Ahead of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year winners announcement on 17 September, we’re catching up with the competition judges. We talked to them about the competition and why they want to be involved. 

Pete Lawrence Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Pete Lawrence

Pete Lawrence is an experienced astronomical observer and highly regarded as a world class astrophotographer. In 2014, he was awarded the prestigious Davies Medal by the Royal Photographic Society for significant contributions in the digital field of imaging science. Pete is a Sky at Night presenter and regular contributor to the BBC’s Stargazing Live. He has written the Sky Guide section for the monthly Sky at Night Magazine since it was first published in 2005.  

"The competition is so important because it’s a place for people to showcase their work and go up against others who are producing astrophotos. That gives people a drive to take these amazing photographs and try to beat their competitors. I think that’s really quite an important drive in the whole subject of astrophotography because it means people have to be more creative.

There are only so many ways you can take a picture of a planet, or the moon, or deep sky subjects without being able to levitate them above the others. So you need to actually put a lot of thought into it – and that’s really important as it drives the whole subject of astrophotography."

The winners will be announced on twitter, live from the ceremony on 17 September. See a selection of shortlisted images here.