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2020 New Zealand Astrophotography Competition for the Harry Williams Trophy

Congratulations to the overall winner Mattew Sole who took out the competition with his amazing Anteater Nebula image, not only does Matthew get his name immortalized on the Harry Williams trophy but he also receives the $1000 NZD Sky-Watcher Australia Voucher for being the overall winner as well as the $300 NZD Celestron Australia Voucher for winning the Deep sky category, also he will receive a cash prize of $200 from the Auckland Astronomical Society.
We have to give a huge amount of gratitude to Babak Tafreshi for being this years judge, no doubt he had a tough time picking the winners from a huge field of quality images.
And lastly I thank all the entrants for taking the time to capture the cosmos and for entering our humble competition, we look forward to seeing what you all come up with for next years competition.

Full results with judges comments:

Nightscape category:

Winner:
Meteoric Glow by Stephen Voss

The power of a rare moment captured on a simple single exposure photograph, good composition, the message of light pollution and dark skies.


Highly Commended:

AURORA VORTEX by Larryn Rae

Strong composition, although not an original idea. But it adds to the contest with an additional subject.


NUGGET POINT by Glen Butler


I usually don’t pick nightscape images produced by stacking or blending of exposures but this is a powerful image with the good framing, excellent foreground, and the Galaxy rising above the Southern Ocean in the evening sky. The strong presence of red airglow bands from our upper atmosphere adds to the drama.


Other notable Nightscape entries:


Taking The Time by Jordan McInally
(is a great 360 when viewed in VR).
Journey You Must Walk by Jordan McInally …
Great piece of art. I was unsure to choose this image because of the repeated idea of Milky Way arc panorama and the wrong color balance/tint but its strong composition changed my mind. The natural night sky is not in this color.
Lewis Pass Truck by Chris Wight
Lightshow by Virginie Bitterlin
Hooker Lake Relections by Marty Capener (simply elegant)


Solar System Category:

Winner:
SWAN-2020-05-02 by James Gossage
Great details of the comet tail, good framing, but most remarkable is the appearance of a Local Group less-known galaxy some 3 million light years away.


Highly Commended:


Conjunction by Stephen Voss

Great mosaic of a rare sight, the end of a celestial occultation. The complete view of the moon gives the viewer a sense of apparent size and distance of these objects. It’s both educational and engaging.


STARLINK-Neowise by Ian Griffin
The story in this image is very important to share. An issue which we are forced to encounter more heavily in the close future.


Deep Sky Category:

Winner:


NGC6726 – The Anteater Neblua by Matthew Sole
Perfectly framed, exposed, and edited with naturally rich colors. The molecular cloud complex and a dense globular cluster and young blue stars spreading light in a reflection nebula, all filled this frame with wonders.


Highly Commended:


NGC1549 by Rolf Wahl Olsen
This is probably the deepest entry in this contest where faint extension of tidal arms are revealed merging between then two galaxies, they only appear in very long exposures. Also very good choose of a less-photographed target.


Corona Australis by Chester Hall-Fernandez
A great example of wide-field astrophotography where a simple fast telephoto lens is enough to reveal extensive objects like this.


Other notable Deep Sky entries:


Vela Supernova Remnant by Liam Murphy
NGC6188 by Simon Lewis
Gabriela Mistral Nebula and the Gem Cluster by Liam Murphy


Timelapse Category:

Winner:


After Dark by Mark Gee
….
Fine use of camera motion, well executed twilight transitions,
and creative idea for opening and closing scene with horizon tilt.


Highly Commended:

Heart Of A Dark Sky Reserve by Chris Murphy

I like the simplicity of this clip based on only 3 shots from the same spot that reveals the natural elegance of this place at dark.

ASTRO NZ by Larryn Rae

Beautiful selection of scenes.


Other notable Timelapse entries:

Sunset To Sunrise by Mark Gee
West_To_East by Chris Murphy
Beauty of darkness by Amit Ashok Kamble


Overall Winner and Winner of the Harry Williams Astrophotography Trophy


NGC6726 – The Anteater Neblua by Matthew Sole


Perfectly framed, exposed, and edited with naturally rich colors. The molecular cloud complex and a dense globular cluster and young blue stars spreading light in a reflection nebula, all filled this frame with wonders.