Photography

Milky Way photography competition contrasts cosmic and Earthly beauty

Milky Way photography competit...
Good Night Utah, shot in Kanab, Utah, USA. Waves of rock mimic the arch of the Milky Way overhead, forming a makeshift circle. The Sun begins to peek over the horizon, the same color as the light cast by the figure in the center.
Good Night Utah, shot in Kanab, Utah, USA. Waves of rock mimic the arch of the Milky Way overhead, forming a makeshift circle. The Sun begins to peek over the horizon, the same color as the light cast by the figure in the center.
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Winter Milky Way, shot in the Dolomites, Italy. Climbers scale the south face of the Marmolada, which rises like a shark from the snow. The core of the Milky Way is hidden below the horizon, but that allows the stars in the rest of the arch to shine.
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Winter Milky Way, shot in the Dolomites, Italy. Climbers scale the south face of the Marmolada, which rises like a shark from the snow. The core of the Milky Way is hidden below the horizon, but that allows the stars in the rest of the arch to shine.
Deadvlei, shot in Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia. Salt killed the trees here long ago,
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Deadvlei, shot in Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia. The Milky Way arches gracefully over the top of long-dead trees.
Milky Way over Parque Nacional del Teide, shot in Tenerife, Spain. The Milky Way rises from a rocky formation almost like smoke from a huge caldera.
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Milky Way over Parque Nacional del Teide, shot in Tenerife, Spain. The Milky Way rises from a rocky formation almost like smoke from a huge caldera.
Alone & Together in the Stardust, shot in the Sahara desert. The beauty of the stars comes alive hundreds of kilometers from civilization.
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Alone & Together in the Stardust, shot in the Sahara desert. The beauty of the stars comes alive hundreds of kilometers from civilization.
Base Camp, shot in the Dolomites, Italy. The warm glow of the tents contrasts the cool tones of the galaxy overhead.
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Base Camp, shot in the Dolomites, Italy. The warm glow of the tents contrasts the cool tones of the galaxy overhead.
Alien Eggs, shot in the Badlands of New Mexico, USA. With rock formations that look like a clutch of eerie eggs, it's easy to feel like you're on another planet.
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Alien Eggs, shot in the Badlands of New Mexico, USA. With rock formations that look like a clutch of eerie eggs, it's easy to feel like you're on another planet.
Gran Firmamento, shot at Marambio Base, Antarctica. A unique perspective on the Milky Way from the very bottom of the Earth, which allows more detail in the stars and planets to shine.
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Gran Firmamento, shot at Marambio Base, Antarctica. A unique perspective on the Milky Way from the very bottom of the Earth, which allows more detail in the stars and planets to shine.
Good Night Utah, shot in Kanab, Utah, USA. Waves of rock mimic the arch of the Milky Way overhead, forming a makeshift circle. The Sun begins to peek over the horizon, the same color as the light cast by the figure in the center.
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Good Night Utah, shot in Kanab, Utah, USA. Waves of rock mimic the arch of the Milky Way overhead, forming a makeshift circle. The Sun begins to peek over the horizon, the same color as the light cast by the figure in the center.
A Night at the Caves, shot in Malta. The core of the Milky Way over the entrance to Ta Marija Cave.
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A Night at the Caves, shot in Malta. The core of the Milky Way over the entrance to Ta Marija Cave.
Double Arch, shot in Picos de Europa, Spain. An arch-shaped rock formation in La Hermida gorge mimics the Milky Way in the sky overhead.
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Double Arch, shot in Picos de Europa, Spain. An arch-shaped rock formation in La Hermida gorge mimics the Milky Way in the sky overhead.
Nightmare, shot in Dumbleyung Lake, Australia. Dead trees reach up towards the Milky Way, surrounding a lone figure with a light.
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Nightmare, shot in Dumbleyung Lake, Australia. Dead trees reach up towards the Milky Way, surrounding a lone figure with a light.
Elemental, shot in Hawaii, USA. The Milky Way lines up with the plume at the Halema'uma'u crater in Kilauea Volcano. The Moon glows off to the left, and a meteor streaks by on the right.
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Elemental, shot in Hawaii, USA. The Milky Way lines up with the plume at the Halema'uma'u crater in Kilauea Volcano. The Moon glows off to the left, and a meteor streaks by on the right.
Desert Nights, shot in California, USA. The colorful night sky shines over the boulders of Alabama Hills.
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Desert Nights, shot in California, USA. The colorful night sky shines over the boulders of Alabama Hills.
Enchanted Monastery, shot in Ávila, Spain. A 500-year old bell tower is the centerpiece of this image, illuminated with a soft glow from within, behind and above.
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Enchanted Monastery, shot in Ávila, Spain. A 500-year old bell tower is the centerpiece of this image, illuminated with a soft glow from within, behind and above.
Heavenly Throne, shot in Southwest USA. Using the Canon EOS Ra, the photographer was
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Heavenly Throne, shot in Southwest USA. The Canon EOS Ra allows for higher transmission of infrared rays, helping bring out more detail in the Milky Way.
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The night sky is a beautiful canvas for photography, and the Milky Way is the star (pun intended) of the show. Travel photography blog Capture the Atlas has now published the latest edition of its annual Milky Way Photographer of the Year list, featuring absolutely stunning shots of our home galaxy and planet, side by side.

If the Milky Way was a city, then Earth would be located in the outer suburbs. From here we’re perfectly situated to peer back towards the bustling city center and capture the sparkling lights. And Capture the Atlas’s annual competition honors those photographers who can bring out the best in that regard.

Editor Dan Zafra takes into account not just the quality of the image itself, but the story behind the shot, and how well it might inspire others to pick up a camera and head out. The list is released in June every year, to coincide with the peak visibility of the galaxy’s core.

Nightmare, shot in Dumbleyung Lake, Australia. Dead trees reach up towards the Milky Way, surrounding a lone figure with a light.
Nightmare, shot in Dumbleyung Lake, Australia. Dead trees reach up towards the Milky Way, surrounding a lone figure with a light.

In the 2020 list, the Milky Way is captured from all corners of the globe, contrasting the shining stars against snow, sand, sea and stone. Among the highlights are Nightmare by Michael Goh, which was captured at Dumbleyung Lake in Western Australia. The dead trees in the dry salt bed stretch up towards the stars like tentacles, while the fish-eye lens bends them into almost-Lovecraftian horrors.

Alien Eggs, shot in the Badlands of New Mexico, USA. With rock formations that look like a clutch of eerie eggs, it's easy to feel like you're on another planet.
Alien Eggs, shot in the Badlands of New Mexico, USA. With rock formations that look like a clutch of eerie eggs, it's easy to feel like you're on another planet.

Alien Eggs by Debbie Heyer is another striking shot. In the Badlands of New Mexico, the otherworldly outcrops look like monstrous eggs in various stages of hatching, under the watchful gaze of the Milky Way.

The rest of the images are no less mesmerizing. Browse through the highlights in our gallery, and check out the full list at Capture the Atlas.

Source: Capture the Atlas

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