Red Bull’s Illume Image Quest photography competition happens every three years, attracting 5.645 photographers from 120 countries, submitting a record-breaking 34.624 images. View the 2016 finalists over on the Red Bull Illume website.
The categories in the 2016 competition included: Wings, Sequence, Close Up, Playground, Mobile, New Creativity, Masterpiece, Energy, Enhance, Spirit and Lifestyle.
The Best Surf Photos from the 2016 Competition
Surf photos were entered into every category in 2016, including images taken on mobile phones. Some of the world’s best surf photographers submitted entries, with masterful shots by Russell Ord, Zak Noyle and Corey Wilson receiving accolades.
We’ve selected 12 of the best surf photos for your viewing pleasure.
1. Kenny Martinez’s wild Waimea Bay
Reminiscent of the Guinness Wild Horses ad, this photo captures the majesty and power that is Waimea Bay, and the rare warriors prepared to take her on.
2. Sophie Zander’s Norwegian black & white
Norway is one of the last surfing frontiers and this shot captures the essence of the surfing lifestyle up there. It’s not all clean waves and northern lights. Here you feel the journey and it’s all about friendship, rocks, fog, and neoprene.
3. Fred Pompermayer shows Kai Lenny at his best
Kai Lenny is changing surfing one water craft at a time. He does what he does and he does it better than anyone. Here he dominates Jaws on a SUP.
5. Leroy Bellet gets insanely barrelled
Nothing can beat a good barrel shot and Leroy Bellet really got himself in prime position for this one. His masterful timing, composition and willingness to take a thrashing produced a gift for us all.
6. Ben Thouard captures Teahupoo perfection
This shot is perfect. That is all.
7. Zak Noyle shows another side of Pipeline
Lens flare is not usually a good thing, but Zak nailed it here, with his effervescent entry into the Energy category.
8. Corey Wilson captures Mick Fanning’s joy
Mick Fanning is one of surfing’s favourite sons. Corey Wilson captures his spirit in this glittering swirl of Hawaiian blue.
9. Jean Louis de Heeckeren gets truly intrepid
Cold, but happy. Looking forward to the action shots.
10. Gaps Sabuero’s full immersion
Seek and you will find… the light, the surfer, the wave.
11. Seth de Roulet gets close to the action
In a cocoon of moving ocean, surfer Eithan Osborne finds a home.
12. Nathaniel Harrington’s perfect timing
It’s true. Only a surfer knows the feeling.
All images are © copyright the respective photographers / Red Bull Illume