01/06/2016
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Prestigious digiscoping competition launches

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Now in its 11th year, Digiscoper of the Year opens for entries today (1 June 2016). This prestigious photography competition attracts thousands of digiscoped images from professional and amateur photographers from around the world.

Stills and video can be submitted via the dedicated website at www.digiscoperoftheyear.com. There are four categories:

  • Movement and Action
  • Portrait and Macro
  • Mammals
  • Video


Overall winner, from the Movement and Action category, 2015: Black-winged Kite by Claudio Montuori, Italy.


Winner of Portrait and Macro category, 2015: Anhinga by Gudrun Kaufmann, Austria


Winner of Video category, 2015: Kingfisher and other species by Jürgen Bergmann, Germany.

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You can use any digital or video camera or smartphone, along with any commercially available spotting scope and eyepiece or binocular. The closing date for entries is 30 September 2016, with evaluation and judging taking place in October and the results announced thereafter.

Photos and video must be of wild birds and animals in their natural habitat. Images or footage that have been digitally manipulated are not allowed. Retouching — adjusting contrast, brightness or sharpness — is acceptable, but the original image or video must also be available as an unprocessed file.

All entries will be judged by a public jury and an international panel of experts, once again including Dominic Mitchell, Managing Editor of Birdwatch magazine and BirdGuides.com. Five winners in each category will be determined, with the overall winner being selected from the top entry in the four groups.

Some fantastic prizes are on offer. The overall winner will receive a full Swarovski Optik digiscoping kit and a trophy, while the remaining first-prize category winners will get an EL 32 binocular.

As the only British partner for the competition, Birdwatch is proud to support Digiscoper of the Year. The magazine produces a calendar showcasing some of the best images, and this will be given away free with the December 2016 issue.

The competition will also be on Facebook. Every month Swarovski Optik will select five photos or videos from the entries submitted that month and publish them on www.facebook.com/swarovskioptik.nature. The most popular Facebook image or video (based on the number of likes at the end of each judging period) will win a Swarovski drinking bottle, Swarovski wristwatch and Swarovski shirt.