Epson Pano Awards 2013 Winners Announced

September 30, 2013 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions | Comment |

The winners of the Epson International Pano Awards 2013 competition have been announced. The overall winner of the Open Competition was Timo Lieber from the UK with a compelling black-and-white photograph of Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert, USA (above). The winner of the Amateur competition was Gary Schlatter of Australia, with a monochromatic image of a famous cluster of Cypress trees near San Quirico d'Orcia, Tuscany. The VR/360° competition winner was Dmitry Moiseenko with a spectacular aerial image of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Epson Press Release

The EPSON International Pano Awards 2013

Professional and amateur photographers around the world were invited to enter The EPSON International Pano Awards to compete for over $40,000 in cash and prizes.

The Fourth Epson International Pano Awards is dedicated to the art of panoramic photography. It showcases the work of panoramic photographers worldwide and is the largest competition for panoramic photography.

This year there were 4,068 entries from 843 photographers in 57 countries. Prizes included an Epson Stylus Pro 7900 printer, an Epson Stylus Pro 4900 printer, an Epson EB-1775 Ultra-Slim Projector and US$8000 cash!

Craig Heckenberg, Business Unit Manager at Epson Australia said the quality of the entries sets a higher benchmark each year, with 2013 providing compelling panoramic images from extremely talented photographers.

“We have already seen some of the images published in various media so there is no doubt this competition and the enthralling entries are capturing the imagination of people everywhere,” Craig said.

“Epson congratulates the winners and every entrant not only for the quality of their work but also for their incredible ability to work with light in so many diverse and outstanding ways.”The overall winner of the Open Competition was Timo Lieber of the Great Britain with a compelling B&W image of Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert, USA

Timo recalls, ‘Earlier in the year I was asked to spend several weeks on a project in California. The opportunity to photograph the state's beautiful landscapes came as an added bonus. Studying the route for the way back from Death Valley, I figured that one desert was never enough and headed for Dumont Dunes. A building sand storm chased away a group of dune riders, who obligingly left behind curved tracks providing additional structure to the dunes pattern. And again, as ever, I am captivated by human presence, so fragile against nature.’

Dmitry Moiseenko of Russia was the runner-up in the Open competition, with a spectacular aerial image of Barcelona from a bird’s eye perspective. Dmitry is part of the formidable Airpano team, well known for their panoramic images shot from helicopters in locations around the world.

Dmitry says, ‘When I decided to do spherical panoramas over Barcelona I found just one company with helicopter that could do all I had to do to get a result. The only restriction was the minimum altitude 800ft (250 m). It wasn't enough to get all details of the buildings, but I found that Barcelona has unique structure of blocks and streets. So I asked pilot to go higher and higher trying different altitudes to get the best "structure" view. The special detail that gave exclusive look to this picture was the gorgeous Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Cathedral.’The overall winner of the Amateur competition was Gary Schlatter of Australia, with a stunning B&W
interpretation of a famous scene in Tuscany.

Garry says, ‘Springtime is without doubt one of the most wonderful seasons in Europe. After visiting my family in Switzerland I allowed myself another 10 days to travel through parts of Italy before returning back to Australia. Ever since I was showing a greater interest in photography, Tuscany has been very high on my bucket list. And it didn't disappoint, both from a cultural and scenic point of view. Packed with plenty of ideas and maps I was wondering how much I could fit into such a short period of time. Amongst other visual attractions of the Val d'Orcia I had a particular interest in the famous cluster of Cypress trees near San Quirico d'Orcia.

Being outside the normally deserted landscapes of Australia I experienced first hand what it means visiting such a remarkable and famous place, which is probably one of the most photographed glade of trees in the world. Photographers from far away and almost any time of the day stop by here to be amazed by the rolling hills with its dotted Cypress trees.

I saw an opportunity for a wide panoramic image and challenged myself with a point of view a little different. Equipped with my Panorama equipment I photographed 15 vertical frames from left to right and felt very small and insignificant amongst the grandeur of this scene. The colours were pretty but I wanted to simplify the image further to distract from the colours. I was happy with what I saw as it evokes emotion looking at the rolling hills with it's different shades and dotted trees.

Inspired by many great Australian photographers I was aiming to add a unique image to my growing portfolio of panoramic images. My aim is to capture the true spirit of diverse and unique landscapes and I look forward to my next photographic adventure.’Ralf Regeer of Australia was the runner-up in the Amateur competition, with his striking B&W image of the Zeeland Bridge in The Netherlands.

Ralf recalls, ‘The photograph was taken in January 2012 at the Zeeland Bridge in The Netherlands. The Zeeland Bridge is the longest bridge in the Netherlands, spanning just over 5km across the Oosterschelde estuary and was built between 1963 and 1965. The length of this bridge across the estuary gives it its dramatic perspective as a strong architectural design disappearing into the distance creating nice converging lines.

The photo was taken using a Canon 5DMKIII with a Carl Zeiss Distagon 21mm F/2.8 lens at ISO50, 21mm, F/16, 45 seconds. To add to the drama of this strong architectural design I aimed for the longexposure effect which was created by using a Lee Big Stopper in combination with a Lee 0.6 ND grad to hold back the brightness in the sky.’

In a very good year for the talented Russian, the VR/360 competition winner was also Dmitry Moiseenko with a spectacular aerial image of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil. The full immersive version can be viewed on the website

Dmitry says, ‘We spent lots of time to get permission to fly over the statue of Christ the Redeemer. And miracle has happened. We were allowed to take off from the base of the statue!

In the morning we got up before dawn. It was still dark when we drove up to the bus parking space Guards at the gate had been warned to let us in on our own transportation.

But as we climbed higher up the hill the expression on our faces gradually changed from happy to gloomy: the top of the mountain was covered by thick fog. All the way from the parking lot to the observation desk we were surrounded with "milky fog". On the way up we met another group of people who were making a film about Rio.

We spent all this time in agony while waiting to see if the fog would clear away. It would have been such a shame to fly halfway round the world, spend so much effort to get here at dawn and not to shoot anything because of heavy clouds.

But we were lucky: during sunrise the wind blew from the ocean and gradually cleared the fog away from the hill, leaving behind fantastic colours. Suddenly a huge heavy cloud floated above our heads became brightly coloured in orange. I shouted: "Urgent take off!" And we were on our way! Over the last year I've seen many amazing sunrises, but I haven't seen so many colours at the same time. Colour extravaganza lasted for about 10 minutes.’

Dmitry also won the ‘Highest scoring spherical image’, one of several new specialist awards presented in the competition this year.

Another new award was the ‘Highest scoring gigapixel image’ which is an image with more than 1 billion pixels. This is won by Chris Collacott of Canada with a dazzling panorama of downtown Vancouver.

Chris says, ‘This panoramic photograph of the downtown core of Vancouver, BC, Canada is a combination of 120 (4x30) images @ 200mm. The entire scene had to be captured within a 15 min period to avoid too much change in light since the sun had just set. Since the view is about 170 degrees, the main challenge was ensuring the exposure was seemingly even going from left (where the sun just set) to right in the scene where the shadow of the earth was rising.’Other new awards presented were;

-‘Highest scoring image from film capture’; Jorge Sanchez, USA (Open AND Amateur)
-‘Highest scoring image from an IAPP member in the Open competition’; Adrien Huang, USA
-‘Highest scoring image from an IVRPA member in the VR/360 competition’; Thomas Erh, Brazil
-‘Highest scoring HDR image’; TBA

Thanks to Epson Australia, this year also saw the repeat of the highly popular display of highest scoring and winning images, this time held in Melbourne, September 13-15 at ‘The Digital Show’, and visited by tens of thousands of people.

The judging panel included some of the world's top panoramic photographers and industry professionals, including members of the IAPP and IVRPA.

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