The 2018 CWAS AstroFest
"The David Malin Awards"
The 2018 CWAS AstroFest
"The David Malin Awards"
In July 2018, 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 Awards".
This year's competition had eight categories:
- Deep Sky
- Solar System
- Animated Sequences: Scientific and Aesthetic
- Themed Section - "Revealing the Colours of the Stars"
- Junior (18 years old and younger)
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 on 14 July 2018. The dignitaries included Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, Cr Ken Keith (Mayor of Parkes Shire Council), Alan Brightman (General Manager - Sunstudios, Canon Australia), Dr Fred Watson (AAO) and Dr Andrew Jacob (Sydney Observatory).
L-R: Dr David Malin, Christine Speers (CWAS President), Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, Cr Ken Keith (Parkes Mayor) and John Sarkissian. Photo © Maggi Barnard
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 Estore 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.
This year's permanent exhibition will be on show at the CSIRO Parkes Observatory's Visitor's Centre for one year from 15 July 2018. A second touring exhibition, organised by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, will travel to selected venues, beginning with Sydney Observatory on 6 September 2018.
To have received any one of these awards is a great honour. Congratulations!
The Competition - Category Winners
Winner: Luke Tscharke
OVERALL WINNER "Crescent Moon at Lake Oberon"
Citation: "This is absolutely beautiful in all respects, to my eye at least, and is one of the finest night-time landscape images I have ever seen. The texture of the foreground and silhouetted outlines of the background hills add to dramatic depth of the scene, and the curved shoreline of the lake and the Milky Way complete a moonlit mountain landscape. Superb!"
Luke's winning image was of a crescent moon at Lake Oberon in Tasmania was taken last year while he was on assignment as a photographer for Australian Geographic, where he set out to walk in the footsteps of the brilliant wilderness photographer Peter Dombrovskis.
Supplied: © Luke Tscharke/David Malin Awards
Winner: Peter Ward
"E lucevan le stelle"
Citation: "A meandering band of colour appears suspended among the stars, forming the diagonal in this striking image of faint nebulosity. The stars are tiny and the delicate structure in the nebula was captured in a nine-hour exposure, with colours reassembled in the popular "Hubble Palette"."
Supplied: © Peter Ward/David Malin Awards
Winner: Stefan Buda
"Colours of Serenity and Tranquillity"
Citation: "I was very impressed with this as a piece of abstract art. This photograph of the lunar surface is a nine-panel mosaic taken near full moon. The flat lighting allows the subtle natural colours to be exaggerated in processing to reveal the Moon's varied chemical composition."
Supplied: © Stefan Buda/David Malin Awards
Winner: Tom Elliott
"Barrenjoey Milky Way Arch"
Citation: "A location I'm very familiar with takes on a new identity beneath the stars of the Milky Way. While some of the joins in the 38-image panorama are evident, the overall visual effect is powerful."
Supplied: ©Tom Elliott/David Malin Awards
Winner: Ian Inverarity
Theme - "Revealing the Colours of the Stars"
"Old Wagon and Neon Lights"
Citation: "This is a remarkable image, ornamenting a coloured, out of-focus background of star trails with a strongly textured and strangely illuminated foreground. It certainly reveals the star colours clearly, and suggests many other photographic possibilities for this kind of approach."
Supplied: ©Ian Inverarity/David Malin Awards
Joint Winner: Phil Hart
Animated Sequences - Aesthetic
Citation: "Lovely! The music sets the mood well and is not overpowering. Well chosen and linked footage, beautiful twilight cloud sequences, seen in good and varied locations."
The Photo Editor's Choice
About the Central West Astronomical Society
On Friday, 1 February 2002, the Parkes Radio Observatory played host to the inaugural meeting of The Central West Astronomical Society. Amateur astronomers from all parts of the Central West of NSW attended the meeting. People from as far afield as Parkes, Forbes, Orange, Canowindra, Dubbo, Narromine, Trundle, Bogan Gate, Tichbourne and Cookamidgera attended. In addition, three visiting Melbourne University students made it a national event.
Dr. John Reynolds, the Officer-in-Charge of the Parkes Observatory, welcomed the members and expressed his support for the society and its aims. The society in turn expressed its gratitude to Dr. Reynolds for his support and goodwill in allowing the meetings to be held at the Observatory with the magnificent Parkes Dish as a backdrop.
The Central West of NSW is a vast area, boasting some of the darkest skies in NSW. In addition to the many private observatories, the region is host to numerous professional astronomical facilities, such as the Parkes Radio Observatory, the AAO and Siding Springs Observatories to the north, and the Mt. Stromlo Observatory and the Tidbinbilla tracking station to the south.
Remarkably, a society did not exist to cater for the needs and aspirations of the large numbers of people in the region who are fascinated with the night sky. Recognising this need, a group of amateur astronomers from the district; John Sarkissian, Chris Toohey, Alex Abbey, Peter Cannon and Jim Buckley, got together and founded the long overdue society.
The society meets on the FIRST Friday of every month at the Parkes Observatory Visitor's Centre from 7:30 pm.
People of all ages and experience are welcome to attend these monthly meetings. No prior knowledge of astronomy nor ownership of a telescope are required. Only a keen interest in, and an enthusiam for astronomy and the night sky, are all that is required.
The monthly meetings, include a regular program of guest speakers, films, discussions and observing reports. In addition, separate monthly observing nights enable members to interact and pass on their observing skills and knowledge of the night sky.
Since its inception, the Society has grown in leaps and bounds. In addition to the many great speakers that regularly address the Society, the public outreach activities of the CWAS have increased in scope and stature.
In 2004, the CWAS AstroFest was inaugurated as the main fundraising and public outreach activity of the Society. It has been phenomenally successful. Also in 2004, the "David Malin Awards" were inaugurated as part of the AstroFest. Today it is recognised as the premier event of its kind in Australia. The following year in 2005, the associated touring exhibition was begun and last year 110,000 people viewed the exhibition in seven venues in three States and the ACT.
In 2007, a search was initiated for a permanent dark sky site for the Society's regular monthly viewing nights. It is planned that an observatory and club house will be built at the site to further our aims.
We look forward to meeting many new members and to further encourage and promote amateur astronomy in the Central West.
For further information contact the Secretary