20 Night Shots And Galaxies That Blew Us Away... Vote For Your Favourite!

It's Gizmodo Australia Shooting Challenge prize time! There are some amazing photos in this bunch of entries, now we need you to vote on who wins the Samsung Galaxy Camera!

Note: In the interests of fairness, voting has been restricted to one per user, based on cookie and IP.

IMPORTANT Voting closes at 10am on Tuesday, May 21

Prizes

That's right, it's new prize time. We've got a Samsung Galaxy Camera to giveaway! The Galaxy Camera is a 16.3-megapixel camera wrapped around a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, complete with 1GB of RAM, a 4.8-inch touchscreen (1280×720), 8GB of built-in storage that expands via microSD card to 64GB, all running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

It also takes a microSIM card for sharing all those photos and videos you take. The Galaxy Camera leads the line-up of Samsung Smart Cameras for 2013, with the rest of the line packing fantastic image processors, beautiful designs and smart features like Wi-Fi for syncing photos and videos. The Galaxy Camera is the perfect addition to your digital life, and we’re excited to give one away each week to Gizmodo Shooting Challenge faithful.

The camera you’re playing for is valued at $699. We'll be running this challenge over two weeks, with this week being the final round. The finalists from each week will go head to head in the final and the winner will be selected by Gizmodo editors for the grand prize!


We had an amazing 18 entries into this week's competition and the race is going to be a close one. Check out the images and vote on your favourite!


This Week's Entries

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Jordan G

It was super hard to fulfill this challenge since low light doesn't work very well on my Sony HX5V. I found the long exposure setting which helped alot but it could only go to 1s maximum. Due to my onset Alzheimers and lack of tripod it was near impossible to take a photo even after resting the camera on my shoulder, chest (leaning back) and I even tried resting the camera on my head (ruined my hair too). Eventually I found this water feature very close to me so I rested the camera and shot away. At one point I tried to photograph my apartment complex outdoor pool from afar then I realised there was a low-20s lady swimming in her swimwear. She saw me taking a photo of the pool, I was so embarrassed! I awkwardly told her it was for a challenge and I didn't realize she was there then promptly deleted the photo and apologized while very red in the face! I have never felt like such a creep before! The lengths I went to to get a shot. I don't have the pro equipment and expertise that all other entrants seem to have but I hope you enjoy the photo!
Sony HX5V, Photoshop (contrast, levels, slight blur fade and cropping)

Stevender Saphore

I’ve just returned to the city from living in the jungles of rural Vanua Levu (an island of Fiji), shooting a documentary. I was staying with a group of villagers, who call themselves 'SSG' (which stands for "Sisi initiative Site Support Group"), who protect native birds and their trees from threats such as logging and development.

One night we had a long, 2 hour walk to a neighbouring village for an SSG monthly meeting. During a short break from the arduous trek there, one of the members and I mutually decided it would be an opportune time to offload some of this intestinal waste we’ve been carting around in a nearby river.

Just as a biscuit is dipped into tea, the feeling of the cool, mountainous water tickles my testicles as they dip into the river; Goosebumps cover my body as the water gushes in to fill my thirsty colon after each movement of my tired bowel. During this moment of bliss, I look around and can’t help but to think being in this place is like going back in time. Everything eaten is either grown or caught; there is unlimited supply of fresh drinking water from rain and rivers; no electricity and absolutely devoid of light pollution, grandiose displays of the milky way radiate the skies at night…

In that fleeting second of inspiration, without even extricating myself from the squatting position, I grabbed my tripod from the bank, slot in the 60d already equipped with the Tokina 11mm, turned the wheel to 'm' for an f2.8, 30 second exposure at about 1600iso, opened the shutter and waited . Many words could be used to describe this picture pertaining to this uniquely Fijian landscape and lifestyle, like the old growth coconut palms measuring over 100m tall, breadfruit trees, constellations of the southern hemisphere, planets and shooting stars...

But truthfully, it's what you’d see if you were a boy taking a s**t in a river at midnight, on the outskirts of a village on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, in the year of our Lord, 2013.

David Ngo

Without even being aware of this challenge, I set out on an adventure up a mountain in Sydney's west to try out my newest lens, and attempt to do star trails.

I've tried dabbing into it previously before, but this is my first serious attempt.

I'm still just an amateur doing photography for a hobby. A really expensive hobby.

F-Stop: 2.8 Exposure Time: 200x 20 seconds Focal Length: 11mm

Grant Salmond

The Indigenous people of Australia called this the Emu in the sky. It is not hard to see why. Each winter this part of the Milky Way Galaxy rises in the evening during the dry season, and it is a beautiful sight on a clear dark night. Canon 60D, 30sec exposure on fixed tripod, 11mm f2.8 with Tokina 11-16mm lens, ISO 3200

Jonathan McFeat

I took this photo on my Samsung Galaxy SII phone and used the grunge filter on Snapseed.
I'm currently in New York, and was trying to get some long exposure shots of air traffic over Manhattan, but there weren't many planes for some reason on this night. Since the camera was already set up on the tripod, I decided to try a 30" exposure whilst slowly zooming out to see if I could get some interesting light patterns. What emerged was a ghostly Empire State in blue and orange, and green-lit crane from the under-construction One57 building. I was using a Canon EOS650D, with 18-135mm STM lens. Exposure 30" @ f/11, ISO 100. Used a tripod and Vello Shutter Boss remote release.

Matt Byers

Nikon D5000 Lens: 18-55mm Aperture: f/3.5 Shutter: 20Sec ISO: 400

I was waiting outside all night for the train to pass through so I would be able to capture a long exposure shot of it about to go over the bridge. While I had my shot lined up, I took a few and played around with settings and focus (took a while to get the focus right being at night). It was starting to get really cold and with the fog coming down causing my gear to slowly get damp I decided to wait 1 more hour and then pack up and view my shots. Because I took so many while waiting for the train, I tried to photomerge them all to create an interesting effect but in the end it was a cold wet fail however I did pull out an image that interested me so with a quick crop and colour adjustment I made it my new wallpaper on my phone and submitted it in to the competition. hope you guys like it too.

Can't wait for the next competition Giz!

Alex Liu

I was visiting a friend who lives on a farm and just so happened to have my camera with me. This is my first crack at star trails so wasnt sure exactly how to do it. Quite happy with the end result. shot on 5dmk2 f2.8 ,15sec 2000 ISO

Ken McGrath

A few friends of mine got tother over the weekend for a camping trip to Stradbroke Island. We knew the stars would be out following Friday's solar eclipse and hence it being a new moon. So I took my D500 (aka Rebel T1i, 3200ISO and 30sec exposures), and decide to do some night shots and get the stars. It wasn't until we got back on Sunday that I saw this comp, and realised I should add in a pic. This one is my favourite, as the house lights and haze extend from the water line all the way through to the milky way, creating the illusion of the galaxy reaching down to earth.

Gethin Coles

My wife told me to go for a walk ("Bugger off") because I was grumpy ( I had toothache, it wasn't my fault), so I took my kit and headed off down the local board-walk. In the pitch black, with a torch on the fritz, hopping from rock to rock it would switch off mid leap. That added some excitement to the proceedings. Shot on nikon d800 14-24 lens, 30 sec and f2.8 @ iso 2500. This is 3 shots joined together in photoshop (merge to panorama). You can get away with a 30 second shot at 14mm, with longer lenses you get star trails.

Roy

I was hoping to take some star trail shots, but unfortunately the location was cloudy, so it was time to stay in the city and bust out the ol' steel wool.

It was taken on a Canon 30D with an exposure time of about 40 seconds, 18mm and f-stop of 13..

Max Rozen

My mates saw that I entered the last shot I took of sparklers online, and dared me to do better. So here it is, with 75 sparklers in a bottle. Other suggestions involved lighting bollards on fire with metholated spirits, however these were ignored. Shot 5 metres away, with fire blanket on hand @ F/16, 1/80, ISO 100 and 24mm zoom.

Douglas Thomson

Managed to sneak away from the 6 week old baby boy to shoot this from my back verandah. Canon 550D, 18-55mm at 18mm, ISO 6400, around 30min exposure.

Kaden Lange

ISO 400 f/5.6 60s Canon 650D, 18-135mm

Whilst camping at the Grampian's I noticed the beautiful clear sky, being out in the country the stars had amazing clarity. I found an old tree which reached up into the stars above the valley floor. The viewpoint allowed me to capture the distant ranges and the vast landscape. A 60 second exposure illuminated the scene and gave a smooth gradient in the sky behind the bright stars. I added some minor adjustments in Lightroom to add depth to the exposure.

Michael Chong

Coming home from a night of a few too many drink, I found myself on the computer doing some drunk online shopping (and other stupid drunk things) when I thought I should check out the Gizmodo site to see if I had the brain capacity to learn about something cool in my current state. Lo and behold I find out that the photography competition has been finally released and the theme was night and stars. I looked outside and noticed there are stars, looked on my desk and see my camera, battery half used from the night before playing with fire (I can still smell the burnt hair..) and made the brilliant decision only a drunk man makes to brave the cold night, now 3am, and take some photos of stars. I stumbled out on the my balcony, almost broke my tripod trying to set it up, focused (thank god for autofocusing because my eyes weren't up to the task), set the time interval, walked to my bed and passed out.

This photo is a congregation of my drunken adventures and I'm pleased with the results :D. The photos is made of 100 photos (30sec exposure) stacked over each other. The equipment used was a Nikon d5100 with a 50mm 1.8G lens.

Congratulations if you made it through the stories of a drunken night out but the lesson is that "You can do amazing things when you're drunk!" (EXCEPT DRIVING! Don't drink and drive, kids)

Geoff Scott

Messier 20 in Sagittarius, better known as the Trifid Nebula, is an iconic first object for new Astrophotographers. It is a great example of both emission (pink) and reflection (blue) nebulae contrasted against the three dust lanes that give M20 its common name. The nebula and related star cluster is a ‘nursery’ of young stars forming under gravitational collapse from the gas and dust in space. Image acquired 10th May 2013 at the Perth Observatory grounds, Bickley 32 00' 27'S 116 08' 12" E using my own equipment. Canon 40D DSLR at ISO 800, Duration 600 Sec with field 32' x 48' but cropped for this image. Post processing done in Adobe Photoshop CS5. Telescope - Bintel BT200 f/4.0 Newtonian with Televue 2X 2" PowerMate, no filters, Ambient 9C. EQMOD EQASCOM with Ascom 6 for mount control. Backyard EOS 2.09 for Image acquisition. Mount - Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro. Guidescope - Teleskop Service OAG9 Off Axis Guider with Starlight Xpress Superstar (mono) CCD guide camera and Stark Labs PHD auto guiding software.

Mark Rakecki

Headed down to the city on Saturday night with a friend for our first attempt at shooting the harbour at night. Was looking forward to getting some long exposure shots after just purchasing a tripod. The rides at Luna Park provided plenty of opportunities (until security insisted tripods are an OH&S issue). This was one of my favourites of the night capturing the Luna Park ferris wheel against the Harbour Bridge.

Camera: Nikon D3100 w/ kit lens ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 2 seconds f/3.5 Tripod

Jeremy Stokes

Cold Autumn Night

Went home to my parents house in the Blue Mountains, arrived to a much needed fire. I saw the fire blazing and knew I needed to take a photo, I didn't have a camera on me so I used my Samsung Galaxy S3.

Peter Burns

Fuji X100, F2, 30 seconds, ISO-640, fixed lens.

With my caravan parked on a remote beach North of Coral Bay in Western Australia I have limited shooting opportunities at night. An underwater night shot would be good but there are a lot of sharks at the moment so the wife said no to that. A partial Moon was available for an hour but a few clouds hid it away. So it was back to the stars, oh so many. The nearest small town light source was over 60kms away so the stars were bright enough to see your way by. I took a 30 second exposure which captured the stars and while that was happening I painted my camp with a small LED torch. It was pretty windy as you can see by our beach towel and bathers flapping on the line but the tripod was firmly pushed into the beach sand.

Ben Harvey

My friends and I decided to go out and explore the remains of the original Saltair. If you don't live in Utah then you probably don't know what the original Saltair it was a huge resort that was built in the late 1800s it stretched out over the Great Salt Lake and went far enough out for people to swim in the lake. But anyways, that didn't last it was destroyed in several fires and all that remains now is a line of wooden stumps and some concrete ruins. We walked out on the beach for about a mile and a half before we found the shore of the ocean. There we found another photographer that had come out here to watch the sunset, after the sun had gone down we showed him what steel wool photography was he told us that there was a brick ruin back a bit that was also a satanic alter, we had passed it on our walk in but thought nothing of it. As dark began to fall we walked back and found the "Alter" it actually showed nothing satanic at all.. but i had my friends stand there for about 3 minutes while o took a picture.. as you can see they didnt do the best of standing still. Oh well. The camer a is Sony NEX-6 with 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 ISO: 400 F3.5 About 3 minutes

The blue light is a small LED that they were playing around with.

Nagappan Karuppiah

Shot this at Lake George, NSW or 45min from Canberra, before settling in for 3 hours in freezing cold to capture startrails - which didn't come off well due to dew and fog.

Nikon D800, 14-24mm @ 14mm, 30s, f/2.8, ISO 1000.

Due to the dark sky the Milky Way was clearly visible. The light in the horizon is from Bungendore.