Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 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, exhibition and Flickr group 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 2015 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, BBC Worldwide Limited, Immediate Media Company and Yahoo!. Employees (or their immediate families) of the official competition sponsors and 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 2015 competition open on Thursday 15 January 2015 and must be received by midday (BST) on Thursday 16 April 2015 (the ‘Closing Date’).
  2. The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is powered by the photo-sharing website Flickr and all entries must be submitted online. If you have not done so already, you will need to join Flickr. To enter your images, you first need to upload them to your public account (Photostream) on Flickr. Once you have done this, fill in the relevant online application form on our website.
  3. Entrants must be over the age of 16 on the Closing Date of the competition.
  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 five photos in total to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015.
  2. By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to the competition Rules, and warrants that they are the copyright owner of the image. If an entrant is representing a group, the entrant warrants that they have the consent of all the copyright holders to enter the image. The entrant agrees to indemnify that Promoter against all costs and claims by third parties arising from breach of this warranty.
  3. Group entries are permitted. Groups must nominate one person to represent them in communication and submit entries on behalf of the group. Group entrants must indicate they are representing a group in the entry form.
  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 consistent with the Flickr Community Guidelines and the Flickr Terms of Use
    (iii) is your or your group's original work, or
    (iv) does not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party (particularly in relation to the use of robotic telescopes)
    (v) does not contain any obscene or defamatory content or material
    (vi) was taken after 1 January 2014.
  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.
  6. The following images are not eligible for entry in to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition:
    (i) Photos that have won a prize in any other national or international photography competition. If after entering the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition your image wins a prize in another photography competition you must commit to withdraw your entry and your entry will be disqualified.
    (ii) Photos that have previously been submitted to or picked up by a news agency or picture agency for distribution. Photos must not be submitted to a news agency or picture agency until three months after the opening of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 exhibition (exhibition opens 18 September 2015).
    (iii) Photos that use a substantial amount of data from either an image which has won a photography competition prize or which has been submitted to a news agency or picture agency.
    (iv) Photos taken before 1 January 2014.
    (v) Photos that have previously been entered in previous years of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
  7. Using data from before 1 January 2014 is permitted, as long as a substantial portion of the image is created using data captured after this date. If data used in an image was captured before 1January 2014, please state roughly what percentage of the total data it constitutes.
  8. The use of professional telescope data (such as Hubble Legacy Archive data) is permitted. Entrants must state if this is the case in their photograph description and state the professional telescope data being used.

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 2015.
  2. Images can be submitted to the following eight categories:
    (i) Aurorae – Photographs featuring auroral activity.
    (ii) Skyscapes sponsored by Insight Investment – Landscape and cityscape images of twilight and the night sky featuring the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers, comets, conjunctions, constellation rises, halos and noctilucent clouds alongside elements of earthly scenery.
    (iii) People and Space – Photographs of the night sky including people or a human interest element.
    (iv) Our Sun – Solar images including solar eclipses and transits. Excludes shots of the sun with earthly landscapes – these belong in ‘Skyscapes’.
    (v) Our Moon – Lunar images including lunar eclipses and occultation of planets. Excludes shots of the moon with earthly landscapes – these belong in ‘Skyscapes’.
    (vi) Planets, Comets and Asteroids – Everything else in our solar system, including planets and their satellites, comets, asteroids and other forms of zodiacal debris.
    (vii) Stars and Nebulae – Deep space objects within the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other intergalactic phenomena.
    (viii) Galaxies – Deep space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters, and stellar associations.

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 2014 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 remote or robotic telescopes. 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.
  3. A robotic telescope is considered to be one that is operated via the internet and may be publically available to all, such as Faulkes, Slooh, NSO, Global Remote Telescope Network (GRAS), LightBuckets etc. Images taken by privately owned robotic telescopes may also be used. Please clearly specify the type and location (whether remote or not) of the robotic telescope that you are using.
  4. No images taken by robotic/remote 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.
  6. Group entries are permitted in the Robotic Scope special prize and must nominate one person to represent them in communication and submit entries on behalf of the group. In cases where a school group is being represented, one student or a teacher should do the submission on behalf of the group. Group entrants must indicate they are representing a group in the entry form in the image description.

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
    (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.
  2. If your photo is shortlisted, we will contact you via the email address you provided on the online entry form and ask you to:
    (i) supply a high resolution version of your photo. 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) declare if your photo has been digitally manipulated and, if so, supply details of the processing method. Digitally manipulated photos are eligible but the judging panel will want to take your process into consideration when choosing winning photos.
    (iv) reconfirm that you have the permission of your parent or guardian to enter the competition, if you are under the age of 18 years old.
    (v) for entrants to the Sir Patrick Moore for Best Newcomer prize, reconfirm that you have only been practicing astronomy photography since 1 January 2014.
    (vi) declare you are the copyright holder. If you are entering on behalf of a group, declare that all the copyright holders have given consent for the image/s to be entered.
  3. We will contact you in the week commencing 4 May 2015 by email. If you do not reply to this email within 10 working days, your photo/s will be removed from the shortlist and will not be selected as a winner, runner-up or highly-commended entry.
  4. The full shortlist of images will not be revealed until the announcement of the winners on September 17. A press release about the shortlisted images will be issued in mid-July, featuring only a small selection of the full shortlist and we cannot guarantee which images will be selected for use by the press.
  5. Shortlisted entrants must not reveal that they are shortlisted until the shortlist press release goes out in mid-July. Shortlisted entrants may only reveal that they have been shortlisted, but not which image/images has/have been selected.
  6. All shortlisted entrants will be invited to the awards ceremony. Shortlisted category entrants who are not 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.

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 and Flickr group 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, worldwide, royalty-free licence to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, and publish in perpetuity, each image entered into the competition:
    (i) in exhibition displays, in relation to both the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 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 2015 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 all RMG publications about the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 competition and 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 images(s) feature in any such merchandising you will receive a one-off payment of £50 per image
  4. In the instance that entrants are shortlisted, entrants grant the sponsor Insight Investment a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, licence in perpetuity 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. 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 2015.
  2. If your image is selected as one of the winning images, you may be entitled to receive a prize. 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. No alternative prizes are available in whole or in part. The names of the winners and their nationality, will be published on the competition website no later than 18 September 2015 for a period of at least 3 months.
  3. 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).

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. The panel will include at least one independent judge. 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.

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 which 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 or to Flickr.
  3. By submitting your photo for entry into the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 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 reserves the right to cancel or amend the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year Flickr group, 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.

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.
  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 2015 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 2015 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.