Red Bull Illume competition returns for 2019

Ale Di Lullo / Red Bull Illume.
Ale Di Lullo / Red Bull Illume. Image Credit: Ale Di Lullo / Red Bull Illume.

Mastered that GoPro yet? Following a three-year hiatus, Red Bull has announced the return of its Illume competition, which celebrates the best in adventure and action sports photography. And this year, things are a little different.

The competition, which was originally conceived in 2006 and is now in its fifth year, returns with new prizes and categories, one of which recognizes video captures for the first time. 

The new Moving Image category seeks the best 5-30 second video of jaw-dropping action, while another new category, Best of Instagram by Sandisk, will celebrate the most 'gram-worthy' moments.

There's even a revamped Raw category, which requires you to submit your raw files rather than any retouched and polished masterpieces to prove just how well you got the shot in-camera.

To get an idea of the kinds of images the competition is looking for, you can check out the winning shots from the 2016 competition below…

Red Bull Illume 2016 winners

Image 1 of 6

Micky Wiswedel / Red Bull Illume

Micky Wiswedel / Red Bull Illume
(Image: © Micky Wiswedel / Red Bull Illume)
Image 2 of 6

Daniel Vojtech / Red Bull Illume

Daniel Vojtech / Red Bull Illume
(Image: © Daniel Vojtech / Red Bull Illume)
Image 3 of 6

Lorenz Holder / Red Bull Illume

Lorenz Holder / Red Bull Illume
(Image: © Lorenz Holder / Red Bull Illume)
Image 4 of 6

Dean Treml / Red Bull Illume

Dean Treml / Red Bull Illume
(Image: © Dean Treml / Red Bull Illume)
Image 5 of 6

Ale Di Lullo / Red Bull Illume

Ale Di Lullo / Red Bull Illume
(Image: © Ale Di Lullo / Red Bull Illume)
Image 6 of 6

Dean Treml / Red Bull Illume

Dean Treml / Red Bull Illume
(Image: © Dean Treml / Red Bull Illume)

If the honor of bagging one of the category accolades isn't enough of an incentive, the prizes may well be. There are over $100,000 worth of goodies on offer, with a Sony A7 III and FE 24-105 mm F4 G OSS lens going to each category winner, together with Sandisk Extreme Pro memory cards and a copy of Skylum's Luminar 3. The overall winner will also win a Sony A9 and an FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master lens.

The most recent Illume competition saw over 34,000 submissions from more than 5,000 photographers across 120 countries. The organizers have also confirmed that the competition will now run every two years instead of three.

Eleven category winners and one overall winner will be announced in November, and this will be followed in 2020 by a world-wide Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour showcasing all the finalist images. 

The competition is now open for submissions at the Red Bull Illume site; the closing date for entries is July 31, although the Best of Instagram by Sandisk category closes sooner. It's free to enter but, as with any competition, are sure to give the T&Cs a quick read first.