Winners of this year’s Epson International Pano Awards have just been announced.


The overall winner of the Open competition is this image by Max Rive from The Netherlands, a six-shot panorama titles ‘The Ice Prison’, which was taken in the Himalayas during spring. © Max Rive.

This year, the sixth in the competition’s history,  1055 photographers in 60 countries submitted 4345 entries, competing for a prize pool valued at more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. An exhibition of 40 of the highest scoring entries was on display at The Digital Show, Melbourne Exhibition Centre, October 16-18.

Commenting on his winning image, Max Rive says: 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 6812meter 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 centre 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.’

Runner-up in the 2015 Open competition was Darren Moore from The United Kingdom, who also took out first place in the Built Environment/Architecture category.


‘Tower’, Darren Moore’s winning entry in the Built Environment/Architecture category shows the Broadway Tower in Worcestershire. © Darren Moore.

Darren says, ‘Built in 1799 the tower stands majestically, 1000 ft. above sea level, one of the highest points in the county.   I wanted to create a fairy tale atmosphere with this image, it took a number of visits over a 6 month period to get the low cloud and morning mist, but the end result was worth all the early starts, as the image turned out exactly how I imagined it.

The winner of the new Jeff Mitchum Fine Art Prize was Carlos F. Turienzo from Spain. The aim of this prize in this age of accelerating digital progression is to reward photography that conveys ‘feeling’ and tells a story”¦to encourage images that elicit emotive responses, in addition to being well crafted through photographic technique. Images entered for consideration must have been created predominantly ‘in camera’.  


Australian photographer, John Finnan, was runner-up in the Amateur competition with the image shown above, titled ‘Foggy Sunrise at Wallaces Hut’. © John Finnan.

John says, ‘I arrived here in the moonlight the previous night to shoot and explore the scene. I returned as the moonset in the morning hoping the sun would rise through the fog but it was too thick initially. I raced over as it started to break through and then came the colour. I remember being quite excited realising what I was capturing. I have dreamed of capturing this for years and now to share it with the world.

The complete gallery of winning images and runners-up in all categories can be viewed at