American photographer Brad Goldpaint’s striking image of the Milky Way above rocky canyons in Utah won the £10,000 first prize in the 2018 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Announcing the award 23 October, the organisers said “the judges were captivated by Goldpaint’s awe-inspiring image. Taken in Moab, Utah, the photograph depicts a majestic composition of immense red rock formations and the glorious Milky Way looming overhead on the right and the Andromeda galaxy on the left. Said judge Will Gater: “For me this superb image is emblematic of everything it means to be an astrophotographer; the balance between light and dark, the contrasting textures and tones of land and sky and the photographer alone under a starry canopy of breathtaking scale and beauty.”
Goldpaint captured the image in a 20-second exposure using a Nikon D810 camera and a 14mm f/4 lens shooting at ISO 2500. His photograph and others honoured in this year’s competition will be on display at the National Maritime Museum starting 24 October.