Epson Winner:

Manish Mamtani was awarded with the Epson Digital Art Prize. (Manish Mamtani/Instagram photo)

Epson Nov. 11 announced that the Epson Digital Art Prize at this year’s Epson International Pano Awards was won by Manish Mamtani.

Mamtani, an avid nature photographer who has travelled widely across the exotic destinations and focuses on landscapes that reflect the beauty of nature, won the award and $1,000 cash for his work, Dragon Eye.

“This image was taken during one of my recent trips to Iceland and it shows the top-down view of an emerald geothermal pool in the highlands. After enjoying a beautiful sunset on one of these days, I decided to continue driving to this geothermal area which was a couple of hours away,” Mamtani explained about the background to Dragon Eye. “In July, the sun goes below the horizon only for a couple of hours so the golden hour is usually much longer followed by the blue hour of twilight.”

The drive was beautiful with no one and nothing around but the vast and rugged landscape of the Icelandic highlands, the news release said.

“I reached this geothermal area sometime before sunrise. While my initial plan was to get there and rest for some time, the early morning golden light tempted me to fly my drone and explore the area first,” added Mamtani.

“I am so glad I decided to do that because the steam from the geysers, combined with the beautiful morning light, was creating a perfect canvas for amazing drone shots,” he said. “I stumbled across this pool while exploring the area and the morning light was hitting it at all the right places and highlighting not just the emerald color of the pool, but also the gazillion little streams that were coming out of it. To me, it appeared as though I was looking at the eye of a dragon – it was breathtaking and shows the true splendor of this place.”

Mamtani’s motto is to showcase the unseen beauty of nature through his aerial photography. He also specializes in landscapes, night, astro and infrared photography, the release noted.

The Epson International Pano Awards showcases the work of panoramic photographers worldwide and is the largest competition for panoramic photography, it said.

Priscilla Dickason, marketing manager for Epson Australia and New Zealand, said, "Epson would like to congratulate Manish Mamtani on winning the Epson International Pano Digital Art Prize with his incredible image that he captured perfectly. We are also delighted to be able to provide the printing technology that helps Manish showcase this beautiful photo so it can be appreciated and admired.”

This year the competition received 5,859 entries from 1,452 professional and amateur photographers in 96 countries – a record for its 11-year history – all of whom were competing for thousands of dollars cash and prizes with main sponsor Epson Australia alone providing prizes that included an Epson SureColor P7070 printer, an Epson SureColor P5070 printer and an Epson EB-1781W ultra-slim projector, the release said.

The judging panel for The Epson International Pano awards includes some of the world's top panoramic photographers and industry professionals, including Abe Blair, Juan Pablo de Miguel, Paul Hoelen, Lucie Debelkova, Isabella Tabacchi, Aaron Spence, Mieke Boynton, Bill Bailey, Ignacio Palacios, Julie Fletcher, Timothy Poulton, Craig Bill and Carlos Chegado, it said.

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