25 Incredible Photos From Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021

Image Quest 2021 is the sixth edition of Red Bull Illume’s adventure and action sports photography contest, and this year’s finalists include some stunning images selected from over 47,000 total submissions. Congratulations to the Overall Winner Will Saunders and to the category winners.

Here’s a slideshow of our 25 favorite winner and finalist images. Learn more about Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 at the contest’s official website.

Finalist: "The Aquanaut" by Karim Iliya


"Hidden away from the world, is an underwater cave where time seems to stop and gravity sleeps. While the world around you is frozen and the fish suspended in the blue space, only the light beams dance, reminding you of the passage of time. I’d been to this cave over a hundred times and yet I’d never seen anything like this. Freediver Brock Carlson placed his fins in a crevice above the water, we took a few deep breaths and dove down. I was lost in the scene which looked like a portal to another world. Time stopped and I forgot my breath. I watched him standing on the pinnacle looking up into the beams for a while. This was one of the few moments in life when the absolute beauty of a place took hold of me and I almost forgot to take a photo. I thought about how we live on a planet floating through space full of indescribable beauty. We call our planet earth, but most of its surface is covered by water. We drink it, and can submerge ourselves to visit a world full of strange wonders. For the duration that we can hold our breath, we shed the burden of gravity and can move ourselves in a three-dimensional space. Water gives us freedom to move in all directions, like an astronaut looking out to distant worlds."