20 October 2021
The winners of the 2021 Epson International Pano awards have been announced, with US photographer Joshua Hermann name as the Overall Winner of the 2021 Open competition with his three entries: Eternal Triangle, Morning Burn and Ancient Backwaters.
The International Pano Awards seeks to showcase the work of panoramic photographers worldwide and is the largest competition for panoramic photography.
This year the competition received 5,378 entries from 1,245 professional and amateur photographers in 97 countries, all of whom were competing for thousands of dollars cash and prizes, including Epson SureColor printers, as well as an Epson EB-1780W ultra slim projector.
The 2021 Open Winner: Joshua Hermann, USA
Speaking on his winning entries, Hermann shared, “Growing up in south Louisiana and coming to know the swamp and marshlands from an early age, the unique beauty and interesting ecology of the area has stuck with me throughout my life. I hope to share the beauty of these places through my imagery, allow people to get a closer look into the uniqueness of these areas and ultimately to inform them of the importance of protecting these wetlands.”
“When shooting Eternal Triangle I observed a cypress tree generally has a wide flaring base. Due to its watery habitat, it develops this triangular base and root protrusions called cypress knees to help it stand in the soft, soggy bottom. As I paddled amongst the trees on this foggy morning the triangular trunks stood out in a symmetrical fashion. To me, it looked like enumerable triangles receding into the fog. I named this picture “Eternal Triangle” as an ode to one of my favourite jazz compositions by the great Sonny Stitt.”
Hermann also shared the story behind his work titled Morning Burn, “When conditions are right and cool moist air begins to warm over water in the swamp, mist begins to form over the water. If you are lucky enough for the mist to stick around when the sun breaks the horizon, a wonderful show takes place.
“There is a short window of time where the sun begins to set the mist ablaze with light. As I paddled, the scene constantly changed in front of me while the sun inched higher above the horizon. I stopped in front of this grove and setup my camera as the swamp put on a light show went on in front of me.”
Lastly, speaking on his third winning entry, Ancient Backwaters, Hermann said, “Like trees in most of the US, many of the old growth cypress groves were felled during the logging era. Today there are a few places were these 1,000 plus year-old giants still stand.”
“You will usually find these in pockets of backwater that were too hard for loggers to reach, or because the trees themselves were hollow and the trunks weren’t the ideal shape for lumber. When I find these ancient monoliths in backwater ponds and sloughs, I am immediately transported to the swamp lands of ancient times.”
The 2021 Amateur Winner: Daniel Trippolt, Austria
Daniel Tippolt from Austria has won the title of 2021 Amateur winner, with his entries titled: Shining Night, Legendary Peaks and Shining Heart.
López Ruiz explained, “This shot is a view of two of the four skyscrapers that make up the Cuatro Torres financial complex in Madrid. I really liked the composition of the towers along with one of the canopies in the area. I took the image thinking of doing digital black and white processing and enhancing the contrast by adding shadows and light to create a more impressive image.”
The 2021 Epson Digital Art Prize Winner: Manuel Enrique González Carmona, Spain
Manuel Enrique González Carmona from Spain has won the 2021 Epson Digital Art Prize for his entry titled Anatomy Lesson.
Speaking about his entry, Carmona shared, “Minerals, water and water currents are the ingredients with which nature creates these ephemeral landscapes. With each rainy period the canvas is transformed. This canvas is actually a raft of toxic waste from a copper mine, located in the province of Huelva, Spain, which was captured by aerial shooting. These ephemeral formations will disappear with the next intense rains. I live only one hour away from this scenery, so I usually make a visit every week.”
“There are always completely new structures and details that allow you to make countless abstractions and figurations. I often have the feeling that an abstract expressionist painter has created a large canvas and that I am capturing fragments of this work of art with my drone.”
Competition Curator, David Evans said, “We thought 2020 was a challenging year but 2021 took things to a whole new level. That said, despite the pandemic and so many other challenges the entries this year were nothing short of amazing. We are, yet again, overwhelmed with the level of support from entrants and sponsors, especially Epson and we thank you all so very much and also congratulate all this year’s winners and entrants
A number of Australian photographers also featured as finalists in this year’s competiton. You can see their images below. Ypu can see all the finalists on the Pano Awards website.