Calling all student photographers! The Imagine Cupu2019s Digital Photography Competition has opened for its 2007 run.

Calling all student photographers! The Imagine Cup?s Digital Photography Competition has opened for its 2007 run ? offering you the chance to win a top prize of $8000.

Organised by Microsoft, The Imagine Cup has been running for five years and 2007 marks the official recognition of the broad reach of digital technologies, with the introduction of a digital art category.

The Imagine Cup is an international student competition which calls on young technologists around the globe to explore their creativity by using technology to solve real-world problems. Last year over 65,000 students from 100 countries participated in the Imagine Cup, which some have likened to the ?software development Olympics?.

The theme for the Software Design Invitational this year is ?imagine a world where technology enables a better education for all? and, picking up this theme, the Digital Photography Competition encourages aspiring photographers to use Microsoft?s tools and technology to unleash their ideas and communicate a story about education using only photos as the communication medium.

?This exciting new category marks the growth and maturity of the Imagine Cup, as it bravely throws up new challenges and marries up a passion for technology, art and storytelling? says Andrew Sithers, Academic Lead, Microsoft Ltd. ?This year?s theme is one that students can relate to better than anyone ? these are the people that have daily experience of our education system. This insight is invaluable and I?m sure will produce some incredibly creative entries.?

Teams of up to two students will compete to capture a series of still photographs that tell the education story and elicit an emotional response from their audience, thereby provoking further thought and discussion. To enter the competition, each team will be required to submit a photo essay of up to ten images. They will then be judged according to their storyboard?s potential to establish a personal connection with their audience. The deadline for first round submissions is May 11th 2007.

Following a review of all the entries, six teams will be selected on 8th June 2007 to fly out to Seoul, Korea to compete in the International Final. At this point, the students will battle it out for a share of the $15,000 total prize fund and an opportunity to kick-start their careers. The judging panel will consist of notable, industry figures and academics as well as this year?s sponsors BT, Capgemini and HP .

Finalists will contend for some highly sought-after prizes. The team who finishes in third place will collect $3000, second place runners-up will celebrate with $4000 and the overall winners of the Photography competition will triumph with a prize of $8000.

Students vying for an all expenses paid trip to Korea, the kudos of representing their country, the opportunity to compete on an international stage and unrivalled exposure to the IT industry?s biggest players are urged to visit the Imagine Cup website at:

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