Voting open for International Year of Light Photo Contest

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Voting is now open for the People’s Choice Award in the SPIE International Year of Light Photo Contest, organised as part of the United Nations’ International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL2015). The general public can vote until the 15 August, and SPIE will announce the winning image in September.

The SPIE International Year of Light Photo Contest was organised to raise awareness of the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in daily life. An international panel of executive and student judges evaluated 800 entry photos based on scientific interest, creativity, and how well the photo communicated the contest theme, to pick the 35 top images.

The finalist photos portray various photonics technologies, including LEDs, solar panels, adaptive optics, and lasers, which promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. The photos depict issues such as light pollution, energy conservation, and sustainable energy, and celebrate our connection with nature.

Last year's winner was Paul Reiffer, who took a 35-second exposure image of traffic and other lights on and around the Nanpu Bridge in Shanghai (see image 1 above). According to the judges, the man-made movement and complexity of the light in Reiffer's photo effectively illustrates the goal of the IYL 2015 as well as light in everyday life, the contest theme.

The winner will receive a prize of $2,500, and their image will be featured on the cover of SPIE Professional magazine in October. $1,000 will be awarded for second place, and $500 each for third place. Voting runs online through 15 August and voters who register will be chance to win a GoPro camera.

IYL2015 is an initiative adopted by the United Nations to raise global awareness, particularly among policymakers and stakeholders, of the problem-solving potential of light technology.

Voters can select their favourite picture online here for the SPIE International Year of Light Photo Contest. Some of the finalist photos include:


'Solar Powered Street Lamps,' Maria Francesca Avila. Credit: SPIE

'Medical Operating,' David Martin Huamani Bedoya. Credit: SPIE

'Shane Adaptive Optics Laser Guide Star/ShARCS,' Laurie Hatch. Credit: SPIE


'Educating,' Sadai Pandiyan Azhagu-Karpakam. Credit: SPIE

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Further information

Vote for the SPIE International Year of Light Photo Contest