Every entry is jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Four Cork astrophotographers have been chosen for the next stage of the prestigious ‘Reach for the Stars’ astrophotography competition, run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS).
The competition aims to find the best astrophotographs taken in Ireland over the past year and we might be biased but we think the Cork entries have it in the bag.
This year’s shortlisted photographers from Cork include:
Colm O’Dwyer, from Ballincollig, Cork, has been shortlisted in the ‘Out of this World’ category for his image ‘Star Boy’. The image of Barnard 150, a meandering dark dust nebula approximately 1200 light years away and located in the constellation Cepheus, was shot in Ballincollig
M51 – A Galactic Dance
Sara Harvey, from Bishopstown, Cork, has been shortlisted in the ‘Out of this World’ category for her image ‘M51 – A Galactic Dance’.
“I have loved astronomy since a child, and always wondered about space and what else is out there.” Sara said.
“To be able to image a galaxy, something I would never have dreamed I could do, is actually a dream come true.”
The Almighty Arch
Keith Levins, from Blackrock, Cork, has been shortlisted in the ‘Back on Earth’ category for this magical shot, taken on Bray Head in Kerry.
“I have been chasing this shot for two years,” said Levins.
“Valentia Island has the best skies in Ireland in my opinion, it’s just the weather never plays ball. But on this night it was probably the best conditions I have ever shot Astro since I picked up the camera in late 2018.”
Cian Ryan, from Cobh, Cork, has been shortlisted in the ‘Back on Earth’ category for two of his images, ‘The Swan and the Three Sisters’ and ‘Overhang’ (main image) taken in Rosscarbery.
“I found Downeen Castle when researching locations for Milky Way compositions in West Cork,” he said.
“Only half of the castle remains as the cliff has fallen away over time. After a 20-minute hike along the cliffs, I set up to get my foreground at astronomical twilight with a bit of help from the moon, I found a nice location where the castle stood out against the water.”
The Swan and the Three Sisters (below) was taken in Ballyferriter on the Dingle Peninsula.
“I shot the foreground from 11:30pm to 12am and returned to get the sky from 2am to 2:30am.” said Cian.
“I watched as some of the fishermen collected pots and trawled further out, their light can be seen in the left side of the frame.”
How to vote
All shortlisted images can now be viewed on the ‘Reach for the Stars’ website, reachforthestars.ie, and members of the public can cast their vote for their favourite image.
“The online public vote to select the winner of the Public Choice Award brings Irish astrophotography to a much wider audience,” said Dr. Eucharia Meehan, CEO and Registrar of DIAS.
“Every year we see a large amount of the public engaging with it and voting for their favourite image. It will be a difficult task for people to choose a favourite from the shortlisted entries – and for the judging panel to select an overall winner.”