2023’s greatest action sport photography: all the winners of Red Bull Illume Image Quest

Red Bull Illume Image Quest innovation-finalist-2023
The overall winner, from the Innovation category, by Australia’s Krystle Wright, is a stunningly lit shot of climber Angela VanWiemeersch (Image credit: Krystle Wright)

A stunning photo of climber Angela VanWiemeersch scaling a cliff in Long Canyon, Utah, taken by Australian photographer Krystle Wright, has won the 2023 Red Bull Illume Image Quest competition.

“This is incredible. I wanted to earn my place in this industry and my work to get recognized. Red Bull Illume is the only platform that truly recognizes what we do,” says Wright, who becomes the first woman to win the competition in its 17-year history. Previously she has been a category finalist in 2013 and made the top 25 in 2013 and 2019.

Wright’s photo won the Innovation category before going on the claim the top prize. It captures Angela VanWiemeersch climbing the “Seventh Serpent” in Long Canyon. She says that illuminating a crack from within on an iconic trad climb was an idea that hit her like a bolt of lightning: “What a spectacular feeling it was to witness the crack come alive as the darkness enveloped around us.”

Red Bull Illume attracts entries from professional and amateur worldwide and features ten categories (nine stills, one video) and showcases photography of action sports, such as surfing, climbing, mountain biking, skateboarding and skiing.

You can see the other photographic category winners winners in the gallery below, while the Reels of Instagram winner is below that (see also: Smartphones vs cameras: which is best for taking stunning outdoor photos?).

Feel free to head over to the official Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2023 website, where you’ll find massive versions of these shots, plus lots of technical details about lenses and equipment, the stories behind the photos from the photographers themselves plus a load more runner-up photos that look just as impressive to us.

The top 250 images from this year’s contest are featured in a limited edition Red Bull Illume 2023 Photobook, which is limited to 2,500 copies and is available to preorder from COOPH for $60. Because while these images look great online, they look a whole new dimension of awesome on glossy paper.