• 09.05.13

The Winners Of Red Bull’s Action Sports Photography Contest Have Truly Gone To Extremes

This year, Red Bull brought back its Illume Image Quest–an international photography contest focused on action and adventure sports. Be retroactively afraid for the folks depicted in the winning images here.

Because it’s not much use staring death in the face with daring feats of sport if nobody is going to see you do it, most extreme athletes bring along a photographer to capture the act. Of course, similar to the sportsmen themselves, not all sports photographers are created equal.


Red Bull’s Illume Image Quest is an international photography competition centered on the kind of extreme sports associated with the energy drink through its various efforts. This year marks the third edition of the competition after previous iterations in 2007 and 2010. An international panel of judges and photo editors looked through some 28,000 entries by 6,417 photographers from 124 countries of entries, whittling them down to 50 winning images across 10 categories. The categories included Close Up, Playground, Wings, and Experimental (which allowed digital manipulation).

The overall winner, Lorenz Holder, was revealed at an award ceremony in Hong Kong on August 29th, for his image of a man skateboarding across a satellite. Holder received as a prize the new Leica S camera and a broncolor Move Outdoor kit as well as Sun-Sniper gear. Winners in the other categories each received a Leica X2, a broncolor Para 88 P Kit, and a similar gear package. The 50 finalist images are set to travel around the world in a stand-alone photo exhibition on 2-by-2-meter lightboxes, which will only be shown at night. However, you can have a look through some of the images in the slides above.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.