The Playbook For The Modern Man

Adventure Awaits In The Incredible Images From Red Bull’s Illume Contest

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1 of 11|Masterpiece by Yodobashi|Lorenz Holder, Germany, showed BMX rider Senad Grosic ride his bike over a bridge in an autumnal Gablenz, Germany. This image was chosen as the winner of the Athlete's Choice Award and the Overall Winner of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2016.
2 of 11|Enhance|Dean Treml, New Zealand, captured cliff diver Jonathan Paredes jumping from the 28-metre platform on the roof of the Copenhagen Opera House during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, 2013.
3 of 11|Playground|Lorenz Holder, Germany, showed BMX rider Senad Grosic ride down a rusted viewing platform in Senftenberg, Germany.
4 of 11|Lifestyle|Jody MacDonald, Canada, shared a mesmerising image of her brother Ken MacDonald sitting atop a train during their adventure through the Sahara Desert.
5 of 11|Mobile|Vegard Aasen, Norway, won the new Mobile category with his black and white mountaineering image taken in Hakuba, Japan.
6 of 11|New Creativity|Ale Di Lullo, Italy, shared a fun action shot of Aaron Chase riding his mountain bike on the windshield of a New York City cab.
7 of 11|Close Up|Denis Klero, Russia, was honoured for his black and white shot of climber Rustam Gelmanov showing his chalk-covered hands in Fontainebleu, France.
8 of 11|Sequence by Sony|Daniel Vojtêch, Czech Republic, captured Flying Bulls pilots Miroslav Krejci, Jan Rudzinskyi, Stanislav Cejka and Jan Tvrdic mid-flight in Jaromêř, Czech Republic.
9 of 11|Spirit|Dean Treml, New Zealand, showed kayaker Josh Neilson being supported by fellow paddlers Barnaby Prees, Sam Sutton, Tim Pickering, Ben Brown, Jamie Sutton and Jaren Seiler after a bad landing off Matze’s Drop, Storulfossen, Norway.
10 of 11|Energy|Luke Shadbolt, Australia, earned high praise for his black and white image showing the power of nature. Surfer Renan Faccini is set against a huge swell in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
11 of 11|Wings|Micky Wiswedel, South Africa, earned a spot on the winners list with this shot of climber Jamie Smith mid-fall as he attempts a new route on Table Mountain, Cape Town.

On September 28, the world’s best action and adventure photographers gathered for the Red Bull Illume Winner Award Ceremony in Chicago. Fifty-five inspiring photographs were unveiled to the world, including the 11 Category Winners and the Overall Winner.

The 2016 Red Bull Illume Image Quest was the fourth edition of the contest, which previously ran in 2007, 2010, and 2013. The competition showcases professional and amateur shots of athletes and adventurers in incredible, sometimes surreal, places. The aim is to highlight the most captivating photography in the industry, and bring the public closer to the world of action and adventure sports.

This year’s Image Quest received 34,624 submissions from 120 countries. Many of the photographs were captured under extremely challenging circumstances (which isn’t exactly unexpected when your subjects are a bunch of death-defying badasses). The resulting images display photographic talent, deep passion for athletics and the outdoors, and split-second timing so good it might be sorcery.


For the second time running, the overall winner of the competition was Lorenz Holder. The German photographer took the top prize with a stunning shot of BMX rider Senad Grosic crossing a stone bridge in Gablenz, Germany. The image also took home the Athletes’ Choice Award.

Lorenz, along with the other winning photographers, will have his work displayed on illuminated light boxes during the Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour 2016. This unique nighttime photo exhibition will travel to cultural hubs and hotspots around the world for the next two years. Tour stops will be announced on, and while you wait, you can check out the top 11 images above. Inspiration lies ahead.


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