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The Dragon Eye: Boston-based Nature Photographer Manish Mamtani Wins Epson Digital Art Prize

The Dragon Eye: Boston-based Nature Photographer Manish Mamtani Wins Epson Digital Art Prize

Alpana Varma
  • Nagpur-born Mamtani says his motto is “to showcase the unseen beauty of nature through his aerial photography.”

Boston-based photographer Manish Mamtani has won the Epson Digital Art Prize at this year’s Epson International Pano Awards. An avid nature photographer, Mamtani won the award for his work, ‘The Dragon Eye’ (photo above), taken during one of his recent trips to Iceland. Mamtani also won the two other awards at the contest — Highest Scoring Aerial Image and second place in open Nature/Landscape category.

The Epson International Pano Awards showcases the work of panoramic photographers worldwide and is the largest competition for panoramic photography. Talented photographers from more than 96 counties participated in this year’s competition. Each year the top performing photographers are showcased in over 100 publications worldwide.

The award is instituted by Seiko Epso Corporation or simply, Epson, a Japanese electronics company and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of printers and imaging related equipment. 

Explaining his winning photograph on the Pano awards website, Mamtani says ‘The Dragon Eye’ image was taken during one of his recent trips to Iceland, showing “the top down view of an emerald geothermal pool in the highlands.” About the background of the photograph, he says: “After enjoying a beautiful sunset one day, I decided to continue driving to this geothermal area which was a couple of hours away.” 

Mamtani says he reached this geothermal area some time before sunrise. He was drawn to the golden light which, “combined with the steam from the geysers, created a perfect canvas for amazing drone shots.” There, he stumbled across a pool and the morning light was hitting not just the emerald color of pool but also the “gazillion” little streams that were coming out of it.’To him it felt like he was looking at the eye of a dragon. “It was breathtaking and revealed the full splendor of the place,” he says. 

On his website, Mamtani says his motto is “to showcase the unseen beauty of nature through his aerial photography.” He also specializes in landscapes, night, astro and infrared photography. His work has featured in major exhibitions like The Smithsonian Museum, Big Picture, Nature’s Best, among others.

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Born and raised in Nagpur, India, Mamtani moved to the U.S. in 2008 to work as an IT/finance consultant. In interviews Mamtani has talked about discovering his love for photography in 2010 when he first visited Yosemite National Park and “experienced the beauty of the majestic park.” Mamtani’s work has won him several national and international awards including the Grand Prize in the U.S. National Parks contest, ‘Share the Experience,’ among others.


Alpana Varma worked as a Research Assistant at the Delhi University and then as a journalist for over 10 years for several leading Indian national dailies. After leaving India for Europe, she has been working as a teacher, translator and freelance writer and editor. She lived in Mexico briefly where she worked in intercultural communications. Currently she is based in Miami. 

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