Catch a shooting star with your camera, phone or drone and pocket the Dark Sky winnings – St George News

The night sky visible from Capitol Reef National Park, undated | Photo courtesy of the Utah Bureau of Tourism, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — Photographers who enjoy capturing “dark sky images” are encouraged to enter the Dark-Sky Association’s third annual “Capture the Dark Sky” photo contest.

The Milky Way arches over Chimney Rock of Capitol Reef National Park, Wayne County, Utah, date not given | Photo by Jacob W. Frank via International Dark Sky Association, St. George News

The competition is sponsored by the Utah Office of Tourism in association with the International Dark-Sky Association and runs through July 21st.

“Growing up in Utah, I always stared at the dark skies in wonder and awe,” said Bettymaya Foott, director of engagement for the International Dark-Sky Association, in a press release. “It is now an honor for IDA to work with Visit Utah to promote the amazing dark skies there and support their incredible efforts to protect the breathtaking beauty for future generations.”

Utah has the highest concentration of designated Dark Sky Places in the world. The International Dark-Sky Association, an award-winning conservation program that recognizes communities who strive to preserve the beauty of the night, has designated 24 dark-sky sites in the state. In addition, Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox has twice declared April as Utah Dark Skies Month, the press release said.

Astrotourism and dark sky messaging complement Red Emerald’s strategic tourism plan, which aims to improve life in Utah through responsible tourism stewardship.

“Utah State Parks, our national parks and community partners have shown tremendous leadership and vision in preserving the night sky statewide,” said Bianca Lyon, community and partner relations director for the Utah Office of Tourism, in the press release. “This is a unique opportunity to invite photographers of all ages and experience levels to Utah to capture the beauty of the night sky.”

Of the nine categories open for submission, one has been specifically named “Utah Dark Skies.” Other categories judged by a panel of world-class astrophotographers are:

  • connection with the dark – Experiencing a natural night offers perspective, inspiration and leads to a reflection on humanity and one’s place in the universe.
  • Dark Sky International Location – Over 170 protected areas and communities around the world have been certified by IDA as International Dark Sky Places, creating sanctuaries for astrophotographers.
  • The effects of light pollution – Light pollution can have significant impacts on the environment, human health and access to the night sky. This category also includes images of horrific lighting, flash bombs, etc.
  • The bright side of lighting – Light pollution can give artificial lighting a bad name, but lighting that meets the IDA principles for responsible outdoor lighting can be beautiful, healthy and functional.
  • creatures of the night – Not only does light pollution obliterate the view of the stars, scientific evidence suggests that artificial light at night has negative and deadly effects on wildlife such as amphibians, birds, insects and mammals.
  • deep sky – For thousands of years people have looked up at the night sky and wondered what is out there. Nowadays, many space objects can photograph from their own backyards. Share a photo of objects like nebulae, galaxies and star clusters.
  • The mobile photographer – No big camera? No problem. Share a shot from any of the above categories captured with a mobile phone, tablet or GoPro. No DSLR, mirrorless camera or drone shots.
  • youth – Share a recording for any of the above categories taken by someone 17 years of age or younger.

Winners in each category will receive a prize package that includes a feature in the International Dark-Sky Association’s “Nightscape” publication, blog and social media, I Membership, IDA and Visit Utah swag, and a Peak Design Field Pouch . Additionally, one photo will receive a People’s Choice Award based on audience votes.

This winner will receive a prize package that includes a $250 B&H gift certificate, a feature in the IDA publication Nightscape, the IDA blog and social media, an IDA membership, and IDA and Visit Utah swag .

For more information click on the following links:

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