Weeks ago, Red Bull Ilume contest organizers whittled down the 22,764 photos submitted to the contest to only 250 semi-finalists. Among the entries were numerous jaw-dropping ski and snowboard photos from some of the world’s best photographers, and now the contest has wrapped following last night’s unveiling ceremony at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
In the end, 24-year-old professional photographer, Chris Burkard, was named the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2010 winner during the beautiful exhibition that was packed with photographers, competition judges, athletes and special guests.
While the winning image didn’t feature a skier or a snowboarder, I think we can all agree that Burkard’s photo of surfer Peter Mendria riding waves on Chile’s West Coast is a deserving of the title.
Check out the beautiful winning photo:
“I’m overjoyed, it’s hard to put into words being able to be nominated and to win this award in front of all your peers and people I respect, I’m truly blessed,” said Burkard.
As the sun set, the Image Quest’s top 50 images – the five best from ten categories – were revealed for the first time ever and illuminated on 2m high light boxes. The energetic ceremony, which focused on putting the photographers in the spotlight, was held in the magnificent and historic Trinity College Dublin dining hall used in the Harry Potter movies.
American windsurfer Robby Naish and Red Bull Cliff Diving World Champion Orlando Duque (COL) were among the guests and Irish TV star Sile Seoige hosted the ceremony while Red Bull Illume Judge Eileen Ryan of USA Today presented Burkard with the Winner’s trophy.
Fifty-three judges from respected picture desks around the globe voted over three rounds to determine ten category winners as well as the Overall Winner. The outstanding quality of the photography made voting a tough job for the judges.
“I thought the pictures were fantastic, everyone of them was a difficult choice: it was hard to make a decision between the ones that won and the ones that didn’t,” said Red Bull Illume judge Alan Sparrow (UK). “The defining line between them was really close.”
Burkard was presented with Leica S2 camera and lenses.
“I would never have imagined owning a camera like this,” Burkard said. “It’s worth more than the house I live in!”
The ten category winners, who receive SanDisk flash memory cards and a Lowpro camera bag are:
Experimental – Daniel Grund (GER)
New Creativity – Eric Berger (CAN)
SanDisk Sequence – Miguel Lopez-Virgen (MEX)
Energy – Stuart Gibson (AUS)
Illumination – Chris Burkhard (USA)
Playground – Tim Korbmacher (GER)
Culture – Vincent Perraud (FRA)
Spirit – Adam Kokot (POL)
Wings – Marcel Lämmerhirt (GER)
Close up – Nathan Smith (AUS)
Athlete’s Choice – Nathan Smith (AUS)
The top 50 images will continue to be displayed on the light boxes after sunset free to the public at Trinity College Dublin until September 11, 2010 before embarking on a world tour.
View the slideshow of all the snow sport photos that made it to the semi-finals: