Imaging Contest Rules

Please read thoroughly.

The Starfest salon of imaging is a friendly competition for all levels of astrophotographers.  It is open to anyone attending Starfest except current judges.  In recent years we’ve had sponsors donate generous prizes to the winners.  Photos are entered by class (see below) and will be scored by a panel of 3 judges.  Photos must have been taken in the 12 months preceding Starfest.  Winners will be announced during a stage presentation on Saturday night at Starfest.


  1. Time Lapse video.  Maximum duration per video = 1 minute.  You may add music or leave it silent.  Time Lapse will be shown as submitted, however note that Starfest is a family event and inappropriate music may be edited out.  Only one Time Lapse per entrant.  If you wish to submit, contact the Director via to make file sharing arrangements.
  2. Astronomical Landscape and Star Trails (ASL)
  3. Solar System (SS)
  4. Deep Sky Objects (DSO)
  5. In the event that there are not enough entries for the year, divisions may be combined.


  • The Director reserves the right to disqualify any photo or video that doesn’t meet the contest rules (below).
  • The identity of the judges will be disclosed on Saturday night at Starfest.  Judges are typically accomplished imagers who have either won first place at Starfest or have been extensively published.
  • The NYAA assumes no liability for any misuse of copyright and is not responsible for any loss of or damage to any images submitted.

Contest Rules

  1. Entrants should be registered for Starfest prior to sending images.
  2. Winners of the contest must pick up their prizes at the showing on Saturday night.  Prizes will not be mailed out.
  3. The competition is open to all Starfest attendees with the exception of current judges.
  4. All entries must contain an Astronomical theme.
  5. All components of an image must have been captured by the entrant.
  6. All elements of image capture must be accomplished by the entrant, including equipment setup, control, alignment, and target acquisition.  All work in creating an image that involves the application of more than nominal skill must be done by the entrant.  Images acquired remotely using rented equipment are not permitted.  Otherwise this would just be an image processing competition.
  7. Maximum number of submissions = 10 images plus 1 time-lapse.
  8. By virtue of submitting an entry, the entrant certifies the work as not infringing on anyone else’s copyright and permits the NYAA to reproduce, in printed or electronic form, all or part of the entered material free of charge for publication and/or display in media related to the promotion of Starfest and to effectively operate and promote the competition.
  9. Images should have been acquired between July 2022 - July 2023.
  10. No identifying information (e.g. title, photographer) should be pasted on the image itself.
  11. Images can be submitted as TIFFs or high quality JPEGs
  12. Images will be judged and shown using high definition technology, therefore submissions should be in the ballpark of 1920 x 1080 pixels (give or take).  This rectangular format is just a suggestion, but any aspect ratio will be accepted.  Some sensors are intentionally square (solar, planetary, IMX 533 etc…) and you are welcome to send the images as they are.
  13. When naming your images, include only the target name and Division (eg – “M52-DSO”).  Other info (eg - your name) is no longer necessary in the file’s name.
  14. Please include technical details of the image(s) in the email (location, dates, target, camera, mount, scope, filters, exposure times etc.)
  15. The prizes are limited to one award per person per divison.

Submitting your Images:

  • DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING IMAGES IS: 11:59pm EDT Saturday July 15th 2023
  • The entrant is responsible for ensuring his/her entries are delivered to the Director by .

Imager Of The Year (IOTY) award

  • You automatically qualify to compete if you submit 6 or more images.
  • Award is based on quality of work + quantity of work + diversity of work.  A mathematical weighting formula incorporates all 3 variables to yield the winner.
  • For the best IOTY odds, try to submit:
    • The maximum number of images (10)
    • Images in more than 1 category (DSO/SS/ASL) if possible