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SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest


Congratulations Winners of the 2020 Photo Contest

The annual SPIE International Day of Light Photo Contest is held to raise awareness about IDL and the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in daily life. This year, photographers from Portugal, the Philippines, and China were named winners of the contest, from more than 2,000 entries depicting the world-of-light theme. See more submission below.

The winners are:

First Prize (US $2,500): Christopher Andres from Quezon City, Philippines for his image 'Taal Volcano Eruption'

"The eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas, Philippines, on 12 January, 2020, was a phreatomagmatic eruption that affected the weather by creating a lot of rain, ash fall, and lightning strikes though a volcanic plume. One of the country’s most popular tourist destinations because of its breathtaking scenery, the volcano generated one of the strangest as well as one of the most beautiful messes – including this huge lightning strike – that I have ever seen caused by nature. It was a terrifying yet extremely satisfying event that, as a travel photographer, I will never forget. "

Second Prize (US $1,000): Qiusheng Hu from Nanchang, Jiangxi (China) for his image 'Sacred'

Quisheng Hu is an amateur photographer, who captured this photograph in Myanmar. The photograph tells a rich and strong story with a dramatic display of light, the backlit thunderhead juxtaposed against the floodlights which are, in turn, illuminating the temple. In the foreground, silhouettes of an additional building and the landscape add to the intriguing elements of the composition.

Third Prize (US $500): Manuel “Manny” Librodo Jr. from Manila, Philippines for his image 'Morning Light'

"The subject is a boy a village in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Early in the morning, I was walking around, and people welcomed me to their homes like I was one of their fellow villagers. This boy had apparently just woken up. The morning light was peering through the window and when it hit the colorful patch of the mosquito net, he seemed like he was bathed in colors. I like the metaphor of the light in the picture. The boy is a bright light to his family and his liveliness was brought out even more because of the love showered to him by everyone around him."

Technology Prize* (US $750): João Martins from Braga, Portugal for his image 'The Connections That Make Us!'

"This image was taken at the Champalimaud Foundation, a biomedical research center. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a cyprinid fish found throughout Southern Asia as well as in pet stores around the globe. Around 70 precent of its genes are shared with humans, making zebrafish larvae an ideal model for studies in genetics, development, and neuroscience. The specific zebrafish that we see here has been genetically modified to express a fluorescent protein on a subpopulation of neurons (chrna4-expressing neurons) that we see in green, allowing us to study specific structures, how they develop, and how they work during a specific behaviour."

And, new in 2020, SPIE created a Youth Category for photographers age 13-17 years old. Our three winners, who each receive gifts baskets from SPIE are:

Neil Shet (14 years old) from Sugarland, Texas (USA) for his image 'Grazing Sheep at Sunset'

Anastasya (14 years old) from Kaluga, Russia for her image 'Bright Childhood, Love Is, See Through'

Bhavya Shylaja Suresh (16 years old) from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates for her image 'Reflecting The Best'

The Technology and Sciences Prize was sponsored by lightsources.org


The 2021 photo contest will open on the International Day of Light, 16 May 2021.

Submissions to the 2020 Contest


Submissions from previous Photo Contests

2017 2018 2019