The night is evocative – the dark conjuring feelings of romance, mystery, fear, subterfuge, adventure. Neon lights and pounding club music, dark back-streets, a sky full of stars, a distant vantage point over a twinkling city… the darkness distorts our view on the world, the imbalance of being awake when we shouldn’t evoking both anxiety and joyful abandon.

Of course the lack of light, the essence of the nighttime, creates a technical challenge for a medium that is predicated on light falling on a camera’s film or a sensor. And so there is a necessary technical mastery that goes alongside an artistic eloquence. The eye is a complex piece of organic machinery, and all too often nighttime images can look like poor imitations of what we see in the flesh. It is therefore no surprise that many photographers choose to fight this reality entirely – using light and blur to create something unreal and magical.

It is perhaps this combination of emotional and technical expressiveness that makes night photography such a thrilling pursuit – the best images excite our senses. And this selection – from seascapes to festivals to nights out on the town – does just that.

Congratulations to the selected photographers and to everyone else: enjoy!

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