Every year I enter the Epson International Pano Awards which is one of the premier photography competitions in the world. The photos entered are always top class, especially in the top 50 in each category which are awarded each year. General awards (Bronze, Silver, Gold) are awarded also for photos reaching a certain scoring level. A gold award must certainly reach out to the judges and be a unique sort of photo. I have come very close on a couple of occasions just missing out by a couple of points, including one this year. I will put the scoring levels below, scoring is out of 100 points.
Gold - 86 or more (Top 2%)
Silver - 80-85 (next 10%)
Bronze - 70-79 (next 33%) I rate this level similiar to the AIPP scoring level of professional standard.
There are always a high number of entries for both the Amateur and Open categories. I cannot enter the Amateur category anymore as my income from photography is above a certain level. The standard of photography in the both categories is just outstanding but the Open category is next level.
Here's a link to the winning galleries from this year. Go and have a look and prepare to be amazed!!
The main reason I enter awards is to challenge myself photographically and also for personal development and to improve. It's very subjective and my results are never what I expect. I'm always interested in what the judges like and this is the same for my social media feeds, it's nice to see what photos catch people's eyes and really engage with them. This year some of my photos I expected to do well did not and a couple of others were awarded and I did not expect that that so that's a good example. I usually throw in a couple of unknowns to see how they do. One of my "unknowns" this year received a Silver award which was a big surprise! I will put this image first below.
Next year I will focus more on this competition shooting specific projects. They will mainly be aerial photos but I have some good targets in mind throughout Queensland that I want to shoot. I think more will be from a helicopter where I can use my better cameras/lenses to capture a higher quality image. My drone does certainly have it's place though! Looking forward to entering the Epson International Pano Awards next year!
Here's a gallery below of all my awarded images from this year, 2x Silver and 6x Bronze.