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IDA Hosts Third Annual Capture the Dark Photography Contest

IDA Hosts Third Annual Capture the Dark Photography Contest

TUCSON, Arizona – The International Dark-Sky Association is pleased to announce that the third annual Capture the Dark Photography Contest presented by Visit Utah is open for entries through July 21, 2022.

“Images can spark awareness by helping to educate people about what is at stake if light pollution continues to increase,” said Lauren Scorzafava, Communications Manager for the International Dark-Sky Association. “We are proud to host the third annual Capture the Dark Photography Contest and celebrate the significant role that photography plays in the work to protect the natural nighttime environment.”

“Visit Utah is proud to sponsor IDA’s Capture the Dark photography contest and thrilled by the inclusion of a Utah Dark Sky category,” stated Bianca Lyon, Community and Partner Relations Director for the Utah Office of Tourism. “As a leader in dark sky preservation, Utah is the perfect place for photographers to capture the beauty of the night sky.”

There are nine categories open for submission:

  • Connecting to the Dark – Experiencing a natural night provides perspective, inspiration, and leads us to reflect on our humanity and place in the universe.
  • International Dark Sky Place – Over 170 protected lands and municipalities around the world have been certified by IDA as an International Dark Sky Place creating havens for astrophotographers.
  • The Impact of Light Pollution – Light pollution can have significant impacts on the environment, human health, and our access to the night sky. This category also includes images of terrible lighting, glare bombs, etc.
  • The Bright Side of Lighting – Light pollution can give artificial lighting a bad reputation, but lighting that follows IDA’s Principles for Responsible Outdoor Light can be beautiful, healthy, and functional.
  • Creatures of the Night – Light pollution doesn’t only erase our view of the stars, scientific evidence suggests that artificial light at night has negative and deadly effects on wildlife including amphibians, birds, insects, and mammals.
  • Deep Sky – For thousands of years, humans have looked to the night sky and wondered what is out there. Today, we can take photos of deep space objects from our own backyards. Share a photo of an object(s) such as nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters.
  • The Mobile Photographer – No big camera? No problem! Share a shot from any of the above categories taken with a cell phone, tablet, or GoPro. No DSLR, mirrorless camera, or drone shots.
  • Youth – Share a shot for any of the above categories taken by someone 17 years old or younger.
  • Utah Dark Skies  – Presenting Sponsor Visit Utah encourages you to share a photo taken in one of the most popular destinations to capture dark skies — Utah, U.S.

Entrants may submit one photo per category. The contest is open to entrants worldwide.

To judge submissions, IDA has coordinated a panel of astrophotographers from around the world that includes:

  • Babak Tafreshi, U.S.
  • Jeanine Holowatuik, Canada
  • Nayana Rajesh, U.S.
  • Miguel Claro,  Portugal
  • Rachel Gillespie, New Zealand
  • Jack Fusco, U.S.
  • Jorgelina Alvarez, Argentina
  • Ye Ziyi, China

Winners of each category will receive a prize package that includes a feature in IDA’s Nightscape publication, the IDA blog and social media, an IDA membership, IDA and Visit Utah swag, and a Peak Design Field Pouch. Additionally, one photograph will be presented with a “People’s Choice Award” based on votes by the public. This winner will receive a prize package that includes a $250.00 gift card to B&H, a feature in IDA’s Nightscape publication, the IDA blog and social media, an IDA membership, and IDA and Visit Utah swag. Review the official contest rules and eligible photographs here.

IDA has also released a new merchandise design in the IDA store to celebrate the launch of the photography contest. There are a variety of colors, styles, and fabric options. Every purchase helps support IDA’s mission to protect the night.

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