It was at the Lumen Museum of Mountain photography, in Italy, that the Red Bull Illume 2019 awards ceremony was held. For the fifth edition, many participants have taken their chances in 11 distinctive categories. Open to professional and amateur photographers, this competition features incredible photographs of sport, adventure and action. So, who is the overall winner of this new edition? It is Ben Thouard, and his amazing photo of professional surfer Adrien Buchan, in the crystal-clear waters of Polynesia, in Teahupo’o. Thus, Thouard arrives in number one of the 59,551 participants after being subjected to the judgment of the 50 jury members of the event.

© Ben Thouard / Red Bull Illume.

On Red Bull Illume’s website, we can read the story behind this incredible shot, explained by its author :« Tahiti has some of the clearest water in the world so it was easy for me to take advantage of it and explore it as much as I could. This photo was shot during a freesurf session right before the WCT event in Teahupo‘o. This is Ace Buchan kicking out from the barrel through the wave, a technique to escape a close-out wave. Luckily I was right below, breathless with my waterhousing waiting for this moment and I was able to capture the whole sequence of it; this frame from the beginning of the sequence is the most powerful one because of the water around his face and body.”

© Alexander Wick / Red Bull Illume.

© Laurence Crossman-Emms / Red Bull Illume.


© Lorenz Holder / Red Bull Illume.

© Lorenz Holder / Red Bull Illume.

© Noah Wetzel / Red Bull Illume.


© Philip Platzer / Red Bull Illume.