Who doesn’t love a fine panoramic photo? You know, when a bunch of photos are stitched together into one very wide shot. Epson certainly loves them, which is why it is the major sponsor of the Pano Awards. With $US50,000 in cash and prizes on offer, now is the time to enter the Epson International Pano Awards 2019.

The Pano Awards 2019 competition has open and amateur categories, plus a special category for VR and 360-degree photography. There are winner and runner-up prizes in each category, plus a number of special prizes, including some fine gadgets from Epson and Nikon.

The total prize pool includes $US12,000 cash, an Epson SureColor P7070 printer, an Epson SureColor P5070 printer, an Epson EB-1781W ultra-slim projector and a Nikon D850 camera. We fell in total love with the Epson SureColor P5070 printer when we reviewed it a couple of years ago. I always find Nikon camera model numbers confusing. The Nikon D850 is a true pro model DSLR, with 45.7 megapixels of resolution and just about every feature you could think of.

Pano Awards 2019
31st placed 2018 Pano Awards entry, Open Architecure, by Chris Gillino; (TOP: 2018 Winner, Nature/Landscapes, by Veselin Atanasov)

Making suitable panoramas

It was only the other day that I expressed disappointment about the in-camera panorama photo creation of an otherwise fine camera. For competitions like the Pano Awards 2019, you’re going to need more than fine artistry. You will also want to produce something of the highest technical quality.

So, do check whether your equipment can do a good job of stitching images together, and whether or not it scales them down in size. Way too many do the latter. As for the stitching, you should check for discontinuities at the join, especially if there are straight-line elements in the composition which are crossing the join. Pay close attention to tone and colour as well.

In almost all cases, you’re likely to get the best results doing the stitching in post, using software like Adobe Lightroom.

And all that said, I should note that Panasonic says that there are still plenty of “dedicated panoramic film photographers”. Perhaps you’re one of them.

Entering the Pano Awards 2019

You can make a so-called “Earlybird” entry here up until 1 July 2019. There are five categories, and to enter each image you have to pay a fee. The categories and fees are:

  • Open – Nature/Landscapes – $USD22 per image.
  • Open – Built Environment/Architecture – $USD22 per image.
  • Amateur – Nature/Landscapes – $USD18 per image.
  • Amateur – Built Environment/Architecture – $USD18 per image.
  • Open – VR/360 – $USD18 per image.