The Winning Action Sports Photos of Red Bull Illume 2019

Photography News

Red Bull Illume has announced the winning photos of its prestigious 2019 action sports photography competition. French photographer Ben Thouard was named the Overall Winner with his underwater surfing photo (shown above) shot in Teahupo’o, Tahiti.

“I’ve dedicated the last few years to shooting underwater, looking for new angles and a new way to shoot surfing and waves,” Thouard says. “Tahiti has some of the clearest water in the world.

“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.”

A record-breaking 59,551 photos were submitted this year, and the winners were selected by an expert panel of 50 photo editors and experts.

American photographer Noah Wetzel won the RAW category for this photo of mountain biker Chris Bule riding under the 2019 total solar eclipse in Teton Valley, Wyoming:

Here are the other winners from the major categories:

Creative by Skylum: Denis Klero, Russia, for his visually striking image of Paul Alekhin to celebrate the change of season in Streetfire Club, Moscow, Russia.
Best of Instagram by SanDisk: Baptiste Fauchille, France, with a shot from a buddies trip with a business goal showing Alex Bibollet’s shadow in the bowl of Fillinges, France.
Emerging by Red Bull Photography: Jean-Baptiste Liautard, France, joins the big leagues with this mirrored shot of Jeremy Berthier at his trail in Bourgoin-Jallieu, France.
Innovation by Sony: Laurence Crossman-Emms, United Kingdom, takes the imagination by storm with this image of Katy Winton BMXing through a puddle at Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales, United Kingdom.
Lifestyle: Alexander Wick, Germany, for his tribute shot of Philipp Bankosegger, Chris Rudolph and Luke Lalor taking a nap by Salathé Wall, El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, USA.
Mastepiece by EyeEm: Lorenz Holder, Germany, for his shot of Senad Grosic flying in the magical Game of Thrones location, The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland.
Playground: Lorenz Holder, Germany, with a shot of Vladic Scholz in the surreal Ouse Valley Viaduct, South England.
Wings: Philip Platzer, Austria, captures athlete Marco Fürst flying on an unthinkable hot air balloon swing in Fromberg, Austria.

The premiere photo contest for action and adventure sports photography, Red Bull Illume was founded in 2006 and is in its fifth edition. The winners of this year’s contest received over $100,000 in equipment and prizes.

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