The Red Bull Illume Image Quest bills itself as the “greatest international photography contest dedicated to action and adventure sports,” and, really, who’s going to argue? 2016 marks the competition’s fourth year, with a Mobile category added this year to keep up with the times.
Red Bull tells us that 5,645 photographers from 120 countries submitted 34,624 images to the contest; the Art Institute of Chicago recently hosted a ceremony recognizing the 11 Category and one Overall Winner. You can see their work below, as well as a striking selection of finalists.
For a gallery of winnowed-down finalists (all 275 of them) look here; for the stories behind the shots, here. You can also see galleries from past competitions.
This year’s finalist images are on a global exhibit tour until mid 2018 – of course not just any tour and exhibition, but one that takes place at night, and outdoors. Morning people: you may need something to perk you up.
Winner, Energy Category. Luke Shadbolt, Australia 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.
Category Finalist, Sequence Category. Jason Paul photographed by Salesman Omerbašić in Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina.
Category Winner, New Creativity. Ale Di Lullo, Italy for his fun shot of Aaron Chase riding his mountain bike on the windshield of a NYC cab.
Finalist, Sequence Category. Photo of Pierre Louis-Costes by Luke Shadbolt. Location: Nazaré, Portugal.
Winner, Wings Category. Micky Wiswedel, South Africa with his shot of climber Jamie Smith mid-fall as he attempts a new route on Table Mountain, Cape Town.
Category Finalist, New Creativity. Anton Evstifeev photographed by Denis Klero in Moscow, Russian Federation.
Category Winner, Sequence. Daniel Vojtêch, Czech Republic with his shot of Flying Bulls pilots Miroslav Krejci, Jan Rudzinskyi, Stanislav Cejka and Jan Tvrdic in Jaromêř, Czech Republic.
Category Winner, Spirit. Dean Treml, New Zealand for his image showing 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.
Category Winner, Playground. Lorenz Holder, Germany showing BMX rider Senad Grosic ride down a rusted viewing platform in Senftenberg, Germany.
New for 2016 was the Mobile Category. It was won by Vegard Aasen, Norway for his black and white mountaineering image taken in Hakuba, Japan.
Category Winner, Lifestyle. Jody MacDonald, Canada with her mesmerizing image of her brother Ken MacDonald sitting atop a train during their adventure through the Sahara Desert.
Category Winner, Enhance. Dean Treml, New Zealand and his image of cliff diver Jonathan Paredes jumping from the 28 meter platform on the roof of the Copenhagen Opera House during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, 2013..
Category Winner, Close Up. Denis Klero, Russia with his black and white shot of climber Rustam Gelmanov showing his chalk-covered hands in Fontainebleu, France.