Somerset man nominated for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Award

Josh Drury says he hadn't picked up a camera for over six months before taking his award-nominated photo. Credit: Josh Drury

A photographer from Somerset said he hadn't picked up his camera for over six months before he took a photo that has been shortlisted for a major award.

Josh Drury, who lives in Compton Martin, said he was 'delighted' to be nominated for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year. His is one of 15 shortlisted images.

This year the competition received over 4,000 entries from amateur and dedicated professional photographers from all over the world.

Josh said: "My photograph, titled 'The Enigma of the North', was a really special photograph for me. Not only was this photographed during a rare period of clear skies on the Isle of Lewis in the outer Hebrides, but was also captured on a night when the northern lights would be predicted.

Josh Drury's image was taken at the Callanish Stone Circle on the Isle of Lewis. Credit: Josh Drury

"When I stepped outside, it felt as if the universe was coming down on me; never before have I seen the night sky in so much clarity from some of the darkest places of the United Kingdom - with zero to no light pollution.

"This was the first time in over 6 months that I had picked up a camera and so I wanted to give it my all. So I am delighted to share this exciting news."

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is now in its 15th year and returns with an expert panel of judges from the worlds of art and astronomy.

The winners of the competition’s nine categories, two special prizes and the overall winner will be announced on Thursday 14 September.

The winning images will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum from Saturday 16 September, alongside a selection of exceptional shortlisted images.