The CWAS Astrophotography Exhibition and Competition - July 2009


CWAS AstroFest

18-19 July 2009


Astrophotography Exhibition and Competition
the "David Malin Awards"

Proudly supported by Canon Australia,
CSIRO's Australia Telescope National Facility, the Powerhouse Museum and
Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

The Exhibition will be held at the CSIRO Parkes Observatory's Visitors Centre for all of July 2009
and will tour to venues throughout Australia beginning with Sydney Observatory in August


Click here to download the entry form in PDF format


The Central West Astronomical Society is proud to announce the 2009 CWAS "David Malin Awards". In the International Year of Astronomy, these prestigious awards are taking on a new and larger dimension.

In partnership with the Powerhouse Museum, the annual touring exhibition will travel to our regular venues. In addition, a second parallel exhibition will travel to regional areas across Australia, enabling significantly more venues and centres to become involved. This extension to the programme is being supported by the Australian Government and is funded with assistance from the Science Connections Program within the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research as a major activity of IYA2009.

The competition will have four sections of entry - amateur, semi-professional, junior (16 and under) and a themed open section. The amateur section has three categories, they are; Wide-field (camera shots), Deep Sky (telescope shots) and Solar System Objects. The semi-professional and junior sections will have one open category each and entries can be of any subject.

The themed, open section is open to all astrophotographers, whether amateur, semi-professional or junior. They are invited to compete together to see who can be the most creative in evoking the theme, which this year will be "Twilight". The intention is to encourage people with vision and imagination, using simple equipment, such as a tripod and ordinary camera, to make attractive images that evoke the emotion and experience of twilight.

"The David Malin Innovation Prize" may be awarded, at Dr Malin's discretion, for a striking astronomical image that shows exceptional imagination, innovation or an unusual approach in any of the categories.

The Competition Structure

  • Amateur - Wide-Field, Deep Sky and Solar System Objects
  • Semi-Professional
  • Junior (16 or under)
  • Open - "Twilight"
  • The David Malin Innovation Prize

The photographs will be judged by world-renowned astrophotographer, Dr David Malin. All entries will be judged without David being aware of the identity of the photographer. The winners will be notified and presented with the "David Malin Awards" during a special ceremony held at the CSIRO Parkes Observatory in the presence of invited dignitaries. The presentations will take place during the special IYA Open Days in July that are being held to mark the 40th anniversary of the Observatory's support of the Apollo 11 mission.

The judged photographs will be exhibited for the entire month of July in the CSIRO Parkes Observatory’s Visitors Centre. Following this, a selection of the finest astrophotographs received will tour the country in two parallel, travelling exhibitions beginning with Sydney Observatory in August.

There is a limit of five (5) entries per category per photographer, but all photographs must have been taken no more than 2 years before the closing date of entry, and no re-entries from previous exhibitions will be accepted. There is an entry fee of $5 per photograph.

It is not just technical skill that will be awarded. The prizes will go to pictures that capture the beauty of the sky and the intrinsic interest of astronomy in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Canon Australia is continuing its support of the competition with significant prizes.

Finals Judge

Dr David Malin


Presentation Ceremony for the "David Malin Awards"

Special Ceremony held at the CSIRO Parkes Radio Observatory at 4:00 pm Saturday, 18 July 2009.


Entries close at 5:00 pm on Friday, 12 June 2009.



Conditions of Entry

1. Entries will be accepted only from residents of the COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA and its TERRITORIES.

2. There will be four sections of entry - amateur, semi-professional, junior (16 and under) and an open themed section. For the purposes of this competition, semi-professional astrophotographers are deemed to be people who are astronomers, professional photographers, or individuals who gain a taxable income in some way from astronomical or photographic work. Hobbyists who occasionally sell their photographs for a nominal sum, but do not gain a taxable income from their hobby, will be deemed amateurs.

3. There will be three categories of entry for the amateur section; Wide-field (camera shots), Deep Sky (telescope shots) and Solar System. The semi-professional and junior sections will have one open category each (can be any type instrument or subject). There is a limit of five (5) entries per category per photographer.

4. The themed section is open to all astrophotographers regardless of background, whether semi-professional, amateur or junior. The theme will differ from one year to the next. The theme for 2009 is "Twilight".

5. An additional prize, "The David Malin Innovation Prize", may be awarded at Dr Malin's discretion, for a striking image that shows exceptional imagination, innovation or an unusual approach.

6. In the case of images with multiple authors, the instigator of the image will be considered to be the principal author and the one who "owns" the image. The principal author MUST have performed the majority of the work to produce the image. All authors MUST be identified and named in the entry form along with their contributions to the production of the image.

7. Entries which combine images from professional observatories, taken by professional astronomers for purposes other than creating the entry in question (e.g. the Digital Sky Survey) will be disqualified.

8. Entries will be accepted ONLY on the official entry form or a photocopy of same. Each photograph must be submitted with an individual entry form.

9. Entries must be in the form of prints (no slides or other media) and all photographs must be taken by the entrant. Single prints must be at least 203 x 254 mm (8" x 10") in size and must be mounted on cardboard ONLY. However, smaller print sizes on any one board are acceptable if they are a montage of related images to be considered as a single entry. The overall size of any single entry must not exceed 406 x 508 mm (16" x 20") and must be less than 4mm thick including mount.

10. All photographs must have been taken no more than 2 years before the closing date of entry, and no re-entries from previous competitions will be accepted.

11. Entry fees are $5 per photograph and should be paid by cheque or money order.

12. ALL ENTRIES WILL BE RETURNED BY POST IF INDICATED. All entries must be packed in re-usable packaging (eg. Postpak) and the cost of the return postage added to the entry fee. Postage stamps are not acceptable in payment.

13. If inadequate funds are received, the entry will not be judged but will be held for up to 12 months until satisfactory arrangements are made.

14. The greatest care will be taken with entries but no responsibility will be taken for loss or damage to entries.

15. 15. The judged photographs will be exhibited for the entire month of July in the CSIRO Parkes Observatory's Visitors Centre. Following this, a selection of the finest astrophotographs received will tour the country in two parallel travelling exhibitions. All images selected for the travelling exhibitions must be supplied as high-resolution digital files on request for the reproduction of the touring prints.

16. Permission to reproduce entries for publication to promote the exhibition will be assumed unless expressly denied.

17. The competition judge reserves the right to reject any entry that, in the opinion of the judge, does not meet the conditions of entry or is unsuitable for public display. The judge's decisions will be final.

18. Submission of an entry form implies acceptance of all the conditions of entry and the decisions of the competition judge.

19. Entries close at 5:00 pm on Friday, 12 June 2009. No entries will be accepted past this date.


Click here to download the entry form in PDF format




For all enquiries or clarifications please email The AstroFest Organising Committee

Or phone:
The CSIRO Parkes Observatory's Visitors Centre on (02) 6861-1777
The Parkes Tourist Centre on (02) 6863-8860



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