Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Making an international competition easy to enter and easy to judge


The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year is the biggest international competition of its kind and attracts thousands of entries from all over the world. The submission process had been managed by an in-house system, but lack of technical support, a reliance on Flickr that was unpopular with entrants and unstable hosting that crashed at key times meant a new system was needed. Ease of use for the photographers entering the competition and the hand-picked judging panel was vitally important, as was resilience during high-traffic periods and the ability to re‑use the system in subsequent years.


  • Front-end Development
  • Visual design
  • Content Management
  • SEO
  • UX/UI design
  • Hosting


Royal Museums Greenwich / National Maritime Museum


Ten4 met the complex requirements and challenges head on with enthusiasm and insight ... All in all a pleasure to work with.

Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory Greenwich

We thoroughly mapped out the different user journeys needed in all stages of the competition. On the photographers’ side: initial submissions first, followed by high-resolution submissions in the shortlist; and on the judges’ side, shortlisting and final selections. Each stage was tested for usability with people from each group to eliminate stumbling blocks.

Embracing automation

Our system reads the metadata attached to each photo, filling in such information as camera make and model, lens, aperture and so on (all editable afterwards) to make submitting multiple images as easy as possible. Two main groups of photographers (adults and young people) entered different competitions – the young entrants being automatically assigned by age and filtered out of all marketing lists (privacy and data protection being paramount).

The 2016 overall winner — 'Baily’s Beads' by Yu Jun (China), taken in Luwuk, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia on 9 March 2016. Visit the exhibition until 25 June 2017.

First-class content management and high-availability hosting

The website runs on Craft CMS (our preferred content management system), but we built a custom front-end interface for entrants and judges to add, update and remove data. High availability hosting provided by RackSpace and specialist uploading and file processing provided by Transloadit

10/10 – “Easy to use”

90% of respondents said submission was easy, with 20% rating the process 10/10


We polled over 100 competition entrants for their opinion on the sign-up and submission process. Their overwhelming response was very positive with 20% giving the system full marks for ease of use. The judges responded similarly, indicating that the smooth appraisal process allowed them to asses thousands of images fairly and efficient.