10 Magical Images of the Milky Way Curated by “Capture the Atlas”

Capture the Atlas, is a travel and photography site, that gives photographers the chance to explore the world through their camera. Each year, this site run by photographer Dan Zafra pays homage to our galaxy by selecting some of the best images submitted by more than 20k photographers.

This year’s collection served some breath-taking images of our galaxy captured from photographers worldwide. From the American deserts, national park of Indonesia, to the Australian Outback. It is amazing to see a sight like that, and what we like most on these pictures is the way how each photographer personalizes their experiences through a setting, or a slight touch on the photography.

I can’t even imagine the sublime feeling of seeing that incredible landcape with my own eyes, but I enjoy as much these immortalized moments by photographers worldwide.

Below is an amazing collection that was featured in Capture the Atlas. Scroll down and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

1.

“Cadini di Misurina” by Stefano Pellegrini. Cadini di Misurina, Dolomites, Italy.
“This was from a great Milky Way trip in the Italian Dolomites, although there were some challenges because of the weather. First of all, I took this picture in May when the snow had almost melted, so I had to make the ascent to “Auronzo” on foot instead of by snowmobile. Also, the path was hard because I had to walk it in the middle of a heavy snowstorm.
Fortunately, once I was at the top, the sky completely opened, a good sign for the night shooting. After a brief rest in the winter shelter, I started the hike to this spectacular location at midnight. Once I was at the spot, the compositional possibilities were very limited. This place, which is very popular during the summer, was completely different covered in snow. The whole ridge was covered in a 3-meter coat of puffy snow that made it very dangerous to get too close to the edge. I placed the camera as close as possible to the rim to capture the mountain range, and then I moved all the way up to the right to complete the shoot with myself.”

2.

“Navajo nights” by Christine Kenyon. Bisti Badlands, New Mexico, USA.
“The mountainous West is awash in beauty, culture, history, and tradition, and sites like this, in the Bisti Badlands, are treasures to behold and cherish. Arriving before sunset, I encountered several other photographers occupying the position best known as the classic shot of this place.
In no way ruffled, I scouted the area, as I normally do, looking intently for compelling compositions. When I saw this scene and verified with the PhotoPills app that the Milky Way core would perfectly align with the rock feature, I was hooked.
With the silhouette of my Navajo guide nearby, I shot the foreground as blue hour washed over this ancient land, then watched with joy as the stars coursed through the heavens above. When the Milky Way rose into prominence and settled where I had hoped, I exposed for the sky to complete this blend.
Always remember that. while these are amazing natural wonders, these sites hold far greater significance for the Navajo people. Let us all protect and cherish these lands for generations to come. If I could leave you with just one piece of advice, it would be: always scout for your own compositions. Be a photographer, not a photocopier.”

3.

“The Forgotten side of Kangaroo Island” by Blntpencil. Baudin Beach, Kangaroo Island, Australia.
“This image was captured at Baudin Beach on Kangaroo Island. This part of the island was luckily not affected by the devastating bushfires in 2020. It is a capture of the rising Galactic Center floating above the ocean and represents the way of life on the island ‘where people live at one with nature.’”

4.

“Riaño” by Pablo Ruiz. Riaño, Spain.
“I captured this image last winter in the Riaño Mountain Reservoir in Spain. The biggest difficulty that night was mainly the cold; it was over -10 degrees. The moisture in the reservoir was freezing the lens and it was difficult to shoot for a long period of time.
I planned the photograph using PhotoPills and, when the weather forecast was promising, I decided to try for it. The composition of the winter Milky Way over the mountains and the reservoir created magical scenery.”

5.

“Mt. Taranaki Milky Way” by Larryn Rae. Fanthams Peak, Mt. Taranaki, New Zealand.
“This is one of the most challenging shots I have ever captured, as it required climbing for 4 hours in 70km/h winds to reach the ice summit of Fanthams Peak – a volcano on the side of Mt Taranaki. At an elevation of 2000 m and -15ºC outside with gusty wind blasts, I had to choose settings that would get me the capture rather than what I may have considered more ideal settings.
I am so stoked to have captured what I did under perfectly clear skies, as it was both a true test of both mountaineering and endurance carrying all my gear to this location, but one I will look back on with pride and success.”

6.

“Paradise” by Marcin Zajac. Bur Sur, California, USA.
“If I had to choose my favorite place on earth, this might be it. Located on the Pacific Coast near Big Sur, it really has everything: a beautiful cove filled with emerald waters, an 80-foot waterfall that falls directly onto the beach, a palm tree that makes you feel like you’re on a tropical island, and a perfectly dark sky that shines bright with stars at night.”

7.

“Chamber of light” by Spencer Welling. Utah, USA.
“The deserts of the Southwest are abound with places to capture the night sky. With all that the Southwest has to offer, it’s easy to overlook some of the more obscure hidden gems hovering under the radar.
This is one such location, which is situated below a remote set of cliffs in Grand Staircase-Escalante. Due to its remoteness, this natural stone chamber provides some of the clearest, most pristine views of the Milky Way framed by the copper-colored opening of the cavern.”

8.

“Dragon’s Lair” by Daniel Thomas Gum. Mungo, NSW, Australia.
“This is my favorite nightscape image to date. Mungo is a 12-hour drive away from my home in Sydney, but those Bortle 1 skies are the best I’ve ever witnessed and photographed at night. I had perfect conditions for three straight nights, with really good seeing throughout.
The moment I came upon this scene, I knew exactly what I wanted to name the image. It was otherworldly – think Game of Thrones – and it lined up perfectly for how I wanted to capture it. Large, jagged walls framed a winding path leading to a centered spire to the west. There was only ever going to be one way to do it justice and that was as a multi-layered Milky Way panorama.
I planned this image using PhotoPills during the day, but in post-processing, I decided to use the blue-hour blend for the foreground with a tracked sky for the cleanest possible image.”

9.

“Devil’s throat” by Victor Lima. Iguazu Falls, Brazil.
“Photographing Iguazu Falls at night has always been one of my priority projects. In order to do so, I needed to obtain special authorization from the environmental agency that is responsible for national parks in Brazil.
Finally, in early 2021, I got this authorization and set out to put my plan into practice. I spent 4 days inside the Iguazu National Park with exclusive access to the Falls at night for my students and me. The first challenge was to walk around the park at night knowing that several jaguars live there, which are frequently seen by employees and tourists.
In the area closest to the main waterfalls, the big challenge was to make long exposure images with the strong water spray from the more than 1.5 million liters per second that fall through the waterfalls. Working with exposure times longer than 10 or 15 seconds became an almost impossible task and the lens was never dry.
In this image, we have one of the main waterfalls of the Iguazu Falls complex, the “Santa Maria Jump.” Right over the fall, we can see Saturn and the zodiacal light illuminating the horizon. Further up there is the Milky Way Core. We can also identify some of the main emission nebulae present in this region of the sky.”

10.

“Volcano and cross” by Tomas Slovinsky. Villarrica Volcano, Chile.
“If you’ve never seen the Southern Sky, it’s significantly different and truly amazing. In the Northern Hemisphere, we use Polaris as the polar star, but below the equator, there are other rules. To easily recognize the south celestial pole, the best indicator is the Southern Cross constellation, located in the image just above the Villarrica volcano.
This cross points to the south celestial pole and it’s easy to identify, considering the brightness of the stars. Within the cross, we can see the dark area called “the Coalsack,” which is also visible to the naked eye. It’s one of the best-known dark nebulae in the sky.
In the upper left corner, there’s another night sky gem: the red-colored Carina Nebula. This is also only visible in the Southern Hemisphere and, even though it’s visible to the naked eye, with a pair of binoculars, we can see all the beautiful details.”

10 Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms

When pink clouds of cherry blossoms start blooming, that’s a sure sign that spring has officially arrived. Every spring, cherry blossoms erupt across the globe, drawing nature seekers far and wide to observe the stunning pale pink flowers in their prime. And if they are fluffy and pink, even better.

However, most of the time we’re not in a city that has many cherry blossoms. And other times, we will miss it by a couple of weeks. Since traveling to see them in person is out of reach for many right now, we’re bringing the bloom to you with the chance to experience them safely from the comfort of your home.

Here are some of the best places around the globe to walk or picnic under the cherry blossoms.

1. Kyoto, Japan

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Japan remains at the top of the list when it comes to cherry blossoms. Cherry blossom season is taken very seriously here, with daily (often hourly) reports forecasting when the sakura (cherry blossoms) will start to bloom. Workers go on holiday, dress up, and picnic under the trees. The best places to see the blossoms in Kyoto include the Kiage Incline, the lonely Lake Biwa Canal, the popular Philosopher’s Path, Shirakawa Canal, and around the Kodai-Ji Temple. In the evening you can dine amidst the blossoms in Maruyama Park.

2. Washington DC

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With thousands of cherry trees to its name, D.C. is one of the best places to petal-peep in the U.S. Washington celebrates the National Cherry Blossom Festival between March 20 to April 11, which gives a good indication of just how many trees there are in Washington bursting into blossom when the time is right. The best place to see them is in and around the Tidal Basin and along the shoreline of East Potomac Park, extending all the way to Hains Point, and around the National Mall.

3. Bonn, Germany

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In Bonn, extra-vibrant cherry trees arch over the roadways to create tunnels of blooms. So even if you arrive late in the season, the carpet of bright pink petals underfoot makes for a gorgeous consolation prize.

4. Salem, Oregon

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Formerly nicknamed Cherry City for its striking cherry blossoms, Salem’s picturesque flowers in shades of pale pink and white can be best found on the grounds of the State Capitol State Park. Visitors can learn about calligraphy and origami, enjoy a traditional Japanese ceremony, view authentic kimonos at a fashion show and learn about the Japanese tradition ofhanami while enjoying the blossoms. Throughout the month of March local businesses hold their own events to mark the bloom, including traditional dinners at Oregon wineries and a display of 30 parasols designed by Salem artists.

5. Buffalo, New York

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With the arrival of spring in Buffalo, New York comes cherry blossom season. Buffalo is hands down one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in the United States. When spring comes and you find yourself daydreaming in pastels and cherry blossom blooms, the best place to see cherry blossoms in Buffalo is the grounds of The Buffalo History Museum. If you have the chance to visit the District during spring, you’ll find that the nation’s capital is accented in pink for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

6. Paris, France

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Paris is, as they say, always a good idea. But visit during cherry blossom season and you’ll get a special treat. For a week or two, Paris positively explodes with color and is even prettier than normal. Visiting at any other time, you don’t quite realize how many parks are perfect for cherry blossom viewing. Some particularly good spots are Square Marie Trintignant, at the edge of the Marais; Jardin des Plantes with its ancient Mount Fuji cherry tree; the hidden garden of the Petit Palais and alongside Notre Dame Cathedral; the Coulée Verte, the Paris equivalent of the NYC High Line; and the Martin Luther King Park in Batignolles.

7. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Rob Visser
Amsterdam Forest is home to 300 cherry trees blooming in early April. With cherry blossoms planted by the Japanese Women’s Club as a tribute to the victims of the tsunami in 2000, today Amsterdam showcases more than 400 trees that burst into bloom each spring in Westerpark, a charming green space that’s smaller than Vondelpark and Rembrandpark.

8. Macon, Georgia

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Each March, Macon transforms into a pink paradise as more than 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees burst into bloom. For 10 days, festivalgoers are treated to one of the most extravagant displays of bright, springtime colors for the annual International Cherry Blossom Festival, where free nightly concerts, a street party, amusement rides and even a cherry blossom gala takes place. In fact, the town has been dubbed by Congressional Records as the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World.

9. Extremadura, Spain

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The Jerte Valley in the Extremadura region of Spain is home to over 2 million cherry trees. In late March the rural valleys are covered in white petals for 10 days–their dry season makes this one of the shortest blooms in the world.

10. London, England

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Several parks around London are home to the cherry blossom bloom in late March, peaking around the same time as the magnolia tree. The pink blends make for a beautiful picnic in Greenwich Park, home to a rose garden and cherry tree tunnel.

Related Articles:

Magnificent Pictures of Cherry Blossom Season In China

Deer Spotted Enjoying The Cherry Blossom In An Empty Park In Nara, Japan

Reddit User Takes Us to the Incredible Kyoto – the Cultural and Historical Heart of Japan




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