A telescope and the stars. This is what freedom means to 12-year-old Ella Harbidge from Parkes who has just won an award in a prestigious astrophotography competition.
After two years under dad Glen’s tutelage, Ella entered this year’s David Malin Awards and took out the Photo Editor’s Pick award in the junior category with her image called ‘Always Look Up’ featuring a telescope pointing at the Milky Way.
“I enjoy astrophotography as it shows you so much more detail, like when you take a photo of the Milky Way,” said the Year 7 Red Bend student. She initially took her winning photo for a school competition on “Freedom”.
As astrophotography is a passion of her dad’s, she started going out with him when she was ten to help him. It did not take long for her to be hooked, and she moved on from being an assistant to taking her own photos. The bug has also bitten her younger brother Lockey, who enjoys taking photos of star trails.
The two of them have gone on to win several prizes at the Parkes and Peak Hill Shows. They are very disappointed there won’t be any shows this year, but they have their entries for the Art of Resilience competition.
Entering competitions is a challenge for the Harbidge family with Dad Glen winning The Parkes Phoenix Spring Photo Competition last year. He regularly contributes to the paper’s Facebook posts with his latest contribution of the water cascading down from the spillway at Lake Endeavour. “Photography makes you look with a different perspective,” said Glen.
By Maggi Barnard