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David Malin
Photograph by John Masterson

David Malin

(David Malin Images)

Until July 2001, I was a photographic scientist-astronomer working at the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO). I am also Adjunct Professor of Scientific Photography at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), specifically the Faculty of Art, Design and Communication

I retired from the AAO to run my own business, David Malin Images (DMI). Essentially this is the AAO image collection upgraded, enlarged and outsourced, but I have also included (on a separate web site) the work of two other splendid photographers, Akira Fujii who specialises in wide field constellation pictures, and David Miller, whose night-time landscapes are unique. This site also has some of my own optical photo-micrographs, from a previous life.  

I was born in England in March, 1941 but have lived in Sydney since 1975, when I joined the AAO. Before I moved to Australia I had another 18-year career as a chemist, specialising in optical and electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and other techniques for exploring the very small. One of my main interests at that time was photography, both from the scientific perspective and also as a medium for personal expression. That interest has been reinforced in astronomy, and I still enjoy using powerful images to reveal unsuspected aspects of the natural world. 

Along the way I have devised novel ways of extracting more information from photographs. These techniques have led to some interesting astronomical discoveries as well as being useful advances in photographic science. They have been incorporated into a method of making a series of unique three-colour astronomical photographs, many of which reveal some hidden aspect of the night sky. There's a nice video about this ( The Man who Colours Stars). I was delighted to receive the Lennart Nilsson Award for this aspect of my work in September 2000.

The colour photographs attract thousands of queries a year from around the world and certainly keep David Malin Images busy. For many years I have had a full lecture schedule, mostly in the form of 'popular' public talks, which continues, but at a less frenetic pace. I don't keep this page up-to-date anymore. I also have a series of travelling photographic exhibitions and increasingly, exhibitions in art galleries (as opposed to science museums). 

I live on the northern ourskirts of Sydney with my wife Phillipa. Our three 'children', James, and the twins Jenny and Sara have long-since left home. We have our first grandchild, Mia Wilson. In our free time my wife and I enjoy music, travelling, exploring Australia's beautiful coastline and working on and around our house, which overlooks one of the arms of Pittwater in Sydney's beautiful Northern Beaches area. 

I often get asked about the photographic techniques I have developed, so here is a brief overview of some aspects of it and a more detailed illustrated technical description which is a tour of some of the ideas involved. I have also put together an illustrated bibliography which points to some of the key photographic publications.