THE prize-winners have been announced for the Exmoor at Night photography competition, run by Exmoor National Park Authority as part of the annual Exmoor Dark Skies Festival this October.
Photographers were invited to capture the truly dark skies, nocturnal wildlife and tranquility of Exmoor National Park across numerous categories.
Prizes were donated by Celestron telescopes, Exmoor Magazine, Astronomy Now magazine, Wicked Wolf Gin, Miles Tea and Coffee and Canongate publishing.
The ‘Exmoor Icons at Night’ category was won by Laurence Liddy, for his ‘Under the Stars at Dunkery Beacon’ photograph, while Robin Howe (‘Nurse Amy at Blagdon Cross’) was named as runner-up.
The winner in the ‘Enjoying Exmoor Dark Skies’ category was ‘Exmoor Milky Way, Brayford’ by Panagiotis Andreou, with Robin Howe runner-up again with ‘Beacon of Hope’.
Ralph Ellis’ ‘Milky Way from Haddon Hill’ won the ‘Night Sky over Exmoor Landscapes’ section, ahead of runner-up ‘Bending under the Stars, Webbers Post’ by Jennifer Rogers.
Finally, the ‘Exmoor Deep Sky’ category was clinched by Craig Ogier and his ‘Heart and Fish Head Nebula over Exmoor’ picture.
Katrina Munro, who co-ordinates the Exmoor-wide festival for Exmoor National Park Authority and was on the judging panel, said: “We were delighted to receive some high-quality and creative entries; decision-making was a pleasure but tough.
“We are very proud to be Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve, and one of the aims of our festival is to help the public understand the uniqueness of our dark skies.
“We hope the images will inspire people to come and experience them.
“The extremely low levels of light pollution here are closely monitored and need protecting to ensure the negative impact on wildlife and human health is minimal, and that amazing sights like the Milky Way remain visible even with the naked eye.”