Closer to nature: This encapsulates the Digiscopers of the Year for 2016

November 29 2016

The winner of the SWAROVSKI OPTIK “Digiscoper of the Year 2016” competition is Jonathan C.V. Soon from Malaysia, with his picture entitled “Like my red beard?” The winning photo was selected from more than 800 entries by an international jury and a public vote.

This was already the 11th time that SWAROVSKI OPTIK had invited entries for its “Digiscoper of the Year” competition, with the intention of showcasing this special form of photography using a camera and spotting scope to a wide audience. Prior to the result, photos and videos were submitted to the website under the categories “Movement & Action,” “Portrait & Macro,” “Mammals,” or “Video.”

An expert jury selected the category winners from more than 800 entries, based on criteria such as relevance to the competition’s theme, the esthetic aspect of the shots, and picture sharpness. In addition, visitors to the website could decide on their favorite entry in the four categories.

The “wonderfully detailed view” of the winner’s photo

Not only did Jonathan C.V. Soon win the “Portrait & Macro” category with his photo entitled “Like my red beard?”, but also the whole competition. His prize for winning the competition is a set of SWAROVSKI OPTIK digiscoping equipment comprising an ATX/STX spotting scope, TLS APO adapter, a spotting scope rail, tripod, and tripod head.

“Early in the competition, when I first saw ‘Like my red beard?’ in the gallery, I knew that it had a good chance of taking the title,” explains jury member and digiscoper Tara Tanaka. “The color, action, and wonderfully detailed view worked together to create a winning image.”

Spectacular close-ups, amazing portraits

The winner of the “Movement & Action” category was Peter Nilsson from Sweden with his photo of a Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula), simply entitled “Tufted Duck.” In the “Mammals” category, the prize went to Marcello Mancini from Italy for his portrait of a European hare (Lepus europaeus), entitled “Mi faccio uno spuntino” (Just having a nibble). Gudrun Kaufmann from Austria was selected as the winner in the “Video” category. Her video “Lovely Sunshine State” presents a host of animals in a series of spectacular close-up shots, such as Black Vultures, Turkey Vultures, Sanderlings, anoles, and other species (Coragyps atratus, Cathartes aura, Calidris alba, Anolis, etc.). All three category winners will each receive a pair of EL 32 binoculars from SWAROVSKI OPTIK as their prize.


The winning photos, including the control images, are available for you to download from: (PIN code: AP4Q0K).

The name of the photographers (available in the file title) must be given when printing the images. The photos can be printed free of charge, provided the photographer and SWAROVSKI OPTIK are credited accordingly.


SWAROVSKI OPTIK, headquartered in Absam, Tyrol, is part of the Swarovski group of companies. Founded in 1949, the Austrian company specializes in the development and manufacturing of long-range optical instruments of the highest precision in the premium segment of the market. The binoculars, spotting scopes, rifle scopes, and optronic instruments are products of choice for demanding users. The company’s success is based on its innovative strength, the quality and intrinsic value of its products and their functional and esthetic design. The appreciation of nature is an essential part of its company philosophy and is reflected commendably in its environment-friendly production and its long-term commitment to selected nature conservation projects. The turnover in 2015 was 132 million euro (2014: 119 million euro) and the export ratio is 91%. The company has around 800 employees.

Kathrin Puelacher
Manager PR & Internal Communication
Tel. +43/5223/511-6397
Mobile +43/664/625 6858
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