One of the best things about getting away from the bright lights of the city is casting your eyes (and camera) upwards to the majesty of the Milky Way. Travel blog Capture the Atlas has unveiled the latest edition of its annual Milky Way Photographer of the Year collection, showcasing stunning shots of our incredibly photogenic home galaxy.
The night sky would be far less exquisite without the Milky Way looming overhead. The high concentration of stars, dust and gas toward the center of our galaxy creates a shimmering streak of light and shadow that pairs beautifully with almost any landscape on Earth.
And that’s what Capture the Atlas’ annual competition is all about. Editor Dan Zafra is on the lookout for photos that bring out the magnificence of the Milky Way and juxtapose it with more earthly delights. But it’s not just the locations and composition that are key – the judges take into account the story behind the shot, and just how well it might inspire other photographers to pick up their cameras and head out of the city.
This year’s competition includes images shot all around the world – the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Iran, Turkey, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland and Greece – by 25 photographers from 14 nationalities. The constant presence of the galactic core contrasts against canyons, cliffs, caves, coves and churches.
Among the highlights are Mt. Taranaki Milky Way, by Larryn Rae. The eerie image shows the Milky Way looming over a lonely cabin, at an elevation of 6,560 ft on Fanthams Peak of Mt. Taranaki in New Zealand.
Spencer Welling’s Chamber of light is another striking shot, taken in Utah, USA. Here, a lone figure marvels at the Milky Way framed by the smooth stone walls of a natural chamber beneath the cliffs of Grand Staircase-Escalante.
Source: Capture the Atlas