Epson International Pano Awards 2013


In 2012, we were informed of the Epson Pano awards just before we were due to fly to New Zealand. I chose some images very hastily and managed to get 1 silver and 3 bronze awards.

In 2013, I utilised a secret weapon to help me choose images : Marianne! I am one of those photographers who finds it difficult to separate the emotion attached to a given scene from the end result. I believe that this results in biased and sometimes ill-advised selections for competition purposes. After browsing the 2012 winners’ galleries, Marianne and I sat down to choose four images. All of those received silver awards. I added another two monochromatic images, one of which scored a bronze, the other a silver. Overall, we were ecstatic with the result of 5 silver awards and 1 bronze award from the 6 images entered into the amateur nature division.

I thought that it might be useful to show the context behind each of these scenes to show why a panorama was taken. I would not consider myself a ‘master’ of panoramas but I do know that I when I choose to do a panorama for the wrong reasons, it more often than not turns out to be a ‘ho-hum’ image. Some of those ‘wrong reasons’ include :  “ I just want to fit everything I see into this scene”. In this situation, the panoramas I have taken often do not have a focal point nor do they have a start and end point. Another wrong reason is “single frames aren’t doing it for me here, I’ll just try a pano!“. It’s probably self explanatory why this approach doesn’t usually work! With that in mind, here are the four images which ranked in the top 50 and a brief rationale behind them including the lightroom catalogue screenshot! (images tagged as ‘yellow’ are my code for panoramas in lightroom so you can see which frames were used for the final result)

#39 Glenorchy:

Glenorchy lagoon with mists

Glenorchy lagoon with mists

 

The context of the morning

The context of the morning

As you can see from some of the top frames , the mist was the main attraction of this magical, subzero morning at Glenorchy lagoon. There was a thin band of particular interest with the fall colours enveloped in mist and the swans in the water. Below this were a few distracting reeds, above this was plain sky. Hence the use of a long lens to capture that ‘band of interest’. The images in between were those taken by Marianne at another location shouting to me to come over! Charlotte meanwhile was asleep on my back.

#29 The Catlins River Valley

Catlins River Valley

Catlins River Valley

 

The Catlins context : rain, light and rainbows!

The Catlins context : rain, light and rainbows!

You can see from the top frames taken at Nugget point that it was a rainy, overcast day. When I returned back to our accommodation in the valley, there were beautiful periods of breaking light in between showers which led to the rainbows that you can see in the middle images. Once again, there was a thin band of particular interest with the light falling on the lush green hills and in particular, the sheep. This was also taken with the 70-200 from across the valley.

#9 Motukiekie beach

The entrance to Motukiekie

The entrance to Motukiekie

Motukiekie context

Motukiekie context

 

This image was taken as I was exiting the beach with an advancing tide. I visited this location twice during our trip. On the first occasion, we had spectacular light but unfavourable tidal conditions and the rain had been absent from New Zealand for some months after a prolonged drought. This waterfall was barely flowing. On the second occasion, a low pressure system had brought steady rain for several days preceding. Unfortunately, low tide coincided with 1pm which meant that there was little in the way of dramatic light. By the time I was leaving the beach, there wasn’t a part of me that was remotely dry , not even the lens. You can see that for some of the frames I took a couple of exposures mainly because the moisture made them unusable. In the end, I let the water just film over the lens and this made the overall image softer. The black and white conversion reflected the conditions on the day : dark and dramatic. The idea for composition was to have the water flow from right to left and out to sea. The rest of the day was spent drying up and entertaining Charlotte indoors!

#4 Robe Obelisk

Obelisk archway

Obelisk archway

The Robe context

The Robe context

This was just one of those special mornings that etch their way into your long term memory. After settling down to a great predawn at Robe jetty, I noticed that behind me, the clouds were glowing even brighter! I ended up chasing the light and speeding off to the end of Cape Dombey to witness this scene. In my haste, the last frame on the right was slightly blurred hence I only used the first five images. I knew that when you shoot wide angle panoramas of 180 degrees or close to, straight lines in the sky will appear arched as was the case with this band of advancing cloud.  The anticrepuscular rays were also astonishing for me as I had never seen them this clearly before. This was my favourite entry and I was very excited to have scored a place in the top 5 🙂

The top 50 in open and amateur sections of all categories in the competition are literally filled with inspiring images. So if you haven’t paid the site a visit, go ahead and spoil yourself over at http://www.thepanoawards.com

Until 2014!

-D

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Posted on September 13, 2013, in Australia, How we..., New Zealand, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great write up, Dylan! Very instructive. And congratulations on the placings!

  2. I saw your prints at the Digital Show and loved them! Great to read about the rationale behind them..thanks for sharing 🙂

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