The 2016 International Earth & Sky Photo Contest Winners

Selected from images taken in 57 countries (during 2015-16), the winners of the 7th Earth & Sky Photo Contest highlight beauties of the night sky and its battle with light pollution.

Against the Lights category:

First Prize


Northern Lights above Lofoten, Photo by Alex Conu

“Mount Reinebringen is a pretty popular hike and the view from the top is worth the effort. On 2015 October 7, I knew something was brewing so I decided to camp on top of Reinebringen and shoot the northern lights above Reine, one of the most scenic villages in Norway."

Second Prize

All that Glitters is not Gold, Photo by Carlo Zanandrea

It was taken in December 2015 showing constellation Orion rising over lights and fog in the province of Treviso in northeastern Italy.

Third Prize

Ancient Ground, Modern Sky, Photo by Amirreza Kamkar

"Standing at night in the Pasargadae world heritage complex of ancient Persia palaces was a special experience. The sky of this ancient place, now has been lightened with light pollution of the nearby cities."

Photo Composite winner

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Viking Lights, Photo by Adam Woodworth

"Up until very recently, L'anse aux Meadows was home to the only confirmed Viking site in North America. This village is a replica of what may have once been there."

Photo Sequence winner

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Mountain Liupan Startrails, Photo by Sun Guocai

Beauty of the Night Sky category:

First Prize


The Tail of Aurora, Photo by Stephanie Ye

"If the moon can be compared to a young lady, the aurora shall be the silk ribbon which surrounded her. In Tromso, the city of aurora, the sky had finally cleared after five days of snowstorms. Thus, we drove all the way towards a lake in the suburban area. Surprisingly, in that very night, we witnessed a scene of marvel with the setting moon and aurora."

Second Prize

The Photographer, Photo by Nicholas Roemmelt

"It was not easy for my buddy Nikki Haselwanter to literally "freeze" for 15 seconds for the shot on the top of that sanddune with wind gusts of 25m/s. Blizzards kept on hitting the coastline that night and it had been challenging not to been blown away. But during clear gaps of few minutes we could witness the wonderful northern lights behind the Icelandic Vestrahorn."

Third Prize

Sacrament of Unification with Nature, Photo by Boris Dmitriev

"This is all that we love on travel and outdoor recreation, with the unique nature of midland Russia. Bogs, lakes and rivers and there is practically no light pollution."

Photo Composite winner

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Milky Way Like a Dolphin, Photo by Alvin Wu

The rising arc of the Milky Way is captured on MaunaKea observatory, Hawaii in April 2015 and shows the Gemini North telescope in the foreground.

Photo Sequence winner

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Total Solar Eclipse from Svalbard, Photo by Thanakrit Santikunaporn

The sequence has captured the eclipse phases every 3 minutes over frozen landscape of Svalbard, Norway (latitude 78d north) on 2015 March 20.

There are also two selected outstanding runner-up images in each category which received votes only slightly less than the winners:

Night Sky Beauty category:

Emerald Crown, Photo by Tommy Eliassen

Baobab Night, Photo by Taha Ghouchkanlu

Against the Lights category:

Ocean in the Sky, Photo by Sergio Montufar

The Forgotten Giant, Photo by Jean-Luc Dauvergne


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