In July 2021, the Central West Astronomical Society held its annual astrophotography
competition. Amateur astronomers and photographers from around
Australia were invited to take part in the competition and to submit
their astrophotographs for consideration in the prestigious
"David Malin Awards". Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, a
special online presentation was held on Saturday, 24 July 2021, to announce the winning images.
This year's competition had seven categories:
Junior (18 years old and younger)
This year saw a change in the judging structure. In order to
build on the experience of previous years, and to continue as the
premier competition of its kind in Australia, a panel of three
distinguished Australian astrophotographers judged the category
entries. Dr David Malin then judged the Overall Winner from the list
of these winners, as the best in show. We were honoured that the judging panel including Peter Ward, Phil Hart, and Alex Cherney, all previous winners of the "David Malin Awards", and numerous other national and international astrophotography competitions.
The winners of the "David Malin
Awards" were announced on Saturday, 24 July 2021, during a special
online, Zoom presentation attended by the competition entrants,
and the members of the Central West Astronomical Society.
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. Celestron Australia supported the
competition with Online Gift Voucher prizes to the value of $10,000.
Mr Jeff Darmanin, a News Corp. Picture Editor, judged the "Photo Editor's Choice" awards 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 over 200,000 people Australia-wide.
After the COVID-19 restrictions have eased, this year's permanent exhibition will be on show at the CSIRO Parkes
Observatory's Visitor's Centre for one year. A
second touring exhibition, organised by the Museum of Applied Arts and
Sciences, will travel to selected venues, beginning with Sydney
Observatory in October.
To have received any one of these awards is a great honour. Congratulations!
Citation: "This is a lovely montage. What makes it work is the overall colour balance, the evident but not
dominant rocky foreground and the softened, time-exposed sea. The stars are pin-sharp, and the
Milky Way embraces the whole thing, including the zodiacal light. Beautiful!"
Citation: "This is one of the most colourful regions in the night sky and this unusual presentation
impressed all three judges with excellent framing, good technical handling colour and dynamic
range. It was the standout image of the section."
Citation: "This intrinsically beautiful nebula is a difficult subject to get right, given the wide dynamic range,
colourful reflection regions and dust absorption lanes. This image shows excellent technical
execution, as well as an engaging image scale."
Citation: "These are lovely images with subtle colours and excellent detail. Happily, they also capture a
new transient feature in the planet's northern hemisphere as well as another interesting event in
the southern hemisphere. Jupiter's moons are a bonus."
Citation: "This is a gentle piece of work, with a well-chosen soundtrack and nicely edited footage. A
combination of telescopic focal lengths and wide-angle sequences provides multiple views of
the 2021 total lunar eclipse in a finely crafted narrative."
Citation: "This sequence of satellite and ISS transits required meticulous planning to successfully capture
these fleeting events. It's very difficult to make them look pretty, but the number and variety of
sequences makes them interesting and engaging."
Winner: Ian Inverarity
Photo Editor's Choice - judged by Jeff Darmanin (Head of Vision & Picture Editor, The Sunday Telegraph)
"Sheltering from the Starlight"
Citation: "What a wonderful balance between the night sky & such an iconic and majestic tree in a unique
Australian outback landscape. The balance created with the human lighting up the detail of the
age in the trunk and outer branches helps create an extra dimension to the image while also
giving scale to the overall scene. A cracking picture."
Owing to the COVID-19
lockdown situation and the associated social distancing measures in
place, the presentation of the 2021
CWAS "David Malin Awards" was held during a special online Zoom
presentation, on Saturday, 24 July 2021. It was attended by
the competition entrants, and the members of the Central West
The competition represented entrants from every State and Territory of Australia (NSW, Qld,
Vic, SA, WA, Tas and ACT).
The quality of the images was a testament to the great skill and talent of Australian astrophotographers.
The very finest images will be exhibited in two parallel
exhibitions. The first will be on show at the CSIRO Parkes Observatory's Visitors
Centre, and will be officially opened later in the year, when the
COVID-19 restictions have eased and it is safe to travel
and congregate again. It will remain at Parkes for the entire year. The second
exhibition is being organised by the Museum of Applied Arts and
Sciences and will tour Australia, beginning with Sydney
Observatory in October. Last year's exhibitions were a resounding success, with
over 200,000 people viewing the
exhibitions Australia-wide. As such, it is the largest photographic
exhibition in Australia, in terms of its reach and the number of visitations.
View the Online Presentation
Celestron Australia supported the 2021 competition with online gift
voucher prizes valued at $10,000. The prizes include: