13th Digiscoper of the Year

Competition terms and conditions

1. Entrants:

Entrants must be aged 18 years or over and must agree to the terms and conditions on the www.digiscoperoftheyear.com website. SWAROVSKI OPTIK staff and their relatives are not eligible to participate.


2. Closing date for entries:

The closing date for the competition is 30 September 2018 (23:59:59 CEST). This shall be determined on the basis of the login date to the SWAROVSKI OPTIK website www.digiscoperoftheyear.com.
Results will be announced online December 2018 at www.digiscoperoftheyear.com. SWAROVSKI OPTIK will also notify the winners in writing/by e-mail.


3. Equipment:

Digiscoping pictures and videos may be taken using digital cameras/video cameras/smartphones of any kind.

Spotting scopes:
All conventional spotting scopes and binoculars may be used for this competition.


4. Pictures/Videos:

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/smartphone and a spotting scope/binocular. The only animal photos permitted are those showing live animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and amphibians) in their natural habitat, and not in captivity (enclosure or zoo).

Furthermore, baiting is also not allowed in the contest, as the animals will then start to associate people with food, which will lead to them being less afraid of human contact and getting them into possible harmful situations (e.g. coming too close to streets). If taking pictures of animals by night, please be aware to not use flash, as especially nocturnal birds can temporarily lose their ability to hunt for food. Besides, always respect the natural habitat to avoid causing unnecessary stress to the animals.

Every picture must be submitted under one of the specified categories (Movement & Action, Portrait & Macro, Mammals). Pictures that fail to meet the criteria of the relevant category will not be approved by SWAROVSKI OPTIK. Pictures can only be submitted by uploading the relevant files to www.digiscoperoftheyear.com.

Videos must be no longer than 120 seconds and must be available in a minimum quality of 720p. Videos that fail to meet the criteria of the relevant Video category will not be approved by SWAROVSKI OPTIK. Videos can only be submitted via YouTube/Vimeo.

Each entrant can submit a maximum of 5 pictures/videos per category.

Every picture/video must be submitted with the following additional information:

  • Name, address, telephone number, e-mail address of the photographer/person entering the image
  • Details of the camera model/smartphone used (brand, model name)
  • Details of the spotting scope used (brand, model name)
  • Details of the eyepiece used (brand, model name)
  • Details of the adapter used (brand, model name)
  • Time and place the image was captured - optional
  • Approximate distance from subject - optional
  • Species name (type)


Photographs that have been digitally manipulated may not be entered into the competition. However, aspects such as contrast, brightness or sharpness may be retouched. The original image must be available in unedited format and in printable resolution and may be required by the jury prior to any award being given.  At the request of the jury, the original image must also be submitted if the picture is selected for publication.

The original version may be requested by both the jury and SWAROVSKI OPTIK prior to any award being given. If subsequently selected for publication, the original picture/video should also be supplied, at SWAROVSKI OPTIK’s/the jury’s request.

Previous prize-winning pictures and videos can no longer be considered when selecting this year’s winner.

Images which were awarded prizes in the previous year's competition are excluded from this year's selection.


5. Selection criteria:

The conditions of entry must be adhered to. Selection criteria include the image sharpness, subject matter relevance (images of wildlife in natural surroundings) and the aesthetic aspects of the images entered.

Photos submitted to us without the additional information specified above shall not be considered.

Entrants are also asked to submit a comparison photo which was not taken through an observation telescope and which therefore gives an idea of the distance from the digiscoping subject and its surroundings. This optional extra image is of interest and is specifically required with regard to publication.
If images of protected animal species are entered, a permit from the organization responsible for monitoring the species must also be provided.


6. Copyright:

The 15 prize-winning pictures and 5 prize-winning videos will be published along with the entrant’s name on the SWAROVSKI OPTIK www.digiscoperoftheyear.com homepage.

By submitting each picture or recording for this competition, the participant transfers the unlimited, free, worldwide, transferable, non-exclusive right of use to SWAROVSKI OPTIK, provided that a prize is awarded by the jury (publication fee 300 €). The submitter must ensure that he/she is entitled to transfer the rights to the picture.

Entrants fully accept the published terms and conditions of the competition. By submitting their pictures, entrants confirm that no third-party rights, e.g. copyright, have been infringed.

Entrants give their consent that, for the duration of the competition, all the pictures/videos they have submitted as part of their “Digiscoper of the Year” competition entry may be used by SWAROVSKI OPTIK with the name of the photographer being published.


6.1. Birdinggame:

With this option the participant grants the right to SWAROVSKI OPTIK to use the submitted image in the SWAROVSKI OPTIK birdinggame (www.birdinggame.com) in low resolution quality.


7. Data protection:

By entering the images, the entrant agrees that the information specified in section 4 may be entered into the SWAROVSKI OPTIK KG database and used by SWAROVSKI OPTIK for the occasional distribution of informational material. This consent may be withdrawn by contacting customerservice@swarovskioptik.com.


8. Right of appeal:

Only the best image submitted by each entrant may be considered for a prize. The decision of the international jury is final, with no right of appeal.

The organiser is SWAROVSKI OPTIK KG, 6067 Absam, Austria.


9. Jury:

The names and details of members of the jury will be published on the homepage www.digiscoperoftheyear.com at the beginning of the competition. Visitors may also register at www.digiscoperoftheyear.com.

After registering, and once the competition has closed (September 30, 2018), visitors are given the chance to select and rate their five favorites in each category. The ratings given by all the visitors/entrants per category count toward the final score, along with the rating from a nominated jury member in the relevant category. The jury is given information about the relevant EXIF image data. The jury is not given any personal details or information about the equipment used (spotting scopes, adapters, eyepieces).


10. Evaluation:

SWAROVSKI OPTIK reserves the right to exclude anyone who enters multiple ratings (same personal details with various e-mail addresses) from the evaluation process.


11. Prizes:

The best 15 images and 5 videos will be published with the photographer's name on the www.digiscoperoftheyear.com homepage. For each image published, the entrant shall receive a publication fee of EUR 300.

A winner will be announced for each category. The overall winner of the “Digiscoper of the Year 2018” competition will be announced from these four category winners.

The overall winner of the “Digiscoper of the Year 2018” competition will receive the following prize from SWAROVSKI OPTIK:

a complete set of SWAROVSKI OPTIK digiscoping equipment (ATX or STX eyepiece module, 25-60x85 objective module, digiscoping adapter, spotting scope rail, tripod, tripod head).

The other three “Digiscoper of the Year 2018” category winners will each receive a pair of SWAROVSKI OPTIK EL 32 binoculars. The overall winner will not receive a separate prize for category winners.

These prizes may not be redeemed for cash.


*iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc.

The 14th edition of SWAROVSKI OPTIK’s internationally popular “Digiscoper of the Year” competition has had a makeover.
For the first time, all entries have to be made via Instagram.

From October 1–31, keen digiscopers are invited to post their pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #DOY2019.
Only public posts can participate in the draw.
The lucky winner will be picked at random and receive a set of CL Companion binoculars with VPA (variable phone adapter) and adapter ring.

Important deadlines

  • Competition start: October 1, 2019
  • Closing date for submissions: October 31, 2019 (23:59:59 CEST)
  • Announcement of the winners: November 2019