel as the waterfall is in a deep canyon,” he said.

“I think this is one of my favorite photos as it included a bit of everything.”

Red Bull Illume says it showcases the most creative and captivating adventure and action sports imagery, while illuminating the passion, lifestyle and culture behind the photographers that shoot them.

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