Hayati was selected for his “Night Lovers”, a single photo taken near the Persian Gulf in Hormozgan Province.

This picture depicts the Milky Way rising on a fascinating spring night in the region. 

“The stunning cliffs of this area make every viewer imagine and even talk to them,” Hayati wrote in a statement for his photo.

“The light pollution from a faraway city was quite strong, so it was a challenging post-processing process,” he added.

“I’m a nightscaper who tries to achieve an artistic look in my images, and in this image, I tried to convey and capture the magic of this location,” he noted. 

The spring of each year is considered the peak of the Milky Way season and by its competition, Capture the Atlas aims to inspire others and share the beauty of the galaxy. 

The travel photography blog Capture the Atlas recently highlighted 25 images that represent this phenomenon as part of its "Milky Way Photographer of the Year" contest. Though the southern hemisphere usually has the best vantage points, the photos were snapped in 12 different countries, including Iran, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Turkey, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland and Greece.