If a picture can speak 1,000 words then the images we have seen today as part of the Red Bull Illume Competition for 2019 are the equivalent of Ulysses.
‘Stunning’ and a long pause are the only way that we can describe what Adventure photographers around the world have captured. Inpho photography manage the content pool for Red Bull here in ireland and have contributed many memorable images down the years.
The 2019 winner though is Ben Thouard. His underwater shot above in the glassy clear waters of Tahiti was chosen by a panel of 50 esteemed judges.
Thouard’s image is number 1 out of a phenomenal 59,551 submissions.
Here is his story behind the shot:
“I‘ve dedicated the last few years to shooting underwater, looking for new angles and a new way to shoot surfing and waves. Shooting surfing from underwater is a whole new world and I love it!
“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.”
All of the finalists, including our three favourites below, as well as the rest of the Top 260 images, are also published in the Red Bull Illume 2019 Limited Edition Photobook, which is available to order here.