This year's competition continues to build on the experience of previous years to help make it the premier competition of its kind in Australia. The competition this year will have three sections of entry - General Section, Open Themed Section and a Junior Section (18 or younger).

The CWAS AstroFest is teaming up with Astrovisuals to produce a 2019 astronomy calendar of images from this year's CWAS "David Malin Awards". Images for the calendar will be picked from the shortlisted and winning entries.

Images for the 2019 calendar will be picked from the shortlisted and winning entries.

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences is once again conducting a competition to choose the cover image for the 2019 edition of its Australasian Sky Guide. The cover image will be chosen from the shortlisted winning images of this year's CWAS "David Malin Awards".

Be sure to get your entries in by the close of submissions on Monday, 21 May, to qualify for this prestigious opportunity.

The Central West Astronomical Society is proud to announce the 2018 CWAS Astrophotography Awards judged by Dr David Malin - the "David Malin Awards". Please read the Conditions of Entry.

This year's competition continues to build on the experience of previous years to help make it the premier competition of its kind in Australia. The competition this year will have three sections of entry - General Section, Open Themed Section and a Junior Section (18 or younger). The general section is divided into five categories; Wide-field (camera shots), Deep Sky (telescope shots), Solar System, Nightscapes and Animated Sequences. The Animated Sequences category has two subsections - Scientific and Aesthetic. The Junior Section will have one open category and entries can be of any astronomical subject, and can be an animated sequence.

This year's competition continues to build on the experience of previous years to help make it the premier competition of its kind in Australia. The competition this year will have three sections of entry - General Section, Open Themed Section and a Junior Section (18 or younger). The general section is divided into five categories; Wide-field (camera shots), Deep Sky (telescope shots), Solar System, Nightscapes and Animated Sequences. The Animated Sequences category has two subsections - Scientific and Aesthetic. The Junior Section will have one open category and entries can be of any astronomical subject, and can be an animated sequence.

Enter the 2018 CWAS "David Malin Awards"

Canon Australia is supporting the competition with Estore Vouchers valued at over $10,000
Astrofest Estore voucher QTY Total
1st prize overall $2,000 1 $2000
Category prize $750 8 $6000
Honourable mentions $200 10 $2000

The Competition Structure:

  • General Section:
    • Wide-Field
    • Deep Sky
    • Solar System
    • Nightscapes
    • Animated Sequences
      • Scientific
      • Aesthetic
  • Junior Section (18 or younger) - One Open Category (can be of any astronomical subject)
  • Open Themed Section - "Revealing the Colours of the Stars"
  • 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 foregrounds with a night sky scene - often in a single exposure (HDR is OK) or as a multi-shot panorama.

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. This category will have two subsections - Scientific and Aethestic. Scientific animations are short sequences that have an obvious scientific purpose, perhaps changes in the appearance of a planet, comet or other celestial body, or where the footage was used for the timing of a transit, an occultation, or even in studying dome seeing. These sequences usually require great skill and/or perseverance in first obtaining the data and then in collating them to reveal an aspect of scientific merit. Aesthetic sequences are animations that are aesthetically pleasing in some way, where the use of appropriate music and editing is encouraged, but always with a strong astronomical component. Scientific animations should be silent and be less than one minute in duration. Aesthetic animations must not exceed two minutes in runtime. All animations must be submitted as MOV, MPEG, AVI or MP4 files.

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 "Revealing the Colours of the Stars". Star colours are fundamental to astronomy, and although there are stars all over the night sky, their pastel hues are challenging to capture with a camera or telescope. We are looking for eye-catching images that reveal star colours in any way or in a context that shows them realistically. The intention is to encourage people with vision, imagination and creativity, using simple equipment, such as a tripod and ordinary camera, to make attractive images of objects that normally appear colourless to the eye.

All entries must be images that faithfully reflect and maintain the integrity of the subject. Entries made up of composite images taken at different times, different locations or with different cameras are not acceptable. Image manipulations 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. 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 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 be accepted from Monday, 19 March 2018, and will close at 24:00 (AEST) on Monday, 21 May 2018. Entrants must register in advance. This can be done from 19 March from the Submit Entries link on this page.

Entry payments can be made by cheque, money order or direct deposit. For the entries to be accepted, the payments must be received by the deadline. Entry fees are $15 per entry. Payment details will be presented following each entry submission.

The photographs will be judged by world-renowned astrophotographer, Dr David Malin. During the course of the judging process, Dr Malin may invite, at his discretion, the views of other distinguished international astronomers to aid him in his deliberations, with Dr Malin's decisions being final.

All entries will be judged without David being aware of the identity of the photographer, and to preserve anonymity, the submitted image files should not contain identifying metadata. The winners will be notified and presented with the "David Malin Awards" during a special ceremony held in Parkes in the presence of invited dignitaries on Saturday, 14 July 2018. All winners are required to make every effort to attend the presentation of the awards.

A selection of the finest astrophotographs received will be professionally printed courtesy of Canon Australia by 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 beginning with Sydney Observatory in August.

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 dedicated 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 David Malin 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.

Canon Australia is supporting the competition with significant prizes.

Finals Judge: Dr David Malin

Presentation Ceremony for the 2018 CWAS "David Malin Awards" held following the Civic Reception of 2018 CWAS AstroFest Conference 3:00pm Saturday, 14 July 2018.

Entries close at 24:00 (AEST) on Monday, 21 May 2018.


Enter the 2018 CWAS "David Malin Awards"

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