iStockphoto is giving away a total of $40,000 to mark what it calls â€œPunctum Dayâ€ on August 19. It was on that day 168 years ago, that Louis Daguerre formally introduced the camera to the world.
The cash prizes â€“ $5,000 for each of 8 category winners â€“ will be given to the best creative works. iStockphoto members will select their favorites in each category and the top 10 finalists will be announced on August 19, 2007. A panel of special guest judges will select and announce the winners on September 4.
$5,000 will each go to the Image of the Year, Vector of the Year, Video of the Year, Flash File of the Year and Design of the Year. There will also be a Steel Cage Battle of the Year. Two more winners, Most improved Contributor and Contributor most deserving of a new camera will also get $5,000 each.
Members may access the contest rules and details here.
By the way, the word â€˜punctumâ€™ came from French literary critic Roland Barthes who wrote in 1915 that there were two distinct properties of a photograph: studium, referring to its cultural, linguistic, and political interpretations; and punctum to the sting or accidental detail that â€œpricksâ€ or is poignant to the individual viewer.