Top photographer captures the moment
ONE of South Africa’s top extreme sports photographers, Capetonian Micky Wiswedel, has taken top honours in the “Wings” category of the prestigious Red Bull Illume photographic competition for his shot of climber Jamie “Jimbo” Smith mid-fall as he attempts a new route on Table Mountain.
Another Capetonian, Kelvin Trautman, was also shortlisted.
The two were selected from about 5 645 entries from 120 countries for the contest, considered one of the world’s greatest action and adventure sports photography competitions globally.
The awards ceremony took place in Chicago on Thursday night and the images were unveiled as part of the Red Bull Illume Exhibit Tour.
Wiswedel said: “I can’t believe I won my category when there were such epic shots in the competition. I’m still buzzing like crazy; it all seems a little unreal.”
Table Mountain also featured in Trautman’s photograph, which was named runner-up in the “Mobile” category, which was added this year. Wiswedel, 38, is renowned for his rock climbing imagery. He was also named Stocksy Sport Photographer of the Year 2016.
“Red Bull has had such a huge global impact in bringing extreme sports into the mainstream and now it is possible to have a professional career photographing what were once fringe sports.”
His winning image depicts close friend and rock climber Smith, captured mid-fall while attempting a new climbing route at Jeopardy Wall on Table Mountain, known as the Squid and Whale.
“That moment of the climb is the crux of the entire route and there was always a chance that Jimbo would fall,” he explained. “The image of him being weightless in mid-air high above ground with only a thin rope to catch his fall was the shot that we felt captured the intensity of the climb.”
Another SA photographer, Wayne Reiche, made it to the top 275 for his image of BMXer Murray Loubser submitted in the “Playground” category.
Climber Jamie Smith falls as he attempts a climb on Table Mountain. The photograph, by Capetonian Micky Wiswedel, won the ‘Wings’ category of the Red Bull Illume photographic competition.