A Machynlleth photographer has been shortlisted for an annual competition showcasing some of the world’s best space photography with a stunning image of the Milky Way.

Robert Price, a photographer based in Machynlleth, has been shortlisted for the for the 2023 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition for his picture of the Milky Way over Dolbadarn Castle in Llanberis.

Now in its fifteenth year, the astrophotography competition, organised by Royal Museums Greenwich is the largest in the world, receiving over 4,000 submissions from as many as 64 countries.

Mr Price described being shortlisted as “a bit of a shock”, having applied several times in previous years but never reaching the highly coveted shortlist before.


He said: “It’s quite surreal to know that my work is shortlisted alongside all these incredible images from photographers I greatly admire, and to be in competition with them as well is a little overwhelming.”

Ther image was taken by combining 35 individual photographs together, capturing each section of the sky and foreground in detail before blending all the exposure together to create a wider view of the scene.

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Mr Price used a special camera that counters the rotation of the Earth to produce a clearer shot, but leaves the area around each image blurry, meaning he had to take multiple shots to capture the entire night sky and the foreground.

On the process of taking the image, he said: “Lots of work went into the planning stage. I had to wait for ideal conditions when the brightest part of the Milky Way was available, with no clouds to obscure it and no moon to wash it out.

“I had to work out exactly where it would be, down to the specific day and time.

“The shot itself is made up of 25 images of the sky and then 10 images of the foreground.

“The process of stitching the whole thing together wasn’t too bad. The most difficult bit for me was finding a balance between the natural look and high detail of a camera.

“The camera can capture images in far greater detail than the naked eye, but I wanted to get a balance between the incredibly detailed images the camera captures and a scene you could plausibly see just by looking up at the stars.”

The winning images will be announced on September 14, with an exhibition featuring the winning, shortlisted and highly commended entries due to open at the National Maritime Museum in London, starting on September 16.