2006 CWAS Astrophotography Exhibition and Competition - "David Malin Awards"
The 2006 CWAS Astrophotography Exhibition and Competition


"The David Malin Awards"

In July 2006, the Central West Astronomical Society's astrophotography exhibition and competition was held again as part of the CWAS AstroFest. Amateur astronomers and photographers from around Australia were invited to take part in the exhibition and to submit their astrophotographs for consideration in the prestigious "David Malin Awards". The exhibited photographs represent the very best of those received.

This year's competition had three categories of entry: Wide-field (camera shots), Deep Sky (telescope shots) and Solar System objects. The photographs were judged in two sections, one for amateurs and one for semi-professionals.

The photographs were judged by world-renowned astrophotographer, Dr David Malin, without David being aware of the identity of the photographers. The winners were presented with the "David Malin Awards" at a special Civic Reception held in the Coventry Room of the Parkes Shire Library and Cultural Centre in the presence of invited dignitaries, during the CWAS AstroFest on 15 July 2006.

The judged photographs are being exhibited for the entire month of July in the CSIRO Parkes Observatory's Visitors Centre. The exhibition will then tour the country to selected venues beginning with Sydney Observatory in August, followed by Mt Stromlo Observatory, Ballarat Observatory, Melbourne Planetarium and Brisbane Planetarium. Last year, the exhibition was viewed by 40,000 people with even more expected to view it this year. The images will feature in "Australian Sky and Telescope", "The New Sky and Space" and "Australian Photography" magazines.

It was not just technical skill that was awarded. The prizes went to pictures that captured the beauty of the sky and the intrinsic interest of astronomy in an aesthetically pleasing manner.




The 2006 Exhibition at the CSIRO's Parkes Observatory Visitors Centre



Photo Copyright: John Sarkissian

Photo Copyright: John Sarkissian

Photo Copyright: John Sarkissian


Photo Copyright: John Sarkissian

Photo Copyright: John Sarkissian




The Competition - Category Winners



Photo Copyright: Peter Ward
Winner: Peter Ward
Semi-Professional: Solar System

OVERALL WINNER "Eclipse Sequence"

Citation: "This image has immediate appeal and interest, even if you don't know what the subject matter is. When you do know what it is, you begin to appreciate the impeccable technique, meticulous planning and sheer determination required to haul your gear from Sydney to Libya and to operate it under hot desert conditions against a serious deadline."

Details: 80mm Refractor, Pentax Digital SLR; Various Exposures from 1/2,500th sec. to 2 sec.; Image sequence layered in Photoshop. 2006 Total Solar Eclipse taken from Libya.





Photo Copyright: Eddie Trimarchi
Winner: Eddie Trimarchi
Semi-Professional: Deep Sky

"Emission Nebulae in the LMC #1, 2 and 3"

Citation: "Since the three images are of similar, but little-known objects, in the LMC, they were considered as a group. They are impressive for their expert handling of the wide dynamic range, especially the preservation of the subtle colour and gradation, which is consistent from image to image. I also liked the retention of the difficult faint structure and the pin-sharp, round stars÷."

Details: Intel MN61, 6-inch F/6 Maksutov-Newtonian telescope. Various exposures in Ha , R, G, and B





Photo Copyright: Michael Sidonio
Winner: Michael Sidonio
Amateur: Deep Sky

"The Eagle's Head Nebula (M16) in Serpens"

Citation: "This eye catching image gives a good overall impression of 3-dimensionality. It has a natural appearance, with no trace of image processing, good colour balance, nice round stars and sensitive cropping. It is a remarkable piece of work."

Details: 80mm F/7.5 Refractor (600mm FL) and 6-inch F/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor (1140mm FL). Starlightxpress SXV-H9 CCD + True Technology Filter Wheel. Data combined 50/50 in Astroart 3 and post processed in Photoshop.





Photo Copyright: Gary Hill
Winner: Gary Hill
Amateur: Wide Field

"Under a Southern Sky"

Citation: "This is a fine image of a rich part of the southern sky that includes the Southern Cross and Carina nebula. Though the star and nebula colours are a little exaggerated the image quality is excellent.÷

Details: Canon 300D digital camera with UV/IR filter removed and a Pentax 50mm f/1.4 lens piggybacked on EQ-5 mount. Stack of 4 frames taken with 3 min. exposures. Processed with Photoshop CS.





Photo Copyright: Zac Pujic
Winner: Zac Pujic
Amateur: Solar System

"The Colours of the Moon"

Citation: "The colours of the Moon are subtle, but they reflect real differences in composition of the surface. By exaggerating the colours, these differences are revealed and are clearly associated with the largest features. It is a striking, well-executed image that displays a little-known fact about a familiar object."

Details: 31cm F/5.75 Newtonian telescope. Philips ToUcam webcam. Mosaic of 60 images assembled with AutoStich. Colour saturation increased using Photoshop. Colour differences arise from different compositional differences in the lunar lava.




The Competition - Honorable Mentions



Photo Copyright: Maurice Valimberti

Photo Copyright: Maurice Valimberti

Photo Copyright: Maurice Valimberti
"Gas Giant - Jupiter in 2006"
Amateur: Solar System
Maurice Valimberti
"The Southern Cross"
Amateur: Wide Field
Maurice Valimberti
"The Large Megallanic Cloud"
Amateur: Wide Field
Maurice Valimberti





Photo Copyright: Peter Sayers

Photo Copyright: Steve Crouch

Photo Copyright: Steve Crouch
"Moonrise"
Amateur: Solar System
Peter Sayers
"Omega Centauri"
Amateur: Deep Sky
Steve Crouch
"IC 4628"
Amateur: Deep Sky
Steve Crouch





Photo Copyright: Peter Ward

Photo Copyright: Peter Ward

Photo Copyright: Peter Ward
"The Quiet Sun"
Semi-Professional: Solar System
Peter Ward
"Desert Sun with Moon"
Semi-Professional: Solar System
Peter Ward
"Celestial Smoke"
Semi-Professional: Deep Sky
Peter Ward




The Presentations


The winners were presented with the awards by David Malin himself, at a special civic reception held in the Parkes Shire Library and Cultural Centre in the presence of invited dignitaries, during the CWAS AstroFest on July 15, 2006. The dignitaries included the Mayor of Parkes, Robert Wilson OAM; Professor Ron Ekers, the President of the International Astronomical Union; Dr John Reynolds, Officer-in-Charge of the CSIRO's Parkes Observatory; and Professor Malcolm Walter of Macquarie University's Australian Centre for Astrobiology. The Hon. Dawn Fardell, MP (State Member for Dubbo) was also present to congratulate the winners.

The category winners were: Peter Ward, Eddie Trimarchi, (semi-professional section), and Michael Sidonio, Gary Hill and Zac Pujic (amateur section). The standard of entries was so high that David Malin also awarded honorable mentions to Maurice Valimberti, Steve Crouch and Peter Sayers. These award winners represent entries from across Australia (NSW, Qld, ACT, Vic. and Tas.). Congratulations to them all.

The overall winner of the 2006 CWAS David Malin Awards was Peter Ward for his eclipse sequence photograph of the Total Solar Eclipse of 29 March 2006.

The competition was proudly supported by Canon Australia, who provided prizes to the value of $5,000. Each of the category winners won either a Canon Digital IXUS wireless camera or a Canon PowerShot S3IS digital camera. The prize for the overall winner was a Canon EOS 350D SLR Camera Kit.

The quality of the images was of an incredibly high standard and a testament to the great skill and talent of Australian astrophotographers. All of the entries submitted and received were exhibited at the Parkes Observatory for the entire month of July, ensuring that every photograph had a showing.

A core group of the very finest images has been selected to tour the country in exhibition form to various venues, beginning with Sydney Observatory in August and followed by Mt Stromlo Observatory, Ballarat Observatory, Melbourne Planetarium and Brisbane Planetarium. Last year's touring exhibition was a resounding success, with 40,000 people viewing the exhibition. Many more are expected to view this year's exhibition.

So, start preparing your astrophotos for the 2007 David Malin Awards, and share with the wider public your enthusiasm for the grandeur and beauty of astronomy.

Some of the Guests at the Presentation


Photo Courtesy: Parkes Champion Post newspaper
(L-R): Mayor of Parkes, Cr Robert Wilson OAM; Dr John Reynolds, Officer-in-Charge of the CSIRO Parkes Observatory; John Sarkissian (CWAS Secretary); Prof. Ron Ekers, President of the IAU; Dr David Malin; The Hon. Dawn Fardell, MP (State Member for Dubbo); Bishop Christopher Toohey (CWAS President); Cr Ken Keith, Deputy Mayor of Parkes.


Dr David Malin introducing the awards and acknowledging the generous support of Canon Australia


Photo Copyright: Denis Crute

Photo Copyright: Alan Dyer

Photo Copyright: Alan Dyer

The Award Winners


Photo Copyright: John Sarkissian
All of the "David Malin Awards" winners.

(L-R): Peter Sayers, Eddie Trimarchi, Peter Ward, Dr David Malin, Michael Sidonio, Gary Hill, Steve Crouch, Maurice Valimberti. Not present was Zac Pujic.


Photo Copyright: John Sarkissian
The category award winners with Dr David Malin.

(L-R): Eddie Trimarchi, Peter Ward (with the Perpetual Trophy), Dr David Malin, Michael Sidonio and Gary Hill. Not present was Zac Pujic.



The winners receiving their awards


Photo Copyright: Denis Crute

Photo Copyright: Denis Crute

Photo Copyright: Denis Crute
Maurice ValimbertiGary HillPeter Sayers



Photo Copyright: Denis Crute

Photo Copyright: Denis Crute

Photo Copyright: Denis Crute
Michael SidonioSteve CrouchEddie Trimarchi



The Category winners received prizes of either a Canon Digital IXUS wireless camera or a Canon PowerShot S3IS digital camera
from CWAS President, Bishop Christopher Toohey.


Photo Copyright: Denis Crute

Photo Copyright: Denis Crute

Photo Copyright: Denis Crute
Eddie TrimarchiMichael SidonioGary Hill



Photo Copyright: Denis Crute

Photo Copyright: Alan Dyer

Photo Copyright: Denis Crute

Peter Ward Received the Perpetual Trophy as the OVERALL WINNER

In addition, Peter received the grand prize of a Canon EOS 350D SLR Twin Lens Kit A (RRP $1,598).



Photo Copyright: Alan Dyer

Congratulations to all the winners!

So, start preparing your astrophotos for the 2007 David Malin Awards, and share with the wider public your enthusiasm for the grandeur and beauty of astronomy.





The 2006 CWAS "David Malin Awards" was proudly supported by Canon Australia





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