Hebridean Dark Skies Festival launches 2020 photography competition

  • Published on: 15th July 2019
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Who's Steve by Casey McIntyre

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival is inviting photographers from across the Hebrides to submit entries to its second annual photography competition.

This overall winner will be granted free entry to all events in next year’s festival programme, which will run from 7-20 February 2020 at An Lanntair and across Lewis.

The winning photograph will also be showcased in the artwork for the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival’s 2020 programme, following in the footsteps of this year’s inaugural winner, Meet Steve by Berneray-based photographer Casey McIntyre – pictured.

A selection of shortlisted competition entries will be exhibited at An Lanntair throughout the festival, and all shortlisted photographers will be VIPs at the festival’s opening event at An Lanntair on Friday 7 February.

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival was launched in February this year, with two weeks of film screenings, astronomy talks, theatre, live music, stargazing events, family activities, an indoor planetarium, and more. Audiences travelled from all across the UK to see festival guests including Chris Lintott of the BBC’s flagship astronomy show The Sky at Night, singer-songwriter Emma Pollock, BAFTA award-winning actress Shauna Macdonald, Scotland’s Astronomer Royal John Brown, and Scotland’s top children’s theatre-maker Andy Cannon with his CATS award-winning show Space Ape.

The programme for the second Hebridean Dark Skies Festival will be announced at the end of September – keep an eye on the festival website at www.lanntair.com/darkskies for details.

Festival programmer Andrew Eaton-Lewis said: “We’re really excited about what we have lined up for next year’s Hebridean Dark Skies Festival, which already looks set to be bigger and better than the first one. We’re particularly excited about launching the photography competition, which was a hugely popular part of the festival this year. There were some incredibly beautiful, striking, often breathtaking images submitted, and we can’t wait to see what we receive this year. Obviously the skies look very different in the summer, so we were keen to launch the competition early this year to give people a range of times and conditions in which to take photographs.”

Casey McIntyre, winner of this year’s Dark Skies photography competition, said: “Winning the photography competition was an amazing surprise for me. Seeing ’Steve’ on display in An Lanntair was a hugely gratifying experience. Living in the Hebrides, we are spoiled with natural wonders for photographers to study. With the lack in light pollution, our dark skies are definitely one of them. Best of luck to this year’s participants!”


This year the Dark Skies photography competition has three categories.

  • Photographers under sixteen
  • Photographers over sixteen
  • Photographs taken through a telescope

To enter, please send a maximum of two photos by email to darkskies@lanntair.com before our competition deadline of Monday 14 October – make sure you tell us where in the Hebrides you are from, and which category you are entering. Images attached to emails should be no more than 6mb each.

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival is programmed by An Lanntair (part-financed by Outer Hebrides LEADER funding), in partnership with Stornoway Astronomical Society, Calanais Visitor Centre, Gallan Head Community Trust, and Lews Castle College, with support from Outer Hebrides Tourism and Visit Scotland.

This year’s festival will be part of a new winter tourism campaign, Winter in the Wild, led by An Lanntair in partnership with Outer Hebrides Tourism, Visit Scotland, Hebridean Hopscotch, Loganair, Cal Mac, Glasgow Airport, and other local organisations. Look out for #winterinthewild on social media.

For more information, please contact Andrew Eaton-Lewis at An Lanntair on andrew@lanntair.com or 01851 709488