A couple years ago Red Bull started a photo project called Illume. The goal was to showcase some of the best photographer's and their work throughout the world of action and adventure sports. Thousands of photographers from over 90 countries submitted images, and it has now been narrowed down to the 50 finest. Those 50 are currently traveling the world as part of the Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour.
That tour recently reached Atlanta and Red Bull invited a bunch of wakeboarding industry photographers and their team riders to join the festivities on opening night. Actually, Red Bull didn't "invite" us, they covered everything: flights, hotel, food, etc. So we basically couldn't say no. The athletes their for the kickoff included Parks Bonifay, JD Webb, Brian Grubb, Adam Errington and Dallas Friday. The media members were Josh Letchworth, Joey Meddock, Tony Smith, Kevin Michael, Rodrigo Donoso, Aaron Katen, and myself. Upon arrival at the airport, we were all picked up by a totally tricked out Red Bull bus and immediately served as much Red Bull and (insert secondary beverage choice here) as we wanted.
The Illume exhibit is showing right in downtown Atlanta at Centennial Olympic Park and let me just say the images are stunning. Each image is housed in its own beautiful light box, next to which is a write up about the photographer and how the image was made. It was definitely cool to walk through the exhibit with the other photographers and check out all of the amazing work.
Since it was opening night, though, Red Bull made sure a good time was going to be had by all. A couple large tents were set up with music, lounge areas, bars, and servers walking around with food. All of it was free, of course. Needless to say all of us wakeboarding characters went to town and had a blast — to the point where most of us struggled severely with catching our flights the next morning (and some even missed them all together).
A huge thanks goes out to Red Bull for putting together such an incredible exhibit and one heck of a kick-off party in Atlanta. A special thanks to Red Bull's Ryan Lamos for making it all happen for the athletes and photographers who came up from Orlando. If you're in or around Atlanta at all over the next week, make sure to head over to Centennial Olympic Park and check out the Illume exhibit, it is definitely worth your while.