Red Bull Illume Photography Competition Returns After Three Year Hiatus

One of the biggest adventure photo competitions in the world has returned following a three-year hiatus. Today, the 2019 Red Bull Illume kicked off by introducing some bold new categories to go along with its more traditional challenges. The competition, which is as much about the lifestyle and culture of adventure as it is the art of photography itself, is now accepting submissions for what will likely be its biggest and boldest edition yet.

For 2019, Red Bull is offering 11 different categories for photographers to submit their photos in. Those categories include Creative, Energy, Lifestyle, Innovation, Masterpiece, Playground, and Wings, each of which has its own specific set of criteria. The competition is debuting four new categories as well that are sure to inspire plenty of submissions. Those include Best of Instagram (fairly self explanatory), Raw (unedited shots straight from the camera), Emerging (photos taken by someone under the age of 25), and Moving (video sequences of 5-30 seconds in length).

In 2016, the last time the Red Bull Illume competition took place, more than 34,600 images were submitted by 5646 photographers from over 120 countries. This year, that number is expected to grow significantly, which is why there are 49 judges who will help to narrow the field down to 64 winning entries. The contest is of the “open entry” variety and there are no entry fees. The judges will select monthly winners and narrow down the categories in the weeks ahead, announcing the finalists and winners later this year. You can read the full rules here.

The Red Bull Illume traces its origins back to 2007 when the first competition was held. Since then, it has taken place every three years with some stunning images to earning top honors. Don’t believe me? You can check out the past winners in Illume gallery on the competition’s website to get a sense of what others have submitted in the past. It should also be noted that famed adventure photographer Chris Burkhard one this competition in 2010, catapulting his career to new levels.

Photography and adventure go hand in hand and I’m sure more than a few of you have some amazing photos (and short videos) you’d love to share. This is your chance to get your work in front of some top-notch professional judges. Who knows, you may have a winning image sitting on your hard drive or smartphone right now.

Good luck!

Kraig Becker