Photography

Our majestic Milky Way stars in annual astrophotography competition

Our majestic Milky Way stars i...
The Rocks. The bright galaxy sets over ancient sea stacks and exposed reefs at Motukiekie, along the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand
The Rocks. The bright galaxy sets over ancient sea stacks and exposed reefs at Motukiekie, along the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand
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The Rocks. The bright galaxy sets over ancient sea stacks and exposed reefs at Motukiekie, along the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand
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The Rocks. The bright galaxy sets over ancient sea stacks and exposed reefs at Motukiekie, along the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand
Mt. Fuji and the Milky Way over Lake Kawaguchi. The Milky Way is mirrored in the lights of Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, at the foot of Mt. Fuji
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Mt. Fuji and the Milky Way over Lake Kawaguchi. The Milky Way is mirrored in the lights of Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, at the foot of Mt. Fuji
House of Lavender. A pink-toned Milky Way looms over a lavender field in France, with natural lines guiding the eye towards a lonely cabin in the center
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House of Lavender. A pink-toned Milky Way looms over a lavender field in France, with natural lines guiding the eye towards a lonely cabin in the center
Perseid Meteor Shower on Mangart Saddle. Taken among the Julian Alps in Slovenia, the detail of the Milky Way is adorned with a sprinkle of light from a meteor shower
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Perseid Meteor Shower on Mangart Saddle. Taken among the Julian Alps in Slovenia, the detail of the Milky Way is adorned with a sprinkle of light from a meteor shower
Secret. The Milky Way contrasts against a canvas of petroglyphs carved into rock millennia ago by Native Americans, in the California Sierra Nevada mountains
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Secret. The Milky Way contrasts against a canvas of petroglyphs carved into rock millennia ago by Native Americans, in the California Sierra Nevada mountains
The Milky Way Arching Over The Pinnacles Desert. Limestone monoliths stretch into the heavens from the outback of Western Australia
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The Milky Way Arching Over The Pinnacles Desert. Limestone monoliths stretch into the heavens from the outback of Western Australia
Ice Age. At an altitude of 5,000 m (16,600 ft), the frozen lake Pumoungcuo in Tibet complements the cool blue of the stars
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Ice Age. At an altitude of 5,000 m (16,600 ft), the frozen lake Pumoungcuo in Tibet complements the cool blue of the stars
Galactic Kiwi. The Milky Way sets over Mount Taranaki, New Zealand, while stray shooting stars whiz overhead
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Galactic Kiwi. The Milky Way sets over Mount Taranaki, New Zealand, while stray shooting stars whiz overhead
Path To The Past. The galactic core stretches above a 15th-century castle in Extremadura, Spain
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Path To The Past. The galactic core stretches above a 15th-century castle in Extremadura, Spain
Lightning The Milky Way. A lighted figure stands among the wind-eroded rock formations of Dahaido Desert, Xinjiang, China
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Lightning The Milky Way. A lighted figure stands among the wind-eroded rock formations of Dahaido Desert, Xinjiang, China
Milky Way Arch In The Morning Hours Of Spring. Taken at around 4 am on La Palma Island in Spain, this stunning shot showcases the pinkish colors of the arching galaxy, as well as the green airglow and yellow light from a neighboring island
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Milky Way Arch In The Morning Hours Of Spring. Taken at around 4 am on La Palma Island in Spain, this stunning shot showcases the pinkish colors of the arching galaxy, as well as the green airglow and yellow light from a neighboring island
Starlit Needle. The Milky Way's stars shine bright enough to cast visible shadows on the ground, in the badlands of Utah, USA
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Starlit Needle. The Milky Way's stars shine bright enough to cast visible shadows on the ground, in the badlands of Utah, USA
Winter Sky Over The Mountains. This image was shot with a H-alpha filter to peer through the dust of the Milky Way and reveal features invisible to the optical light spectrum, such as the nebulae (seen as red clouds)
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Winter Sky Over The Mountains. This image was shot with a H-alpha filter to peer through the dust of the Milky Way and reveal features invisible to the optical light spectrum, such as the nebulae (seen as red clouds)
The Salt Road. A lone figure sits atop a hill in the Atacama Desert, Chile, below the Milky Way and above a winding track of salt
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The Salt Road. A lone figure sits atop a hill in the Atacama Desert, Chile, below the Milky Way and above a winding track of salt
Egyptian Nights. The Milky Way peeks through a rock formation in Egypt's White Desert
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Egyptian Nights. The Milky Way peeks through a rock formation in Egypt's White Desert
View gallery - 15 images

The Milky Way is one of the night sky’s most majestic subjects for photography, so it's no wonder travel blog Capture the Atlas holds an annual competition to highlight it. The 25 winning shots of this year’s Milky Way Photographer of the Year have now been unveiled.

Earth is located about 26,000 light-years from the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. From our suburban viewpoint in a nondescript spiral arm, the core resembles a glowing mass of stars, partly obscured by a cosmic cloud of dust and gas that seems to arc across the night sky. Pair that with a beautiful Earthly landscape and you’ve got the makings of a gorgeous photo.

Capture the Atlas’s annual photo competition is designed to celebrate the art of Milky Way photography. The judges consider not just the quality of the image itself, but the story behind the shot and how effective it is in inspiring other would-be astrophotographers to grab a camera, head somewhere dark and quiet and try their own luck.

This year’s winners were snapped by 25 photographers from 14 different nationalities, and feature landscapes from 12 countries, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Argentina, Chile, Egypt, France, Spain, Slovenia and Slovakia.

House of Lavender. A pink-toned Milky Way looms over a lavender field in France, with natural lines guiding the eye towards a lonely cabin in the center
House of Lavender. A pink-toned Milky Way looms over a lavender field in France, with natural lines guiding the eye towards a lonely cabin in the center

Among this year’s highlights are House of Lavender, shot by Benjamin Barakat in France. A pink-toned Milky Way looms over a lavender field, with natural lines guiding the eye towards a lonely cabin in the center.

In Uroš Fink’s Perseid Meteor Shower on Mangart Saddle, taken among the Julian Alps in Slovenia, the detail of the Milky Way is adorned with a sprinkle of light from a meteor shower.

Perseid Meteor Shower on Mangart Saddle. Taken among the Julian Alps in Slovenia, the detail of the Milky Way is adorned with a sprinkle of light from a meteor shower
Perseid Meteor Shower on Mangart Saddle. Taken among the Julian Alps in Slovenia, the detail of the Milky Way is adorned with a sprinkle of light from a meteor shower

Explore more of the highlights in our gallery, and head on over to Capture the Atlas for the full list of winners. If you’re still looking for more astrophotography, check out winners from previous year’s competitions, or the blog’s other annual traditionaurora photography.

Source: Capture the Atlas

View gallery - 15 images
1 comment
1 comment
Leo.G
Stunning images but I get confused by the unnatural curvature of the Milky Way in a few of the images. I understand it is to frame it over a specific feature of the land but I think it spoils the image a little (though still absolutely amazing images).
In saying that I live in Australia, western NSW, directly underneath the Milky Way most of the year and I look straight up on most clear, moon free nights to enjoy the most spectacular view available from earth. I don't get to see much curvature from my position. I spend countless hours just staring at the beauty and when I get the correct lens for an original Canon 5D (or adapter to fit my wide angle F2.8 Nikon lens to the Canon 5D) I'll be out through our winter photographing and trying to master the required editing to present a spectacular image myself. Being colour blind doesn't make the colour balance easy.