• Photo: Susan Breau

    Photo: Susan Breau

As we look to the skies and beyond in our October space-themed issue of Canadian Geographic, we also tip our hats to the spectacular images we received from our first ever Skyward Photo Contest. Photo Club members submitted gorgeous shots of celestial skies, planes and other objects that fly and photos captured from above.

Canadian Geographic photo editor Jessica Finn and graphic designer Jenny Chew, along with Gatineau, Que. photographer Mathieu Girard, had the tough task of narrowing down the entries to the top picks. The judges share what made the winning photos stand out.

(Photo: Helena Chu)

Man-made things that fly category winner

Jessica Finn: This is proof that a bit of forethought can result in a great payoff. A tighter crop would benefit this image.

Jenny Chew: Simple yet unique. It easily stood out from the rest.

Mathieu Girard: Luck or patience — either way, I'm impressed.

(Photo: Susan Breau)

From up high category winner

Jessica Finn: The early morning light and long shadows add life to this serene farm scene.

Jenny Chew: I love all the lines in this photo from the fields, trees and shadows. A very impactful photo.

Mathieu Girard: This is the perfect example of how simple can be great.

(Photo: Anita Erdmann)

Night sky category winner

Jessica Finn: A stunning image. Beautiful framing and balance put it at the forefront of this category.

Jenny Chew: Just an altogether breathtaking shot.

Mathieu Girard: I think the vertical and lighting balance between the church and the Milky Way is astonishing.

To see the photos selected as the runners-up and honourable mentions, visit the Skyward Photo Contest website.