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May 21st, 2013 No Comments
TWAN logo

TWAN logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Twenty-four hours back Yahoo News reported on The World at Night’s Third Annual Earth & Sky Photo Contest.  Though its raison d’etre is to celebrate the beauty of the night sky, an important intention is to raise awareness of light pollution and atmospheric pollution.

The World at Night (TWAN) describes itself as “an international effort to present stunning nightscape photos and time-lapse videos of the world’s landmarks against celestial attractions.”  Their photo contests winners indeed include some “stunning” images.

A panorama featuring an arc of the Milky Way accompanying the shimmer of the Aurora Borealis above a waterfall would deserve first prize in just about any photo contest, and it won just that for Stephane Vetter in TWAN’s contest.

It’s far from the only spectacular photograph, though.  The ten-image gallery has photo after photo, several of which are, in Yahoo’s words, “jaw-dropping.”

Luc Perrot’s dramatic vertical format image positioning a gorgeously photographed, nebulous Milky Way over a channel between black rocks is an integral composition of two halves, each of which would be impressive on its own!  One cleaves the night sky; the other, the black rocks.

This blog had brought to your attention a photograph on 1st April, calling it ‘Aurora Meteoris’.  It won third place in one of the two categories in the contest.  This is Shannon Bileski’s photo of a meteor streaking through the Northern Lights. 

Considering that Fredrik Broms’s submission has a perfectly exposed Adams-like landscape (with some expressive barrel distortion) topped with the bonus of a huge ‘dancing’ swirl of multi-tinted Aurora Borealis, perhaps it should have done better than fourth place?

You’ve seen star trails dozens of times but did you ever see one quite so artistically satisfying with such precise concentric streaks above a glowing, golden-hued Golden Gate Bridge?  Rick Whitacre’s photo is a triumph of composition, exposure, and planning.

These are only some of the contest winners; there’s lots more where that came from, i.e. TWAN. 

If astrophotography turns you on, TWAN has numerous galleries indexed and accessible by region, photographer, location, and even subject matter which includes the obvious and expected like ‘Star Trails’, the associated and related, like ‘Observatories’, and the offbeat, like ‘Virtual Reality’.


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