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Incredible pictures from the Redbull Photography Contest (theatlantic.com)
106 points by muratmutlu 1541 days ago | hide | past | web | 40 comments | favorite

I need to find a good periodic reminder that if I ever find myself in need of inspiration on branding strategy, to look at Red Bull first.

But unfortunately it takes lots and lots of money to apply Red Bulls branding strategy.

It takes a lot less than you might think. It's the same branding strategy that outdoor sports companies follow, and they are generally not rich companies. There's far less money in the outdoor industry than the tech industry (I've worked extensively in both.)

Adventures sports are cheap. The athletes don't need much money to be happy, and the main cost of sponsorships are transportation.

But, that doesn't mean adventure sports are the right brand strategy for every company. It works for Red Bull because that's their business. It would not work so well for Uber.

>It works for Red Bull because that's their business

Red Bull sells sugar water. How is it their business?

Branding is their business. Caffeinated sugar water is their product. Red Bull's target market is presumably males aged 13-26, who respond positively to sports and testosterone-driven imagery. This positive response means more sales of said sugar water.

Beautiful - but I'd like to also see all the pictures before photoshop.

Manipulation was only allowed in the "experimental" category - mostly the ones with timelapses. If you have some evidence that entries in the other categories have been 'shopped, I'm sure the organisers would be very interested to hear from you.

That one with the satellite dish is masterful.

Thanks, that's very interesting (and impressive!)

Why? It's part of the creative process - a good photographer will consider all tools available to them, including post-processing, in order to achieve the shot they envisage.

It's two different forms of art. You have photography and post-processing. Both are arts and doing both together is even more difficult.

Post-processing in digital photography usually denotes the process equivalent to developing the film in film photography (which can be a complex process where multiple choices can be made that affect the result). Sharpening, noise reduction, brightness, contrast and so on. These are an integral part of the workflow - nobody would simply publish raw images straight from the camera (turning the raw sensor data into a JPEG involves multiple choices that someone has to make - it's either the photographer or the engineers that wrote the default conversion algorithms built in the camera.)

There are various movements in photography. You still need to use some techniques while doing some photographies but usually for straight photography, it ends when you press the shutter.

But I suppose that Henri Cartier-Bresson expressed it in a better way:

"Of all the means of expression, photography is the only one that fixes a precise moment in time. We play with subjects that disappear; and when they’re gone, it’s impossible to bring them back to life. We can’t alter our subject afterward.... Writers can reflect before they put words on paper.... As photographers, we don’t have the luxury of this reflective time....We can’t redo our shoot once we’re back at the hotel. Our job consists of observing reality with help of our camera (which serves as a kind of sketchbook), of fixing reality in a moment, but not manipulating it, neither during the shoot nor in the darkroom later on. These types of manipulation are always noticed by anyone with a good eye." Henri Cartier-Bresson - "American Photo", September/October 1997, page: 76

Post-processing in the sense I referred to usually has the goal of replicating, not altering, the moment of firing the shutter. Cameras (film OR digital) do not see the way the eye sees; the image straight from the camera (which, as I said, does all sorts of automatic processing to be able to create the image in the first place) is rarely a faithful presentation of what the photographer saw -- not to mention the subjective mood of the moment that the photographer is trying to capture.

I think it's a very small minority of photographers indeed that are purist enough to consider things like cropping, levels, and white balance "altering the subject" in some reproachful way.

Yes...though darkroom manipulation has been around since the very earliest photographs, so it's not a new thing.

For example, Ansel Adams printing notes:


Because, when you look at something that looks incredible, it's interesting to know if it is also true.

Would you consider artificial lights as falsifying the image?

I wouldn't

There is no such thing as unprocessed digital photograph.

RAW is pretty much unprocessed.

But you cannot see a RAW - so it's debatable whether you can call it a photograph. Many choices must be made either implicitly or explicitly when rendering a RAW into an actual image representable on screen or paper.

That's like saying "you can't see light, that's just your brain's interpretation of your retina's interpretation of the lens's interpretation of a narrow band of the spectrum".


I know I've been downvoted for such a short reply, but it was a genuine question - I wanted to know what danmaz was curious about.

Here's a video from that ship wreck BASE jump site: http://youtu.be/YSuo0j2xsj8

Awesome pictures! But Kelly Slater[1] didn't win the US Open of Surfing this year. Alejo Muniz did[2]. I find it odd that someone from Surfing magazine would get this wrong. Perhaps this pictures from 2011 not 2013?

1. http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2013/08/winners-of-the-re... 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Open_of_Surfing#U.S._Open_...

The photo contest actually picked photos from the last three years. Some of the snowboarding photos are also from 2011.

Ahh I missed that, thanks

Redbull? Pay for injuries at your advertising functions. Yes--even during practice. If you didn't dangle money in front of these kids; they wouldn't be "pushing the envelope ".

That's not true. I never got paid and I pushed the envelope all the time.

He was talking about "those kids".

You might have "pushed the envelope" unpaid, but a lot of those go the extra mile for the Red Bull pay/fame, including trying BS stunts that don't end well.

And that is their choice.

Only if you're a hardcore "all is personal choice" type, that denies psychology, fame and money as lures, peer pressure, people with reduced capacity to resist to such things (especially immature early 20-somethings), etc.

People don't make choices in a vacuum, and they don't make perfectly rational informed choices either. People make choices influenced by tons of BS input, in which a lot of that input is designed to dupe them and lure them out of their money or use them in some way.

Infocus tip: You can easily scroll through the images with the keys 'j' and 'k'. And seriously consider checking out the other infocus galleries; Alan Taylor curates well.

Don't forget The Big Picture from boston.com for similarly awesome content: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/

I really wish all news sources provided high resolution photographs with their articles. This is 2013, I should not have to squint at a 250px wide photo.

I don't want to sound bitchy - but this is the second time today I see content here where my first impression is: This doesn't belong here. Please post this to Reddit.

What's comming up next? HN AdviceAnimals?

When you have such an impression, there is an amazingly simple much less cluttered way for you to express your protest: just fucking click the flag button. If there is a majority who agree with your definition of "This doesn't belong here", tada! No more expression of creativity and more of whatever you think is useful.

my thoughts exactly. posts like this make me wish for a downvote button. Or are there for users with very high karma, like there are for comments?

From the FAQ: "There are no down arrows on submissions."


Wow the Bouldering is amazing. So much fun and so dangerous!

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