iStockphoto has announced the categories for its second annual Punctum Day Awards, which takes place on August 19, which aims to to identify and showcase the year’s best iStock files and artists in five categories. With prizes totalling $40,000, member nominations start July 2.

The company says that the Punctum Day Award winners will be chosen based on their high-calibre, quality files rich with artistic achievement. Community members will select their favourites in five of the categories from July 2–25, 2008. The Top 10 finalists selected by the community will be announced on August 7. Winners will be chosen by a panel of special guest judges and will be announced on August 19, with the exception of the Battle Royale 2008: Steel Cage battle, which will take place from July 2 to September 27 and the winner will be announced October 9.

US$5,000 will be awarded to each artist in the following categories: Photo of the Year; Vector of the Year; Video of the Year; Flash file of the Year; Design of the Year, as well as for the Battle Royale 2008: Steel Cage battle. There is also a $5,000 prize for 'Most Improved Contributor of the Year' and a $5,000 Nikon or Canon camera for the contributor considered Most Deserving of a New Camera.

The company says that August 19 was chosen because that day in 1839 was the day that Louis Daguerre first introduced the camera.