Photography exhibition to benefit RNLI

Thursday, 21 September 2023 06:32

Manx photographer catches moment of social history

A photography exhibition focussing on the naming ceremony of the latest Ramsey lifeboat has been launched in the northern town.

Manx photographer Ian Sanderson comes from a long line of people who’ve volunteered with the RNLI.

He hopes to raise funds for the organisation with his exhibition which is taking place at the Ramsey Community Hub.

Ian told Manx Radio he believes it will provide an escape for people who venture inside:

‘Full On: Photographs from the naming of the new Ramsey Lifeboat’ is running – in the old courthouse building – until Friday, 6 October. 

All proceeds from the exhibition will benefit the RNLI.

Why You Should Be on AstroBin

AstroBin is an incredible resource for astrophotographers, and I’m still convinced there are a few people who have still not joined the fun.

Whether you use the website for file storage, planning your next project, or connecting with others about specific questions, AstroBin is an amateur astrophotographer’s dream. 

While it began as an image-hosting website exclusively for astrophotography, it has since become much more. It is the ultimate (searchable) database of images and astrophotography equipment

Two of this website’s most popular sections are its advanced search and the exciting image of the day. The forum is also very active and full of practical information. 

AstroBin Key Features

  • Image Hosting and Sharing of Your Photos
  • Advanced Image Search (Target, Gear, Awards, etc.)
  • Advanced Platesolver (Astrometry)
  • Image Processing Feedback
  • Asking/Answering Questions in the Forum
  • Planning Astrophotography Projects
  • Researching Astrophotography Gear

As you can see, there is a lot to do on AstroBin. One of my favorite things to do is search for my next astrophotography target and sort the images by Award, and Image of the Day.

Talk about inspiration! Not only will you get an idea of what’s possible, but you can also review the equipment and integration time needed for these shots. 

Each member has their own profile page, complete with interesting stats like ‘average integration time‘. Mine is currently 4.4 hours in case you’re wondering!

My AstroBin profile page

The statistics displayed on AstroBin, whether it’s total integration time or the number of ‘top picks’ you’ve received, gamifys the astrophotography experience. And to me, that makes it a lot more fun. 

For example, I’d love to bump my average integration time up to a respectable 10 hours. Setting little goals like this is a great way to enjoy the hobby on a deeper level. 

What is AstroBin?

AstroBin was started by Salvatore Iovene with the goal of helping astrophotographers share their photos and learn from each other. 

It is used by astrophotographers of all disciplines, from multi-night narrowband deep-sky projects to high frame rate planetary imaging

At the core of AstroBin’s usefulness is the metadata associated with each uploaded image. Most images will include extensive acquisition details including exposure lengths and the moon phase of when the image was taken. 

Seeing this level of information behind an image is very helpful when planning your next astrophotography project. 

I mainly use AstroBin for research, planning, and inspiration, while others use it as a social platform to stay connected with their friends.

No matter what your interests are, if you are an astrophotographer, you will love AstroBin. 

The Global Stream includes every new image uploaded to AstroBin. 

Why I Use AstroBin

I currently subscribe to the AstroBin Premium Plan to take advantage of the additional file storage (unlimited images), and the removal of ads on the site.

To be honest, I also just want to support AstroBin to help ensure that it sticks around for a long time. I know how much work goes into building an astrophotography resource that benefits the community.

The ‘Big Wall‘ is where you will see all of the latest images uploaded to AstroBin. Not only is this a great way to see some of the astrophotography targets that are currently available in the night sky, but it is a great source of inspiration.

The bottom line is, if you are struggling to come up with an idea for your next astrophotography project, AstroBin is one of the best places to go. 

The absolute best, highest quality deep-sky astrophotos on the internet live on AstroBin. You will find that most serious astrophotographers have an account there. 

Large, High-Quality Images

One of my favorite things about AstroBin is that the astrophotos uploaded are absolutely massive. This allows you to zoom in and inspect others’ data in a way that you just can’t do on social media platforms.

The images are also plate-solved, revealing all of the interesting deep-sky objects in the field that you may have not even known about. 

The max file size for an image upload on the premium plan is 50MB, while the Ultimate plan allows you to upload an enormous 200 MB image. 

Review and Critique Image Processing

I recently uploaded my latest image of the Lion Nebula (Sharpless) 132, and received some helpful feedback on my image processing style. I only upload my highest-quality images to AstroBin. 

It was also a great way to contribute to the astrophotography community by sharing sample images taken using a new telescope that people are interested in (William Optic GT81 WIFD).

Because there is such a broad group of astrophotographers around the world, the feedback is often mixed and very helpful. 

Equipment Research

Let’s say you are considering purchasing a new telescope for astrophotography, but you would like to see example images taken with it. No problem.

You can perform a search in AstroBin that isolates images by the telescope used. For example, you can filter the image results by “William Optics RedCat 51” and only see images taken using that telescope. 

The camera, telescope, filters, etc. used for each image are outlined in the technical card underneath the image. You can also use the equipment explorer for a deep dive on specific types of gear. 

The Technical Card

When you find an image that you appreciate and may want to try photographing yourself, you should bookmark it. 

You can then go back to your bookmarked images and review the complete technical card for the image.

This will show you everything from the dates the image was taken, to the exposure lengths through each filter. 

Forums and Support

The forum on AstroBin is very active, will new questions being asked and answered each day. You can search for specific terms to narrow down your question. 

If you are having a specific issue with your telescope, or need advice on a particular project, chances are there has been a discussion about the topic in the past. 

You can browse the latest topics, or even subscribe to a specific topic to stay on top of things. 

Astrophotographers List

If you want to talk about bragging rights, the astrophotographers list is the place to go. It presents you with a complete list of members on the website, along with an exciting ‘scoring’ system.

Here, you can see which astrophotographer has the most overall integration, the most likes, and even, the most images of the day!

Plate Solving

AstroBin interfaces with and PixInsight to provide plate-solving overlays and precise astrometry data on your images. 

This helps you identify deep-sky objects in your images, including nebulae, galaxies, stars, planets, and more. 

A plate-solved overlay on an image in AstroBin.

The Power of AstroBin

Fellow astrophotographer and friend Nico Carver published an insightful video about the power of AstroBin. 

This is a great watch for anyone looking for an overview of AstroBins features, and some clever ways to really utilize this resource.

He discusses a few clever ways to maximize your experience on this website, including the advanced platesolver and groups. 

Nico Carver’s AstroBin recommendations. 

Until watching this video, I didn’t even realize that AstroBin had a ‘browse by constellation’ feature. This is a useful companion for your favorite astronomy app

Final Thoughts

If you are an amateur astrophotographer and you haven’t explored AstroBin yet, I would highly recommend creating a free account.

You can start by uploading a few of your best images, and see what it’s like to go through the process of entering the acquisition details of your image.

Before you publish your image to the public, you can leave your image in the staging area to make sure everything in the technical card is filled out and accurate. 

I find that the image hosting aspect of AstroBin is worth the price of a paid plan alone. It is a safe place to store your high-resolution images, and all of the key metadata is included with it. 

I’ve been a member of AstroBin since 2016, and I can only hope that this incredible astrophotography resource continues to flourish for the foreseeable future. 

Helpful Resources:


30 Outstanding Winning Photos Of The Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2023

Here are the outstanding winning photos of the Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2023. The spellbinding winning images from the world’s biggest space photography competition were announced during an online awards ceremony on Thursday 14 September. As well as the overall winner, there were 11 different category prizes up for grabs, from glittering galaxies and shimmering aurora to out-of-this-world skyscapes. Find out more about all the entries below.

At the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year awards this week, a remarkable and unexpected revelation from over 2.5 million light-years away stole the spotlight. A team of amateur astronomers, consisting of Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner, and Yann Sainty, unveiled a breathtaking image featuring an immense plasma arc adjacent to the Andromeda Galaxy. This astonishing discovery has piqued the interest of scientists who are now delving deeper into the secrets concealed within this colossal gas cloud.

Judge and renowned astrophotographer, László Francsics, expressed, “This astronomical photograph is both awe-inspiring and invaluable. Not only does it offer a fresh perspective on Andromeda, but it also elevates the art of astrophotography to new heights.”

Scroll down and inspire yourself, Check their website for more information.

You can find more info about RMG:

#1 Galaxy – Overall winner: Andromeda, Unexpected By Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner, and Yann Sainty

A team of amateur astronomers led by Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner, and Yann Sainty made a surprising discovery−a huge plasma arc next to the Andromeda Galaxy. Scientists are now investigating the newly discovered giant in a transnational collaboration. It could be the largest such structure in the nearby environment in the Universe. The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest spiral galaxy to the Milky Way. It is undoubtedly one of the most photographed deep-sky objects ever. The new discovery of such a large structure in the immediate vicinity of the galaxy was all the more surprising.

#2 Galaxy – Runner-Up: The Eyes Galaxies By Weitang Liang

#3 Galaxy – Highly Commended: Neighbors By Paul Montague

#4 Aurora – Winner: Brushstroke By Monika Deviat

An abstract aurora in the shape of a brushstroke. Unusually, the photographer decided to photograph the aurora in isolation.

#5 Aurora – Runner-up: Circle of Light By Andreas Ettl

#6 Aurora – Highly Commended: Fire on the Horizon By Chester Hall-Fernandez

#7 Our Moon – Winner: Mars-Set By Ethan Chappel

An occultation of Mars that took place on December 8, 2022. During the occultation, the moon passes in front of the planet Mars, allowing the astrophotographer to capture both objects together. The image shows Mars behind the moon’s southern side in impressive detail.

#8 Our Moon – Runner-Up: Sundown on the Terminator By Tom Williams

#9 Our Moon – Highly Commended: Last Full Moon of the Year Featuring a Colourful Corona During a Close Encounter with Mars By Miguel Claro

#10 Our Sun – Winner: A Sun Question By Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau

A photograph of the sun with a huge filament in the shape of a question mark. Solar filaments are arcs of plasma in the sun’s atmosphere given shape by magnetic fields. The photo is a mosaic of two panels.

#11 Our Sun – Runner-Up: Dark Star By Peter Ward

#12 Our Sun – Highly Commended: The Great Solar Flare By Mehmet Ergün

#13 People & Space – Winner: Zeila By Vikas Chander

The most northerly part of Namibia’s Atlantic facing coast is one of the most treacherous coastlines in the world and has gained the name the Skeleton Coast. The ship in this photo, Zeila, was stranded on August 25, 2008 and is still in a well-preserved state. The image shows the delicate colors of different star types.

#14 People & Space – Runner-Up: A Visit to Tycho By Andrew McCarthy

#15 People & Space – Highly Commended: Close Encounters of The Haslingden Kind By Katie McGuinness

#16 Planets, Comets & Asteroids – Winner: Suspended in a Sunbeam By Tom Williams

A unique view of Venus using infrared or ultraviolet false colour. By going beyond the visible part of the spectrum, a myriad of fine detail within the upper atmosphere of the planet is revealed.

#17 Planets, Comets & Asteroids – Runner-Up: Jupiter Close to Opposition By Marco Lorenzi

#18 Planets, Comets & Asteroids – Highly Commended: Uranus with Umbriel, Ariel, Miranda, Oberon and Titania By Martin Lewisv

#19 Skyscapes – Winner: Grand Cosmic Fireworks By Angel An

Sprites are an extremely rare phenomenon of atmospheric luminescence that appear like fireworks. An took this photograph from the highest ridge of the Himalaya mountains.

#20 Skyscapes – Runner-Up: Celestial Equator Above First World War Trench Memorial By Louis Leroux-Gere

#21 Skyscapes – Highly Commended: Noctilucent Night By Peter Hoszang

#22 Stars & Nebulae – Winner: New Class of Galactic Nebulae Around the Star YY Hya By Marcel Drechsler

A team of amateur astronomers, led by Marcel Drechsler from Germany and Xavier Strottner from France, were able to make an important contribution to the study of the evolution of binary star systems: on old images of sky surveys, they discovered a previously unknown galactic nebula. At its center, a pair of stars surrounded by a common envelope was found. On more than 100 nights, more than 360 hours of exposure time were collected. The result shows an ultra-deep stellar remnant that the team has baptized “the heart of the Hydra.”

#23 Stars & Nebulae – Runner-Up: LDN 1448 et al. By Anthony Quintile

#24 Stars & Nebulae – Highly Commended: The Dark Wolf – Fenrir By James Baguley

#25 The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer – Winner: Sh2-132: Blinded by the Light By Aaron Wilhelm

The Sh2-132 complex lies near the border of the Cepheus and Lacerta constellations and contains multiple deep sky structures. The photograph includes 70 hours of data, the rich interplay of all the gasses reveals something different each time you look at it.

#26 Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year – Winner: The Running Chicken Nebula By Runwei Xu and Binyu Wang

The Running Chicken Nebula, IC2944, is located in the constellation of Centaurus, 6,000 light years away from the Earth. Embedded in the nebula’s glowing gas the star cluster Collinder 249 is visible.

#27 Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year – Runner-Up: Blue Spirit Drifting in the Clouds By Haocheng Li and Runwei Xu

#28 Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year – Highly Commended: Lunar Occultation of Mars By Joshua Harwood-White

#29 Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year – Highly Commended: Roses Blooming in the Dark: NGC 2337 By Yanhao Mo

#30 Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year – Highly Commended: Moon at Nightfall By Haohan Sun

Related Articles:

CityU researchers develop novel photo-oxidati

image: A CityU research team achieved a significant breakthrough by inventing a new class of near-infrared-activated photo-oxidants.
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Credit: City University of Hong Kong

A research team led by scientists from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has achieved a significant breakthrough by inventing a new class of near-infrared-activated photo-oxidants that can effectively kill cancer cells without requiring oxygen. The photo-oxidants induce a unique form of cancer cell death that can overcome cancer cell resistance. The findings offer a new strategy, called ‘photo-oxidation therapy’, and provide a promising direction for the development of anti-cancer drugs.

Photodynamic therapy, an innovative cancer treatment approach, utilizes photosensitizers to generate reactive oxygen species (ROSs), which when irradiated by light, selectively kill cancer cells. However, most existing photodynamic therapies rely on the presence of oxygen, while solid cancer tumours often feature a hypoxic microenvironment with very low oxygen levels, limiting the therapeutic efficiency of this approach. 

To address this limitation, a research team led by Professor Zhu Guangyu, in the Department of Chemistry, and Professor He Mingliang, in the Department of Biomedical Sciences (BMS) at CityU, discovered an effect called “metal-enhanced photo-oxidation”. By conjugating metals like platinum with organic photosensitive ligands, they significantly enhanced the photo-oxidation capability. This breakthrough led them to develop a new class of near-infrared-activated platinum(IV) photo-oxidants (Pt(IV) photo-oxidants) that can be activated by near-infrared (NIR) light to directly oxidize biomolecules and effectively kill cancer cells without the need for oxygen.

In their experiments, the team administered Pt(IV) photo-oxidants to mice with tumours through intravenous injection. Four hours later, they applied near-infrared radiation to the mice to activate the photo-oxidants to attack the cancer cells. The results demonstrated a significant reduction in tumour volume and weight of 89% and 76%, respectively, indicating the potent tumour-inhibitory effect of the Pt(IV) photo-oxidants.

“Intriguingly, we found that the ‘death mode’ of cancer cells induced by the Pt(IV) photo-oxidants differs from that of any other anticancer agents,” said Professor Zhu. “A unique mode of cancer cell destruction was initiated through the dual-action effect of strong intracellular oxidative stress and reduced intracellular pH value.”  

Their experimental data show that after the Pt(IV) photo-oxidants that accumulated in the endoplasmic reticulum inside the cancer cells were activated by near-infrared radiation, they vigorously oxidized crucial biomolecules inside the cancer cells without requiring oxygen, generating ROSs, lipid peroxides and protons. The ROSs and lipid peroxides then triggered intensive oxidative bursts, while the protons lowered the intracellular pH value, creating an unfavourable acidic microenvironment for the cancer cells. 

Moreover, their experiments confirmed that Pt(IV) photo-oxidants effectively activate the immune system in both in vitro and in vivo settings. The Pt(IV) photo-oxidants triggered immunogenic cell death, stimulating the proliferation and activation of immune cells. The number of T helper and T killer cells, which are crucial for triggering the body’s immune response, in the mice treated with photoactivated Pt(IV) photo-oxidants increased by 7- and 23-fold, respectively, compared to the control group.

“By inducing nonclassical necrosis, Pt(IV) photo-oxidants can overcome the resistance of cancer cells to traditional photodynamic therapies and chemotherapy agents, activate the immune system, and effectively eliminate cancer cells,” explained Professor Zhu. 

“These findings serve as proof of concept and suggest that the development of photo-oxidants based on metal-enhanced photo-oxidation is a promising new direction for developing metal-based anticancer drugs,” said Professor He.

The research team plans to conduct preclinical studies to fully characterize the chemical, biological and pharmaceutical properties of the newly invented Pt(IV) photo-oxidants. Their ultimate goal is to identify lead compounds for clinical testing.

The paper, titled “Near-infrared-activated anticancer platinum(IV) complexes directly photo-oxidize biomolecules in an oxygen-independent manner”, was published in the scientific journal Nature Chemistry

The co-first authors of the study are Dr Deng Zhiqin and Dr Li Huangcan, both from CityU. The corresponding authors are Professor Zhu and Professor He. Collaborators from CityU include Professor Michael Yang Mengsu, Professor Lu Jian, Professor Li Yangyang, Professor Lo Pui-chi, Professor Lei Dangyuan, Dr Ou Weihui, Dr Wang Na, Dr Chen Shu and PhD students Mr Liu Gongyuan, Mr Xu Feijie and Mr Wang Xiong

The study received support from various funding sources, including the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Science Technology and Innovation Committee of Shenzhen Municipality.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Top 5 winners of the 2023 astronomy photo of the year contest

The winners of the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s 15th year of astronomy photography have been announced, and the images are nothing short of incredible.


The world’s largest astrophotography contest consists of more than 4,000 separate submissions from 64 different countries, with each of the submissions going into a selection of different categories. The winners of 2023 were announced via a shortlist that was published in July, and now we able to see all of the notable submissions. The contest features 11 categories and below you will find winners for; Overall Winner, Auroras, Our Moon, Our Sun, and Stars & Nebulas.

The first image below is the winning photograph of 2023’s astrophotography contest, and it showcases the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The image titled “Andromed, unexpected” was snapped by an amateur astronomer team led by Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner and Yann Sainty. Notably, the plasma streak on the left-hand side of the image was a unique discovery, with researchers now studying it as its believed it could be largest discovered streak of its kind.

Overall Winner/Galaxies

Image credit: Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner and Yann Sainty

Our Moon

Image credit: Ethan Chappel

Our Sun

Image credit: Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau


Image credit: Monika Devia

Stars & Nebulas

Image Credit: Marcel Drechsler


Supporting the careers of talented Canadian artists, aged 35 and under, working behind the camera

Meet this year’s winners and discover their works

OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 20, 2023 /CNW/ – Until January 7, 2024, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) presents works by the three winners of the 2023 Scotiabank New Generation Photography (NGPA): Hannah Doucet, Wynne Neilly, and Gonzalo Reyes Rodriguez in an exhibition organized by the NGC in partnership with Scotiabank and the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Through videographic and photographic works, the three artists explore the many challenges in contemporary representations of the body, identity, culture, and history. The works on display were produced between 2019 and 2023.

The 2023 Scotiabank New Generation Photography Award winners: Wynne Neilly (Photo: Courtesy the artist); Gonzalo Reyes Rodriguez (Photo: Kim M. Hipol + David Aquino); and Hannah Doucet (Photo: Colin Medley). (CNW Group/National Gallery of Canada)

The public is invited to discover the exhibition in the company of the three artists during a special edition of the Gallery’s free Thursday evenings, this Thursday 21 September from 6 to 7 p.m. EDT in the exhibition space C218. To take part and visit the Gallery for free between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. EDT, simply book your ticket online. The presentation of the exhibition and Meet the artists are supported by the Scotiabank Photography Program at the NGC.

“The National Gallery of Canada is delighted to celebrate the vision of talented artists at the beginning of their careers. We are grateful to our colleagues across Canada who have nominated artists whose work deserves to be known. Our partnership with Scotiabank and the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival plays an important role in giving impetus to younger generations of artists from communities from coast to coast,” said Jean-François Bélisle, NGC Director and CEO.

“With great visual sophistication, care and curiosity, the 2023 Scotiabank NGPA winners demonstrate the continued power and significance of lens-based images to both probe shared concerns and anxieties and offer new insights into negotiating an image-saturated culture,” said Andrea Kunard, Senior Curator, NGC Photographs Collection, NGPA Jury Chair, and curator of the exhibition.

Winnipeg-born Toronto artist Hannah Doucet explores how society deals with childhood illness by invoking fantasy and wish fulfilment. Through images, videos and an installation, she revisits her wish trip to Disney World at the age of 10 after two years of treatment for lymphoblastic lymphoma. In her brightly coloured, saturated work, featuring friendly mascots and motifs borrowed from children’s animation, Doucet draws critical attention to the corporate messaging conveyed to children about illness and its focus on living life “happily ever after”.

The intimate portraits presented by Toronto-based queer artist Wynne Neilly pay homage to his queer and trans subjects and highlight the strength of the ‘chosen family’. Each of the large-format portraits is presented alongside a photograph of a natural or urban landscape that, like his portraits, underscores Neilly’s meditative approach to image-making.

Vancouver artist Gonzalo Reyes Rodriguez is interested in the shifting meaning of the photographic image as it passes through different times and contexts. The works exhibited here originate from a box of photographs by an unknown photographer taken between 1987 and 1993, which he bought in a Mexican bookstore. Rodriguez combines these photographs with images from his personal archive. The installation includes a video work featuring two of the artist’s colleagues who examine the photographs looking for clues that would allow them to define the unknown person depicted.

Launched in 2017, the Scotiabank PNGP was created in partnership with Scotiabank and rewards outstanding work by Canadian artists aged 35 and under working in the photographic arts.

About the National Gallery of Canada
Ankosé: Everything is Connected / Tout est relié

The NGC is dedicated to amplifying voices through art and extending the reach and breadth of its collection, exhibitions program, and public activities to represent all Canadians, while centring Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Ankosé—an Anishinaabemowin word that means “everything is connected”—reflects the Gallery’s mission to create dynamic experiences that open hearts and minds, and allow for new ways of seeing ourselves, one another, and our diverse histories, through the visual arts. The NGC is home to a rich contemporary Indigenous international art collection, as well as important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian and European art from the 14th to the 21st century. Founded in 1880, the NGC has played a key role in Canadian culture for more than 140 years.

To find out more about the Gallery’s programming and activities, visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. #Ankose #EverythingIsConnected #ToutEstRelié.

About the Scotiabank Photography Program at the NGC

The Scotiabank Photography Program at the National Gallery of Canada embraces digital content creation, education, exhibitions, the NGC initiatives Leading with Women, and Scotiabank New Generation Photography Award. The National Gallery of Canada’s photography collection is one of the world’s most comprehensive holdings of photographs and related materials. It represents the entire history of the medium, revealing and reinterpreting the most important stories of our past, present and future.

About the National Gallery of Canada Foundation

The National Gallery of Canada Foundation is dedicated to supporting the National Gallery of Canada in fulfilling its mandate. By fostering strong philanthropic partnerships, the Foundation provides the Gallery with the additional financial support required to lead Canada’s visual arts community locally, nationally and internationally. The blend of public support and private philanthropy empowers the Gallery to preserve and interpret Canada’s visual arts heritage. The Foundation welcomes present and deferred gifts for special projects and endowments. To learn more about the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, visit

SOURCE National Gallery of Canada


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Hamdan International Photography Award, Dubai Safari Park frame Dubai’s natural wonders

Abu Dhabi [UAE], September 20 (ANI/WAM): The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) and Dubai Safari Park have jointly announced the results of the various photography competitions aimed at opening new horizons for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts with an added bonus of being in close contact with a variety of predators, pets and rare animals. The series of competitions included three categories: “Portfolio” competition, whose entries were received on the award’s official website; the “Instagram” contest for individual photos, with the following three themes: My Favourite Animal, Just Birds, and Animals in Motion.

The third category was to submit short creative clips for the Instagram “Reels” platform. The competition prize valued at AED 45,000, distributed between cash prizes and shopping vouchers from the Al-Futtaim Group. The series won the admiration and interaction of the photography community and received thousands of entries. The strength of the photography community within the Asian continent was formidable, with four photographers from the Philippines, two from India and one photographer from Pakistan winning.

The Arab presence was represented by Syrian photographers Faten Al Saleh and Ghaith Bayazid, alongside Jordanian photographer Mohammed Naif Kassim. HIPA Secretary-General Ali bin Thalith expressed his satisfaction with the outstanding outcomes achieved through our strategic partnership with Dubai Safari Park. He elaborated, “This collaboration successfully highlighted the marvels of nature, diverse wildlife, and various animals, while also igniting the thrill of capturing breathtaking moments through the lens. It has heightened the audience’s anticipation for this remarkable experience.”

He further emphasised, “HIPA continues to play its role in spreading the culture of photography and amplify the role of art in connecting with the wonders of nature and wildlife. Diversifying the opportunities and competitiveness for our photographic talents was an enjoyable challenge that pushed their creativity to the delight of the viewers.” Director of the Department of Public Parks and Recreational Facilities in Dubai Municipality, Ahmed Al Zarooni said, “We appreciate the distinguished results achieved by the various photography competitions, which confirm the successful partnership between HIPA and Dubai Safari Park, and the keenness of both parties to support nature and wildlife photography enthusiasts, and provide them with the support to encourage continued excellence, creativity and achieving more successes. We are also pleased with the success of the competitions by highlighting the nature, environment, wildlife in Dubai through the lens of the creative participants, which highlights the unique and attractive tourist destinations in Dubai, and opens future opportunities for photography lovers to participate in the next editions of the award”. (ANI/WAM)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

‘Grand cosmic fireworks’: See the stunning winners of the 2023 astronomy photo of the year contest

The Royal Observatory Greenwich has announced the winners of the astronomy photographer of the Year 15, during an award ceremony held Sept. 14.

This was the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s 15th year holding the contest, which garnered more than 4,000 submissions from 64 different countries for 2023. A shortlist of winning submissions was released in July, and many of those spectacular images have made a reappearance.

As the world’s largest astrophotography competition, Royal Observatory Greenwich divides winners into 11 categories, and from those chooses an overall winner.

This year’s top spot came from the galaxies category, and was awarded to Marcel Drechsler, from Germany, and French photographers Xavier Strottner and Yann Sainty, with their photo of the Andromeda galaxy.

Galaxies and overall winner

“Andromeda, unexpected,” the winning photo for Royal Observatory Greenwich’s astronomy photographer of the year 15. (Image credit: Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner and Yann Sainty)

This winning photo of the Andromeda galaxy from the amateur astronomer team led by Drechsler, Strottner and Sainty is titled “Andromeda, unexpected,” for the large, blue plasma arc pictured next to our nearest galactic neighbor.

The plasma streak was, in fact, a discovery all on its own, according to a release from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, and is now being studied by scientists as possibly the largest phenomenon of its type in our little corner of the universe.

Runner-up and highly commended entries for the galaxies category went to Weitang Liang, from China, and Paul Montague, from Australia, for their respective photos, “The Eyes Galaxies” and “Neighbors.”

Runner-up and highly commended entries for galaxies, “The Eyes Galaxies” and “Neighbours.” (Image credit: Weitang Liang (left image) and Paul Montague (right image))


“Brushstroke,” the winning photo in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s aurorae category.
(Image credit: Monika Devia)

Monika Deviat, from Canada, wins this years best aurora photograph with her image, “Brushstroke.” The singularity of this one aurora, according to the competition’s judges, set it aside from the usual “earthly perspective,” they said, “evoking the arts of brush-painting and calligraphy.”

Aurorae runner-up and highly commended recognitions were awarded to Andreas Ettl, from Germany, and Chester Hall-Fernandez, from New Zealand, with their photos “Circle of light” and “Fire on the horizon,” respectively.

Aurorae runner-up and highly commended photos, “Circle of light and fire on the horizon.” (Image credit: Andreas Ettl (left image) and Chester Hall-Fernandez (right image))

Our moon

“Mars-set,” the winning photo in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s our moon category. (Image credit: Ethan Chappel)

Ethan Chappel shot this photo of Mars and the moon during the Dec. 8 occultation in 2022, from Cibolo, Texas. “Mars-set” shows the red planet setting behind the moon’s southern hemisphere, shining bright during the rare alignment.

Tom Williams, from the UK, and Miguel Claro, from Portugal, won runner-up and highly commended marks for their submissions, “Sundown on the terminator” and “Last full moon of the year featuring a colourful corona during a close encounter with Mars,” respectively.

Runner-up and highly commended entries for our moon, “Sundown on the terminator” and “Last full moon of the year featuring a colourful corona during a close encounter with Mars.” (Image credit: Tom Williams (left image) and Miguel Claro (right image))

Our sun

“A sun question,” the winning photo in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s our sun category. (Image credit: Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau)

“A sun question” was taken by Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau for the our sun category winner. The image features a large question mark-shaped solar filament rising from the sun’s surface, and shows our star in incredible detail.

Our sun runner-up and highly commended awards went to Peter Ward for his photo, “Dark star,” and Mehmet Ergün for “The great solar flare.”

Runner-up and highly commended entries for our sun, “Dark star” and “The great solar flare.” (Image credit: Peter Ward (left image) and Mehmet Ergün (right image))

People & space

“Zeila,” the winning photo in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s people & space category. (Image credit: Vikas Chander)

This photo from Vikas Chander was taken on the Skeleten Coast, on the Atlantic Ocean. Located on one of Namibia’s northernmost coastal regions, the Skeleton Coast has earned a reputation for its treacherous waters.

“Zeila,” the name of this photograph, is also the name of the boat pictured. The vessel was stranded in 2008, and sits foreground to a 30-minute exposure of the rolling fog, with stars streaking in the grey night sky overhead.

Runner-up and highly commended entries for people & space were awarded to Andrew McCarthy, for his photo of the International Space Station (ISS) transiting the moon, “A visit to Tycho,” and to Katie McGuniness for her out-of-this-world star-trail photograph, “Close enounters of the Haslingden kind.”

Runner-up and highly commended entries for people & space, “A visit to Tycho” and “Close enounters of The Haslingden kind.” (Image credit: Andrew McCarthy (left image) and Katie McGuinness (right image))

Planets, comets & asteroids

“Suspended in a sunbeam,” the winning photo in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s planets, comets & asteroids category. (Image credit: Tom Williams)

“Suspended in a sunbeam” is a false color image of the planet Venus, from photographer Tom Williams, winning in the category of planets, comets & asteroids. Using infrared, Williams was able to highlight details Venus’ upper atmosphere, revealing far more than can be seen with the naked eye.

Runner-up and highly commended recognitions went photos of Jupiter and Uranus and its moons, from photographers Marco Lorenzi and Martin Lewis, respectively.

Runner-up and highly commended entries for planets, comets & asteroids, “Jupiter close to opposition” and “Uranus with Umbriel, Ariel, Miranda, Oberon and Titania.” (Image credit: Marco Lorenzi (left image) and Martin Lewis (right image))


“Grand cosmic fireworks,” the winning photo in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s skyscapes category. (Image credit: Angel An)

The extremely rare phenomena captured in this photograph from Angel An are called sprites. Sprites occur like lightning, high in Earth’s atmosphere, and are seldom witnessed from the ground. Astronauts aboard the ISS have been known to take photographs of sprites from time to time. An took this photo, “Grand cosmic fireworks,” from the highest ridge of the Himalaya mountains.

Louis Leroux-Gere and Peter Hoszang were awarded runner-up and highly commended for their respective photos of star trails over the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, in France, and noctilucent clouds over Hungary.

Runner-up and highly commended entries for “Skyscapes, celestial equator above first world war trench memorial” and “Noctilucent night.” (Image credit: Louis Leroux-Gere (left image) and Peter Hoszang (right image))

Stars & nebulas

New Class of “Galactic nebulae around the star YY Kya,” the winning photo in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s stars & nebulas category. (Image credit: Marcel Drechsler)

The shining star inside the red, gaseous nebula was photographed by Marcel Drechsler and a team of amateur astronomers. In fact, the shining light at the gas’ center is actually a pair of binary stars, enveloped in the previously undiscovered nebula.

Runner-up and highly commended awards were given to Anthony Quintile and James Baguley, for both of their stunning nebula photos.

Runner-up and highly commended entries for stars & nebulas, “LDN 1448 et al.” and “The dark wolf.” (Image credit: Anthony Quintile (left image) and James Baguley (right image))

The Sir Patrick Moore prize for best newcomer

“Sh2-132: Blinded by the light,” the winning photo in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Sir Patrick Moore Prize for best newcomer category. (Image credit: Aaron Wilhelm)

“Blinded by the light” is Royal Observatory Greenwich’s winning photograph for best newcomer, photographed by Aaron Wilhelm. The vibrant image shows the Sh2-132 complex near the constellations Cepheus and Lacerta, and was created using 70 hours of data to merge together the magnificent and colorful gaseous layers.

Young astronomy photographer of the year

“The Running Chicken Nebula,” the winning photo in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Sir Patrick Moore prize for young astronomy photographer of the year category. (Image credit: Runwei Xu and Binyu Wang)

Runwei Xu and Binyu Want win young astronomy photographers of the year with “The Running Chicken Nebula,” a hypnotic blend of swirling cosmic colors from the Running Chicken Nebula, IC2944. The young photographers captured this image using a 1,900 mm Newtonian telescope, over 5.5 hours of exposure.

Annie Maunder prize for image innovation

“Black echo,” the winning photo in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Annie Maunder Prize for image innovation category. (Image credit: John White)

Finally, John White won for the innovation category, with his photo, “Black echo.” Using audio of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Perseus Galaxy, captured by NASA’s Chandra Sonification Project, White shot the vibrations of water in a petri dish as they fluctuated above the speaker’s soundwaves.

All the winning photographs, the runners-up, highly commended and more are currently part of an exhibit at the National Maritime Museum, in Greenwich, London.

This edited article is republished from under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Nikon Z f price, specs, release date announced

Nikon has unveiled the Z f, a full-frame mirrorless camera that merges modern technology with a nostalgic design inspired by the Nikon FM2 of the 1980s. It serves as the mirrorless successor to the Nikon Df DSLR announced in 2013 and shares similarities with the APS-C format Nikon Z fc, but with superior build quality.

The Nikon Z f houses a 24.5MP BSI CMOS sensor, the same as in the Nikon Z6 II and Z6, but pairs it with the newer Expeed 7 processing engine, also found in the Nikon Z9 and Nikon Z8. This processor enhances its capabilities, including an increased maximum native sensitivity setting of ISO 64,000 and advanced autofocus algorithms with an extensive range of subject detection options and continuous shooting at up to 30fps in Jpeg and 14fps for raw files.

One notable feature is the Pre-release Capture, which starts recording images before the shutter release is pressed, assisting in capturing moments of unpredictable action.

The camera’s in-body image stabilisation system offers up to 8 stops of shutter speed compensation and is complemented by a new ‘Focus Point VR’ feature for more targeted image stabilisation.

There are new Picture Controls, including Flat Monochrome and Deep Tone Monochrome for black and white photography, and Rich Tone Portraits for people photos. There’s also Nikon’s Portrait Impression Balance that enables adjustment of the hue and brightness of skin tones, and the Skin Softening feature seen on the Z8.

In addition, the Z f offers a Pixel Shift Shooting mode, potentially enabling the creation of up to 150MP images when used with Nikon’s NX Studio software. It also supports HEIF files, offering a broader range of tones compared to JPEGs.

For video enthusiasts, the Z f supports 4K recording at 30p and 60p, and 10-bit H.265 or 8-bit H.264 recording. The recording time is capped at 125 minutes for 4K video shoots.

The Nikon Z f stands out with its retro design, featuring a robust magnesium alloy body and brass dials on the top plate. The camera also introduces a slim front grip, enhancing its hold.

Unusually, the Z f features SD and microSD card slots, a unique choice for a camera in its class.

Control-wise, the camera brings a tactile experience with dedicated dials for sensitivity (ISO), shutter speed and exposure compensation settings on the top plate.

The viewfinder and screen specifications are believed to mirror those found in the Z6 II. That means a 0.5-inch, 3.6-million-dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) with fluorine and anti-reflective coatings and a 3.2-inch 2,100,000-dot touch-screen. However, of the first time on a full-frame Nikon Z-series camera, the Zf’s screen has a variangle design, meaning it can be angled to give a clear view in the landscape and portrait orientation. It can also be flipped to face forward.

With its blend of modern tech and retro style, the Nikon Z f seems to target photographers who appreciate nostalgia without compromising on contemporary features.

Nikon Z f price and availability

The Nikon Z f is set to go on sale in October for a price of £2299 / €2599 body only, £2519 with the Z 40mm f/2 SE lens (which is optically the same as the Nikon Z 40mm f/2) or £2849 with the Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens.

The Nikon Zf has a black body, but its artificial leather covering is available in six colours: Black, Indigo Blue, Sepia Brown, Bordeaux Red, Sunset Orange, Moss Green and Stone Grey.


  • Camera type: Full-frame mirrorless camera

  • Announced: 20th September 2023

  • Lens mount: Nikon Z

  • Sensor: Full-frame (FX 35.9 x 23.9mm) 24.5MP backside illuminated (BSI) sensor

  • Processing engine: Expeed 7

  • Sensitivity: ISO 100-64,000

  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: 7.8fps raw and Jpeg files, 30fps Jpegs

  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with phase and contrast detection

  • Selectable AF points: 299 covering 89% by 96% of the frame

  • Subject detection: People (eyes, faces, head and torso), animals (whole bodies and heads and eyes for cats, dogs, birds and ‘other animals’), cars, motorbikes, bicycles, trains and aeroplanes.

  • Stabilisation: Up to 8EV, 5-axis in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) that can work in tandem with lens-based stabilisation (VR)

  • Video resolution: 4K up to 60P

  • Video file format: MOV, MP4

  • Viewfinder: 0.5-inch 3.69-million-dot OLED viewfinder

  • Screen: 3.2-inch 2,100,000-dot vari-angle touch-screen

  • Picture Controls: Auto , Standard , Neutral , Vivid , Monochrome , Flat Monochrome , Deep Tone Monochrome , Portrait , Rich Tone Portrait , Landscape , Flat Creative Picture Controls (Dream, Morning, Pop, Sunday, Somber, Dramatic, Silence, Bleached, Melancholic, Pure, Denim, Toy, Sepia, Blue, Red, Pink, Charcoal, Graphite, Binary, Carbon)

  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II) and microSD (UHS-I)

  • Battery: EN-EL15c

  • Dimensions: 144 x 103 x 49 mm / 5.7 x 4.1 x 2 inches

  • Weight: 710 g / 1 lb. 9.1 oz

Discover Stillwater announces annual photo contest

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In Stillwater, a photo could be worth $300 – or a prize package worth more than $1,300.

Discover Stillwater is holding its annual photo contest in which the grand prize is a getaway package that includes an overnight stay at a hotel and gift certificates to Just for Me Spa, The Lumberjack, Lift Bridge Brewing and other Stillwater businesses.

The contest runs through Oct. 20.

Photos must have been taken in Stillwater, and contest organizers said they hope to receive entries from all four seasons. Photographers are encouraged to “show off the beauty and fun they discovered on their trip to one of the most picturesque towns in America,” organizers say. Each photographer may enter up to five images.

First- through third-place winners receive cash prizes ranging from $100 to $300. The popular vote winner, which will be determined by an online voting tool in October, will receive the Stillwater getaway package, which is worth more than $1,300.

Official contest rules and entry page link is available at

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