The Epson International Pano Awards is the world’s largest competition dedicated to panoramic photography. Now in its 13th year, it attracts thousands of entrants and this year's winning images are a mix of striking and surreal, man-made and natural.
This year, 98 countries were represented by the 1197 photographers who entered the Open and Amateur Awards. Each award is split further into categories that include nature and landscape and built environment and architecture. There is also an award for the best VR/360° images as well as the Epson Digital Art Prize, a curators awards, the Nikon Australia Award, a Raw Planet award, and a special award for the highest scoring images taken from the sky, from a phone or on film.
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Chinese photographer Jinyi He was the overall winner in the open category for three stunning photos including a dramatic shot of the Dushanzi Grand Canyon, a geological wonder in the Tianshan Mountains. Jinyi stitched together 40 photos taken on his drone in order to create the final image and on winning says he is “deeply honored”.
“It is very special to me to get recognized for the works shot in my childhood hometown, Xinjiang, China. As a landscape photographer, I am always passionate about exploring majestic landscapes rarely known to western photographers.”
Peter Li from the UK came first place in the open, built environment/architecture category for a stunning photo taken inside St Nicholas Church, Old Town, Prague. The mind-bending photo is in fact a vertical panorama only it almost looks like it’s been digitally edited as it looks so symmetrical but it is just clever photography.
In the amateur category, Florian Kriechbaumer from the United Arab Emirates impressed the judges with a shot of elephants crossing the dried-up lake bed of Lake Amboseli in Kenya. On getting the shot, Florian said, “With a bit of patience you can photograph their [elephants] amazing formations as they walk in line, and if you’re brave enough you might be able to do so from the ground for that extra special perspective.”
A photo of an Icelandic Bridge in South Iceland taken by Spanish photographer Carlos Solinis Camalich caught the judge's attention in the amateur-built environments category while Kreichbaumer came second place with The Confrontation - a photo of two antelopes/gazelles locking horns in front of a city skyline.
On this year’s entries, competition curator David Evans said. “What stands out this year is the quality of entries, both generally and the top placing image. The Pano Awards have always been about the journey of each and every photographer who enters. We can travel the world through their eyes and it’s the translation of each unique perspective into these works of art which seems to become more incredible each year.”
Prizes for this year's competition included $3,000 in cash for the overall winner plus an Epson Surecolor P-7070 and various vouchers amounting to $10,000. Runner up received a cash prize of $1000, an Epson Surecolor P-5070 plus vouchers totaling $4,4000 while all other category winners received a mixture of vouchers and cash in carrying amounts. G
To see the full gallery of winning images or to find out how you could enter next year, head to the Epson Pano Awards website (opens in new tab) and get lost in the jaw-dropping landscapes of Planet Earth.