RedBull Illume's Photography competition is the world's premiere imagery contest focused on adventure and action sports photography. We could not be more proud to share with you that NYA-EVO ambassador Yhabril has won 'Best of Instagram by Lenovo.'
Yhabril climbed 3000 meters to reach his ideal position to capture his winning image of a silhouetted skier and snowboarder in front of the moon. The shot is the result of 7 years chasing the moon.
We recently asked Yhabril 10 questions about the inception and execution of his winning shot and here's what he had to say:
DID YOU FIRST GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY OR ADVENTURE SPORTS?
I first got into adventure sports, I’ve been hooked on snowboarding for the last 25 years and I discovered photography around 10 years ago but it wasn´t until 2016 that I started to get recognition for my work.
WHY IS THE REDBULL ILLLUME PHOTO CONTEST SO SPECIAL?
Well , anyone that’s in the game of adventure and action sports photography knows that the Redbull Illume is the biggest and most important imagery contest in the world. The most captivating and creative images in the world are showcased and if you’re lucky enough to get your photo recognized you’ll have immense exposure all over the world. The total value of prizes on offer to winners are more than €200,000. The actual prize is priceless –that’s the prestige associated with being a Red Bull Illume winner, and this is why this contest is so special.
WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO ENTER THE COMPETITION AND HOW DID YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF PHOTO YOU WANTED TO SUBMIT?
Ever since I heard of Redbull Illume, I've been dreaming of this moment and I set it as a goal and personal challenge in my photography. What is most interesting about this is that the person that first told me of this contest together with his brother Sebas are the ones that now appear in my winning image, Mr Jaime Rico, one of the best freeskiers in Spain. My first submission was in 2016 with the photo making it through the first few rounds but it wasn´t enough. I soon realized that what the judges were looking for was not easy to achieve. Then in 2019 I made it to the semifinals of the Best of instagram category with an image I’m really proud of, actually in my opinion this was my first photo good enough to get recognized by the Illume jury. The last 2 years I’ve been working hard to improve my skills and my vision of action sports photography, focusing in innovating and defining my own style, I assume that this is something that judges have taken into consideration.
WHERE WAS THE PHOTO TAKEN AND WHAT ORGANIZATIONAL CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE?
The shot was taken in our home mountain, the Malacara Peak in the Spanish Pyrennes, next to Villanúa which is the village where I live. The shot is the result of 7 years chasing the moon, I first planned a "moon shot" in 2015 and just kept going after it and working on improving the image but I always knew that I wanted to include action sports in the final image.
Getting to take this type of photo demands a lot of previous experience in planning moonshots. So the number of hours planning I cannot even count. I’d say that this is the most difficult shot I’ve ever planned. It’s also a challenge to get both of the riders and the moon decently on focus, and to have the moon with the correct relative size. I wanted to have them create their compositions inside the moon and that took a lot of time and calculations.
We worked for a week preparing the terrain, we had to build two kickers and two starters since the location was a high mountain ridge with limited room to get the speed we needed. This was maybe the hardest part of planning because if we fail in the location of the build the correct kickers will not be in the right place for the right shot.
Once you have the scene ready you just have to wait for the moment and pray for a bluebird sky that day, furthermore, being confident in the riders to synchronize the jump and the handplant is huge. That’s the real challenge.
On the day, we went for an epic sunset session, testing the kickers and training for the moon shot. Then, when the moon was rising I went to my place 300m away, communicating via walkie talkies. What’s really amazing is that we took the shot on the second try - the photo is the result of great teamwork.
DID YOU HAVE A FEELING THAT ON THE SECOND SHOT YOU 'HAD IT'?
I did, when I saw the photo in the screen I knew we had it, but the session didn’t finish then, we kept on shooting different tricks .
WHAT IS THE BEST TIP YOU CAN GIVE TO ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHERS ?
The first advice I would give is to get out there and seek adventure, always be looking for new spots and new angles. Try and start to look at the world from a photographic point of view.
Then I would tell them to be themselves and work hard in defining their style. In these times where everyone has a digital camera it is really hard to stand out, and the key is to find your own style. It is also important to follow and analyze the work of the photographers you admire, I learnt a lot this way, and I’m very thankful to them.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PHOTO YOU'VE EVER TAKEN?
I named it “Oreo´s Wrath”, and I took it in 2016. I won a number of national and international awards with that image and made it to the semifinals of the Illume´s 2019 Best of Instagram Category.
We climbed the mountain very early in the morning looking for another shot we planned days earlier, however, when we saw that wind lip we decided to go for this shot. I studied the light and the composition while Iker Fernandez climbed to get some speed. I decided to include that angry face on the right of the mountain in my frame, so I had to climb the mountain in front of that one. Oreo is the god of the mountains in Scandinavian mythology, in the image the mountain is looking on with wrath to the human that profanes its sanctuary.
My this year’s winning image of the Moon is now also my fav of course :-)
WHAT GEAR DO YOU CARRY?
-2 Full Frame Bodies.
-Ultra Wide Lens 14-24mm 2.8.
-Super Telephoto Lens 150-600mm.
-50mm 1.4 Lens.
-Compact professional camera. 25-250 mm 2.8.
-4 Speedlights + Transmitters.
SINCE YOU STARTED USING NYA-EVO WHAT IS THE BIGGEST THING NOTICED IN TERMS OF HELPING YOU IN YOUR CRAFT?
For me the peace of mind that you have, knowing your gear is as safe as it can possibly be. It makes no sense to have thousands of euros invested in your gear and not a worthy carry solution to look after it.
I often develop my work in harsh conditions and I found in NYA-EVO the answer to these needs. The quality of this backpack is unreal, the material in which it has been crafted is really water resistant and besides that it comes with a rain cover in case the weather gets really nasty. I also find the bottom amazing. It is really solid and stable when leaving the backpack on the ground and protects the gear from moisture and dirt.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FEATURE OF THE FJORD 60-C ?
I love the attachment net and compression straps a lot. I can place all my mountain gear finding it really easy to access to all of it. I even used the attachment net to carry my hide tent when going for a wildlife shooting. The compression straps are really useful to carry my snowboard, ice axe, poles, etc, offering great versatility of configuration. The multiple options to place the tripod is awesome too.
It is also really impressive how the Fjord 60-C can look so different when compressed or fully loaded and expanded. In both instances it fits very well to my body because there are different options to customize it. The load distribution is can be adjusted in a very comfortable way. With the RCI’s you can customize the bag according to the shooting you plan. For example with the Fjord 60-C if you choose to take the RCI- S and M, you’ve still got plenty of spare room in the pack and it is good enough to go for several day mountain mission.
Check out the links below if you would like to see more of Yhabril's work. You can find him on Instagram or his website.
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