We received more than 1,700 submissions to our 2019 The American Landscape Photography Contest. The following slideshow displays our 25 finalist images, as well as the three winning shots!
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Photographer: Ryan Lips
Description: I had wanted to shoot the Milky Way as a backdrop behind the iconic buttes of Monument Valley for quite a while. So I staked out a spot on a warm June evening with a new moon to ensure I had the right composition and light in place. Then I played the waiting game until about midnight when the galaxy's core was parallel to the horizon. The expansiveness of the scene at the earthly level is overwhelming in its own right. Adding the millions of stars of the Milky Way made the image that much more special to me. The icing on the cake was explaining to passersby what I was doing since it honestly looked like I was shooting into the darkness. People are fascinated with the night sky, and it's something that's always a pleasure to talk about.
Gear & Settings: Nikon D-810, Nikkor 16-35mm at 23mm, Acratech ballhead, Feisol tripod. Exposure: 22 sec., ƒ/4, ISO 1600.