These 15 adventure photos will rock your world

The world’s best adventure photography contest is happening right now. Send your shots!
By Alison Mann

We’ve put together a selection of some of our favourite images from Red Bull Illume – the international action and adventure sports photography contest.

There’s ice climbing, cave diving and awesome kayaking – all captured by some of the world’s best photographers.

Think you can compete? There are fewer than three weeks to go until the submissions deadline closes for the world's greatest action and adventure sports photography contest, so get your photos ready!

Once you have your images ready to go, simply register on and submit your entry. Remember that submissions close on March 31, 2016.

More: You need to see these shots taken on a smartphone

1. Patagonian ice climbing

An ice cave explorer in Patagonia
Blue ice makes nice light © Juan Cruz Rabaglia/Red Bull Illume

This atmospheric image was taken by Juan Cruz Rabaglia in the incredible Glacier Perito Moreno, Patagonia, Argentina. Leonardo Cuny Proverbio climbs in one of the caverns which open up in the glacier after years of water pouring through. These caves can only be explored when the lakes are dry!

2. Cave diving

A cave diver explores with artificial lighting
Diving the deep © Liz Rogers/Red Bull Illume

This shot was taken in Weebubbie Cave, Nullarbor, Australia. The cave was inky dark during the photoshoot and was illuminated when photographer Liz Rogers took the photo with the camera in bulb mode and the flash fired manually. She had to use her memory to frame the shots in the dark.

3. Underwater interaction

A diver meets a dolphin
Hello, Flipper © George Karbus/Red Bull Illume

This photo from George Karbus was taken in Lahinch, Ireland. Free diving in Ireland presents some problems – cold temperatures and bad visibility. But when the moments are good, they’re awesome. This image shows freediver Kate Hamsikova with a wild bottlenose dolphin and an amazing moment between human and animal.

4. Above the clouds

Paragliders explore the Himalayan mountain range
High above the Himalaya © Krystle Wright/Red Bull Illume

Photographer Krystle Wright was part of a five-week expedition with three paragliders – Tom de Dorlodot, Horacio Llorens and Hernan Pitocco as they tried to break the world altitude record. They also wanted to explore Pakistan. The day this photo was taken they flew for hours over the heart of the Karakoram Range during which Krystle’s hands became so cold she lost all feeling – warming them back up again was intense!

5. Hiking to the river

Kayakers hump their canoes up a unique riverbed
Rock walk © Matt Baker/Red Bull Illume

This image shows Rush Sturges as he hikes up to do another lap down Tenaya Falls, California. Taken by Matt Baker.

6. Swiss ice climbing

An ice climber ascends a frozen waterfall
A cold, cold climb © Ray Demski/Red Bull Illime

This shot by Ray Demski shows Alex Luger climbing the final pitch of Brückenfall WI5 in the Avers Valley, Switzerland.

7. The rush of the waterfall

A kayaker goes over a waterfall
Straight drop © Tim Kemple/Red Bull Illume

This image shows kayaker Tyler Bradt on a line above Tomata 1 in Tlapacoyan, Mexico. It was taken by Tim Kemple.

8. Nepal hiking

Kayakers portage to the next river
The want for water © Jakub Sedivy/Red Bull Illume

This shot was taken by Jakub Sedivy as he hiked a nine-day trek to the Langu Khola river drainage in Nepal. After reaching the river at an altitude of 4,650m, Jakub and his group paddled another 550km – 19 days of white water. The group achieved the first complete decent of the Langu Khola.

9. Joshua Tree

A boulderer tries a new route in the Southwest USA
Bouldering makes you bolder © R. Tyler Gross/Red Bull Illume

R. Tyler Gross is pictured climbing in Joshua Tree on a boulder called the Secret Samurai. He took the image of himself after successfully climbing the v6 route the day before. The following day he aimed to take a picture but took two hours running up and down the hill trying to get it perfect.

10. Sea and ice

A kayak goes over a waterfall during winter
Cold kayak © Mike Leeds/Red Bull Illume

This shot by Mike Leeds shows kayaker Erik Boomer, known as the Honey Badger. He is shown paddling whitewater at the Sahalie Falls on McKenzie River, Oregon. He had just finished a 104-day, 1,485-mile circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island on ski and kayak and this was his first day back in a whitewater kayak.

11. Spirit Falls sequence

A kayaker goes over a waterfall
See you later! © Mike Leeds/Red Bull Illume

This image shows kayaker Evan Garcia on Spirit Falls, Little White Salmon River, Washington. To get the shot photographer Mike Leeds hiked down the canyon and perched himself on a rock at the lip of the falls. It was pretty slippery and one wrong move would’ve been disastrous. Thankfully all went well and he took this awesome photo.

12. Under the ice

A diver under ice
Exploring the real green room © George Karbus/Red Bull Illume

Another incredible image from George Karbus, this time of Kate Hamsikova free diving under 1.2m thick ice. It was taken during a sunny day inside the Arctic Circle, Russia.

13. Climbing with a difference

Mammut climber Anna Stöhr climbing in a car dump in Switzerland
Climbing out of the norm © Rainer Eder/Red Bull Illume

Rainer Eder captured this unsual image while shooting Mammut's pro climbers. He wanted to take them out of their usual setting. This photo shows Anna Stöhr climbing in a car yard. The location brought some difficulties with the cars having sharp parts not suitable for handholds. After a lot of effort they got this shot!

14. Yosemite highline

Mich Kemeter freesolos the Taft Point highline, with El Capitan in the background
Can you spy El Capitan? © Alexandre Buisse/Red Bull Illume

Can you see El Capitan in the background? This image from Alexandre Buisse shows Mich Kemeter freesoloing the Taft Point highline in Yosemite.

15. Paragliding over sand dunes

Paragliding a 17mile long sandune in Mozambique
Paragliding a 17-mile-long dune © Jody MacDonald/Red Bull Illume

This shot was taken by Jody MacDonald during her time spent on The Best Odyssey – a five-year world kiteboarding expedition. During the trip she sailed up to this huge sand dune in Mozambique. Turned out they were the first people to paraglide the 17-mile-long dune!

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