09/06/2015
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Swarovski Optik launches Digiscoper of the Year 2015

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Digiscoper of the Year 2015

Swarovski Optik's Digiscoper of the Year competition promises to be even bigger and better this year, with the introduction of a new category to mark the contest's 10th anniversary and another fantastic range of prizes on offer for category winners and the overall winner.

Digiscoping — the art of taking photos and videos through spotting scopes or binoculars — has been capturing the imagination of an ever-growing number of users for many years. High-quality spotting scopes, binoculars and special adapters from Swarovski have turned the practice into a fascinating alternative to conventional nature photography, often with extraordinary results.

In 2015 the company’s popular Digiscoper of the Year competition celebrates its 10th year, and to mark the occasion there will be a special Animal Antics category for funny animal pictures in addition to the four existing competition categories (see below). Once again, Swarovski is offering an attractive top prize of a complete set of digiscoping equipment including telescope, digiscoping adapter, tripod and accessories. Digiscoper of the Year 2015 launched on 1 June and the closing date for entries is 30 September 2015; a Facebook competition will run in tandem with the main competition.

Competition terms and picture categories

Under the terms of this competition, Swarovski Optik understands digiscoping pictures and videos to mean digital pictures and videos featuring animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and amphibians) in their natural habitat which have been produced using a digital camera or a smartphone through the eyepiece of a spotting scope or binocular. The pictures submitted must be allocated to one of the four categories: Movement and Action, Portrait and Macro, Mammals, and Videos.

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Top prize: a complete set of digiscoping equipment and trophy

Swarovski Optik will publish the best 15 images from all the pictures submitted and the best five videos, with the names of the photographers, on www.digiscoperoftheyear.com. One winner will be named per category, and chosen by a judging panel which includes Dominic Mitchell, Managing Editor of BirdGuides. From these four category winners, the Digiscoper of the Year 2015 will be selected. The top prize is a complete set of Swarovski Optik digiscoping equipment (ATX or STX eyepiece module, 25-60x85 objective module, digiscoping adapter, spotting scope rail, tripod, and tripod head) designed to make your digiscoping even more enjoyable. In addition to the top prize, an engraved trophy will be awarded in 2015 for the first time; it will be made in the Swarovski Optik apprentice workshops in Absam. The three other category winners will each receive a pair of EL 32 binoculars from Swarovski Optik.

Animal Antics: special category to mark the 10th anniversary

To mark the competition's 10th anniversary, there is also a special category called Animal Antics, intended to encourage people to submit funny animal pictures. This special category is a mini-competition of its own, with a very special jury. The children from OptikS Wichtelwald, Swarovski’s company kindergarten in Absam, will select the winner from this category, and the prize will be a rucksack packed full of surprises.

Digiscoper of the Year on Facebook

Swarovski will select nine pictures from all the photos submitted every month and publish them on facebook.com/swarovskioptik.nature. All digiscoping fans are invited to choose the picture they like most in each category (based on the number of likes). The most popular video each month will also be chosen on Facebook. The three most popular pictures and the most popular video each month will win a high-quality Swarovski Optik jacket or a PA-i5 adapter for iPhone®* 5/5s.

What you need to know to take part

The competition allows the use of digital and video cameras, as well as smartphones, and all commercially available spotting scopes, binoculars, and eyepieces. Pictures may only be submitted by uploading the files on www.digiscoperoftheyear.com. Videos should be no more than 120 seconds long and should be supplied in a minimum quality of 720p, only via YouTube/Vimeo. Photos and videos that have been digitally manipulated are not allowed in the competition. However, photos that have been retouched in terms of contrast, brightness or focus, for instance, are permitted. The original picture or video must be available in unprocessed form.


Last year's winner was Jürgen Bergmann's video, 'Faszination Natur'.

Important deadlines

Closing date for submissions: 30 September 2015 (23:59:59 CEST)
Judging period: 1-21 October 2015 (23:59:59 CEST)
Announcement of the winners: December 2015

Birdwatch magazine (UK), the Bavarian Society for the Protection of Birds (Germany), the Dutch Birding Association (Netherlands), Natagora (Belgium), natuurfotopassie (Netherlands), and Bird Watcher’s Digest (USA) are partners of the competition.

Written by: Swarovski Optik