David Tolliday wins the Sir Patrick Moore prize in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition

Orion - by David Tolliday

Orion – by David Tolliday

Our congratulations to David Tolliday – a member of Macclesfield Camera Club – who won the Sir Patrick Moore prize in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, an award given to newcomers to the hobby who show great promise.

The Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer is for photos taken by people who have taken up the hobby in the last year and have not entered an image into the competition before.

The 2015 winner for the Best Newcomer Special Prize was ‘Orion DT’ by David Tolliday (UK), taken in the Elan Valley in Powys, Wales, using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera with an Astrotrac mount and 500mm f/4 lens. It was shot at ISO 800 with 18- 44- and 117-second exposures.

David said of his shot: ‘This image of the Orion and the Running Man Nebulae was taken on my first night of astrophotography at the dark-sky location in Elan Valley, mid-Wales. I usually take wildlife photographs so borrowed an Astrotrac mount. The temperature was -2°C, there was ice on the tripod and my camera bag was white with frost. I photographed red kites during the day and the sky at night. This was one of my most enjoyable photography days ever.’

‘To capture such a delicate image of this region in Orion is impressive,’ competition judge Chris Bramley commented, ‘but to do it on a first night imaging under the stars is remarkable! A worthy winner.’ – Royal Museums Greenwich