The Central West Astronomical Society is proud to announce the 2023 CWAS Astrophotography Awards - the "David Malin Awards".
The competition will continue with the new judging structure, introduced last year. 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 distinguished Australian astrophotographers will judge the category entries. Dr David Malin will judge the Overall Winner from the list of these winners. We are honoured that the judging panel will include Phil Hart, Alex Cherney, and Peter Ward, previous winners of the "David Malin Awards" and numerous other national and international astrophotography competitions.
There are three sections of entry - General Section, Open Themed Section, and a Junior Section (18 or younger). The general section is divided into six categories; Wide-field (camera shots), Deep Sky (telescope shots), Solar System, Nightscapes, Animated Sequencences, and Smartphone Astrophotography. The Junior Section will have one open category and entries can be of any astronomical subject, and can be an animated sequence.
Click here to see the Conditions of Entry.
The Competition Structure:
- Deep Sky
- Solar System
- Animated Sequences
- Smartphone Astrophotography
- Junior Section (18 or younger) - One Open Category (can be of any astronomical subject)
- Open Themed Section - "The Zodiac"
- 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.
- An additional prize, "The Photo Editor's Choice", will also be awarded. This will be judged by a major news organisation's photo editor or editors.
The Solar System category is for images of solar system objects taken with a telescope. Wide-field solar system shots may be entered in the Wide-Field or Nightscape categories depending on the subject and composition.
The Nightscapes is intended to showcase the increasing popularity and evolution of this relatively new genre of astrophotography, combining beautiful terrestrial foregrounds with a night sky scene - often in a single exposure (HDR is OK) or as a multi-shot panorama. NOTE: Any image that contains terrestrial foregrounds will be considered to be a nightscape image.
Animated Sequences should be videos that are intriguing or highlight concepts and events not obvious or significant in stills. Astrophotographers are invited to submit animations, produced as either time-lapse sequences or with other forms of video. They can be of any subject, provided there is a distinct astronomical link. All animations must be submitted as MOV, MPEG, AVI or MP4 files.
Today, smartphones are ubiquitous and some are capable of impressive low light-level photography.
In Smartphone Astrophotography we are looking for images that have been taken with only a smartphone, and without telescopes, of an astronomical scene that has some aesthetic appeal and/or that has captured something you might not expect to see from such a tiny camera.
There is no strict delineation between Deep Sky and Wide-Field images. Wide-field images are typically produced with DSLR and interchangeable lens cameras at a focal length of less than ~400mm, but this characterisation is becoming less clear as equipment evolves. Wide-field images are typically constellations or "scenes" rather than deep sky "objects" but entrants are free to submit images to either category.
Judges reserve the right to move images between categories.
The Open Themed Section is open to all astrophotographers. They are encouraged to see who can be the most inventive and creative in evoking the theme, which this year will be "The Zodiac". Photographs could be of the dusty zodiacal light or gegenschein, portraits of the zodiac constellations with or without planets amongst them, or anything else that symbolises the zodiac, one of the earliest astronomical concepts in our understanding of the sky. We are looking for eye-catching images that are also aesthetically pleasing and/or challenging.
All entries must be images that faithfully reflect and maintain the integrity of the subject. Image manipulations or composites that produce works that are more "digital art" than true astronomical images, will be deemed ineligible.
All still images must be submitted as digital files via a dedicated web site that can be accessed at this myphotoclub web page. For judging purposes, still images must be submitted as JPG files with the longest side having a dimension no greater than 4,950 pixels. All images must be in Adobe 1998 RGB colour space and will be judged using a calibrated monitor. Similarly, winning images will be printed from the files as-received, so it would be prudent for entrants to calibrate their monitors if possible. It does make a difference. Click here for an example of a very detailed set of calibration procedures for all platforms. For Mac users, a useful monitor calibration program can be found under "Monitors" in System Preferences, and the ideal solution for monitor calibration is a stand-alone device such as the Spyderexpress.
Submission of entries will close at 24:00 (AEST) on Wednesday, 31 May 2023. Entrants must first create an account on the MyPhotoClub submission page, by clicking on the green entry button. Follow the links to create the account and password.
Entry fees are $15 per entry and should be paid by the PayPal gateway on the entry website. Credit and debit cards can be used on this gateway.
The photographs will be judged by a panel of distinguished astrophotographers, who will judge the category winners. Dr David Malin will judge the overall winner from this list of winners.
Submitted image files should not contain identifying metadata. If anonymity of the judging process is important to the entrant, then images should not be shared in public forums prior to completion of judging. The winners will be notified and presented with the "David Malin Awards" during a special ceremony, held during the 2023 CWAS AstroFest, in the presence of invited dignitaries on Saturday, 22 July 2023. All winners should make every effort to attend the presentation of the awards.
A selection of the finest astrophotographs received will be professionally printed courtesy of Sunstudios and exhibited for the entire year at the CSIRO Parkes Observatory's Visitors Centre. In addition, a second set will tour the country in a travelling exhibition, organised by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, to selected venues across Australia.
There is a limit of five (5) entries per category per photographer. All photographs must have been taken no more than 2 years before the closing date of entry, and no re-entries from previous DMA competitions will be accepted. All entries must be submitted in electronic form via the MyPhotoClub submissions web site. The entrants must provide brief details of the equipment, exposure times, processing, and where relevant, the location where the image was taken.
It is not just technical skill that the judges will be looking for, but an aesthetically pleasing picture that reflects and captures the beauty, inspiration and interest of astronomy. All images will be judged by these criteria.
Overall Judge: Dr David Malin
Judging Panel: Phil Hart, Alex Cherney, and Peter Ward
Presentation Ceremony for the 2023 CWAS "David Malin Awards"
to be held in the Starlight Room of the Parkes Services Club, on Saturday, 22 July 2023
Entries close at 24:00 (AEST) on Wednesday, 31 May 2022
Click here to Submit Entries
Conditions of Entry
1. Entries will be accepted only from Australian residents of the COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA and its TERRITORIES. For clarification, see the ATO website.
2. There will be three sections of entry - General, Open Themed Section, and Junior (18 or younger).
3. There will be six categories of entry for the General section; Wide-field (camera shots), Deep Sky (telescope shots), Solar System, Nightscapes, Animated Sequences, and Smartphone Astrophotography.
4. The Junior section is for photographers 18 years old or younger and will have one open category (can be any type instrument or astronomical subject).
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. There is a limit of five (5) entries per category per photographer.
7. 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.
8. Entries that 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.
10. To preserve anonymity (as far as prtactical), the submitted image files should not contain identifying metadata.
11. For judging purposes, still images must be submitted as JPG files with the longest side having a dimension no greater than 4,950 pixels in Adobe 1998 colour space. Animated Sequences must be submitted as a URL link to a publicly visible file in MOV, MPG, AVI or MP4 file formats and must not exceed two minutes in runtime for Aesthetic entries and one minute for Scientific entries.
12. All photographs must have been taken no more than 2 years before the closing date of entry, and no re-entries from previous DMA competitions will be accepted.
13. Entry fees are $15 per entry and should be paid by the PayPal gateway on the entry website. Credit and debit cards can be used on this gateway.
14. If entry payments are not received by the deadline, then the submitted entries will not be accepted for judging.
15. After notification, the winning images must be supplied on request as TIFF files in Adobe 1998 RGB colour space for professional printing. The longest side should have a dimension of about 4,950 pixels.
16. The winning entries will be exhibited for the entire year in the CSIRO Parkes Observatory's Visitors Centre. In addition, a second set of images will tour the country in a travelling exhibition, to selected venues.
17. Permission to reproduce entries for publication to promote the competition and exhibitions will be assumed as a condition of entry. The copyright of the image remains with the author, and we will try to ensure that the author is credited where the image is used.
18. All entries must be images that faithfully reflect and maintain the scale and integrity of the subject. Image combinations and manipulations that grossly distort the intrinsic and relative brightness of a scene will be deemed ineligible. If there is any doubt about the acceptability of an entry, then the competition organisers should be contacted, before the entry is submitted, for adjudication on the matter at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
19. If after the judging process, an image is subsequently determined to have violated the letter and/or the spirit of the rules, then that image will be disqualified. Any prizes consequently awarded for that image, must be returned to the competition organisers.
20. The competition judges reserve the right to reject any entry that, in the opinion of the judges, does not meet the conditions of entry or is unsuitable for public display. The judges' decisions will be final.
21. Submissions close at 24:00 (AEST) on Wednesday, 31 May 2023. No entries will be accepted past this date.
22. All winners should make an effort to attend the presentation of the awards.
23. Submission of an entry implies acceptance of all the conditions of entry and the decisions of the competition judges.
The 2023 CWAS "David Malin Awards" are proudly supported by