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Celebrating a Stellar Win: The 2023 Australian Photographic Prize – Deep Space Category

Today, I’m not just floating among the stars but truly on cloud nine. I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve emerged victorious in the Deep Space category of the 2023 Australian Photographic Prize. The competition this year was fierce, with 433 entries spanning 5 continents and representing 14 different countries. And out of this multitude of celestial masterpieces, not one, not two, but three of my images soared into the top-tier!

To further paint a picture of the competition: 263 images were in the Deep Space section, while 170 graced the Astro Landscape category. It’s heartening to see such passionate participation from countries as varied as the USA, UK, Germany, Estonia, France, Austria, Sweden, Romania, India, Pakistan, Chile, New Zealand, and naturally, Australia.

The initial online judging phase was a nail-biter, where the crème de la crème, the top 25 images from each category, secured an average score of just over 85 out of 100. These best of the best then faced a second round of scrutiny by the revered APP panel. The tension and excitement were palpable, especially with a live audience and the real-time YouTube broadcasting of the event – a groundbreaking first in the astrophotography competition world.

While the win is exhilarating, it’s the communal spirit and shared passion for the cosmos and photography that truly stand out.

A universe-sized thank you to the sponsors – Sidereal Trading and William Optics. Their generosity ensures I’ll be exploring the galaxies soon with a brand new WO Redcat 51 telescope!

Deep gratitude to the live judging panel: Dr. Tanya Hill, with her unparalleled expertise in Astronomy and Physics; “Strongman” Mike Sidonio; Diego Colonello; Ari Rex; Tim Moon; and Grand Master Photographers, Paul Hoelen and Peter Eastway. Their dedication and keen eyes shaped the competition.

Lastly, a big salute to Marcel Drescher, our online judge from Germany, for his astrophotography acumen.

With three of my images in the top and one clinching the win, I’m more inspired than ever to capture and share the universe’s splendour with you all. Here’s to many more stargazing nights and breathtaking captures! 🌌📷🌟