Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2013: The Oscars of Action Sports Photography

red bull announcement

Red Bull Illume is the Oscars of action sports photography and to be named a finalist is a huge honor.

The Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2013, now in its third edition, attracts the top contenders in action and adventure sports photography as well as new and upcoming talents. The contest aims to bridge the gap between the public and the world of action sports by showcasing the most exciting action sports photography yet.

rider doing tricks on motorcycle in stadium

man leaning on wall over cliff

snowboarding across crevicesskiing down steep mountain

back end of bike

“Red Bull Illume is one of the best photo competitions in the world. The standard of photography and talent is amazing, the imagination of the photographers is incredible. I find looking at the images breathtaking.” Paul Sanders, former picture editor of The Times, and Red Bull Illume judge 2007 & 2010.

What sets this competition apart from the others is how it features both the action shots and the lifestyle behind the sports. It also pays tribute to the extreme lengths action sport photographers go just to get the shot.

snowboarder doing tricks on mountain

men hanging on wall in tents

surfer under barrel of wave

By the time the entries close on April 30th, tens of thousands of people will have submitted their images from all over the world.

During the last edition in 2010, they received 22,764 entries from 4,773 photographers from 112 countries. This year, you are allowed to submit images in up to 10 categories:

  • Lifestyle
  • Playground
  • Energy
  • Sprit
  • Close Up
  • Wings
  • Sequence
  • New Creativity
  • Experimental
  • Illumination

The line-up of confirmed judges for 2013 includes Manfred Zollner, director of photography at Foto Magazin, Jym Wilson, senior photo editor at USA Today, Steve Fine, photography director at Sports Illustrated and James Mullinger, photo director of GQ (UK).

A total of 50 top photo editors will sit on the judging panel. They will look for overall photographic excellence and in particular at technical superiority, creativity, artistic flair and as one judge put it: “the wow factor”.

Visit to read the judges’ profiles and find out how to impress them.

skiing down steep slope

man diving into canal

surfing the desertThe overall winner will receive the new Leica S camera, while category winners will each receive a Leica X2. Other prizes will include broncolor’s new Move, their portable flash, and the latest strap system from Sun-Sniper.

Submit your images online at Submissions close on April 30, 2013.

“Red Bull Illume put my work on the map,” said Chris Burkard, winner of the 2010 Red Bull Illume Image Quest. This could be your big break, a chance to gain global recognition for your work! You have approximately 6 weeks left in the competition, so start looking through your library or get shooting!

Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.