Enlightenment arrived at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland tonight August 31, as Chris Burkard was named Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2010 winner at an emotional unveiling ceremony packed with photographers, competition judges, athletes and special guests.
The 24-year-old professional photographer’s image of surfer Peter Mendria riding waves on Chile’s West Coast in golden sunlight was named Overall Winner of the world’s biggest action and adventure sports photography competition out of 22,764 photos submitted to the contest by nearly 5000 photographers.
“I’m overjoyed, it’s hard to put into words being able to be nominated and to win this award in front of all your piers and people I respect, I’m truly blessed.” Said Burkard.
As the sun set, the Image Quest’s top 50 images – the five best from ten categories – were revealed for the first time ever and illuminated on 2m high lightboxes. The energetic ceremony, which focussed on putting the photographers in the spotlight, was held in the magnificent and historic Trinity College Dublin dining hall used in the Harry Potter movies.
American windsurfer Robby Naish and Red Bull Cliff Diving World Champion Orlando Duque (COL) were among the guests and Irish TV star Sile Seoige hosted the ceremony while Red Bull Illume Judge Eileen Ryan of USA Today presented Burkard with the Winner’s trophy.
Fifty-three judges from respected picture desks around the globe voted over three rounds to determine ten category winners as well as the Overall Winner. The outstanding quality of the photography made voting a tough job for the judges.
“I thought the pictures were fantastic, everyone of them was a difficult choice: it was hard to make a decision between the ones that won and the ones that didn’t,” said Red Bull Illume judge Alan Sparrow (UK). “The defining line between them was really close.”
Burkard was presented with Leica S2 camera and lenses. “I would never have imagined owning a camera like this,” Burkard said. “It’s worth more than the house I live in!”
The ten category winners, who receive SanDisk flash memory cards and a Lowpro camera bag are:
Experimental - Daniel Grund (GER)
New Creativity – Eric Berger (CAN)
SanDisk Sequence - Miguel Lopez-Virgen (MEX)
Energy - Stuart Gibson (AUS)
Illumination – Chris Burkhard (USA)
Playground – Tim Korbmacher (GER)
Culture – Vincent Perraud (FRA)
Spirit – Adam Kokot (POL)
Wings – Marcel Lämmerhirt (GER)
Close up – Nathan Smith (AUS)
Nathan Smith was also named Athletes’ Choice winner. “I’m dizzy from the whole experience,” said Smith. “I’m humbled to be here and happy to have made the top 50 let alone win two awards that in my book are very prestigious. I’m in a room full of photographers who I look up to.”
The top 50 images will continue to be displayed on the lightboxes after sunset free to the public at Trinity College Dublin until September 11, 2010 before embarking on a world tour. For more information on the competition visit www.redbullillume.com.