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Photographers advocate against light pollution

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Photographers advocate against light pollution

Bound to testify in defiance of human boundaries, The World at Night (TWAN) program unifies the efforts of photographers and astronomers worldwide towards the common goal of understanding the night sky as our natural heritage.

The World at Night international program has recently announced the winners of fourth International Earth and Sky Photo Contest. Furthermore, the members of this program fight against light pollution. And to do so, they have organized a photography contest.

Astrophotography without light pollution
Stephane Vetter’s ‘Sky above Gadafoss’ is the best photo in ‘Beauty of the Night Sky’ category at TWAN 2013 Earth and Sky Photo Contest

Does your photo of the night sky meet TWAN’s criteria?

Every year, hundreds of entries from more than 45 countries are judged according to established criteria. Because TWAN’s role in raising awareness about the starry sky is aimed at the pristine beauty of the Universe, participants are asked not to process, modify or alter their images.

As a consequence, the quality of these entries outmatches digital compositions dealing with the same subject. As a matter of fact, the challenging low-light conditions offer an insight into the proficiency both of the photographer and of the camera.

Whereas big cities are devoid of stars because of light pollution, numerous places on the Earth still preserve impressive night skies. Landscape astrophotography or ‘Nightscape Photography’ is all about visual awareness. The idea would be to find solutions against light pollution and for the preservation of the dark skies.

With this purpose in mind, photographers can submit relevant images during the Global Astronomy Month (April) to the Astronomers Without Borders organization. The participants can win photography related prizes.

This year’s winners were rewarded with a Canon EOS60Da camera, provided by Woodland Hills Camera & Telescope, and with several Polarie Star Trackers, provided by Vixen Europe.

Winners’ photos tell more about ‘Nightscape Photography’ in Iceland and Austria

Challenging themselves to fight against light pollution through landscape astrophotography, the participants documented celestial events of the last year or captured land and sky balanced compositions of unexpected beauty.

Among them, Stephane Vetter from France won the first prize in Beauty of the Night Sky category for an Icelandic sky. This photo meets all the criteria of the contest and more. As you can see in the video, this photo shows both a night sky during Aurora Borealis and the Earth’s horizon from a frozen yet inhabited location.

Winning the first prize in Against the Lights category, Andreas Max Böckle exposes the fracture between city lights, inhabitants and the starry sky. Actually, this is one of the main concepts this contest cares about.

Therefore, the city of Salzburg – as seen from the top of a mountain – stands for the definition of light pollution. Engulfed within a lightly fog, the inhabitants forget about the Milky Way above their heads.

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Photographers advocate against light pollution