Erwin van der Velden Astro-Photo Competition Rules

Ervin Vanderwelden started Astro-Photography with a film based camera at the age of 29. In 2002 he converted a Webcam to use for Planetary Imaging. Some of his highly detailed imaging of Mercury were used for scientific research.

After Erwin immigrated to Australia in 2003, he joined the Brisbane Astronomical Society and the Southern Astronomical Society. He visited on regular basis a dark sky site in Leyburn and produced fantastic Deep Sky images using his self-modified Nikon D70. He had very well defined and documented image processing techniques to extract the faintest details from his images. His images of the Solar System to the deepest sky were astounding and wowed around the world.

Unfortunately, on September 27th 2005 Erwin died at age 39 as a result of heart failure.

In 2006, his fantastic work in Astrophotography was recognised by the Astronomical Union with the renaming of planetoid “1999 BY25” discovered by Mr. Urata in Japan on 25th January 1999 to “(14664) Vandervelden”.

Also in 2006, the Queensland Astrofest inaugurated the Erwin van der Velden Astro-Photo Competition. The Astrofest in that year was attended Erwin’s sister, Ilse, who presented the trophies to the first winners of the competition. She also created an Astro-Photography web site dedicated to Erwin:

There is a yearly Astro-photography competition at Queensland Astrofest.  Here are the rules for photo submission.



  • Photos must be taken though a telescope (400mm focal length or greater)
  • Photos may be deep field, wide angle, planetary, lunar or special interest involving an astronomical object or theme.


  • Photos must not be taken though a telescope or using a 400 mm focal length lens or greater;
  • Photos may be deep field, wide angle, planetary, lunar or special interest involving an astronomical object or theme.


  • The competition is open to all Queensland Astrofest registrants.
  • All entries will be electronic and must be emailed to the Registrar (registrar at Emailed entries MUST be received no later than the Friday 4th August.  Please keep in mind that there is no internet access at the venue. Images NOT be accepted at the camp after Friday 11th August.
  • Each entrant may submit a maximum of three (3) images for each category.
  • Photos submitted must be taken at or since the preceding Queensland Astrofest.
  • A digital copy must be additionally sent to the webmaster (web at to facilitate any online use.
  • Entrants must state the subject matter/description, the telescope/lens used, the camera used, the number of images stacked if applicable as well as the exposure time/s of each photo. This information will be used when the photo is displayed on the web site, but not before.
  • All photos will be displayed in the Dining Room for the duration of Astrofest.
  • The prize-winner for each category will receive the perpetual trophy on which their name will be engraved as well as a smaller trophy that they will be able to keep. It is hoped that the winner(s) will present the perpetual trophy to the winner(s) of the following year.


  • The photos will be voted upon by the Astrofest registrants.
  • When registering, everyone will receive a voting form for each category.
  • The photos on display will be numbered and no names will be shown.