The sleepy village of Teahupo’o is known for a world class break that can be one of the most dangerous places to surf on the World Championship Tour. The day featured in the video above was 2 years ago, on August 27th, 2011. Kelly Slater stated that “witnessing this was a draining feeling… being terrified for other people’s lives all day long. It’s life or death. Letting go of that rope one time can change your life and not many people will ever experience that in their life.”
It’s awe-inspiring to witness the power (and beauty) of the ocean. I don’t think I’ll ever be the one facing down that wave, but I’m glad it was captured in all its force.
Red Bull Illume is an action photography contest that occurs once every three years. Patrick Rochon recently captured 3 wakeboarders with LED’s attached to their boards to create this incredible light painting effect. Snap! Orlando came up with the concept and fabricated the boards. Here’s a quote from the Illume site about the project:
“The shoot… …included many challenges in preparation. It’s hard enough to shoot high-speed action in the dark – add in the tasks of outfitting the boards with the waterproof LCD light systems to staging the cameras, lighting and athletes in proper position to secure the shot, and you have yourself a serious photographic mission.
Some of the most inspired by the project were the athletes themselves. “It really is my movements painting this picture and helping this photo come to life!” says Errington, the 24-year-old wakeboarder at the top of his game.
For Rochon, the set-up and planning were extensive, but the motivation while shooting was simple: “Focus on the art, the creativity, and the beauty,” said Rochon, mid-shoot. Fortunately for him, he knew he could rely on the riders to offer performances worthy of the occasion. “I’m really impressed by the athletes,” he added. “They are so fluid in the water, and they understand naturally what we are trying to do here.””
These wakeboarding photographs are reminscent of Jacob Sutton’s Snow Surfer and also the Neon Surfing from Bondi Beach.
The Red Bull Illume competition has produced some pretty amazing results over the years. Here are the Top 10 Winners from the 2010 competition (click photos to enlarge):
Close-Up 2010: Nathan Smith (AUS)
Energy: Stuart Gibson (AUS)
experimental: Daniel Grund (GER)
Illumination: Chris Burkard (USA)
Culture: Vincent Perraud (FRA)
New Creativity: Eric Berger (CAN)
Playground: Tim Korbmacher (GER)
Sequence: Miguel Lopez Virgen (MEX)
Spirit: Adam Kokot (POL)
Wings: Marcel Lämmerhirt (AUT)
The Illumination shot from Chris Burkard won the 2010 competition, and I must say that I think it is one of the most beautiful photographs I’ve ever seen. It features surfer Peter Mendia riding waves off Chile’s West Coast.
Submissions to Red Bull Illume are open until April 30th, 2013. Visit this site to enter.