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2023 Epson International Pano Awards winners gallery

The 2023 Epson International Pano award winners have been announced, with Spanish photographer José D. Riquelme winning the top prize for his three entries, The Bridge, Alone in the Dark and Ghost Cave.

The Bridge by José D. Riquelme. Source: Epson Pano Awards.

Riquelme, who claims the title of 2023 International Pano Open Photographer of the Year, also won the Nature/Landscape category. He’s from Murcia in Spain and has a background in graphic design and printing, only picking up photography eight years ago.

Two of his images, The Bridge and Ghost Cave, are captured in Iceland, while Alone in the Dark is from Namibia.

The Bridge (above) was hardly a planned capture.

‘After over a dozen visits to Iceland, exploring its majestic lands, during a rest stop I decided to change my perspective and launch my drone,’ he said. ‘To my amazement, I captured this incredible image. From above, lines form a bridge extending from left to right, while on the ground, abstract shapes emerge from the flowing river water originating from the glacier.’

Ghost Cave, on the other hand, is a far more calculated creation. Shot at Kirkjufell, the photographer composed three rows of photos spanning from the ground to the sky, as well as the wall behind, to create an ‘extreme panorama’ that simulates the appearance of a cave.

Ghost Cave by José D. Riquelme. Source: Epson Pano Awards.

And Alone in the Dark was captured in Deadvlei, Namibia.

Alone in the Dark by José D. Riquelme. Source: Epson Pano Awards.

This year the competition received 4414 entries from 1104 professional and amateur photographers in 102 countries. This represents more entries per photographer, and an increase in entries overall from 2022.

‘2023 represents a diverse collection of images, demonstrating new boundaries being pushed – such as Merche Llobera’s striking underwater panoramas,’ said competition curator, David Evans. ‘Also notable is the strong performance of entrants from Southeast Asia and Europe this year, mirrored in the entry statistics with an increase in new entrants from those regions in particular. It’s always exciting to see the competition evolve year-on-year, and without doubt 2023 is no exception.’

Entrants were competing for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, with Epson Australia filling the prize pool with products like the Epson SureColor P7070 printer, a SureColor P5070 printer and an EB-1795F ultra-slim projector.

Here’s a gallery of category winning images and special honours:

RAW Planet Award winner:  Yellow Net 1 by Teo Chin Long, Singapore

“This lovely photo was taken in Vietnam. It is a huge net set up with a motor which when activated, will raise the nets and catch any fish trapped in it. I was happy to be here to document this scene during the golden dusk hours. The light was gentle and could interplay with the yellow of the nets for a great composition.” Source: Teo Chin Long/Epson Pano Awards.

Epson Digital Art Prize winner: Swee Choo Oh’s Disney Concert Hall

Many photographers have been drawn to Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, an iconic Los Angeles landmark, falling in love with its curves and lines. When Swee looked to create her own study of the building she saw silver sails, serene and peaceful over water. As she worked on her images, she found that by removing the noise and distraction of everything around it, and by allowing the building to see its own reflection, like Narcissus, it was transformed. Source: Swee Choo Oh/Epson Pano Awards.

Amateur overall winner & Nature/Landscape category winner: Merche Llobera, Spain

Jack Fish Art: In Jack Fish Art captured in Cabo Pulmo, a breathtaking natural spectacle unfolds: a school of jacks forming a figure resembling a tornado. The jacks, with their silver and gleaming bodies, move in perfect synchrony, swirling and undulating in a fascinating aquatic ballet. The turquoise and crystal-clear sea provides the perfect stage for this incredible phenomenon. Source: Merche Llobera/Epson Pano Awards.


All you can eat: In All You can Eat a cormorant swims quickly between different schools of fish trying to decide which one to eat while Llobera, much slower, tried to get a good photo. Swanee Reef is a perfect place to see these schools of fish, cormorants and sea lions. Source: Merche Llobera/Epson Pano Awards.


Spirits of the sea: Llobera said, ‘Here a pod of common dolphins is captured in motion as they swim swiftly towards the camera. Their intelligent eyes were fixed on me, displaying a curious and playful expression. It is clear that these dolphins were not very used to seeing humans in their underwater world, as they appear to be fascinated and intrigued by the encounter’. Source: Merche Llobera/Epson Pano Awards.


Amateur runner-up and Built Environment category winner: Hung Chang Lin, Taiwan

Mystical Inca’, Perú: Hung Chang Lin said, ‘This was my first time to Perú. Everything was mysterious to me. I know that Machu Picchu is a very popular tourist spot in the world. In order to take pictures of the real Inca civilisation with nobody there, I set off from the foot of the mountain before dawn and I took an incredible amount of time to reach the ticket gate. As I entered Machu Picchu, the sky was still filled with dark clouds, and there was a gentle drizzle in the air. However, when I finally discovered my ideal spot, the sun pierced through the clouds, causing the Incan buildings to appear as if they were floating on the clouds. In that moment, I felt so touched’. Source: Hung Chang Lin.

Curator’s Award: Krzysztof Browko, Poland

Church: Krzysztof Browko said, ‘Church was created during an autumn photography trip to Slovenia. The St. Thomas Church, which is the theme, emerged from the morning mists at just the right moment. I’ve been to this place several times before, however, I’ve never hit such good conditions. This time I succeeded’.


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