The fifty finalists from this year’s Red Bull Illume competition will be on outdoor display in Scottsdale Ariz Nov. 14-24. USA TODAY photo editor Jym Wilson was one of the contest judges and writes about the top ten finalists …
German photographer Lorenz Holder’s photo of snowboarder Xaver Hoffmann riding a satellite dish during a snowfall was the competition’s overall winner as well as the winner in the ‘Playground’ category.Holder modestly described the photo as “lucky” but also talked about scouting the location in summer, driving hours to reach the spot and being there during a rare snow. Sounds more like hard work than luck.
Morgan Maassen’s photo of a group of young surfers waiting for the next big waves in Fiji captured a sense of community that earned it the Lifestyle by Leica award.
Jeroen Nieuwhuis used a fisheye lens to capture a photo of his friend Erik Journae skateboarding on the edge of a forest near his home in the Netherlands. The photo won the “Close Up” category. Nieuwhuis got so close that his camera was nearly destroyed during the shoot.
Czech photographer Daniel Vojtech won the “New Creativity” category by suspending four-cross rider Tomas Slavik and his bike from the ceiling.
Romina Amato’s photo of cliff diver Todor Spasov competing at the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in the Portugese Azores won the “Energy” category. It also won me over and was my favorite of all 250 photos that I judged through the rounds of competition.
Canadian photographer Scott Serfas was shooting stills of snowboarder Travis Rice during the making of the film “Art of Flight” in the Tordrillo Mountains in Alaska. This photo was the last Serfas took on the trip and won him the “Illumination” category in no small part due to the sliver of light that completes the scene.
California-based photographer Chris Burkard went all the way to Norway and photographed fellow surfers Keith Malloy and Dane Gudauskas after a blizzard put an end to their day with the waves. The photo captured the “Spirit” category.
Overall winner Lorenz Holder also won in the “Experimental” category with this photo of Jordan Mendenhall riding a handrail outside a building in Sweden. The photo is experimental in nature as it was created in Photoshop from multiple copies of a smaller building in the original photo.
Zakary Noyle’s multiple exposure of surfer Gabriel Medina won the “Sequence”category but there’s something distinctively science fiction-like about the photo as if some creature is emerging from the Oahu surf.
Slovenian Samo Vidic was very close to diver Jorge Ferzuli when he caught this moment of him and a bird sharing space during a cliff diving competition training session in Athens. Appropriately the photo, which was shot with a fisheye lens, won the “Wings” category.
For more information about the exhibit in Arizona click here.