SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest 2021: (Deadline 16 September 2021)

SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest 2021: (Deadline 16 September 2021)

SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest 2021: (Deadline 16 September 2021)


Applications are open SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest 2021. The SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest is held annually to raise awareness about IDL and to demonstrate the impact light has on cultural, economic, and political aspects of our global society. Amateur and professional photographers alike are encouraged to submit photos for a chance to win cash prizes. Lastly, photographers age 13 to 17 should submit their images to the Youth Photo Contest.


The theme of the photo contest is A World of Light: The Vital Role That Light and Light-Based Technologies Play in Daily Life. Examples of content include, but are not exclusive to, artistic images that depict:

  • Various properties of light and how it interacts with the atmosphere, nature, and materials
  • Light technology such as lasers, LEDs, etc.
  • Images created with light technology such as telescopes and microscopes
  • People interacting with light and/or light technology
  • The betterment of the human condition with light

Cash Prizes

  • First Prize: USD 2,500
  • Second Prize: USD 1,000
  • Third Prize: US $500
  • Technology and Science Prizes: US $750 each
  • Youth Prizes: Surprise gift box of SPIE merchandise


  • The photo contest is open to people from age 13 and up, both amateur and professional photographers, except employees of SPIE and optics.org, their immediate families, the contest judges, and consultants/contractors of SPIE.
  • Basically, the immediate family includes all grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, children, grandchildren, in-laws, or anyone living in the SPIE or optics.org employee’s household.
  • Furthermore, entrants are subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The contest is void where prohibited by law.

Judging Criteria

  • Content: Appropriateness and coverage of content in relation to the theme.
  • Scientific interest: Overall effectiveness in engaging and communicating the contest theme to viewers.
  • Creativity/artistry: Innovation and creativity in the concept.
  • Execution: Execution of photography techniques used to enhance the quality and content of entries.
  • Overall appeal for the International Day of Light.



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