9th Digiscoper of the Year

COMPETITION DETAILS

Nature’s diversity and uniqueness never cease to inspire us. After all, there are more than 4,500 species of mammals and more than 9,900 types of bird worldwide, each one unique in their appearance and behavior.

This diversity is also reflected in the many different digiscoping pictures and now, they will be classified in four theme-specific categories. There is, for the first time, a special prize for the best shot taken using a smartphone adapter.

 

Definition of digiscoping

Under the terms of this competition, digiscoping pictures and videos are digital pictures and videos featuring animals that have been produced using a digital camera and a spotting scope eyepiece.

The four categories in the “Digiscoper of the Year 2014” competition are as follows:

 

Behavior & Action

What criteria does my picture need to meet for the “Behavior & Action” category?

  • The digiscoping pictures in this category are digital photos of birds, insects, amphibians, and reptiles living in the wild (NB: there is a separate category for mammals), where the focus is mainly on the creature’s behavior and activity.
  • Further selection criteria in addition to relevance to the theme include the complexity of the shot and the esthetic aspects of the pictures submitted.
  • Competition terms and conditions

 

Sample pictures:

(c)herrero-doy2011  (c)wu-doy2012  (c)lin-doy2012


     
Jury members for the Behavior & Action category

  • Dominic Mitchell
  • Björn Fuldseth
  • Tara Tanaka

 

Tara Tanaka: Great behavior and action photos should show an aspect of the subject that would not be seen if the bird or animal was perched or still.  For a winning shot in this category I’ll be looking for the unusual or dramatic that captures the subject’s personality, or a shot that depicts a behavior such as feeding or interaction with another bird or animal.  The digiscoper should demonstrate the ability to choose an ISO, shutter speed and EV compensation that is appropriate to best capture the action, as well as maintaining a sharp eye and creating an appealing composition.

 

Portrait

What criteria does my picture need to meet for the “Portrait” category?

  • The digiscoping pictures in this category are portrait shots of birds, insects, amphibians, and reptiles living in the wild (NB: there is a separate category for mammals), which do not fall under the “Behavior & Action” category.
  • Further selection criteria in addition to relevance to the theme include the complexity of the shot and the esthetic aspects of the pictures submitted.
  • Competition terms and conditions

 

Sample pictures:

(c)tanaka-doy2012  (c)janhom-doy2008  (c)nillson-doy2012

 

Jury members for the Portrait category

  • Dominic Mitchell
  • Amy Hooper
  • Ulrich Lanz

 

Amy Hooper: While evaluating images, Amy looks for razor-sharp focus at the focal point, good lighting and interesting composition, the latter being especially appreciated when it reveals one of a creature's unique traits or behaviors. An impressive image shares new information with the person looking at it.

 

Mammals

What criteria does my picture need to meet for the “Mammal” category?

  • The digiscoping pictures in this category include behavior and action images and portrait shots of mammals living in the wild.
  • Further selection criteria in addition to relevance to the theme include the complexity of the shot and the esthetic aspects of the pictures submitted.
  • Competition terms and conditions

 

Sample pictures:

(c)cigoj-doy2009  (c)smulders-doy2010  (c)fritschek-doy2012

 

Jury members for the Mammals category

  • Erich Marek
  • Riccardo Camusso
  • Jonathan and Angela Scott

 

Erich Marek: We’re looking for mammal shots that convey a sense of freedom, which can be seen in the eyes of an animal living in the wild. The image composition, which often cannot be judged properly when taking photos, can be optimized with computer software. The pose of the mammals and extraordinary setting will definitely win votes.

Riccardo Camusso: When I manage to take a photo on my reflex camera that captures not only the forms but also the eyes, expression and mood of a wild animal, I am very happy. Only digiscoping allows me to keep my distance from the nature scene I’m shooting and achieve this miracle, which goes well beyond a purely technical and formal capability.

 

Video

What criteria does my picture need to meet for the “Video” category?

  • All videos showing animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects) living in the wild are eligible for this category.
  • Further selection criteria in addition to relevance to the theme include the complexity of the shot and the esthetic aspects of the pictures submitted.
  • Competition terms and conditions

 

Sample videos:

 

Jury members for the Videos category

  • Marc Plomp
  • Tara Tanaka
  • Clay Taylor

 

Tara Tanaka: Video is the perfect medium to capture behaviors that can’t be conveyed with a photo alone.  While a video of something interesting or unusual taken with the camera in a fixed position might be a good video, I’ll be looking for the video of something interesting or unusual that utilizes panning to capture action and demonstrates the ability to maintain focus while following a moving subject. Proper use of “rack focusing” while moving from one subject to another would earn bonus points.

 

Special “Digiscoping with Smartphone Adapter” Award

Spotting scopes and binoculars from SWAROVSKI OPTIK can now operate in perfect harmony with an iPhone®*. The PA-i5 adapter for iPhone* 5/5s from SWAROVSKI OPTIK turns long-range optical devices in a single motion into telephoto zoom lenses, thus presenting digiscoping to every user from new perspectives. This is true whether they are observing wildlife and birds, out hunting, or while traveling and enjoying their leisure time. Unique moments can be captured quickly and simply. The assembly process is just as quick and easy – you attach the adapter to the relevant eyepiece cup.

 

Sample picture:

(c)GudrunKaufmann

 

Important dates

Deadline for submitting entries: September 30, 2014 (23:59:59 CEST)
Adjudication period: October 1 to October 21, 2014 (23:59:59 CEST)
Announcement of winner: December 2014

*iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc.