Popular online microstock library iStockphoto has announced that it will raise the prices of its images, artwork and video from August 19. The announcement was made as the company launched a series of competitions and initiatives aimed at contributing photographers, artists and videographers.

The price increase sees the cost of the base pack of 10 credits raise from $12 (£5.80) to $13 (£6.30) -- an increase of 8.3 per cent. The current 26 credit pack becomes a 25 pack and increases in price from $30 (£14.60) to $31 (£15.10), up 7.5 per cent. A 55 credit pack goes from $60 ($29) to $65 (£32), a 115 pack from $120 (£58) to $130 (£63), and a 300 pack from $300 (£146) to $325 (£158). A current $600 (£292) 625 pack becomes a 600 credit pack.

iStockphoto has also added a $1,450 (£706) pack with 1,500 credits in it.

More information on the price changes can be found at www.istockphoto.com/pricing2007.

For contributors, the company is running a series of promotions based around it calling August 19 'Punctum Day', celebrating the day in 1839 that Louis Daguerre formally introduced the camera to the world.

iStockphoto will also allow unlimited image uploads from exclusive contributors on 18th and 19th August, and has reduced the exclusivity eligibility requirement from 500 downloads to 250 for contributors who have a 50 per cent acceptance rate. On a secret date within the next two months, all exclusives will also receive 100 per cent of their sales revenue for the day.

Community members will select their favourites in five of the categories from 23rd July-13th August 2007. The top 10 finalists selected by the community will be announced on August 19th. Winners will be chosen by a panel of special guest judges and will be announced on 4th September (with the exception of the Steel Cage Battle of the Year).

£2,500 will be awarded to each artist in the following categories: Image of the year, Vector of the year, Video of the year, Flash file of the year, Design of the year, and Steel Cage Battle of the Year -- the winner of which will be announced later in September. Two more categories will be awarded, chosen by the iStockphoto image inspection team: Most improved contributor, and Contributor most deserving of a new camera.

Most improved will also receive £2,500, while most deserving will win a Canon EOS 5D with lenses valued at £2,500. The image of the year will be printed in large format and mailed to the top iStockphoto customers worldwide. Prints will be supplied by printing partner myPhotopipe.