There are many sites that display great photographs. Usually the best ones involve photo competitions. I recently came across the Red Bull Illume Image Quest photo competition and was really inspired by many of the photos in the world of action and adventure sports.

Check out the Top 50 Finalists 2013 and even better is an article by The Atlantic with the winners which includes some great explanations next to each photo. A picture is worth a thousand words and it is even more interesting when they provide you with the actual story. Check out the photos and be inspired!

 

 

37 Comments
  1. Wow!!!!
    I feel like a pitiful photographer now.

  2. Wow…just wow.

    That skiboarding one is just amazing! I have no idea how he must have pulled that off. It’s pretty much impossible in my books.

    That guy has some real skills. Lovely photos.

    • Perhaps most interesting isn’t even just that they could do it, which as you said is shocking on it’s own, but also that they could perfectly capture the shot in what must be a fraction of a second.

      I mean, anyone can take a still image of some scenery, but even trying to take a picture of someone running comes out blurry for me and my relatively decent camera. These are perhaps some of the best action-shots around.

      • Hello 🙂 If you are using a DSLR all you have to do is adjust the shutter speed of the camera. If you set it high, you will be able to capture clear pictures even if your subject is moving a lot.

        • Thank you. I actually use a Nikon digital SLR, so your advice helps a lot! While my camera is at the lowest price-point Nikon offers, it still has a lot of settings and buttons I’m not entirely used to managing. Hopefully some day I can work my way to being capable of operating one of their more expensive cameras to it’s true potential, but for now I’m happy with what I have.

  3. Thanks for sharing these amazing photographs. I’m a photography enthusiast and enjoy seeing the images such as these. It’s very inspiring and keeps me wanting to learn and improve.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing these. I was not aware of any of these contests and I would not have seen any of these photographs otherwise, so I greatly appreciate this post. I also enjoyed reading the photographers talking about their work in the article in The Atlantic. Really fascinating.

    Yes, these are strikingly beautiful photographs. The images are so crisp and sharp, the colors so vivid they are more lifelike than life. The photographs with the snow are especially compelling. And all of them quite inspiring!

  5. These are so beautiful!
    I wish I had that kind of skill to take such marvelous photographs.

  6. There are some awesome pictures there, personally this one: http://www.redbullillume.com/gallery/final-images-2013/top-50.html , just makes my day, awesome picture in every aspect, just perfect.

  7. Those photos are pleasant on the eyes. They are certainly some amazing photos that entered the Red Bull Illume Image Quest Photo Competition. Those batch of guys circling over that building is just a sight to behold. What are they using to pull such a beautiful stunt like that off? This is a great share. Thanks for sharing this with us, David.

  8. Thanks for sharing! The pictures are really well-taken, with many of which are giving a strong sense of movement. I’m going through huge changes in my life and I hope I’ll be able to do more adventurous stuff while learning about photography.

  9. We still we fail to understand the potential that contains a photograph. A simple image reflects a set of ideas, concepts and feelings that requires a deep commitment to what we see.

    In this case, we are witnesses of the beauty that nature offers, and in another sense, we can see how humans adapt to their environment by practicing extreme sports. A magical bond. Thanks for sharing these images.

  10. Loving the rock climbing pics. I boulder myself, and it’s really motivating seeing how good some people are at the sport. I haven’t climbed outdoors before, however even from training indoors you can get a good grip (pun intended?) on what it takes to rock (hah!) it outdoors.

    These pictures illustrate how much it takes to reach the peak (I’m on fire!).

  11. Oh, I also love how some of these pictures show how people are still very small compared to nature. It makes me feel how valuable human life is and how amazing we can be even if there are infinitely bigger things in the universe.

  12. Wow, these are truly amazing photos. Thank you for sharing them with us. This makes me want to even more, travel around the world, when I am able to afford it.

    • That’s a great dream I also have. I’m not sure I’d be able to do all that but just looking at these photos are enough to make me appreciate things that I don’t normally see everyday.

  13. Red Bull not only gives you wings, it gives you skills! My photography mostly looks like my camera, cheap and tacky. These people all out to be extreme and it shows! Simply, amazing photography!

  14. Woah… those photographs are really cool. I love taking pictures, and this really inspires me! The one with the snowboard is the best one ;0 It looks like it took a lot of work to make it just right!

  15. These photos are cool. I especially like the outdoors. Plus the colors and the details are sharp. Beautiful photos.

    I wonder what the story was behind the black and white pic of the two men with the bikes. I found that one interesting.

    • I am also curious about that picture. It sticks out from the rest of the pictures in this collection. I enjoy the black and white elements. It really presents a sort of “raw” imagery that is a throwback to the olden times. The outdoor shots are some of the best ones. Please, tell us what the backstory to the two men with bikes photograph is.

  16. Those are some fantastic photos! Not only must the photographer have been very skilled to be able to capture the action so beautifully, but the subjects must have nerves of steel as well. I can’t even imagine how they managed that “snowboarding off the balcony” one – wow!

    • Yeah, it makes me wonder on how some pics were taken, given the perspective. It looks like there were some action behind the scenes as well. That just makes it more awesome then, having been able to take pictures like this in unusual locations.

  17. Wonderful pictures, both the photographer and the subject(s) deserve great respect!

    I really like this one: http://image.redbull.com/rbx00124/0001/1/940/402/top-50-images/2013/spirit/SP13_012898_000196-high.jpg – it has a certain ambiance that is hard to describe, but very beautiful nonetheless.

  18. Wow, absolutely awe inspiring. It really shows the absolute power and bravery of a single person, what can be done if you push yourself to your limits.

    Thank you for showing me these pictures – I think I have my desktop and mobile wallpapers for quite a while…

  19. So I think I am going to pack my camera away now and stop embarrassing myself. No I am joking but definitely gives you something to work towards and some inspiration . Thanks for telling us about the competition.

    • These guys are seriously some good photographers. If you don’t mind me asking, what are the specs of your camera like?

  20. WOW! Because I loved the photos you shared here so much I went ahead and visited the link to the red bull site and boy was I happy! Seriously guys, go visit that link and you’ll see plenty more amazing photos done by real experts in photography!

    Thanks for sharing, David! It was a real treat!

  21. Those are ‘inspiring’ photos, thanks for sharing. I particularly like the first, time-lapse one. Great technique and effectively used. The bridge is quite a nice image too. Please keep posting more of this time of images.

  22. Whoa! My mind is blown. Great stuff. I’ve never taken such interest in photography but these pictures are AMAZING. The photograph by Dimitrios Kontizas gave me the chills, good ones though 🙂 Beautiful picture! I would love to do that someday.

  23. Wow those are some beautiful photos. I really need to get myself a camera sometime soon…

  24. I honestly wish I could take photos this amazing. Sadly, I don’t have the camera, nor the budget, to do so. If I had the money, I’d buy a really good DSLR. With my current camera, I can take somewhat good pictures, but none that are as breath taking as this.

  25. Wow! If I had not read your article about shutter speed and flash tricks, I would be thinking the first picture was photoshopped. As it is… It’s simply amazing. I wish I could be 3% that good.

  26. Thanks for sharing, those pictures were really impressive specially number 1, 2, 3 and 4. Those 4 are just plain impressive, and makes one wonder who could be behind those. With so many wonderful photos I’m sure the judges had the hardest time picking a definite winner, I know I would! I wonder what the winner got?

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