Jaw-Dropping Winners of the Red Bull Illume Sports Photography Contest


Almost 7,000 people entered Red Bull’s third annual Illume sports photography contest this year, making it one of the largest photography competitions ever staged. And finally, at a ceremony in Hong Kong, the jury announced its winners. Who knew snowboarding could be so moody and artful?

The winner of the whole shebang was Lorenz Holder, a German photographer who works at a snowboarding magazine. His winning snap showed Xaver Hoffmann, a professional snowboarder, midair against a gigantic satellite dish near the border of Germany and Austria. “I found this unique spot in the summer and I really wanted to shoot a snowboard picture there,” Holder explains. “I used two big Elinchrom strobes in the background to light up the snowflakes and create a ‘white wall’ where I could capture Xaver’s silhouette as he jumped.”

The jury had to sift through a mind-boggling 28,000 entries to this year’s contest. We checked out some of the most inspiring entries a few weeks before the winners were announced, but now, the experts have weighed in.

Here are the best sports and action snaps of the year.