Red Bull Illume 2019: See the best action sports photographs of the year
The winners of the annual Red Bull Illume action sports photography contest have been announced, with a shortlist of 13 finalists chosen from 260 semi-finalists and more than 60,000 entries.
This year’s Overall Winner is Ben Thouard for his underwater image of surfer Ace Buchan riding a massive wave in Teahupo’o, Tahiti.
Speaking about the image, Thouard said it is the product of his work shooting underwater.
"I‘ve dedicated the last few years to shooting underwater, looking for new angles and a new way to shoot surfing and waves," he explains.
"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.’
He continues, 'luckily I was right below, breathless with my [underwater housing] 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.'
Thouard was a Red Bull Illume semi-finalist in 2013 and a finalist in 2016 before becoming the Overall Winner this year.
Closer to home, Blue Mountain's adventure sports photographer Kamil Sustiak was the winner of the Best Mountain Sports Image.
You can see a selection of the other finalist images below.