Photo Entry Rules

You may only submit one photo per category.

In an effort to keep the judging blind, watermarked photos are not allowed.

All photos should follow ethical night sky and wildlife photography practices. Images that inappropriately add artificial light at night (such as light painting, shining white light towards the sky, etc.) will not be considered. Images must be taken legally, adhering to local access regulations such as nighttime closures or restrictions. 

The following images are ALLOWED: 

Single exposure: The image is a single exposure. In expression: the camera triggered only once to acquire the image. The image is a single light frame. 

Blend: A digital combination of several images taken from the same tripod position, during the same night, with the same shooting direction and focal length.

This includes:

  • Foregrounds captured during the blue hour/with moonlight, combined with a sky captured during astronomical night/without the moon in the sky.

  • Focus stacks for an increased depth of field

  • Tracked skies, blended with untracked foregrounds. In this case, small movement of the tripod position (i.e. to the backside of a foreground feature, to avoid too much blur in the tracked sky image) is acceptable but must be stated.

Stacked: Noise reduction by stacking multiple images taken in immediate succession and with exactly the same settings, focal point, and length, field of view, and tripod position.

Tracked: A tracking mount was used to capture the sky. These devices rotate the camera to counter earth rotation and thus allow longer exposures without producing trailed stars. Tracked & Blended images are allowed if they were both taken using the same tripod position as stated above. 

Panorama: Multiple images stitched to produce a larger field of view. The individual images must be taken during the same night, from the same tripod position, and at the same focal length.

The following images are NOT ALLOWED: 


  • Images merged together from different tripod positions/locations or with different viewing directions

  • Images merged together taken during different nights*

  • Images merged together with different focal lengths

  • Images merged together with daylight foregrounds and night skies

*There is an exception to this rule for the Deep Sky category only.