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Capture the Dark 2021: Meet the Judges

Meet the Judges of the 2021 Capture the Dark Photo Contest

In celebration of the impact that photography has had on the dark sky movement, the International Dark-Sky Association is hosting the second annual Capture the Dark Photography Contest. To judge the submissions, we put together a panel of talented astrophotographers from around the globe.

Meet the Judges:


Mara Leite | UK

Mara Leite Headshot
Mara Leite is an astrophotographer and landscape photographer. She is originally from Seattle, WA, USA, and currently lives in London, UK, where she’s pursuing a Ph.D. in astrobiology and studying how algae can help humans travel to Mars.

The core of the Milky Way and the Moon are Mara’s favorite astrophotography targets. 

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Fefo Bouvier |Uruguay

Fefo Bouvier is a Uruguayan photographer, astronomy populariser and artist. His expertise is in the field of landscape photography, with a special inclination towards night sky photography (astrophotography). He is currently developing “Mirá las estrellas“, a project to explore, document, and disseminate the best landscapes in his country for stargazing. With this project, Fefo advocates for the protection of the night sky. This work received the support of the Uruguayan Ministry of Education and Culture and has aroused great interest from the national and international press.

Two of his astrophotographs have been published as Astronomy Picture of the Day on NASA’s popular APOD site.

Fefo is known for his highly technical approach to creating images and his ability to capture thought-provoking scenes. His advanced creative technique bridges the gap between photography and digital art.

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Robyn Porteen | USA

With over 20+ years of design, marketing, and photography experience, Robyn is a recognized leader in branding, e-commerce, and photography. Robyn founded Porteen Gear, Inc. in 2010, a company that provides photographers with bags and gear that they custom design themselves. Due to her marketing and branding strategy, her products have been showcased in Professional Photography Magazine, British Vogue, Shutterbug Magazine, USA Today, and many more. Porteen Gear has been sold in 52 countries with 100% positive reviews.

During her lifelong passion as an entrepreneur, she has owned a Sign and Graphics business in Atlanta, been a staff architectural photographer, traveled internationally on photography assignments, and wrote for a national Travel Company doing press trips around the US.

Robyn’s current love of the night sky is now leading her to remote, dark areas of the world to capture and teach night sky photography.

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Kristine Richer | Canada

Kristine Richer is a fine-art nightscape photographer and CEO of Kristine Rose Photography, where she has taught thousands of enthusiastic photographers the art of Milky Way Photography.

Kristine’s work focuses on marrying the celestial with the terrestrial and building a tangible connection to the cosmos through her images. She has exhibited both locally and internationally and has had her nightscape work featured on NASA’s Astronomy Photo of the Day.

Kristine has over a decade’s worth of experience working in commercial portrait and product photography. Her past work has been published in thousands of different publications, and has been printed on products in print runs numbering in the millions. Kristine left the corporate creative world in 2020 to pursue her passion for connecting people to nature and our universe through her night photography.  She hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Abdul Dremali | USA

Abdul Dremeli Headshot
Abdul Dremali is a Palestinian/Egyptian artist with a passion for the night sky. Currently based in Reno, Nevada, he travels the world in search of dark skies and takes a documentary-style approach to his time on the road. Currently completing a body of work for the Hudson River Museum, and serving on the Board of Directors at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Abdul is using his platform and art to raise awareness for dark sky conservation efforts.

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Trevor Jones | Canada

Headshot of Trevor Jones
Trevor Jones is an experienced amateur astrophotographer, public speaker, and the creator of AstroBackyard, where he shares his years of experience and knowledge of astrophotography with his audience. With a background in creative arts, image processing became second nature and his images have landed him as a judge for other photo competitions such as ZWO ASI Week and Sky-Watcher 2020 Photographer of the Year.

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Shreenivasan Manievannan | USA

Shreenivasan Manievannan from Shreeniclix Photography is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker currently working for GoPro. He specializes in Landscape and Astro-photography.  He is a nature lover who likes to appreciate nature through the eyes of the camera. An ardent traveler who loves to explore new places and document them through the means of photographs and short films. He is passionate about spreading the knowledge he has acquired over the past decade by conducting workshops and writing articles. He is an official Delegate working with International Dark-Sky Association, spreading the word to conserve dark skies from the increasing light pollution. He has also collaborated with prominent organizations such as the Embassy of the United States of America, Grand Canyon National Park, Lassen National Park, BBC Earth, Toyota, Earth Day Network to name a few.

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Jeff Dai | China

Jeff Dai is a member of The World At Night project, National Coordinator at Astronomers Without Borders. He was born in China’s “foggy city” Chongqing in 1988. Jeff was not fascinated with the night sky until in 2011, during a mystical starry camping night on a mountain place that completely changed his life. He started to learn how to take nightscape photos and share them with people. Jeff seeks unexplored night scenes, from the remote wilderness of the Himalayas to the still pristine night sky above cultural heritage sites. His long-term project ‘Silk Road at Night’ takes him across the world to photograph and exhibit images. Jeff’s photos were published not only in China’s major media outlets such as CCTV and People’s Daily, but also in international sources such as NASA, National Geographic, PNAS, and Nature magazine. Jeff is also a dark sky activist with IDA Beijing, trying to preserve the remaining natural skies in his home country. 

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More Information:

The Capture the Dark Photography Contest closes to entries on July 23, 2021, at 12 pm PDT. This year, there are eight total categories for entry. Learn more about the contest and enter here.