Athletes and Photographers Make San Francisco Their Playground Summer Solstice Photo Challenge

In celebration of the longest day of the year, Red Bull challenged some of the world’s best athletes and top action photographers to capture the Bay Area's breathtaking terrain and possibilities for adventure. Ten Red Bull athletes such as local Ironman triathlete Meredith Kessler, BMX rider Corey Bohan, and big wave thrill-seeker Ian Walsh teamed up with professional photographers to create images in six different categories in a single day of shooting, starting at 5:30 a.m.

Here are some of their creations

Ironman Triathlete Meredith Kessler springs out of the Bay, scales Lombard St., and climbs Hawk Hill, captured by San Francisco-based photographer Chad Riley.

Photographer: Chris Tedesco Athlete: Robbie Maddison

Many teams took advantage of the iconic Lombard Street to showcase tricks, but this photo by Chris Tedesco took home the award for Most Creative.

"We really wanted to articulate the urban density of the city, looking to show the specific nature of riding in and around traffic," says photographer Chris Dilts, who worked with competitive fixie rider Nico Cabrera, who regularly weaves through traffic as a professional bike messenger in Chicago.
Action and motorsports photographer Chris Tedesco captures Australian FMX stunt rider as he pops a wheely down one of San Francisco's steepest hills.
The waves were flat for big wave seeker Ian Walsh at dawn on the day of the shoot, forcing him and his photographer to get creative with how they captured the spirit of surfing.

Instead, the team focused on the anticipation of the sport: paddling out, waiting for the perfect swell, floating on the board, even anticipating a Splash Hit in McCovey Cove with kayakers.

Photographer Jeff Landi captures professional street skater Joey Brzezinski and the city skyline.
"We look at San Francisco like one big skatepark," says Australian BMX rider Corey Bohan.
"Sometimes the simplest trick takes the best still photo," says to professional street skater Joey Brzezinski.
"Athletes are so fun to work with. They're by far my favorite subjects to shoot," says photographer Nick Tellez, who along with BMX rider Corey Bohan, swept the competition, earning best photo in three out of the six categories, including overall photo.
"Timing is the most important thing. Knowing the sport you're shooting is important so you can capture those peak moments with the correct angles". -Nick Tellez
JT Holmes, a pioneer in ski-base jumping and wing suit flying and Hollywood stunt coordinator, and his photographer Christian Pondella won the challenge for the categories: Best Dawn Photo (left) and Best Lifestyle Photo.

In the spirit of the challenge, JT Holmes made sure to recycle his Red Bull can once he landed in San Francisco.

Photo: Christian Pondella; Athlete: JT Holmes

Photographer: Chris Tedesco; Athlete: Robbie Maddison

Photographer: Christian Pondella; Athlete: JT Holmes

Athlete: Giselia Pulidia; Photographer: Trevor Clark

Wakeboarder Steel Lafferty, captured by Photographer Chris Garrison

Photographer Michael Clark's best photo tip? "Know the sport you're covering and know that athletes are taking risks." Here he captures wind surfer Levi Silver.

Nick Tellez captures Corey Bohan

Christian Pondella capture JT Holmes as the sun rises.

And the overall winner is....

Three-time winners Nick Tellez and Corey Bohan turned SOMA's Cupid's Arrow into their runway for the winning shot.

"The concept of chasing an image with a team is a lot of fun." - Red Bull Summer Solstice Challenge Winner Corey Bohan

See behind-the-scenes shots at the link below:

Created By
Amy Copperman
Images courtesy of Red Bull

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