Title Image

2018 Winners Gallery

Photo by Veselin Atanasov

Countries Represented


Open Entries


Amateur Entries


VR/360 Entries


Overall Entries


Photographers Entered

2018 Open Awards

Open Photographer of the Year

Veselin Atanasov

Combing The Sunlight, Tuscany, Italy

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Combing The Sunlight, Tuscany, Italy

Season Of Gold, Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria

Mystical Forest, National Park, Central Balkan, Bulgaria

‘I shot ‘Combing the Sunlight’ during one spring morning in 2017 in Tuscany.
I remember that I had a 70-200mm lens attached to my camera, and the scene in front of me required a wide-angle lens.
The sun was quickly rising upward and I decided not to miss this moment while replacing a lens, so I shot the scene through the
panorama of several frames from my hand without tripod.’

Open Award Winner – Nature / Landscape


Combing The Sunlight, Tuscany, Italy

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Open Award Winner – Built Environment / Architecture

Daniel Eisele, Germany

Life In Complex, Gifu, Japan

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2018 Amateur Awards

2018 Major Amateur Winner

Nathaniel Merz, Korea

Royal Ceremony, Daedunsan, South Korea

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Royal Ceremony, Daedunsan, South Korea

Better Together, Daedunsan, South Korea

Spring Greens, Seryangji, South Korea

‘Ever since first exploring the mountains here in Korea I have fallen in love with the bonsai-like pine trees clinging to the rocky peaks. In ‘Royal Ceremony’, this particular tree was always one of my favorites for its tall, regal shape and the fact that it stood alone right on the edge of a cliff. While it is beautiful year round, it looks particularly beautiful covered in just the right amount of frost and snow like I was luckily able to capture on this morning. At first, I was greeted by almost total white out conditions, but as I waited near this tree the fog began to move in and out just enough that the light was able to pour in and illuminate the tree and the surrounding fog in beautiful warm light. It was one of those moments where, thankfully, everything came together.’

Amateur Award Winner – Nature / Landscape

Nathaniel Merz, Korea

Royal Ceremony, Daedunsan, South Korea

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Amateur Award Winner – Built Environment / Architecture

Peter Li, Great Britain

The Blue Whale, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom

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2018 VR/360 Award

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2018 VR/360 Award Winner

Oleg Gaponyuk

Split With Jelly Fish, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

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‘The island based government of Palau is situated in the Pacific Ocean, about 800 km far from the Philippines and Indonesia. It is a long way to go, but my dream of going there was broken by another reason. While gathering information for the journey I found out that this lake doesn’t exist anymore. To be correct, the lake itself is still there, but the fragile environment was destroyed by tourists that were using sun protection cream and went in the water with it. The cream was poisonous to the jellyfish. In order to save the remaining representatives of nature the lake was closed for visitors.

‘This would have been a good reason to back off and cancel the trip, but no way! Coincidentally I found out that there is a similar lake in Indonesia and I was already planning to go to Raja Ampat a couple of weeks later. My dream was coming true again. But nobody knows where this lake is and its coordinates have to be discovered before the trip. The thing is that Raja Ampat is a very inconvenient place for travelling: the only connection between a thousand islands is by boat (there are no helicopters or seaplanes). In the neighboring West Papua live at least a hundred of tribes that haven’t seen civilization and somewhere you may come across cannibalism.

‘Looking up the info in the Internet was fruitful: I managed to find the works of Indonesian scientists that described three jellyfish lakes that were luckily situated not far from my filming destinations in Raja Ampat.

‘But later something went wrong again. The boat that we booked for making the underwater footage was burned! Nevertheless, the departure is almost near and we have to find another vessel.

‘I found out about this accident by an unbelievable and lucky coincidence: during the Dive Show exhibition in Moscow the participants from Indonesia were watching the burning of the boat at the time, when I was walking by their stand. Later I managed to find a new vessel!

‘When I finally had time to visit the lakes (at least one of them!), it became impossible: we were told that there are no jellyfish there at all. Could have the tourists killed them like it was in Papua? Good thing that we didn’t come here only for the lakes. But the high forces don’t allow me to forget about my plans: in the hotel a guide suddenly tells me about a place, where there are a lot of jellyfish. Technically it was not a lake, but a small gulf in a snaky bank line of the island, which did not make the acquaintance with the sea inhabitants less interesting.

‘A small, but not very important obstacle is the lack of information when the jellyfish appear: the scientist wrote that they could be seen in midday, while the guide insisted that the creatures don’t like sunlight. We decided to go to the gulf in the second part of the day and were fortunate: the water here was of yellow-green color, visibility very bad, so in the daytime this place was absolutely not interesting. But near the evening the jellyfish start coming up from the depths and it is worth seeing. There are a lot of them, as if they compile a huge sphere that takes over the whole territory.

‘The jellyfish are not a good company for a diver. Despite the fact that descending into the porridge of jellyfish is not dangerous, being touched on sensitive parts of the body like the neck or lips is rather painful.

‘Anyway, if you watched this game of chess, then it is obvious that I won. All in all, a thousand of incidents and insistence and the panoramic footage of the basin full of jellyfish is complete!’

2018 Carolyn Mitchum Award

2018 Carolyn Mitchum Award Winner

Anastasia Woolmington, Australia

Wedded Rocks, Japan

‘Meoto Iwa or Wedded Rocks is a pair of sacred rocks in the sea off Futami in Japan. The two rocks are joined together in matrimony by a sacred Shinto straw rope called a shimenawa. The larger of the two rocks represents a husband, while the smaller rock represents the wife. Many couples from Japan travel there to ask for blessing for their marriage.

‘Earlier this year my husband and I went on a trip to Japan. And I had a vision of photographing Meoto Iwa at sunset (unusual time to photograph at this location), when last rays of sun lit up the rocks and the rope with golden glow. Using long exposure technique, I wanted the roughness of rocks to contrast with smoothness and softness of water.

‘My image represents strength and union of two people thrown into life together: they have to make it through stormy days, calm days, rain, sun, changing seasons, years. Bigger rock shelters smaller rock from winds of open sea and small rock gets fully exposed at low tide, showing her “husband” a stable ground beneath them. They are beautiful on their own but together they create a perfect harmony. Just like in marriage two people complimenting each other, become one without losing their own identity.

‘On a personal level this image represents my relationship with my husband. He is my rock and my strength, he will drive for countless hours, help carry my gear and patiently wait with me, so I can take my photographs and make my dreams come true. He knows how much photography means to me, I live and breathe it since a very young age. I believe in real and raw photography that shows beauty of our world as it is, because I believe it doesn’t need photo manipulation. I often find myself in tears just by looking at the raw beauty of our imperfectly perfect world. And as a photographer I want to inspire people to open their eyes, to see, to listen, to feel. See every detail of our world, nature, wildlife. Today a lot of people focus on material goods, money, things that don’t matter. With my work, I hope I can open someone’s heart and inspire them to make protection of the world a priority.’

2018 Carolyn Mitchum Award Winner 2nd Place

Tom Putt, Australia

River Of Fire, Iceland

2018 Carolyn Mitchum Award Winner 3rd Place

Roberto Marchegiani, Italy

Misty Bayou, Lake Martin, Louisiana, United States

2018 EPSON Digital Art Prize

2018 EPSON Digital Art Prize 1st Place

Colin Sillerud, United States

Spark, Grand Canyon, United States

‘This image was the result of tenacious scouting, fanatic preparation, and luck when my plans and knowledge went out the window. Monsoon season is my favorite. The air breathes with energy and uncertainty. Blistering heat can turn to a freezing deluge in minutes.

‘Preparing for this year’s downpours I spent months scouting. As summer turned to monsoons, my trip was set. Then, an emergency delayed my leaving and I began to worry about missing my window. Two weeks of storms followed and two weeks of emergencies kept me home. The worry turned to panic as I imagined a season wasted.

‘When I finally departed, my weather app predicted eighty percent chance for storms. After an hour on the road, the prediction dropped to sixty percent. Another hour and sixty percent dropped to forty. Four hours later a week of storms became a week of blue skies. The only moisture left was a tear welling in my eye.

‘Out of anger and frustration, I changed my destination to the only area that seemed to have any clouds left. When I arrived, the sky was clear and I was defeated.

‘Cooking dinner in a stupor, a flash would occasionally light the corner of my eye, but I dismissed it as wishful thinking. Then came another flash, and another. Slowly turning, my eyes traced the horizon. Fifty miles off, a lightning bolt reached out and down from a barely perceptible cloud. My breath caught. By one am, three storms surrounded me, each unleashing a bolt every 5-10 seconds. I shot on automatic and after hours of ecstasy I collapsed like a giddy toddler.

‘In the end, I produced two of my favorite images from this incredible event.’

2018 EPSON Digital Art Prize 2nd Place

Mads Peter Iversen, Denmark

Swirl, Hamnøy, Lofoten, Norway

2018 EPSON Digital Art Prize 3rd Place

Albert Dros, Netherlands

Intimate Tulips, Flevoland, The Netherlands

2018 Curators Award

Stefan Thaler, Austria

Black Mamba, Maloyapass/Switzerland

2018 Special Awards

Highest Scoring IAPP member in Open category

Marcio Cabral

Highest Scoring Stiched Image

David Thompson

Highest Scoring Image from Film Capture

Zay Yar Lin

Highest Scoring Gigapixel Image

Isabella Tabacchi

Highest Scoring Aerial Image (Tied Score)

Kevin Krautgartner

Highest Scoring Aerial Image (Tied Score)

Zay Yar Lin

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Highest Scoring IVRPA member in any category


Highest Scoring Vertical Image

Peter Li

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