Are YOUR images good enough for the Red Bull photo contest?

Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2023
The Aquanaut (Image credit: Karim Iliya • Red Bull)

It's last call for the Red Bull Illume Image Quest! The world's biggest and most exciting photo and video competition for action and adventure sports is closing in just over two weeks, on July 31. 

Now in its seventh year, Red Bull Illume Image Quest celebrates the cream of the crop of adrenaline-fueled action photography and videography – regardless of whether the shooters are amateur or professional. 

Indeed, while winning the contest has been a coveted string to the bow of existing pros, it has proved a real launching pad for the careers of amateur image makers.

Image Quest features eight categories that can be entered via the Illume website – Emerging, Energy, Innovation, Lifestyle, Masterpiece, Playground, Creative and RAW – along with a pair of categories (Photos and Reels) that are exclusive to Instagram

Watch video: Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2023 trailer

The competition is judged by a panel of 50 worldwide judges including 2021 winner WIll Saunders, professional sports and commercial photographers, picture editors, and members of the press representing outlets like ESPN, GQ, the New York Post, Esquire and Digital Camera World. 

(Full disclosure: I am returning as a member of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2023 judging panel, having served as a judge in the previous competition in 2021.) 

Starting in 2007 with a relatively modest 7,500 entries, Image Quest ballooned to 41,447 submissions for its last competition in 2021. This year is already shaping up to be even bigger and better, and will culminate in an internationally-attended awards event. 

In 2021 there were $230,000 (approximately $237,000 / £172,000 / AU$318,000) in prizes awarded, including publication in a limited edition Red Bull Illume Image Quest prestige photo book. 

For more information on the contest, its history and how to enter, visit the official website, and check out some of the highlight images from the competition below. 

Untitled (Image credit: Roman Neimann • Red Bull)

Dirtbag Superhero (Image credit: Will Saunders • Red Bull)

Vein (Image credit: Nejc Ferjan • Red Bull)

Untitled (Image credit: Alexey Shabanov • Red Bull)

If you want to get really extreme with your photo and video, check out the best action cameras and the best waterproof cameras. And for more conventional shooting, take a look at the best cameras for sports photography and the best lenses for sports photography to use with them. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.