Swarovski Optik launches Digiscoper of the Year 2018


The 13th edition of Swarovski Optik's internationally popular Digiscoper of the Year competition is set to launch with some brand-new features.

Entrants to the prestigious Digiscoper of the Year 2018 competition are invited to submit digiscoped photos and videos of any wild animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and amphibians) in their natural habitat. The images and footage have to be taken with a digital camera or smartphone through the eyepiece of a spotting scope or binoculars. To enter the competition, go to the dedicated website at www.digiscoperoftheyear.com. You will also find a gallery of previous winners to browse through for inspiration.

Each submission should be entered into one of four categories: Movement & Action, Portrait & Macro, Mammals, and Video. One winner will be named per category, and from these four a jury of top experts, including Dominic Mitchell of Birdwatch and BirdGuides, will select the Digiscoper of the Year 2018. The winning images and a selection of runners-up will also feature in a 2019 calendar, free with the December issue of Birdwatch. Last year's winners can be found here.

This year's main prize is a complete set of Swarovski Optik digiscoping equipment, as well as a trophy crafted in the apprentice workshops at the company's base in Absam, Austria. The three other category winners will each receive a pair of EL 32 binoculars.

The competition opens on 1 August 2018, with the closing date for submissions at one minute to midnight on 30 September. The judging will take place in October, with the winners announced in December.

Jonathan C V Soon's spectacular image of a Whitehead's Broadbill won the Portrait & Macro category in 2017.


Digiscoper of the Year on Instagram

In 2018, for the first time, an Instagram contest will be run in parallel to the main competition. To take part, upload your digiscoped photos or film to Instagram, using the hashtag #DOY2018 and tagging Swarovski Optik Nature (@swarovskioptik_nature). Entries can be posted between 11 June and 31 July. At the end of this period, a winner will be chosen at random from all relevant posts.

Please note that the posts must be public so that they can be found and entered into the prize draw. The winner will receive a top-quality CL Companion binocular.