The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer
A photograph of the Orion Nebula and the neighbouring Running Man Nebula taken by longstanding Macclesfield Camera Club member David Tolliday has been shortlisted for The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 competition organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The results will be announced at an awards ceremony on 17 September 2015 and the image will be included in a book of award winning and shortlisted images. The image was taken during David’s first serious attempt at astrophotography from a dark sky site in Mid Wales in November 2014 using a Canon 5D MkIII camera and 500mm lens set on an Astrotrac borrowed from fellow Camera Club member Kevin Blake (Thank you Kevin). The time was well after midnight, the temperature was below freezing and there was ice on the tripod and frost covered the camera bag.
The image is a stack of five separate exposures taken at different settings ranging from 5 to 180 seconds at f4 to record detail the different parts of the nebula which have very different brightness levels. The images were edited and combined in Photoshop.