Winning images from Red Bull Illume 2016
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Winning images from Red Bull Illume 2016

© Micky Wiswedel / Red Bull Illume. Wings Winner

'My buddy Jimbo had been opening new hard routes in the area and we wanted to try and capture some of the climbs. With climbing photography it’s not often you can just walk somewhere to get a good angle – most good shots require some form of rigging. The angle of this image happened by chance. We were setting up for another shot but when I looked back I knew we had to change plans and grab the shot with the sea and horizon in the background, framed by this huge rock roof.

Lighting is also difficult, as climbers prefer to climb in the shade as cooler temperatures provide more friction between skin and rock. This often means overexposed backgrounds and underexposed foregrounds. The best I could do in this situation was to shoot somewhere in the middle.

The route is one of the hardest on Table Mountain. The last 'crux' section is near the top – you have a few pieces of protection below but there’s a final jump, or ‘dyno' for the last hold. The image captures what happens if you don't manage to stick that hold!

There was always a chance that Jimbo would fall, so I was ready for it. For the couple of seconds leading up to the big move I was holding my breath and ready to fire. I could definitely feel the adrenaline pumping! It’s a pretty big and impressive fall, but luckily far from the ground – that doesn't make it any less terrifying.

We had planned to grab some cool climbing shots, but in the end this image of Jimbo mid-air was the shot we felt captured the intensity of the climb. Jimbo did send the route that day – after a few more falls.'

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Lens: EF 16-35mm F2.8L USM
ISO: 400
F-Stop: 3.5
Shutter Speed: 1/1600