Rothney Astrophysical Observatory Presents: Light Pollution Photography Contest

Amazing Sky Images ©Amazing Sky Photography
Amazing Sky Images ©Amazing Sky Photography

Expose the light pollution in Calgary and region with a winning photograph. The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory is holding a photography contest which features examples of light pollution in and around the Calgary area. The purpose of the Dark Night, Star Light project photography contest is to provide education and resources for light pollution abatement with the aim of reducing the amount of artificial light in the City of Calgary and surrounding regions. Light pollution is any light that shines where it is not needed nor wanted. Light pollution is a phenomenon of twentieth century with increased development and Calgary is an unfortunate example of the impact of too much artificial light. Light pollution is easily decreased through efficient and mindful lighting equipment and design. The goal of this contest is too expose some of the areas where light pollution is evident and to work together with the community towards solutions of light abatement.

The theme of the Dark Night, Star Light photography contest is light pollution and photos should address the negative effects of light pollution on humans and animals. Photos should be themed around examples of how light pollution Studio_C_logo_CMYKnegative impacts, astronomy, peaceful sleep, cultural sites, ecosystems, or wildlife. The photographs locations are limited to Calgary and the surrounding regions of the Foothills and Rockyview municipalities. Open for submission by any photography enthusiasts of 18 years old or older. First, second and third place will be awarded along with seven honourable mentions and the winners will be part of the Dark Night, Star Light exhibit as Studio C during the 2014 Beakerhead Event.

Studio C is an award-winning collaborative art centre in downtown Calgary – a studio and gallery open to the public. The Centre opened in 2005 and continues to innovate through art, building diverse and inclusive communities. Studio C is an initiative of Prospect – a non-profit organization that breaks barriers and employs change to build a productive Alberta workforce, one that is accessible, diverse and inclusive.

prospect-logoContest Rules

Three top photographs will be awarded first place $1,000 (Cdn), second place $500 (Cdn), $250 (Cdn). The three winners along with the top seven honourable mentions will be exhibited during the Beakerhead 2014 event at Studio C, 237 – 8th Ave. S.E. Stephen Avenue Mall.


Email up to 2 images to and write “Light Pollution Contest 2014” in the email subject. Please note in sending submissions to Dark Night, Star Light contest you are obliged to be the author and copyright owner of the image(s) submitted. Team submissions are not accepted. Each entry must have the following details (copy and paste this list into your email, for each image):

– Submitted file name:

– Photographer’s email address:

– Name of the photographer:

– Suggested title for the photo:

– Date the photo was taken (year/month/day):

– Location where the photo was taken:

– Describe what appears in the photo and why it is a valuable contest entry:

Entries 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.

Submitted photographs should be no larger than 2000 pixels across in their wide dimension and not smaller than 1200 pixels long (Extremely long panoramic images can be submitted up to 3000px long if necessary). File size should be no larger than about 2 Megabytes. Judges might request high-resolution files from finalists for final evaluation.

2- Number of submissions:

No more than 2 photographs may be submitted per person. If the contestant submits more images, only 2 of them will be randomly selected. Therefore extra submissions might result in removing your better images.

3- Date of Photographs and Submissions:

The contest highlights light pollution and light pollution abatement photography. Images must be taken since January 1, 2014. Photographs taken before January 1, 2014 are ineligible.

Entries must be submitted no later than 4pm on August 22nd 2014. Winners will be announced September 2, 2014.

4- Style and subject of the photos:

Entries must combine elements of light pollution, effects of artificial light on humans or animals at night. Before submitting your photo(s) first have a look at the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory website dark night star light page for contest rules and light pollution image examples that meet the criteria for photos.

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.

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 Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, University of Calgary website and to displayed at Studio C during the Beakerhead event, September 10, 2014 to September 14, 2014.

Model releases might be required for winning images that contain a person in the view.

Submitted photographs must not contain provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit or otherwise objectionable content.

Every submission must be free of any legal issues such as portrait rights, intellectual property rights and copyright infringements.

Entries must not include and be free of any type of corporate identity, logo, trademark or brand.

In case of the legal issue initiated by a 3rd party for a submission after the awards, the participant will have full legal responsibility for the issue and shall not involve the host organizations.

Participants are responsible for any legal fees or taxes related to the winning prize of the contest.

The contest is not open to the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory faculty and staff or their family members.

The photos will be judged by an independent five member panel.

You can contact us for any further inquiry related to the contest. rao at