Friday, July 24, 2009

iStock Awards

Quick voting ends today...iStockphotography

2009 Worldwide Punctum Day Awards will dish out $45,000

We all love images: it's why we're here. We love photographs that stop us in our tracks, make us forget whatever we were just doing, and force us to just sit and stare. We love getting lost in the world of a video, losing ourselves in a sound, marveling at an illustration. Some of us even love a good Flash drop-down menu. (Really.) We all know the feeling, even if we don't know the name for it. That'd be Punctum: to be punctured, wounded even, by an aesthetic moment. It's a sharp metaphor (courtesy of Roland Barthes). It's the perfect word for the feeling we crave when we turn to art.

Around these parts, Punctum is something else: our very own holiday. Join us on August 19th for our 3rd annual celebration of all things arresting and puncturing here at iStockphoto. It's your chance to vote for your favorites from each of our file-families. So the next time a photograph, illustration, Flash file, video clip or audio file makes you forget what you're doing, give it a vote. You’ll see the VOTE button on any file close-up page if it’s eligible.

We'll record all of your votes and then pass them on to a panel of judges – some real honest-to-goodness celebrities. The winner in each of the 6 categories will receive $5,000 US. You can follow along at home on our Top Picks page, where you'll see a random selection of the current top 100 vote-getters every time you stop in. So it'll be changing all the time – F5.

Worldwide Punctum Day Voting: July 6-24, 2009
Winners will be announced: August 19, 2009

Punctum Day Award categories and prizes:

Photo of the Year:$5,000 USD
Vector of the Year:$5,000 USD
Video of the Year:$5,000 USD
Audio of the Year:$5,000 USD
Flash of the Year:$5,000 USD
Design of the Year:$5,000 USD

Punctum Award winner badge

Punctum Day Inspector's Choice Awards:

The Inspection team honestly loves what they do. If you want job satisfaction, nothing beats the feeling of watching an artist flourish and grow and learn to master their craft. So the Inspector's Choice awards are our way of saying 'Thanks' to some particularly flourished, grown and craft-mastered contributors.

Most Improved Contributor of the Year$5,000 USD
Most Deserving of New Equipment$5,000 USD value

Punctum Award winner badge

Hall of Fame:

The iStock Hall of Fame opened its doors in 2007, to honor iStockers who've left an enduring impression on our community. The Punctum Elder Council has been conferring all year about who's body of work and community contributions have earned them the right to induction this year.

One iStock member will be inducted on August 19, 2009

Hall of Fame badge

Battle Royale 2009:

The ultimate Steel Cage Battle kicked off May 28, 2009. The Battle Royale Champion will be announced on August 19, along with all the other Punctum winners.

Battle Royale Champion$5,000 USD

King of the Cage tournament winner badge

What the heck is Punctum Day?

Punctum Day, August 19, was declared in 2007 by iStockphoto as a special day to celebrate creative excellence. The day holds dual significance for iStock because it was August 19, 1839, that Louis Daguerre first introduced an early type of photograph, the Daguerreotype, to the world and it is also the birthday of Jeff Howe, Wired magazine writer, who introduced the staff at iStock HQ to the meaning of punctum.

How do I vote?

All eligible files now have a green "Vote Now" button underneath the close-up view. Click this. We'll ask you a second time, to make sure that you really mean it – you only get one vote in each category after all – and then your vote will be tallied.

Any file contributed between July 1, 2008 and July 5, 2009 is eligible for your Punctum vote. Voting ends on July 24, and we'll dole out the $45,000 in prizes on August 19th.