Semi-finalist, Playground: Lorenz Holder
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Semi-finalist, Playground: Lorenz Holder

Semi-finalist for the Playground category, Red Bull Illume 2019: Lorenz Holder, Germany

Location: Bushmills, Northern Ireland

Biography quote: 'Walking through life with open eyes and seeing possibilities.'

Biography: I grew up in Munich, close to the Bavarian mountains, and it is those mountains that have always played a major role in my life. Being outside with my friends was always the thing that motivated me most, be it as a snowboarder back in the days or nowadays as a photographer.

I've never studied or learned photography but I was so impressed and fascinated, how one single image can describe a whole scene, a whole day or even a whole trip. This power of an image caught me straight away and passion became profession. I've finished my university for being a teacher and then went all in - All I wanted to do, is to shoot and create.

The biggest influence on my style of shooting comes from outside the action sport scene. I love to get impressed by creative work from landscape, architecture and fine-art photography. But for me, this was always a little bit too boring to shoot, so I tried to combine those genres with action sport and that's where I found my true love for what I'm doing. Walking through life with open eyes and seeing possibilities.

About the photo: 'The story of this image started around 60 million years ago, when lava cooled down, in a very slow way, leaving a vast field of a hexagonal stones behind. There are only a couple of places on earth, where we can see those formations nowadays.

When I've seen this location for the first time, I was blown away and I knew I had to shoot something there. Over a year later I was standing there with my camera at the beginning of a very good looking sunset. Everything was ready, I had my angle, wetted the stones in the foreground to get a bit more reflection there, but one crucial element was missing: Senad Grosic.

This was our first stop of a 10 days shooting trip in Northern Ireland. The problem was, that his flight from Vienna was 2 hours delayed and it was never clear if he would make it in time for the sunset shoot. So there I was, alone with a perfect setting sun and a perfect scenery, but no athlete. Senad was about 15 minutes away, when I gave him a phone call, that he should mount his bike in the moving car and hurry up. He got there - no time for a brohug - no time for warm up - just up there and perform in a really beautiful sunset. 5 minutes later we got the shot and what a cool way to start the 10 days shooting trip,' says Holder.

Gear and specs: Phase One camera; Schneider Kreuznach LS 35mm lens; ISO: 800; F-Stop: 4.0; Shutter Speed:1/320 sec.