Red Bull has announced the winners of the 2016 Red Bull Illume competition. Photographer Lorenz Holder was crowned the overall winner for a second time for his photo of a cyclist crossing a bridge over a glassy, fall-colored lake. Among the action and adventure photography are gorgeous whitewater images. Here are our favorites.
1. Eric Parker’s shot of Aniol Serrasolses on a drop in Djúpivogur, Iceland.
Parker, Serrasolses, Todd Wells and Brendan Wells travelled to Iceland in June 2015 in search of perfect waterfalls. They received some local knowledge and set off for eastern Iceland to find some never before kayaked drops. They discovered this amazing set of waterfalls in the midst of Icelandic tundra. Parker says the clean line Serrasolses took combined with the raw power and beauty of nature produced this exciting photo.
Photo: © Eric Parker/Red Bull Illume
2. Dean Treml’s shot of Josh Neilson, Barnaby Prees, Sam Sutton, Tim Pickering, Ben Brown, Jamie Sutton and Jared Seiler in Storulfossen, Norway.
Neilson had a broken back in this photo from two years ago where his paddling partners surrounded him. He had just been taken out of his kayak and onto this flat spot in the gorge. He was tied up to keep him still, wrapped in excess gear for warmth and kept company while they waited for help to arrive.
Photo: © Dean Treml/Red Bull Illume
3. Graeme Murray’s shot of Zack Mutton at Tree Trunk Gorge, New Zealand
Murray and elite kayaker Mike Dawson had talked about shooting at Tree Trunk Gorge in the central north island of New Zealand. Dawson decided to bring along 14-year-old kayaker Zack Mutton, and the young paddler was keen to be the youngest kayaker to run the gorge. In this photo he drops the first falls in this high consequence section where once you start, you can’t turn back.
Photo: © Graeme Murray/Red Bull Illume
4. Ciarán Heurteau’s shot of Sven Lämmler in Rauma, Norway
Heurteau captured Lämmler jumping on the lower section of the Rauma River. Once their group reached this point, they were all fired up to do Fleming’s Drop. Heurteau had seen lots of photos from the river’s right bank, so went to the left side to get a different angle. When Lämmler first jumped he was submerged as he went over the waterfall, and while he was okay, a solid photo didn’t come out of it. He jumped again and did a pike to branny to back tuck, and the resulting sequence is this super vivid shot.
Photo: © Ciarán Heurteau/Red Bull Illume
5. Daniel Vojtěch’s shot of Vavřinec Hradilek in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
Vojtěch wanted to fix an athlete in the air and capture him in a different perspective than they are normally shot in. He liked the idea of using a kayak and water, so got Vavřinec Hradilek on board. The shoot was done in a strobe factory with a huge black background. Vavřinec was fixed on a traverse with a strong rope while assistants threw water on him while he held the kayak up just with his legs. The shoot took more than six hours.
Photo: © Daniel Vojtěch/Red Bull Illume
6. Samo Vidic’s shot of Jonathan Paredes at Victoria Falls, Zambia
Vidic was coming off of a poor few months after shoulder surgery and a struggle to find jobs. When he was asked to go shoot athletes Orlando Duque and Jonathan Parades diving from Victoria Falls, he was stoked. He arrived the day of shoot and looked for a nice angle on the left. Vidic was really happy with how this shot came out, especially since this was the only time Jonathan dived from this height.
Photo: © Samo Vidic/Red Bull Illume
7. John Webster’s shot of Ben Marr at Eagle Creek, Oregon
The hike into Punchbowl Falls in the Columbia River Gorge brings kayakers into a beautiful area with a challenging entrance. A unique hole feature can cause kayakers to end up with a poor line. Marr was able to both effectively tuck and get a great line. Webster credits Marr’s control and style for this amazing image.
Photo: © John Webster/Red Bull Illume