At the beginning of this month, 260 semi-finalists were selected out of nearly 60,000 entries for Red Bull Illume’s photography and videography contest. The 5 finalists for each category attended the Winner Award Ceremony hosted at the LUMEN – Museum of Mountain Photography on November 20th. The Overall Winner, 11 Category Winners, and Top 60 finalist images were revealed at the ceremony hosted by Italian sports journalist Zoran Filicic.
|Ben Thouard was this year’s Overall Winner.|
This year’s Overall Winner is Ben Thouard for his underwater image of surfer Ace Buchan riding a massive wave in Teahupo’o, Tahiti. Here is Thouard’s story behind 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.’
He continues, ‘luckily I was right below, breathless with my [underwater housing] 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.’ Thouard was a Red Bull Illume semi-finalist in 2013 and a finalist in 2016 before becoming the Overall Winner this year.
|60 finalist images were on display outside the LUMEN.|
Once all the winners and finalists were announced, attendees were able to view the 60 finalist photos illuminated with 2mx2m lightboxes outside the LUMEN. The winners for each category are:
Overall Winner 2019: Ben Thouard, French Polynesia
Category Winners 2019
Best of Instagram by SanDisk: Baptiste Fauchille, France
Creative by Skylum: Denis Klero, Russia
Emerging by Red Bull Photography: JB Liautard, France
Energy: Ben Thouard, French Polynesia
Innovation by Sony: Laurence Crossman-Emms, United Kingdom
Lifestyle: Alexander Wick, Germany
Masterpiece by EyeEm: Lorenz Holder, Germany
Moving Image: Rupert Walker, Canada
Playground: Lorenz Holder, Germany
RAW: Noah Wetzel, USA
Wings: Philip Platzer, Austria
Best Mountain Sports Image by Salewa: Kamil Sustiak, Australia
SanDisk Extreme Award: Philip Platzer, Austria
For those interested, a Limited Edition Red Bull Illume Photobook featuring 260 semi-finalist action and adventure sports images submitted to the competition is now available to order. 4,000 copies were made, each individually numbered and stamped, and they come with a SanDisk Ultra SD Memory Card containing the Moving Image Category videos plus the full Luminar 4: Creative Photo Editor suite from Skylum.