The 9th Epson International Pano Awards has revealed Bulgarian photographer, Veselin Atanasov, as the overall winner of the Open category.
Veselin’s winning photo, Combing the Sunlight, was shot during a spring morning in Tuscany, Italy during. It also won the Nature / Landscape category.
‘I remember that I had a 70-200mm lens attached to my camera, and the scene in front of me required a wide-angle lens. The sun was quickly rising upward and I decided not to miss this moment while replacing a lens, so I shot the scene through the panorama of several frames from my hand without tripod.’
The Australian-based Epson International Pano Awards attracted 4937 entries from 1251 photographers across 74 countries. It’s the world’s largest panoramic photography contest.
German photographer, Daniel Eisele, took out second place for his photo, Life in Complex, captured in Gifu, Japan. This image also won the Built Environment / Architecture Category.
Australian photographer, Anastasia Woolmington, won the Carolyn Mitchum Award, which rewards ‘photography that conveys a “feeling” and tells a story’. It’s also a condition that photos are created predominately in camera.
This is what Anastasia has to say about the photo:
‘The larger of the two rocks represents a husband, while the smaller rock represents the wife. Many couples from Japan travel there to ask for blessing for their marriage.
Earlier this year my husband and I went on a trip to Japan. And I had a vision of photographing Meoto Iwa at sunset (unusual time to photograph at this location), when last rays of sun lit up the rocks and the rope with golden glow. Using long exposure technique, I wanted the roughness of rocks to contrast with smoothness and softness of water.
My image represents strength and union of two people thrown into life together: they have to make it through stormy days, calm days, rain, sun, changing seasons, years. Bigger rock shelters smaller rock from winds of open sea and small rock gets fully exposed at low tide, showing her “husband” a stable ground beneath them. They are beautiful on their own but together they create a perfect harmony. Just like in marriage two people complimenting each other, become one without losing their own identity.’
The International Pano Awards are a homegrown triumph. Epson Australia is the long-time major sponsor, Nikon Australia came onboard last year as a major supporter, and Atkins Lab is also a sponsor. South Australian photographer, David Evans, curates the awards.
‘Epson has been a sponsor of the Pano Awards for the past nine years now and it is fantastic to see how the scale and the depth of the competition has evolved,’ said Epson general manager, Sales & Marketing, Craig Heckenberg. ‘The great thing about photography is that the rewards and challenges are very personal; every photographer is on their own journey. Epson is proud that it’s technology helps bring these amazing Pano Awards images to life, and we congratulate this year’s winners and thank all of the entrants for their passion’
This year the judging panel consisted of Jeff Mitchum, Karl Strand, Mark Handy, Mel Sinclair, Abe Blair, Juan Pablo de Miguel, Adam Williams, Anna Gibiskys, Isabella Tabacchi, Darren Moore, Thomas Erh, Aaron Spence and Bill Bailey.