In July 2012, the Central West Astronomical Society's astrophotography 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
This year's competition had seven categories and a discretionary Innovation award:
Solar System - Hires (< 30')
Solar System - Wide-Field (> 30')
Themed Section - "Symmetries"
Junior (< 18 yo)
and the Innovation Award
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" in the presence of invited dignitaries, during the CWAS
AstroFest conference dinner on 14 July 2012.
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. Canon Australia supported the
competition with prizes to the value of over $13,500.
New to this year's competition was the Photo Editor's Award. Mr Steve Grove, the News Ltd. Photographic Manager, judged the photographs and gave his pick from each category. His overall winner was awarded the Photo Editor's Choice Award.
Last year's exhibitions were a resounding success. The two parallel exhibitions were
viewed by 240,000 people Australia-wide.
This year's permanent exhibition will be on show at the CSIRO Parkes Observatory's Visitor's Centre from August 2012 to July 2013. A second touring exhibition, organised by the Powerhouse Museum, will travel to selected venues, beginning with Sydney Observatory on 17 August 2012.
Citation: "A busy but very interesting shot of the Williamstown dockyards dominated by a full moon, all of it pervaded by a mistiness that adds colour and softens an industrial subject. It is a strong, eye-catching image."
Details: 12th November, 2011 from Williamstown, Melbourne.
Taken with a Canon 5D MarkII DSLR, with a 300mm lens and 1.4x teleconverter.
HDR composite (1/4, 0.8 & 2.5 second exposures), F8 and ISO 100
Citation: "It shows excellent resolution and a strong composition."
Details: A nebula in the constellation of Cygnus. A Planewave 17" CDK f6.8 telescope was used with an Apogee U16M camera and Astrodon filters.
Exposures:Ha: 5.5hrs, SII: 5.5hrs OIII: 7hrs 50minutes (total 18 hours 50 minutes)
Citation: "The dark, curved, suggestive rocks in the foreground contrast strongly with the delicately luminous tail of the comet. Fabulous composition!"
Details: Image of Comet Lovejoy taken on 24 December 2011 from Cape Shanck, Vic. The part of the Milky Way between Crux and Scorpius was seen as a Giant Emu by many aboriginal groups across Australia. The comet appears like a "spear" in the body of the giant Emu. Taken with a Nikon D700 DSLR camera and Nikkor 14-24mm lens and ISO 3200. A stack of 7 frames. Processed with Nikon Capture NX2 and Photoshop CS5.
Citation: "This is a superb image. The lyrics of the song "King of Pain" by the Police, apparently have the line "There's a little black dot on the Sun today" "
Details: A high resolution view of Venus against the sun in Hydrogen Alpha light on 6 June 2012. An Astro-Physics AP130 refractor telescope, Baader FFC and Coronado H-alpha filter were used with a Skynyx 2-2
camera to combine the best of 1500 frames to capture Venus against the Sun.
Citation: "The stars are round and nicely coloured. I'm impressed that Nathan has got his head around the challenging software."
Details: The radio galaxy, Centaurus A (also known as NGC 5128) is a prominent galaxy in the constellation of Centaurus. Taken with a modified Canon 350D camera on a 8-inch F4 Newtonian Telescope on a EQ5 mount. A stack of 164 x 2.5 minute exposures. Processed with Deep Sky Stacker and Pixinsight Demo.
Citation: "The sequence includes the lot. To top it off there is a beautiful lunar eclipse and a fine rising pan at the end."
Details: A beautiful twilight, a variety of moonset and moonrises Orographic clouds, the Southern Cross rising majestically with star colours intact, Comet Lovejoy, the decaying debris trail from a meteor, distant lightning on the horizon, a green sky, the Magellanic Clouds, the Milky Way, amazing projections of the Bungle Bungles and some very elegant and well thought out tracking and panning movements!
Details: A panoramic image taken at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, after the sunset with the zodiacal light visible. Taken
with an astronomically modified Sony NEX-5 camera and Nikkor 10.5mm fish-eye lens at f/2.8 and ISO 3200. Six 15-second exposures were taken and stitched together to produce the 360 degree spherical
panorama, which was then mapped to a rectangular image. Panoramic processing was done with PTGUI Pro
software, further processing in Adobe Photoshop CS5.
The winners were presented with the awards by Dr David Malin himself, in
the presence of invited dignitaries, during the CWAS AstroFest dinner
on July 14, 2012. The dignitaries included the Mayor of Parkes, Cr Ken
Keith; Dr Nick Lomb, Curator of Astronomy at Sydney Observatory; Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith (CASS); Dr Marta Burgay (Cagliari Observatory, Italy); Mr Terry Lovejoy; Mr Alan Brightman
of Canon Australia; and Alex Abbey, President of the CWAS.
The award winners represented entries from across Australia (NSW, Qld,
Vic, SA, WA and ACT). Congratulations to them all.
The overall winner of the 2012 CWAS "David Malin Awards" was Phil Hart of Melbourne, Vic, for his beautiful image of the full Moon above the Williamstown Dockyards.
The quality of the images was of an incredibly high standard and a
testament to the great skill and talent of Australian
The very finest images will be exhibited in two parallel exhibitions, beginning with Sydney Observatory in August. Last year's
exhibitions were a resounding success, with over 240,000
people viewing the exhibitions Australia-wide.
The competition was proudly supported by Canon Australia, who provided prizes
to the value of over $13,500. The overall winner received a Canon
60Da DSLR camera (RRP $1,699). The other award recipients each received a Canon
Powershot S100 digital camera (RRP $549).
The Presentations at the Comfort Inn, The Parkes International Hotel
All of the 2012 "David Malin Awards" Winners.
(L-R): Wayne England, Nathan Coleman, Alex Cherney, Peter Ward, Dr David Malin, Phil Hart, Stephen Mudge, Greg Priestley, Anthony Wesley, Martin Pugh, Paul Haese, Greg Bradley, Trent McDougall.
Not Present: Jason Jennings, Mike Salway, Gary Hill, Zane Hammond, Geoff Sims, Grahame Kelaher, Geoffrey Wyatt, Richard Tonello, Stephanie Hough, David Hough and Colin Legg.