BELLINGHAM, WA and CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - May 15, 2015) - Voting is open online for the People's Choice Award in the SPIE International Year of Light Photo Contest, organized as part of the United Nations-declared International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL2015). The winning photo will receive a prize of US$500, and voters who register have a chance to win a GoPro camera.

The 32 dazzling finalist photos portray light and light-based technologies in daily life -- LEDs, solar panels, adaptive optics, and lasers -- and in doing so promote multiple solutions to global challenges in energy, education, security, agriculture, and health. The photos depict issues such as light pollution, energy conservation, and sustainable energy, and celebrate our connection with nature.

People's Choice voting runs online through 15 August. Voters who provide their email addresses will be entered in a drawing for a GoPro camera.

In addition to securing the cash prize, the winning image will be featured on the cover of SPIE Professional magazine in October. The winner will be announced in September.

The contest was organized to highlight the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in daily life. IYL2015 is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health. SPIE is a Founding Partner of IYL2015.

An international panel of judges selected the top 35 photos from more than 800 submitted, evaluating each on scientific interest, creativity, and how well the photo communicated the contest theme.

SPIE is providing prizes of US$2,500 for the first-place photo; $1,000 for second place; and $500 each for third place and People's Choice. SPIE Professional magazine is featuring the winning photos on the covers of each quarterly issue of the magazine in 2015.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2014.

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