In December 2015 I ran up a crater of a volcano in Cape Verde, knowing that if I did it right, this was the photo I was going to submit for the Redbull Illume photo contest. I am still amazed by the impact of the image I took that day, the photo went viral and I ended up flying to Chicago to be part of the Red Bull Illume Winner Award Ceremony as a finalist.
The year started great by getting a nomination by the Scandinavian Press Awards for a photo series of a little town called Åre in Sweden. This collection was published in the Dutch Mountain Magazine “Hoogtelijn” in 2015. For the same magazine, I followed the Dutch National Team sports climbing in Catalonia and to my surprise , the shot of Don van Laere hanging upside down while climbing a difficult route was nominated for the Spanish Press Award.
After my climbing adventures in Spain an exciting client send me to Scandinavia. They requested a shoot for an active lifestyle magazine and the surroundings they send me too where simply stunning. I’ve got the chance to do many stunning hikes and climbs and I can’t wait to see the article being published (2017) and share the sheer beauty this amazing part of the world with you.
In 2016 Zout Fotografie had many publications in (international) magazines, news papers and books. A lot of them where special experiences to shoot for me, especially the shoot for the book of Barbara Kerkhof. She wrote a truly wonderful book and we had so much fun taking photo’s at different locations.
I am truly a lucky guy because my camera brings me to great places al over the world. In April my camera took me to Aruba to shoot the new line of Peter Lynn freestyle Kites. It was a 10 day long road trip with many beautiful highlights. A big thanks for the Peter Lynn crew that joined me there.
48 hour challenge
A new project that I started in 2016 was the 48hours challenge. The idea is that in a time frame of 48 hours you go some where you’ve never been before and challenge yourself by going off the beaten track. The goal is to have a little adventure. The first edition was an amazing one to remember, doing some beautiful wintercamping at 2000m altitude at a lake near the Italian border. It was a cool experience to wake up in the snow and see the stunning white mountains.
One of my favorite memories of 2016 is the time I spent traveling with the Nomads Bus. To follow this amazing family that runs a hostel on wheels changed the way I look at life and created memories that will last a lifetime. As they travel through Europe, guest from around the world hop on and off, giving everybody the opportunity to experience what it is like to live a life on wheels. I can now say that documenting this family have helped me to reflect on what life is about and strengthened me in my decision of becoming a photographer.
Red Bull Illume nomination
Obviously this one is very special. Being a finalist for Red Bull Illume, the world’s biggest international photography contest dedicated to action and adventure sports, seems unreal to me. For my pictures to be selected out of 34.624(!) images and to be standing between so many talented world class photographers makes me extremely proud of what I’ve accomplished in the last years. Creating a perfect image takes a lot of time and requires a lot of hard work that you dont see in a photo. Standing there in Chicago being part of Red bull Illume was the absolute highlight of 2016.
Red Bull Illume flew me to Chicago where I met up with the other finalist. We stayed in the London House, a stunningly renovated five star hotel in the centre of Chicago. A week long we where trained and inspired by workshops and clinics of the absolute elite photographers on this planet. I’m still brings a smile to my face when I think of the Sony shooting extravaganza on a massive soundstage. Sony, a partner of Red Bull Illume, brought together the finalists and they had a little surprise waiting for us. We got to test the latest products of Sony gear inside a darkened soundstage converted into a playground. We got welcomed by a group of world-class athletes, BMX riders, skateboarders, MMA fighters, aerial silk dancers and fire dancers. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
Spending time with my fellow photographers made me realize I was part of something unique. Every photo had an incredible cool story behind it and there it made me realize how big the nomination was. In Holland the word of the nomination was out as well, resulting in two primetime radio interviews on national radio (3FM).
The highlight was the unveiling of the Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour, which will travel the world for the next three years. Seeing my own photo being illumined against the skyline of Chicago was a magical experience that I’ll cherish for a long time. Im extremely thankful for Red Bull Illume to be part of something so special and offering me this amazing experience. Not only did I make many new friends, I also got inspired to take my work as a photographer to a next level and I can’t wait to work on some exciting new projects in 2017.
A big thank you to all off you that supported me in 2016, let’s get ready for another amazing year!
Enjoy the photos!