Red Bull Illume 2019 is in full-swing and ready to make a splash in the action sports and photography communities. With a new Instagram-based competition, awards for 55 finalists, and 11 grand prizes worth more than 100,000 euros each, there is plenty to be excited about leading up to the Winner Award Ceremony in November.
Illume is a contest for professional and amateur photographers alike, with a category for nearly any interest. Fan favorites such as Wings (photos with athletes catching air) and Lifestyle (showcasing the culture around action sports) return, while four new classifications enter the mix, bringing the total number of categories to eleven.
New for 2019 are Emerging (photographers under twenty-five), Moving Image (5 to 30 second video clips), Raw (unedited photos), and the much-hyped Best of Instagram, presented by SanDisk.
The Best of Instagram contest operates a bit separately from the other categories. From the 1st through the 14th of February, March, April, May, and June, Instagram users can enter up to ten images in hopes of being selected by Red Bull as one of 25 monthly finalists. A winner is chosen from the group by way of community vote on Illume's website. Each monthly winner qualifies as one of the 55 finalists invited to the November award ceremony.
Submissions for the other ten categories follow the same timeline and rules. A maximum of five photos can be submitted before the July 31st deadline. From there, a panel of 50 industry experts will crown five finalists in each category, complete with an invitation to the awards show and a chance at mixing with some of the most influential action sports photographers in the world. Each of the finalists will also have their photo showcased in the Illume 2019 Global Exhibit Tour and coffee table book.
This is the fifth Illume contest since the event was created in 2006. Rapidly increasing exposure and excitement around Illume led Red Bull to announce that, from here on out, the contest will take place every two years instead of three. The 2016 iteration was the most popular yet—the contest fielded over 30,000 images from 5000-plus photographers from 120 countries.
At the awards show, a winner will be selected from each category. The eleven victors will receive a gift package consisting of a camera, memory cards, photo-editing software, and more, courtesy of Sony, SanDisk, Skylum, COOPH, and Red Bull.
Finally, an overall champion will be crowned. That distinction earns you another Sony camera and a chance to shoot with the SanDisk Extreme Team. More info on prizes.