Lonely Planet Writer

Feast your eyes on winning images of night skies from around the world

French non-profit organisation Chasseurs de Nuits have announced the winners of their annual Photo NightScape Awards. The competition aims to showcase the ever-changing beauty of the night sky, and this year, over 300 submissions were received from more than 40 countries.

First prize NightScape category – Evening with waning moon and clear Sky, Veadeiros Tablelands, Brazil. Image by Marcio Cabral/PNA

Chasseurs de Nuits was created by Franck Sèguin (former photo editor-in-chief of French astronomy magazine Ciel&Espace), with the help of Jessica C. Garreau. “We met while working at the Association Française d’Astronomy (French Association of Astronomy)”, Jessica tells Lonely Planet. “The aim of Chasseurs de Nuits is to unlock the sky’s secrets. We want everyone to see how beautiful the night sky can be, and how important it is to preserve it. To do that, we’ve put together the Photo NightScape Awards, created in 2014 by Franck. It’s the first French prize awarding nightscapes internationally. The jury is composed of members from both the astronomy and photography domains. They pay special attention to the story told by the photographers.”

NightScape Category – Human, Milky Way, Moon & Venus Conjunction, Peru Image by Camilo Jaramillo/PNA

Marcio Cabral scooped first prize in the NightScape category for his stunning shot of the Milky Way, with subtly-lit carnivorous plants in the foreground. The Brazilian photographer is thrilled to have received the accolade, and tells Lonely Planet that he’s always had an interest in photography. “Since I was young, I’ve always enjoyed travelling to wild places like waterfalls, caves, beaches and mountains. Over time I started to capture these places on film, and share my visions with people – eventually becoming a landscape photographer.”

Category In Town – Room 500, Dresden, Germany Image by Sandro Schmidt/PNA

He explains how he came to take the winning shot: “I’d been photographing wildflowers for more than ten years, discovering the best tricks, places and time of year to capture them. This image is a panorama composed of three vertical photos and light paint to lighten the foreground. You have to be very careful to prevent overexposure.”

1st prize In Town Category – 360° panorama on the Lion’s Head in Cape Town. Image by Stefan Liebermann

Meanwhile, Jessica and the team are already starting to think about next year’s activity. “In October, we will be launching a crowdfunding campaign via Kiss Kiss Bank Bank, to find part of the budget necessary to put together the 2018 edition. We rely mostly on grants, sponsorship, memberships and donations. All help is very welcome!”