Panoramas enable photographers to show more of a scenic view, but it’s a technique that needs to be achieved correctly and used with the right location. Well, once again the best of the best panoramic photos have been recognised with the announcement of the winning images from the EPSON International Pano Awards.
Now in its 12 year, the prestigious competition attracted 5,378 entries from photographers hailing from 97 different countries.The overall winner of the 2021 Open Competition was Joshua Hermann from the USA with three entries, ‘Eternal Triangle’, ‘Morning Burn’ and ‘Ancient Backwaters’. Hermann commented about his images; ‘One of the great things about photography is its ability to inform. Growing up in south Louisiana and coming to know the swamp and marshlands from an early age, the unique beauty and interesting ecology of the area has stuck with me throughout my life. I hope to share the beauty of these places through my imagery, allow people to get a closer look into the uniqueness of these areas and ultimately to inform them of the importance of protecting these wetlands.’
The overall winner of the 2021 Amateur Competition was Austrian photographer Daniel Trippolt for a selection of images entitled; Shining Night, Legendary Peaks and Shining Heart. Trippolt commented; ‘Trippolt said, “I discovered my passion for photography when I was 12 years old when my father gave me my first camera. Every free second of my free time was used to take photos of everything and everyone. From animal photography to sports, architecture and portrait photography, I tried everything and found my greatest passion and hobby in landscape photography. Here I am very much into hyperreal landscape photography, which distinguishes me from most Austrian landscape photographers. Landscape photography has become a huge part of my life, even if I don’t have as much time to invest as full-time landscape photographers. The Covid crisis in the last two years has limited my landscape photography hobby a lot, which is why I’m all the more happy about my success in this competition.”
The use of a drone to give a different perspective helped Manuel Enrique González Carmona from Spain win the EPSON Digital Art Prize with an image entitled; ‘Anatomy Lesson’. Manuel commented; “Minerals, water and water currents are the ingredients with which nature creates these ephemeral landscapes. With each rainy period the canvas is transformed. This canvas is actually a raft of toxic waste from a copper mine, located in the province of Huelva, Spain, which was captured by aerial shooting. These ephemeral formations will disappear with the next intense rains. I live only one hour away from this scenery, so I usually make a visit every week. There are always completely new structures and details that allow you to make countless abstractions and figurations. I often have the feeling that an abstract expressionist painter has created a large canvas and that I am capturing fragments of this work of art with my drone.”
An image entitled ‘Don’t Fence Me In’, which was captured in Walcha Australia by Ray Jennings was named as the 2021 Nikon Australia winner. Ray commented; ‘The Weather Bureau was forecasting snow for the New England Tableland in New South Wales (a fairly rare event) so I packed warm clothes and camera gear and headed off with a fellow photographer in the hope of capturing snow around the Gostwyck Chapel at Uralla. Sadly that didn’t happen so we headed to Walcha where snow was encountered on the way up and saw this simple but striking scene with the fence providing a classic leading line to the eucalyptus tree.
Not all amazing panoramas need to be taken on a DSLR. Just check out this stunning frame from Australian photographer Andrew Dickman. Entitled ‘Torres del Paine’ and captured in Patagonia, the image was the highest scoring Smartphone Pano in the contest.
The Winning image in the Built Environment / Architecture category was this spectacular frame by Florian Kriechbaumer, who is based in the UAE. Entitled ‘City in the Clouds’ the atmospheric scene shows the skyline of Dubai with the tall buildings reaching through the rare winter fog below.
The 2021 Curators award went to Max Rive from the Netherlands for an image entitled ‘The Mountain Dreamer’, which was captured in Switzerland and shows a 11320ft view over the Fieschergletscher.
It’s always worth remembering that panoramas don’t have to be horizontal and the highest scoring vertical image went to Peter Harrison from Australia for a mesmerising frame entitled ‘Serpentine’, which was captured at Menindee Lakes in New South Wales, Australia.
The Winner of the Built Environment / Architecture (Open) category was this beautifully abstract frame by Australian photographer Mark Brierley. Entitled ‘Tonal Intersection’ and captured in Brisbane Australia, the image was also named as the overall Runner Up in the Open competition.