My name is Mike Salway and I’m a photographer based on the Central Coast of NSW. I’m passionate about Photography and Astronomy and I love to capture beautiful landscapes and nightscapes – scenes that bring together the wonders of our night sky combined with a beautiful or interesting foreground.
I want to inspire and motivate people with my photography. I want to evoke emotion and to hear people say “Wow!” when they look at my work.
In early 2012, I received 1st prize in the Ken Duncan Photo Awards for my Surf Alone photo. The prize was a 13 day Kimberley adventure with Ken Duncan, and the trip was completed in early July 2012. It really reignited my passion and gave me a new purpose for my photography. You can view all of my images and blog posts from the Kimberley trip here. To purchase framed or unframed prints, you can view my online shop.
In February 2013, I entered a Tourism WA competition with an image captured from my Kimberley trip, and I won a $10,000 trip back to West Australia, and in September 2013 I took my family to beautiful places such as the Pinnacles, Monkey Mia and Coral Bay. Click on those links to see my nightscapes and landscapes captured at those locations.
My Other Lives
I’m passionate about astronomy and amateur astronomy. In September 2004 I co-founded the Astronomy website, IceInSpace with my friend Terry Mohan, and since then it has grown to be the biggest and most active astronomy website in the Southern Hemisphere. I’ve done loads of astrophotography over the past years, including pictures of the planets and more, but lately it’s been more landscape astrophotography (nightscapes).
I love CrossFit. It’s become my new #1 hobby – I love keeping fit, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and I love the challenge it gives me. I’m also a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Karate, and used to train with Black Belt Martial Arts on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia. I don’t actively practise Karate now, but it’s a part of my life I’m very proud of and will never forget. It will never leave me.
As a day job, I’m an Senior Product Manager for a Software Company in Sydney. Coming from a technical background, I enjoy reading about new technology and love agile methodologies (Scrum and XP).
Finally, I have a wonderful family with my wife Kate, and our three kids, Jacob, Eliza and Abbey.
I’ve been interested in photography since around 2007 but only ever as an amateur. It wasn’t until I won the trip to the Kimberley that I started taking it a little more seriously. I’m still very much an amateur, but I’m certainly happy to sell prints of my work if people are inspired enough to buy them!
I started specialising in Nightscape Photography – combining beautiful foreground scenes with our stunning night sky. I’m written an article series that describes how you can do it – Nightscape Photography 101. Check out the first post here which introduces the series, or read the posts in the tag for all of them.
A bit more about my Astronomy background. My first telescope was a 10″ dob bought in July 2004, and I became interested in solar system astrophotography later that year. After persisting with non-tracking planetary photography for about 9 months, I bought an Equatorial Platform in June 2005 and my results steadily improved as my techniques for capture and processing improved.
In December 2006, I upgraded to a 12″ newt on an EQ6 mount and during my peak was considered by some to be among Australia’s best lunar and planetary imagers. Though I’m waaay out of practise now. Unfortunately my interest levels for Astronomy have taken a back seat for the past 12-18 months while I’ve concentrated on other interests (Karate and now Photography), but it’s the type of hobby and interest that will never go away. I hope to get back into it soon!
Here’s a list of APOD’s received over the years – each one very special to me:
- Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) – 11th September 2012 (Milky Way over the Bungle Bungles)
- Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) – 26th February 2009 (Mercury, Jupiter, Moon and Mars Conjunction)
- Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) – 5th December 2008 (Smiley Face Conjunction)
- Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) – 30th September 2008 (Four Rocky Planets in one Field of View)
- Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) – 29th March 2007 (Jupiter)
- Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) – 18th March 2006 (Jupiter)
For a more thorough review of my first 5 years in Astronomy, this article is for you – My Journey in Astronomy: 5 Years since it all began!
I train at BTS CrossFit on the Central Coast of NSW, and took it up after I received my 2nd Dan Black Belt in Karate, around August 2013. It’s become my new #1 hobby – I love keeping fit, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and I love the challenge it gives me.
I’m a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Karate, and used to train at Black Belt Martial Arts on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia. I don’t actively practise now, but it’s a part of my life I’m very proud of and it will never leave me.
My main camera is a Canon 6D, and I use a Canon 5D Mk 2 as a backup camera. I use a selection of lenses including the 17-40mm L f/4, 24-105mm L f/4, 200mm f/2.8 and for nightscapes and ultra-widefield, I use the Nikon 14-24mm and Samyang 14mm f/2.8. Check out my post My Nightscape Gear for more.
I use a Manfrotto 055 ProX tripod with a 484RC2 ball head.
Connect with me on Facebook
I’ve created a Facebook page for my photography – Mike Salway Photography. Please Like my page and share it with your friends!
Use the email form on the contact page to send me a message. You can subscribe to the site and receive new posts via email or your feed reader. You can connect with me on social media using the widget on the right or in the footer, too.
Lastly, you can also find me on the IceInSpace Forums as “iceman”. If you’re into astronomy or astrophotography, please join the forums and get in touch!
I’d love to hear from you about absolutely anything.