Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year Adult Competition Rules

The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year is a competition, so by entering you agree to the following competition rules.

1. Organiser

  1. The Insight 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. The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition and exhibition are organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory Greenwich are part of Royal Museums Greenwich (‘RMG’).
  2. The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is sponsored by Insight Investment.
  3. The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is open to anyone except those involved in its organisation and employees (and their immediate family) of Royal Museums Greenwich, Insight Investment, BBC Worldwide Limited and Immediate Media Company. Judges (or their immediate families) of the competition are also restricted from entering the competition.

2. How to enter

  1. Entries to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition open on Monday 27 February 2017 and must be received by 5pm (BST) on Friday 7 April 2017 (the ‘Closing Date’).
  2. The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is hosted on the Royal Museums Greenwich website and all entries must be submitted online via the entry form.
  3. Entrants must be over the age of 16 on the Closing Date of the competition. (There is an exception for Robotic Scope Image of the Year. This special prize is open to entrants of all ages.)
  4. The consent of a parent or guardian is required for any entrant under the age of 18.
  5. Entries must be submitted to a category or a prize in accordance with the guidelines of that category or prize. See sections 4 and 5 for more details.

3. Submitting images and eligibility

  1. Entrants may submit up to ten photos in total to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition.
  2. By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to the competition Rules, and warrants that they are the copyright owner of the image. The entrant agrees to indemnify the Promoter against all costs and claims by third parties arising from breach of this warranty.
  3. (i) Group entries are permitted. 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) The entrant representing the group in communication warrants that they have the written consent of all the copyright holders to enter the image and may be requested to provide evidence of this.
    (iv) In cases where a school group is being represented, one student or a teacher should do the submission on behalf of the group.
  4. By submitting images via this website you confirm to the Royal Observatory Greenwich that each image:
    (i) was taken and processed by you, or by a group of which you are an active participant
    (ii) is your or your group's original work, or
    (iii) does not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party (particularly in relation to the use of robotic telescopes)
    (iv) does not contain any obscene or defamatory content or material
    (v) was taken after 1 January 2016.
  5. 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.
  6. The following images are not eligible for entry in to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition:
    (i) Photos taken before 1 January 2016.
    (ii) Photos that have previously been entered in previous years of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
    (iii) Photos that use a substantial amount of data from an image which has been submitted to a news agency or picture agency.
    (iv) Photos that have previously been submitted to or picked up by a news agency, picture agency or any media outlet for distribution.
    (v) Images incorporating data from professional research observatories, facilities and archives (other than publicly available robotic telescopes) are NOT eligible for entry into the competition.
  7. Using data from before 1 January 2016 is permitted, as long as a substantial (greater than 50% of the total exposure time) portion of the image is created using data captured after this date. If data used in an image was captured before 1 January 2016, please state roughly what percentage of the total data it constitutes.

4. Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year – Categories.

  1. There are eight categories in the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Each of these categories will have one winner, one runner-up and one highly commended award. Each of the eight category winners will be put forward for consideration to receive the overall winning prize and title of Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017.
  2. Images can be submitted to the following eight categories:
    (i) Aurorae.
    (ii) Skyscapes.
    (iii) People and Space.
    (iv) Our Sun.
    (v) Our Moon.
    (vi) Planets, Comets and Asteroids.
    (vii) Stars and Nebulae.
    (viii) Galaxies.

5. Special prizes

  1. There are two additional special prizes in the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Images submitted for these prizes may not also be entered in a category. The prizes are:
    (i) The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer: For newcomers who have only been practicing astronomy photography since January 2016 and have not entered the competition before. Any astronomical subject may be depicted. You may enter other images into the categories, but this is your chance for recognition amongst newcomers to astronomy photography. The judges will give special consideration to those using simple and inexpensive start-out kit, so please state this in your photo description. This will help them to better assess the overall standard of your imaging.
    (ii) Robotic Scope Image of the Year: For images taken using a robotic telescope. See below for further details.

6. Robotic Scope special prize

  1. This special prize is open to entrants of all ages.
  2. Images must be captured by a robotic telescope and processed by the entrant(s).
  3. For the purposes of this competition, a robotic telescope is considered to be one that is operated via the internet and is publically available to all, such as Faulkes, Slooh, NSO, Global Remote Telescope Network (GRAS), LightBuckets, Liverpool etc. Please clearly specify the name, type and location of the robotic telescope that you are using, along with any other relevant details. If you are uncertain about whether the telescope you are using qualifies as ‘robotic’ under this definition, please contact the competition organisers for clarification.
  4. No images taken by robotic telescopes will be allowed into any of the eight categories or the Sir Patrick Moore for Best Newcomer prize.
  5. If you use a robotic telescope, you must ensure that you are the owner of the photographs or have the permission of the telescope owner to enter the photographs into the competition. Terms and conditions vary between robotic telescope facilities and it is your responsibility to ensure that these entitle you to enter your images into the competition.

7. Shortlisted entries

  1. To make sure that your photos are eligible for the competition shortlist, please ensure:
    (i) you have completed the relevant online application form, supplying as much detail as possible about your image(s) in the relevant fields
    (ii) you have a high-resolution version of your photo available that can, as closely as possible, be reproduced at 300dpi and a minimum 15cms width. This is to ensure that your image can be reproduced in the exhibition and for promotional purposes, should it be awarded a prize.
    (iii) your photo does not have a copyright line, name or any watermarks featured anywhere on the image
  2. If your photo is shortlisted, we will contact you on 27 April 2017 via the email address you provided and ask you to complete the following steps by midday (BST) on 9 May 2017:
    (i) supply a high resolution version of your photo, that can be reproduced at 300dpi and a minimum of 15cms width, by logging into the entry form and uploading it to your account. This must be exactly the same image as the one originally entered, albeit a larger version. No retouching or altering of the image is permitted after the image has been shortlisted.
    (ii) supply any missing information about your image, if needed.
    (iii) for entrants to the Sir Patrick Moore for Best Newcomer prize, reconfirm that you have only been practicing astronomy photography since 1 January 2016. 
    If you do not upload your high resolution file(s) by midday (BST) on 9 May 2017, your photo(s) will be removed from the shortlist.
  3. If you have not been shortlisted you will be notified during the week commencing 1 May 2017.
  4. The full shortlist of images will not be revealed until the announcement of the winners on 14 September 2017.
  5. If you are shortlisted, please help us to build excitement around the awards announcement by treating your inclusion in the shortlist as strictly confidential until the press release about the shortlisted images is issued.
  6. A press release about the shortlisted images will be issued in July, featuring only a small selection of the full shortlist and we cannot guarantee which images will be selected for use by the press.
  7. Photos shortlisted in the competition must not be submitted to a news agency, picture agency or media outlet until six weeks after the opening of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 exhibition (exhibition opens to the public 16 September 2017).
  8. All shortlisted entrants will be invited to the awards ceremony. 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 awards ceremony.
  9. All shortlisted entrants will receive a complimentary copy of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 publication. No cash alternative is available.

8. Copyright and use of images

  1. The Royal Observatory Greenwich is a charitable body dedicated to supporting public understanding and education of science. The images submitted to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition serve as key resources to promote astronomy photography in practice and in order for us to do this we need to be able to use your image(s) in certain ways.
  2. Entrants will retain copyright and moral rights in their submitted images. 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. Although RMG will always supply the correct information to third parties (for example to press / media), it cannot accept responsibility for any credit line errors or omissions by these parties.
  3. By entering, all entrants grant RMG a non-exclusive, irrevocable worldwide, royalty-free licence to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, and publish any image entered into the competition:
    (i) in exhibition displays, in relation to both the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition and exhibition and related future exhibitions and displays (including as part of touring displays).
    (ii) in promotional, press, marketing materials, including social media, to promote and publicize the competition and exhibition, as well as future related exhibitions. This may include publication in the BBC Sky at Night Magazine or its promotional calendar, in international and national media publications and online. Your contact details may be shared with the Museum Press Office, should additional information be required.
    (iii) as part of RMG educational programmes or digital media, in order to introduce and promote the understanding of astronomy to a wider audience.
    (iv) 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).
    (v) for use in planetarium shows developed and distributed by RMG.
    (vi) for any other marketing, promotional or press purposes at the sole discretion of RMG, in relation to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and exhibition and more generally to promote the understanding of astronomy in general terms as RMG sees fit.
    (vii) for brand licensed products (including but not limited to calendars and stationery) for a period of ten years.
    (viii) 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.
  4. In the instance that entrants are shortlisted, entrants grant the sponsor Insight Investment a non-exclusive, irrevocable worldwide, royalty-free, licence to use their shortlisted images for non-commercial use, including (but not limited to) to promote and market the competition and their sponsorship.
  5. Any commercial usage not covered by Clause (3) or Clause (4) would be agreed with the individual photographer on a case by case basis.
  6. Royal Museums Greenwich is committed to processing information in accordance with the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998. Images will be stored securely in appropriate file formats on servers belonging to Royal Museums Greenwich.
  7. Please do not submit your contribution to the competition if you do not wish to grant these rights.

9. Winning images

  1. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the launch night of the exhibition and will be notified by email no later than 20 September 2017.
  2. If your image is selected as one of the winning images, you will be entitled to receive a cash prize. Prizes are breakdown as follows: Overall Winner £10,000, Category Winners £1500, Category Runner-Ups £500, Category Highly Commended £250, Special Prize Winners £750. Full details of all prizes are outlined here. Prizes will be payable in Pounds Sterling. All prize-winners will also receive a one year subscription to BBC Sky at Night Magazine for which no cash alternative is available. No alternative prizes are available in whole or in part.
  3. The full names, county/region and country of the winners, will be published on the competition website no later than 17 September 2017 for a period of at least 3 months.
  4. The three prize winners in each category will be notified that they have placed when they receive their invite to the awards ceremony. This information if strictly confidential until the night of the awards ceremony, when prize winners will find out which prize they have received (Winner, Runner-Up or Highly Commended).
  5. The winning images from all categories will be formally acquired as donations to the NMM Permanent Collections. If you do not want your image to become part of the NMM permanent collection you will have the opportunity to opt out when you are informed that you are one of the winning images. The born digital images will be acquired in perpetuity; and be managed and stored in accordance with national museum standards.

10. Governing Law

  1. Valid wherever legal only, the rules of this competition are subject to the legal and regulatory restrictions imposed under English law and the parties to any dispute or action shall submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts.

11. Judging

  1. The Royal Observatory Greenwich will appoint a panel of judges to select the winning photos. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the selection of winners.
  2. Should the quality of entries fall below the standard required, the judges reserve the right not to award prizes.
  3. The judges come from a range of disciplines; they will be considering images according to criteria comprising technical skills, artistic merit and originality.
  4. Where there is reasonable doubt about whether a photograph meets the entry criteria of the competition, or has been taken with the equipment and under the circumstances described on the entry form, the organisers reserve the right to disqualify the image. Wherever possible, the entrant/s will be given the opportunity to answer queries from the judges before a final decision on disqualification is made.

12. Invalid entries

  1. All entries to the competition must be submitted via the competition website. The Royal Observatory Greenwich will not accept images submitted by any other means.
  2. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are lost, delayed, corrupted, damaged, misdirected or incomplete or which cannot be submitted for any technical, delivery or other reason. Proof of submission will not be accepted as proof of receipt. RMG cannot guarantee continuous, uninterrupted or secure access to the website.
  3. By submitting your photo for entry into the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition and for publishing on the website, you confirm that the content of the photo is and will not be taken to be obscene, racist, pornographic, indecent, harassing, threatening or offensive.
  4. RMG reserves the right to pre-vet and/or moderate photos submitted and reserves the right to not display uploaded content to the website or remove, suspend or disable access to photos, at any time, at its sole discretion, without liability or prior notice.

13. Liability

  1. The Royal Observatory Greenwich shall not be obliged to display photos and shall not be liable for any entrant’s loss of publicity or enhancement of reputation.
  2. The Royal Observatory Greenwich and its associated agencies and companies will not be liable for any loss (including, without limitation, indirect, special or consequential loss or loss of profits), expense or damage which is suffered or sustained (whether or not arising from any person’s negligence) in connection with this competition or accepting or using the prize, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law (including personal injury, death and fraud) in which case that liability is limited to the minimum allowable by law.
  3. The Royal Observatory Greenwich reserves the right to cancel or amend the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and/or exhibition at any time owing to circumstances outside its reasonable control and where circumstances make this unavoidable, but will always use all reasonable endeavours to minimise the effect on participants to avoid undue disappointment.
  4. If any of these clauses should be determined to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable then it shall be severed and deleted from these terms and conditions and the remaining clauses shall survive and remain in full force and effect.

14. Personal information and Freedom of Information Act

  1. Any personal information of entrants will only be used and, where necessary, disclosed to third parties, for the purposes of running the competition and otherwise in accordance with the Royal Observatory Greenwich privacy policy. You can request access to your personal data, or have any inaccuracies rectified, by sending an email to astrophotocomp@rmg.co.uk. By participating in the Promotion, you agree to the use of your personal data as described here.
  2. Please note that the Royal Observatory Greenwich is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

15. Accepting the rules

  1. By entering your photo to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition you are deemed to have accepted the above rules and to have granted the rights to RMG set out above. Please do not submit a photo to the competition unless you are prepared to agree to these terms.
  2. If you are under 18 years old, and entering the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition, by entering the competition your parent or guardian is deemed to have accepted the above rules and granted RMG the above rights in relation to the use of your image(s). We reserve the right to contact your parent or guardian for further confirmation as necessary.
  3. These Terms and Conditions prevail in the event of any conflict or inconsistency with any other communications, including advertising or promotional materials.