Winterstellar Astrophotography Competition 2024 – Terms and Conditions

These conditions of entry apply to all submissions to the Winterstellar AstroPhotography Competition.

All entries must represent the night skies of Te Waipounamu / South Island, New Zealand as authentically as possible, free from excessive digital manipulation, with honesty in captioning. 

  1. The competition opens at 9 am on Monday 8th April 2024 and closes at 11.59 pm Monday 27th May 2024. No entries will be accepted outside of these times and dates.
    (Note. Extended from 12th May because of extraordinary Aurora activity that weekend.)
  2. All entries must be submitted online.
  3. Entrants must be amateur photographers. For the purposes of the competition, you are considered a professional if 25% or more of your income is or has been derived from photography.
  4. Images submitted must not be commissioned images, images used for a commercial purpose, or images entered in other photography competitions.
  5. The entrant must be the original author of the work entered as described in the Copyright Act 1994. Any attempt at plagiarism, such as copying the composition of another artist’s image, will result in immediate disqualification.
  6. Digital Photographs will not be returned.
  7. Subjects of photographs and videos must be the night skies of Te Waipounamu / South Island, New Zealand. (20/5/2024 Update. Entries in Aurora Category may be from North Island, NZ)
  8. For the purpose of the competition, the “night skies” is from the period after sunset and before the next sunrise.
  9. Entries must be submitted in ANY of the following categories:
    • Natural – this is an image taken in one shot with minimal post production manipulation. The judges may be required to view the RAW files of submitted images.
    • Composite – this may include star trails or other images that are made up of multiple shots taken of the same composition. The judging panel may ask about your processing method if your photo is shortlisted. Please provide details of digital enhancements and composites in the Image description.
    • Deep Space – Narrow field photography including Solar images, Planetary images, Comets, Asteroids, Nebulae, Galaxies, Globular and Open Star Clusters.
    • Aurora – Images of Aurora from New Zealand including North Island. New late category because of extraordinary solar storm and Aurora 11th/12th May 2024.
      Judges may assign images already submitted into this new category in addition to the category it was initially entered into. The judges will be looking for the best images of this epic May 11th Aurora.
  10. For each category there will be a first prize and highly commended awards, plus a youth prize for entrants 18 or under on the date the competition opens.
  11. For the 2024 competition there are no limits to when the image was taken. For future competitions we may require all images must have been taken within 18 months of competition opening.
  12. Each person can submit a maximum of five photographic entries in each category.
  13. If more than five photographic entries are submitted, only the last five entries sent will be counted.
  14. Photographic entries must adhere to the following specifications:
    • minimum file size 1MB
    • maximum file size 10MB
    • photos must be submitted as JPEGs
    • at least 72dpi
    • maximum 7,500px longest edge
    • we recommend you leave the format of your image in rectangle shape
    • borders, watermarks or signatures should not be included.
  15. Submitted photographic entries that fail to meet the specified format will not be considered and will be disqualified from entry with no correspondence entered into.
  16. Images entered in the “Natural” category that are heavily digitally altered will not be accepted as entries to the competition. Entrants may be asked to provide RAW files for comparison &/or evidence of post production editing for clarification.
  17. Entrants may be required to provide the original source file of their photo for enlargement and display purposes or for checking the degree of editing. Please note, images may be cropped for display purposes in the competition exhibition or marketing collateral.
  18. Entrants agree to grant Winterstellar a perpetual, non-exclusive licence to use submitted images for marketing and editorial use. Entrants will be credited in all possible circumstances.
  19. The organisers acknowledge the moral rights provisions of the Copyright Act 1994, including the right to be identified as the author of the work and the right to object to derogatory treatment of the work. To preserve the artistic integrity of the entry, no work will be intentionally edited (other than as stated in condition 17), altered, demeaned, or misrepresented in any way.
  20. It is the entrant’s responsibility to obtain appropriate written permission from people or owners of property, animals, or plants that are identifiable in their work. The entrant must produce evidence of that consent to the organisers if requested.
  21. The entrant fully indemnifies the organisers against any claims arising from the display or use of unaltered work as described herein and from the infringement of intellectual property rights of any third party.
  22. The organisers reserve the right to not show entries in the exhibition that have been deemed inappropriate for the audience.
  23. The organisers reserve the right to not show all entries in the exhibition. The selection of images in the exhibition is at the sole discretion of the organiser.
  24. No correspondence will be entered into with the entrant if their entry is not selected for the exhibition.
  25. If the organisers are unable to open or upload the entries submitted because of technical errors caused by file quality or if the file is damaged, the organiser reserves the right not to include the entries in the competition. No correspondence will be entered into with the entrant.
  26. All entries will be treated with care, but no responsibility will be accepted in the case of loss or damage. Insurance is the entrant’s sole responsibility unless agreed in writing with the organisers.
  27. Entrants agree to be contacted by the organisers regarding this competition and subsequent exhibition as well as future Winterstellar competitions.
  28. The entrant’s consent to these Terms and Conditions is through their uploading of photos to the competition online.
  29. Staff and immediate families of the competition organisers are not eligible to enter the competition. ‘Immediate’ refers to siblings, parents, children, or spouses/relationship partners.
  30. Winning and highly commended photographs will be announced at a prize-giving on Saturday 22nd June 2024. (Updated from 26th June on 12th May.)
  31. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  32. Prizes are non-transferable and are not redeemable for cash.

If you are unable to enter online, or if you have any other comments or questions, please contact: