Eruption, Photograph by Aaron Martinez, honorable mention in the Nightscapes category. 

We are pleased to present the winners of the 20th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photography Contest in the Nightscapes category. To celebrate the contest’s 20th year, we upped our game by adding this brand new category. The winning images reflect the wonder and beauty in the land, people, and experiences all around us. 

Neowise, Photograph by Paul Schmit, New Mexico Magazine

1st Place:

Neowise, Paul Schmit 

Albuquerque photographer Paul Schmit's winning image features planning, skill, and resourcefulness. "I planned that day to shoot the comet from White Ridge, near San Ysidro, but late-day thunderstorms ended up chasing me off the ridge at sunset," says Schmit. "With the sun setting and not wanting to give up, I noticed breaks in the clouds several miles to my west. I quickly worked out a composition juxtaposing Neowise with one of my favorite local geological features, Cabezón Peak, and hurried an hour west to get to the precise spot along a dirt road that produced the alignment you see in this image.” 

Kiwanis Night Sky, Photograph by Ian Beckley, New Mexico Magazine

2nd Place:

Kiwanis Night Sky, Ian Beckley 

Photographer Ian Beckley of Albuquerque captured this stunning image of the Milky Way sitting just above Kiwanis Cabin on the Sandia Crest. "I had been wanting to shoot a day-to-night time-lapse from the crest for a while, so I planned a night to go up when the weather would still be comfortable," says Beckley. "After getting the whole time-lapse set up, I hung out and waited for the stars to come out. As it grew darker and darker, I realized you could see the milky way above the cabin. I grabbed my other camera and set up my tripod and did a few exposures to try to stack and reduce noise in post. This wasn't a planned shot, but I am very glad to have a second camera for moments like that! I also got the time-lapse!"

Buried in the Badlands, Photograph by Jake Werth, New Mexico Magazine

3rd Place:

Buried in the Badlands, Jake Werth 

Albuquerque photographer Jake Werth captured his winning image of an abandoned truck against a night sky. "As I photographed this truck," says Werth, "I wondered the stories it could tell."

Eruption, Photograph by Aaron Martinez, New Mexico Magazine

Honorable Mention:

Eruption, Aaron Martinez

Aaron Martinez, of Texas, photographed this spectacular sky one night outside of Deming, New Mexico. "It was already late at night and I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to make a spontaneous drive into southern New Mexico from Texas where I live," says Martinez. "I had been exploring this area south of Deming, regularly, and I had been planning to get this shot some day, but never stopped. This time, I drove two hours to the location with my only intent being to get this image. I parked on the poorly-maintained dirt road and lined up my shot. Unfortunately, it didn’t line up quite the way I wanted. I was facing east on the dirt road and the Milky Way kept moving west as it got closer to setting. With nowhere to turn around, I drove my truck in reverse down this narrow dirt road for about half a mile to keep the Milky Way lined up the way I wanted it. This image was taken not long before sunrise, and it is an eight-image panorama shot with a 50mm, f/1.4 tracked using the built-in Astrotracer function on the Pentax K-1." 


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