The Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022 is now open for submissions. Every year photographers from around the World compete for the title and the £10,000 prize money. Last year saw 4,500 entries from 75 countries.
The aim of the competition is to showcase the World’s best space photography, including skyscapes, images of distant planets and galaxies. The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and exhibition are organised and owned by the Board of Trustees of the National Maritime Museum, Park Row, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF.
Deadline for Submissions : 4 March 2022 12 Noon (GMT)
Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 15 September 2022 and will be notified by email by 30 September 2022.
There are separate photography prizes open to adults, young photographers and astrophotography newcomers. All entrants have a chance of winning cash prizes and seeing their image displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum. They will also receive a year’s subscription to BBC Sky at Night magazine and a copy of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year publication.
You can see the winning images from 2021 competition, currently on exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.
How to Enter
Entries to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 14 competition open on Monday 10 January 2022 and must be received by midday (GMT) on Friday 4 March 2022 (the ‘Closing Date’)
A one-off non-refundable Entry Fee of £10.00 is required from each entrant. Entrants who only enter the special prizes will not have to pay an Entry Fee.
The Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022 competition is hosted on the RMG website and all entries must be submitted online via the entry form at apy.rmg.co.uk.
Adult Entrants must be aged 16 or over on the Closing Date of the competition. (There is an exception for the Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation. This special prize is open to Adult Entrants, Young Entrants and Group Entrants).
Entries must be submitted to a category or a prize in accordance with the guidelines of that category or prize.
Entries to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 14 Young competition open on Monday 10 January 2022 and must be received by midday (GMT) on Friday 4 March 2022 (the ‘Closing Date’).
Entry is free to the Young competition.
Young entrants must be aged 15 or under on the Closing Date of the competition. (There is an exception for The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation. This special prize is open to Entrants of all ages.)
The consent of a parent or guardian is required for all Young Entrants. By entering the Young competition, it is trusted that all entrants have obtained consent from their parent or guardian. Parents or guardians will be contacted to confirm their consent when Young Entrants subscribe to the competition.
The Astronomy Photographer of the Year Young competition is hosted on the RMG website and all entries must be submitted online via the entry form at apy.rmg.co.uk.
Entries may feature any astronomical subject.
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Copyright and Use of Images
RMG (the competition organisers) state in their terms and conditions:-
Entrants will retain copyright and moral rights in their submitted images and will therefore retain the rights to sell their images or grant licences to other parties. In all instances, the copyright holder will be credited, wherever practicable, when the image is used and published by RMG and its sponsors. We will use your first and last name as supplied during the entry process (e.g. © photographer’s name)
They also state that they will use your image(s) for promotional and marketing of the exhibition, touring exhibition in publications, educational programmes, through press and social media platforms.
Use of your Image
Be Aware they also have this clause:-
By entering, all Entrants grant RMG a non-exclusive, irrevocable worldwide, royalty-free licence to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, and publish or communicate to the public any image, by any means, entered into the competition:
They then layout what these means are, such as
- in any RMG publications about the competition, exhibition and future related exhibitions. These may be produced by RMG, or under license to a third party (who reserves the right to further sub-license such publications) in all editions, languages, territories and media, for which you will receive a free copy of the first UK print edition that your image appears in (limited to one copy per Entrant, regardless of the number of images);
- for use in planetarium shows developed and distributed by RMG;
- for brand licensed Astronomy Photographer of the Year products (including but not limited to calendars, diaries and stationery) for a period of ten years. RMG reserves the right to contact entrants about further brand licensing opportunities;
- in merchandising for a period of ten years. Should your image(s) feature in any such merchandising you will receive a one-off payment of £50.00 per image.
- Shortlisted Entrants agree to grant RMG first refusal to commercially represent their image on RMG’s Picture Library and prints website platforms on a non-exclusive basis.
- In the instance that Entrants are shortlisted, Entrants grant the media partner BBC Sky at Night Magazine a non-exclusive, irrevocable worldwide, royalty-free licence to use and adapt their shortlisted images to promote the competition and exhibition online and in print, including in its promotional calendar.
Photo Copyright What you need to consider
Firstly be aware of all copyright issues when it comes to entering photo competitions. Some competition organisers state in their terms that you lose your copyright when entering a competition. We at The Artists Print Room think this is unfair and that the copyright of any image should always remain with the creator of the image. In this instance RMG (the competition organisers) state they recognise entrants as the copyright holders and they will use your image(s) for promotion of the exhibition.
Though it becomes a sticky area when printing merchandise from your image is part of the competition rules. It is important to read the rules regarding copyright and decide whether you think they are fair or not. Don’t enter a photo competition if you are not happy about the rules. In this instance it appears RMG terms and conditions grant them the right to print your image(s) on merchandise for ten years and you will receive a one-off payment of £50 per image. You have to weigh up if ten years of revenue going to RMG for your image(s) compares to the potential exposure you could receive. Please be aware that there is no guarantee that your name will always accompany your image on any media promotion or merchandise. So it can make you wonder how much exposure you will actually receive and how much money RMG can make over ten years. We have only listed some of the rules here, be sure to read the full terms and conditions of the competition here.
Submitting Images and Eligibility
Entrants can submit up to ten photos in total to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022 competition.
Image entries can be submitted to multiple categories.
By submitting an entry, each Entrant agrees to the competition rules and guarantees and that they are the sole copyright owner or representative of the Image.
Group entries are permitted (‘Group Entrants’):
- (i) groups must nominate one person to represent them in communication and submit entries on behalf of the group;
- (ii) Group Entrants must indicate they are representing a group in the entry form;
- (iii) each Group Entrant must have one representative member to represent the group in communication and shall ensure that they have the written consent of all the copyright holders to enter the Image and may be requested to provide evidence of this; and
- (iv) in cases where a school group is being represented, one student or a teacher should do the submission on behalf of the group.
Each image must have been taken and processed by you or by a group you are a participant of. It must not contain any obscene or defamatory content or material.
Each image submitted must have been taken after 1 January 2021 (unless entered into The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation).
Unnatural, digitally enhanced, composites are eligible for entry to the competition but the judging panel may ask about your processing method if your photo is shortlisted. Please provide details of digital enhancements and composites in the Image description.
Images taken with publicly or privately operated remote telescopes can be entered into the main competition categories. Please provide ownership details in the Image description.
RMG (the competition organisers) prefer that photos that have been submitted to or picked up by a news agency, picture agency or any media outlet for distribution are not entered into this competition.
To be eligible for the shortlist:
You need to ensure you supply as much detail as possible about your image(s) in the application form.
You will will need to supply a high-resolution TIFF or JPEG photo(s) that can be reproduced at a minimum of 300dpi, 5,000 pixels and a minimum of 30cm on its longest edge. This is to ensure your image can be reproduced for the exhibition, touring exhibition and publication and promotional purposes. The organisers do realise that these requirements may not be met for certain fields of astrophotography such as planetary photography.
Your image must not have copyright watermarks, your signature or name on the image.
If your photo is shortlisted, they will contact you on 4 April 2022 via the email address you provided. You may be asked questions about your image during their data checking period.
All shortlisted Entrants will be invited to the online awards ceremony on 15 September 2022. Shortlisted category Entrants who are notified that they have placed as a winner within their category, upon receiving their invitation must keep this information confidential. Until the night of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022 awards ceremony.
Aurorae: Photographs featuring the northern and southern lights (Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis)
Galaxies: Photographs of deep-space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters and stellar associations
Our Moon: Photographs of the Moon, including lunar eclipses and the occultation of stars and planets.
Our Sun: Photographs of the Sun, including solar eclipses and transits.
People and Space: Photographs of the night sky that include people or elements that show the presence or influence of human beings
Planets, Comets and Asteroids: Photographs of objects in our solar system, including planets and their satellites, comets, asteroids and other forms of zodiacal debris
Skyscapes: Photographs of landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes in which the night sky or twilight sky is a prominent feature
Stars and Nebulae: Photographs of deep-space objects in the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other galactic phenomena
There are no separate categories in the Young competition. The Young competition will have one winner, one runner-up and three highly commended awards.
The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer: For newcomers who have only been practising astronomy photography since January 2021, are aged 16 or over, and have not entered the competition before.
The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation: For images processed using pre-existing open source data. Find out more about this category here.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022 Judges
Alan Sparrow Director of Fleet Street’s Finest and Chair of the UK Picture Editors Guild
Dr Hannah Lyons Assistant Curator of Art at Royal Museums Greenwich
Imad Ahmed Director of the New Crescent Society
Jon Culshaw Comedian, impersonator and regular guest on The Sky at Night
László Francsics Architect, Chairman of the Hungarian Astrophotographers’ Association and the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019 Overall Winner
Melissa Brobby Journalist, science communicator and Social Media Officer for the Institute of Physics
Sheila Kanani Education, Outreach and Diversity officer for the Royal Astronomical Society
Steve Marsh Art Editor at the BBC Sky at Night magazine, which launched in 2005
Yuri Beletsky Astrophotographer and astronomer at Las Campanas Observatory
There are eight different categories for adult photographers to enter. The judges will select a winner, runner-up and one highly commended entry from each category. These will receive the following prize money:
Highly commended: £250
The judges will select a winner, runner-up and three highly commended images in the Young Competition.
Young Winner : £1500 and a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ MD telescope
Runner-up (Young) : £500
Highly Commended (Young) : £250
The judges will also award two Special Prizes: the Manju Mehrotra Family Trust Prize for Best Newcomer and the Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation. Both winners will receive £750.
Finally the overall winner is chosen from the Adult competition category winners. This winner receives £10,000 and the title of Astronomy Photographer of the Year.
All winners will also receive:
Their winning image displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum
One year’s subscription to BBC Sky at Night magazine
A copy of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year publication.
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