I love this picture which was a finalist in the ‘Spirit’ category at the Red Bull Illume Image Quest photo competition. The contrast between the obvious power of the wave and the relaxed surfer paddling on top is mind wrenching. The surfer is Sean Woolnough, the wave was in Namoto Island, Fiji, and the photo was taken by Stuart Gibson.
I also love that Red Bull and other great brands are funding this type of content by sponsoring competitions. One of the great things about the internet is that it facilitates the distribution of amazing free content (like this photo), but that creates a knock on problem of figuring out how artists get paid. One of the other great things about the internet is that ready access to reviews and social media has made it impossible for companies to compensate for bad products with big marketing budgets. Today’s winners have great products and further build trust with consumers by further enriching their lives by sponsoring and creating cool events and experiences. It’s somehow satisfying that with competitions like this these two trends are coming together and top brands are now offering at least a partial solution to the main problem of free content by paying artists to create.