A woman has won the Red Bull Illume photo contest for the first time. Krystle Wright’s photo of climber Angela Van Wiemersch of Utah’s Long Canyon won the top prize. Women, including Wright, have won in various categories, but never the overall award.
Wright, an Australian photographer, has entered the competition several times and has been a finalist twice.
She told Red Bull: “While driving to a local crag, an idea struck me…to illuminate the cracks of an iconic trad climb from the inside.”
Next, she searched for the perfect crack and placed lights inside it, creating a spectacular image of a climber climbing through a lightning bolt. Wright had only a few hours to set up the lights before dark, so she took the photos with her mirrorless Leica SL2 camera.
10 categories and overall winners
Red Bull Illume was first held 17 years ago and has become the world’s most prestigious adventure and action sports photography competition. There are 10 categories: Innovation, Masterpiece, Creative, Emerging, Energy, Lifestyle, Instagram Photos, Instagram Reels, Playground, and RAW.
This year’s category winners featured kayaking, surfing, skating, cycling and ice climbing. A panel of 52 experts selected the top 50 photos and final winners from thousands of entries. His two categories on Instagram are judged by the public.
Red Bull has released a full gallery of images and the winning images will be displayed at events around the world.