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Discovery winner

Zolt Levay is the winner of the SunShots theme, "Discovery" for his photo, "Exploring the Sky," a composite of 74 exposures at 75 seconds each, taken with a Nikon D800 and 15mm lens at f3.5. Levay explains his process in an email: "The images were stacked in Adobe Photoshop (using "lighten"layer blend mode to add the exposures without overly brightening the darker areas of the image), for a total of 92 minutes of exposure. In that time, the Earth rotates and the stars circle around the North Pole above Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania one of the darkest locations on the East Coast, far from major urban lighting. Straighter lines in the sky are the lights of aircraft crossing the curved star trails. The red at the bottom of the frame is the lights of astronomers using their telescopes to observe deep sky objects. The red light preserves their night vision." Baltimore Sun photographer Algerina Perna comments, "What more is there to say about this stellar image executed with precision and resulting in a brilliant outcome?" 

Zoltan G. Levay / HANDOUT
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