On a recent assignment for Red Bull, I shot the 2010 Red Bull Art of Motion event in Tampa, Florida. This was a free running and parkour event. For those of you that don’t know about Parkour and free running it is basically a “non-competitive, physical discipline of French origin in which participants run along a route, attempting to negotiate obstacles in the most efficient way possible. Skills such as jumping and climbing, or the more specific parkour moves are employed (from Wikipedia).” More specifically it is a mix of gymnastics, dance, martial arts, running and self expression.
For the Red Bull contest their where 25 athletes who each had 90 seconds to make use of a course designed by the Red Bull judges. As you can see from the images the athletes were flying through the air, doing backflips, spinning, jumping and generally performing some amazing feats of athleticism without any pads or protection. They were taking huge risks relying only on their skills to prevent any injuries. A few people got a bit banged up but no one broke any bones or did any real damage to themselves. Not surprisingly, Yohann “Zephyr” Leroux, who is the World Champion from France won the event after doing a series of backflips off the top of a second story building. He is pictured above doing a one arm handstand on top of the Red Bull truck that came out for the contest — and yes, that is a tail attached to his pants.
All in all, the event was a great success with a few thousand people coming out to watch the action. This was my first time photographing the sport of Parkour and it quite impressive what these guys were able to do without getting injured. My thanks to Red Bull for having me out to cover the event and get in on the action.