Red Bull Illume 2010 Image Quest Winner Announced

Red Bull Illume, the world’s premier action and adventure sports photography competition, has revealed the winners of its 2010 Image Quest.

The Overall Winning Image


The finalists of the competition, sponsored by SanDisk, the global leader in flash memory cards, were unveiled during a ceremony in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, with Chris Burkard from the USA being named as the overall winner.

His image of surfer Peter Mendria riding the waves in golden sunlight on Chile's West Coast was selected by an international panel of 53 photo experts, winning him a variety of photography products including a Leica S2 camera and a selection of SanDisk flash memory cards.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8
ISO: 125
F-Stop: f 6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/1000

The category winners and finalists were selected from the 22,764 images submitted to the 2010 Image Quest by thousands of photographers worldwide. Fifty-three judges from picture desks across the world voted over three rounds to determine ten category winners as well as the overall winner.

Gerry Edwards, SanDisk Imaging Senior Product Marketing Manager, commented: “The entries in this year’s competition were outstanding and we are extremely proud to be a part of this prestigious event. The competition is a great way to recognise and reward the planning, time and effort that goes into capturing the perfect picture.”

Visit to see all the work and for updates on the nominated photographers and tour as well as picture galleries, news, interviews and videos about the world of action sports photography.

The Winner With Trophy


I am so blessed,” said Burkard on picking up the biggest prize in freesports photography. “I feel really, really lucky just to be here and be surrounded by people I look up to and my peers. There’s something to be said to win an award in front of people you respect. So for me this is huge, a really huge honour. I’m really grateful.”

“As action sports photographers, we’re used to getting towards the action and getting close to it. And nine times out of ten, that’s what we’ll do. But I decided to get as far from the action as I could so I could show the whole landscape so people could appreciate everything that was going on and not just the surfer.”

Burkard’s image proved to be a hugely popular choice with fellow photographers and the public on the night. “The overall winning shot by Chris Burkard is amazing,” said New Creativity finalist Silvano Zeiter. “When I saw the random pictures exhibited on the Red Bull Illume website, I looked through them and saw that one picture by Chris Burkard. I made a screen shot and said to my friend, ‘This is going to be shot!’”

Fred Montagne, the previous winner of the Image Quest in 2007 also thought Burkard was a worthy winner. “My favorite photo was the overall winner by Chris Burkard, really. I like these kind of photos where you see the athlete in a big environment. It’s not just about the action, it’s about the action in some crazy environment. I like when the individual is really small. It would still be a good photo without the surfer.”

A Few Of The Other Finalists


Photograper: Eric Berger, Athlete: Dan Treadway, Location: Whistler, BC, Canada

Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: 10.5mm f/2.8
ISO: 250
F-Stop: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/1250


Photographer: Adam Kokot, Athlete, Michal Krol, Location: Spisske Tomasovce, Slovakia

Camera: Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
Lens: 10.0-20.0 mm
ISO: 100
F-Stop: f 4,0
Shutter Speed: 1/80


Photographer: Alessio Barbanti, Athlete: Taddy Blazusiak, Location: Città di Castello, Perugia, Italy


Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark II N
Lens: EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
ISO: 200
F-Stop: f 5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/500


Photographer: Brian Bielmann, Athlete: Andy Irons, Location: Teahupoo, French Polynesia

Camera: Canon EOS 40D
Lens: 10-17mm
ISO: 100
F-Stop: f 3,5
Shutter Speed: 1/800



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