The Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2023 competition winners have been announced, with Australian photographer Krystle Wright taking the Overall Winner title, becoming the first woman to do so in the adventure and action sports photography and video competition’s 17-year history.
Wright’s winning shot of a climber illuminated in a crack, deep within Long Canyon, Utah in the US was taken with a mirrorless Leica SL2 camera and a Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90-280 f/2.8-4 lens at 1/30 sec., f/4, ISO 3200. It also won the Innovation by MPB category.
She said about her win, ‘This is incredible. I wanted to earn my place in this industry and my work to get recognised. Red Bull Illume is the only platform that truly recognizes what we do.’ Wright has previously been a category finalist in 2013 and had a photo in the top 25 in 2013 and 2019.
Talking about how she took the photo, Wright said, ‘One day as I was driving to my local crag, an idea hit me like a lightning bolt where I conjured the concept of illuminating a crack from within on an iconic trad climb. After all, the crack is the feature of trad climbing and I wanted to search out the perfect fissure…’
‘…As per usual, my timing is atrocious and a heat wave had descended… which meant we only had a few precious shaded hours in the afternoon to rig the lights into the crack. I’ll always be a nervous wreck in these situations but when I raced back across the canyon to set up my position to capture, what a spectacular feeling it was to witness the crack come alive as the darkness enveloped around us.’
The other nine category winners feature ice climbers, kayakers, surfers, bikers, skaters and other athletes in some of the world’s wildest environments – as well as unusual urban locations. They will be shown in a series of exhibitions around the world starting at the Berlin Travel Festival (1 December to 3 December) in Germany until 21 December. You can see a gallery of the winners and the stories behind them on the Red Bull Illume website.
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