Terms & Conditions

Competition Organiser, Partners and Sponsors

The ‘Reach for the Stars’ astrophotography competition is being run by the Dublin Institute for Advance Studies (DIAS).

Competition Categories

There are two competition categories:

  1. Out of this World: Images depicting scenes / features or elements of astronomical interest For example, deep space images or images of the solar system.
  2. Back on Earth: Astro-landscape images that depict a feature or element of astronomical interest AND capture elements such as nature, city-scapes, buildings or monuments, land, or water.
  • Entrants must choose which category they want their image to be entered in when completing the submission process.
  • No more than two images per category can be submitted by one entrant to the competition.
  • If an individual submits more than two images in either category, the first two images submitted will go forward for judging and any additional images will be disqualified.
Submitting Images
  • Participation in this competitions denotes acceptance of these terms and conditions and any additional competition specific terms and conditions which may be advertised or notified by DIAS.
  • The photographer will maintain the copyright of the submitted image but gives DIAS permission to use the images as detailed below.
  • By submitting an image or images to this competition, you confirm that:
  • The image has been taken and processed by you.
    • The image is your original work.
    • The image was taken on or during: 1st May 2022 to 1st May 2023.
    • You have written consent from any individuals identifiable in the image.
    • You are the sole copyright owner or representative of the image(s) being submitted.
    • The image was taken on the island of Ireland.
    • The image has not previously been published by a news agency, media outlet or picture agency. This includes images published in print and online outlets (excluding personal social media usage).
    • The image has not been published in relation to other competitions.
    • The image was not previously entered into DIAS’ Reach for the Stars competition in 2021 and 2022.
    • The image does not have a watermark, name or copyright line featured anywhere; and your name is not featured anywhere in the caption.
    • You are aged 18 or over.
    • Digitally modified images are eligible for entry, provided that all elements of the photograph were shot in the same location. Techniques such as exposure blending, stacking and tracking– including stacking exposures of Deep Space Objects taken over multiple nights from the same location are permitted for entry. However, composites of different photos from different locations are not eligible for entry. Artificially introducing any type of object into a photograph is not Exposure techniques to improve the contrast, dynamic range, signal to noise, etc are allowed, provided they do not alter the true nature of the object captured. The judging panel may ask about your processing method and may also request the original image file(s). Please provide as much detail as possible about digital enhancements and composites in your initial entry form.
    • Photos taken both during daytime and at night are eligible for entry.
    • By entering this competition, I consent to my entry and personal data, including images being processed for the purposes of judging and awarding the competition. All personal information will be used by DIAS in accordance with its Privacy Policy.
    • Entry to the competition shall be deemed full and unconditional acceptance of the terms and conditions, and DIAS reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions.
    • This competition is not open to staff of DIAS (be they scholars, employees or contractors).
Judging Process
  • Competition entries will be judged by a panel of judges appointed by DIAS.
  • The judges will come from a range of disciplines, including astronomy and photography.
  • Entries will be judged using pre-defined criteria, which will include: technical skills, artistic flair, astronomical understanding, and originality.
  • Should the quality of entries fall below the standard required, the judges reserve the right not to select a winner.
  • There are two categories for this competition. It is intended to have an overall winner of each category. The judging panel also reserves the right to select runners-up in each category.
  • There will also be a ‘public choice’ winner, selected through an online public vote.
  • The judges’ decision is final and binding in all matters and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • It is DIAS’s intention that the winning and a selection of shortlisted images will also be included in an exhibition at DIAS during 2023.
  • If your entry is shortlisted, we will contact you in May 2023 via the contact details you have provided. The competition judges may require additional information (including original image files), and you may be asked additional questions about your image during the judging process.
  • A press announcement will be made about the shortlisted entries and, subsequently, about the winning entries. All entrants that have been shortlisted and / or notified that they have won a prize must not publicise this news until official press announcements has been made by DIAS. DIAS’ PR team will notify you in advance of the timings re. same.
Public Vote
  • The public vote will run until Monday, 26th June 2023.
  • To vote for your favourite image:
    1. Visit the Public Vote page
    2. Click ‘View’ on your favourite image.
    3. Click ‘Vote for this entry’.
    4. Enter your details and click ‘submit’.
  • Only one vote is allowed per person.

The winning photographers in the two main categories will receive a prize package that includes:

  • Publication of their images on the DIAS and Irish Times websites;
  • A VIP tour of DIAS Dunsink Observatory – with the opportunity to peer through Ireland’s largest refractor telescope.
  • One pass for up to 4 guests for ‘Race to Space’, a fully immersive escape room experience, hosted at DIAS Dunsink Observatory.
  • A €500 voucher for photographic / telescopic equipment; and
  • A 12-month Digital subscription to The Irish Times

It is DIAS’s intention that the winning and a selection of shortlisted images will also be included in an exhibition at DIAS during 2023.

Two runners up in each category will also be selected by the judges, and will each receive a €200 voucher for photographic / telescopic equipment.

The winner of the Public Choice category will receive a voucher to the value of €150.

DIAS reserves the right to change prize details without notice and all prizes are subject to availability.

Data protection/privacy:

DIAS is the data controller of the personal data you provide as part of your entry. Your personal data is processed under the lawful basis of Legitimate Interest in order to run the ‘Reach for the Stars’ astrophotography competition. The submitted photographs, your first and last name, the location of where the image was taken and equipment used will be published on the DIAS website, the information you provide, such as your address or other contact details will not be published. However, we will use these to update you on the competition. Applications to this competition will be retained for a period of six months from the date of the end of the competition. If you have any queries, details on how to contact us along with our full privacy notice are available here Privacy Policy.