The Epson International Pano Awards recently announced the winners of their sixth annual contest. This competition is the world’s largest dedicated to panoramic photography, and 1055 amateur and professional photographers from 60 countries submitted images this year.
Max Rive from the Netherlands was the overall winner of the Open competition. Rive said, “This 6 shot panorama was taken in the Himalayas during spring. It was a small distant gape in a snow-covered mountain which caused my attention. I mainly wanted to check it out because this ice or snow cave had a view on the 6812-meter-high Ama Dablam. Finding a cave is one difficult thing but find one with a great view is much more difficult. After a hike up the mountain with crampons I entered this ice cave. It was frozen water finding a way through the rocks. The composition you see with a view both on the left and the right chamber was very difficult to achieve. The camera was almost put inside a small hole in the wall. Using a tripod was not possible. After shooting the right part with my face just outside the frame I had to switch sides to do the same with the center and the left part. It was a matter of trial and error to get the composition I wanted. The required use of photo stitching made everything even more difficult. It was later that night I discovered that a lot of individual shots were out of focus or unsharp because of camera movement. During both the 2nd and 3rd try, the mountain Ama Dablam was totally covered in clouds. My 4th attempt was successful even though I still had to do a lot of blending in Photoshop. Without the blending this shot was technically not possible.”
The overall winner of the 2015 Amateur competition was Mateusz Piesiak from Poland. Mateusz explained, “When the ponds are being drained, thousands of birds are gathering around, because of a great occasion to eat fish. I woke up before the sunrise, hid myself in the reeds and waited in silence for birds. After some time the first egrets and gulls started to appear in the distance. It was still very dark so my exposure time was pretty long. Suddenly an eagle appeared on the horizon. All gulls lifted off while the egrets were standing still and motionless.”