For your viewing pleasure, we’ve put together a selection of some of our favorite images from Red Bull Illume, the international action and adventure sports photography contest. There’s ice climbing, cave diving, kayaking and more, all captured by some of the world’s best photographers.
Think you can compete? The submissions deadline is coming soon — March 31 — so get your photos ready! Once you have your images assembled, simply register on the Red Bull Illume site and submit your entry. Until then, size up some of the competition below.
1. Patagonian ice climbing
This atmospheric image was taken by Juan Cruz Rabaglia in the incredible Glacier Perito Moreno in 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
This shot was taken in Weebubbie Cave in Nullarbor, Australia. The cave was inky dark during the photoshoot and was only 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
This photo — showing freediver Kate Hamsikova with a wild bottlenose dolphin and an amazing moment between human and animal — is from George Karbus and was taken in Lahinch, Ireland. Free diving in Ireland presents some problems, namely cold temperatures and bad visibility. But when the moments are good, they’re awesome.
4. Above the clouds
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 Wright’s hands became so cold she lost all feeling — warming them back up again was intense!
5. Gotta get up to get down
This image shows Rush Sturges as he hikes up to do another lap down Tenaya Falls in California. Taken by Matt Baker.
6. Swiss ice climbing
This shot by Ray Demski shows Alex Luger climbing the final pitch of Brückenfall WI5 in the Avers Valley in Switzerland.
7. The rush of the waterfall
This image shows kayaker Tyler Bradt on a line above Tomata 1 in Tlapacoyan, Mexico. It was taken by Tim Kemple.
8. Portage in Nepal
Jakub Sedivy hiked a nine-day trek to the Langu Khola river drainage in Nepal, during which he captured this image. After reaching the river at an altitude of 15,255 feet, Sedivy and his group paddled another 342 miles — or 19 days of white water. The group achieved the first complete descent of the Langu Khola.
9. Joshua Tree selfie
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. It took two hours of running up and down the hill to get it perfect.
10. Sea and ice
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 in 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 sender
This image shows kayaker Evan Garcia on Spirit Falls on Little White Salmon River in 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 scored this awesome photo.
12. Under ice
Another incredible image from George Karbus, this time of Kate Hamsikova free diving under almost four feet of ice. It was taken during a sunny day inside the Arctic Circle in Russia.
13. Climbing cars
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 salvage yard. The location brought with it some difficulties, as the cars had sharp parts not suitable for handholds. After a lot of effort they got this shot.
14. Yosemite highline
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
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. It turned out they were the first people to paraglide the 17-mile-long dune!