2nd International Earth and Sky Photo Contest on Dark Skies Importance

The Global Month of Astronomy 2011 photography contest is open to anyone of any age, anywhere around the world.




















Submission time ended on 2011 April 23. The winners are announced.

From now through Earth Day, April 22, an on-line “Earth and Sky” photo contest is open for submission by any photography enthusiasts of any age from around the world. Two global projects, The World at Night and Global Astronomy Month have together organized this international photo contest. Submitted photographs must be created in the "TWAN style" -- showing both the Earth and the sky -- by combining elements of the night sky (e.g., stars, planets, the Moon or celestial events) set against the backdrop of a beautiful, historic, or notable location or landmark. This style of photography is called “landscape astrophotography”.

The contest theme, “Dark Skies Importance,” has two categories: “Beauty of the Night Sky” and “Against the Lights.” Photos submitted to the contest should aim to address either category: either to impress people on how important and amazing the starry sky is or to impress people on how bad the problem of light pollution has become. Both categories illustrate how light pollution affects our lives. Photographers can submit images to one or both categories. The contest organizers encourage participants to view examples of such photos from last year’s contest winners and other notable photos. Winners this year will be announced in May.

A wide range of prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in both categories will be awarded. The prizes could include (as last year) telescope and camera mounts, telescopes, binoculars, astrophotography accessories, filters and gift certificates. The contest organizers wish to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Canadian Telescopes, Scope City, Explore Scientific, Woodland Hills Camera and Telescopes, Dubai Telescope, Lumicon International, Sky&Telescope magazine, and Starizona in obtaining some of the prizes. The first prizes are a Canadian Telescopes ED80 Apochromatic refractor ($700 value) and a 127mm Achromatic refractor by Explore Scientific ($600 value).

Each entry must comply with the following requirements.

1- Size and format:
- Only photographs in digital format may be submitted. Photographs taken using film must be digitized for submission. Scanned prints may also be submitted.
- All entries must be accompanied by a short caption.
- Photographs must be submitted as high-quality JPEG files (level 10–12). The preferred color spaces are Adobe RGB (1998) and sRGB IEC61966-2.1. Contestants are strongly encouraged to use color management and to use one of these color spaces for their submitted images.
- Submitted photographs should be no larger than 1600 pixels across in their wide dimension and not smaller than 1200 pixels long. File size should be no larger than 2 Megabytes. Judges might request high-resolution files from finalists for final evaluation.

2- Number of submissions:
- No more than 5 photographs may be submitted per person. If the contestant submits more images, only 5 of them will be randomly selected. So extra submissions might result in removing your better images.
- Each contestant will be registered through the submission page and can edit profile and content, and add or remove their submitted images until the contest deadline.

3- Date of Photographs and Submissions:
- Photographs must be taken since January 1, 2010. Photographs taken before January 1, 2010 are ineligible.
- Photographs must be submitted by Earth Day, April 22, 2011. Winners will be announced in April 30, 2011.

4- Style and subject of the photos:
- Entries must combine elements of both Earth and Night Sky—i.e., landscape astrophotography.
- Entries must follow the contest theme of dark skies importance with displaying the beauties of starry skies or the problem of increasing light pollution.
- A pair or a series of comparing images to display the difference between dark and light polluted sky can be submitted as one entry. The comparing images can make strong public impression on importance of dark skies. See a TWAN example of such images here.
- Photographs may be taken through a telescope, but must combine Earth and Sky composed in the same photograph. Photographs taken through a telescope that show only the sky are ineligible.

5- Originality, image processing, and composite images:
- Minor burning, dodging, color and exposure correction is acceptable. Cropping is acceptable. Fish-eye lenses are acceptable. High dynamic range images and stitched panoramas are acceptable only if the combined parts are taken at approximately the same time and with the same setting. Digital composition of a series of photographs taken successively at the same location with the same lens pointed in the same direction, for example to create a digital star trail image, is acceptable. Any other changes to the original photograph not mentioned here are not acceptable, and will render the submitted photo ineligible for a prize.
- Composite images made by combining images taken at different locations, different times, or using different lenses are ineligible.

6- Copyright and legal notes:
- The submitted photo must be the original work of the contest entrant. The entrant must be the copyright holder of the submitted photo.
- The Photographer retains complete copyright, but agrees to have his/her photograph published on TWAN website and related IYA websites, and other non-commercial IYA publications, including IYA-related exhibits of landscape astrophotography with no compensation.
- Model releases will be required for all winning photographs that contain a person in the image.
- Submitted photographs must not contain provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit or otherwise objectionable content. Entries may only be submitted on-line. Submitted photographs will be judged by a panel of TWAN photographers based on creativity, relevance to the topic, and aesthetic beauty. Contest prizes will be announced later this month. You can contact us for any further enquiry related to the contest.

Submit Your Images


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