Energy drink maker Red Bull may have pumped a lot of money, time and effort into making insane extreme stunts happen in the last few years (like swinging between two hot air balloons and a 1km mountain slack line walk), but it also clearly appreciates the art and difficulty of capturing them as a photographer.
The brand’s Illume Awards honor the challenges of action photography, and the winners have just been announced. Spanning 11 different categories, the 2016 winners might just be the most spectacular action shots you’ll see all year.
Lorenz Holder won the main prize (as well as the Athlete’s Choice award) for the second time in a row for his shot of BMX rider Senad Grosic riding across a bridge in Germany. According to Digital Trends, Holder was on his way to another location when he spotted the moment and quickly whipped out his camera. He said the lake was covered in fallen leaves, so to get the right reflection, he used fishing net to clear the lake by hand — and still had time to get the shot before the sun came too far over the trees.
As many as 5,645 photographers from 120 different countries entered the competition, with 34,624 images entered in total – the most since the competition began in 2007. As well as the 11 winners, the 275 next best images from the contest will form a coffee table book, set for release later this year.