Stunning images of the Milky Way taken by Kiwi photographers named among the best in the world

ByDavid M. Conte

May 17, 2022

Three New Zealand photographers have been praised for their images of the Milky Way.

Travel photography blog Capture The Atlas’ annual competition features images of the galaxy taken from around the world.

Of the 25 selected this year out of hundreds of entries, three are from New Zealand photographers, most from a single country: Nick Faulkner, Rachel Roberts and Evan Mckay.

Faulkner, based in Christchurch, runs Hueman Photography, specializing in landscapes and astrophotography.

Nick Faulkner's 'Solitude' was taken over Castle Hill in Selwyn.

Nick Faulkner

Nick Faulkner’s ‘Solitude’ was taken over Castle Hill in Selwyn.

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His image, Solitude, is that of Castle Hill in Selwyn.

In his summary, he describes the area as remote but beautiful: “This alpine region is one of my favorite places to photograph the stars, as it is for so many other starry sky enthusiasts.

“The formations of hundreds of giant weathered limestone tors jutting out of mother earth are incredible subjects to capture. Add to that a late winter snowfall and it doesn’t get much better.

The image of Rachel Roberts

Rachel Robert

Rachel Roberts’ image “The Rocks” features the dark west coast skies.

For Roberts, his image of Motukiekie on the west coast features the “darkest and most underrated skies” of the region in New Zealand.

She was incredibly happy with her image, The Rocks, as she had a baby six weeks before filming and “the sleep deprivation I felt was next level!”

'Galactic Kiwi' was Evan McKay's second attempt one night to capture the sky above Taranaki Maunga, after cloud cover thwarted his earlier efforts.

Evan McKay /

‘Galactic Kiwi’ was Evan McKay’s second attempt one night to capture the sky above Taranaki Maunga, after cloud cover thwarted his earlier efforts.

It was the second lucky time for Mckay of Palmerston North and his image of Taranaki Maunga.

After a previous less than impressive attempt, he was “pleasantly surprised to find that the skies had cleared up in the morning and started to rise and fire from this spot on The Puffer”.

“It was still my first tuning arc of the year. There were even a few meteors flying around and I caught a few on my frames. I arrived a bit late, so the foreground photos ended up being taken at dusk, which required a lot of color, temperature, and exposure adjustments to merge them into a panorama.

This year’s competition attracted entries from around the world, including the United States, Australia, Egypt, Chile and Argentina. Last year, New Zealand photographer Larryn Rae of Shadow & Shade was named one of the best for his image of Taranaki Maunga.

To see more of the finalists, click on the video at the top of this story.

More details about the competition can be found here.