IMAGINE CUP Photography Competition (open to Students only)

This year's photography competition invites students to capture a series of still photos that tell a story and draws an emotional response from their audience. The photo essay should provoke thought and discussion and inspire the audience to take further action to create a sustainable environment.


One world. Unlimited possibilities.

Let’s face it — the world needs help. The kind of help that happens when you take the top young minds from around the globe and turn them loose on solving the world’s toughest problems. That’s what the Imagine Cup is all about. This is your chance to innovate and create, show the world what you’ve got, and win some serious prizes. Simply put, it’s your chance to use the power of technology to change the world — and have some fun while you’re at it.

You win. We all win.

Imagine Cup contestants have the chance to give their ideas exposure, make critical contacts, and feel a true sense of friendship with people around the world. Want more? Well, if you make it to the worldwide finals, you’ll also score roundtrip airfare and hotel accomodations at the World Finals in Paris, France, and a shot at some great cash prizes. Help the world and win money? It doesn’t get any better than that.

What does a sustainable environment mean to you?

Imagine a world where technology is an ally of the planet, not an adversary. A world where software enables us to interpret environmental indicators, predict the outcomes of our actions, improve our consumption of precious resources, and live more in balance with our environment. In Imagine Cup 2008, we challenge the top student technologists around the world to actively contribute to the mission of protecting our world for generations to come. The theme of this year’s Imagine Cup is "Imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment."

For some, a sustainable environment means something as simple as breathing fresh air each time they open their window. For others it means making significant changes in key environmental indicators. Any way you look at it, you get to decide how technology can help solve this problem for yourself, your country, and yeah…even the planet.

Nine ways to step up to the challenge.

The Imagine Cup started five years ago, and already more than 100,000 students from over 100 countries and regions have competed. This year, more students than ever will be looking for victory in the nine competitions set up under three main categories, each reflecting this year’s theme.

General Guidelines
  • Team competition of up to two team members
  • Share a perspective on how technology might enable a sustainable environment
  • Take digital pictures and publish them on Windows Live Spaces.
  • Select your favorites and create a photo essay
  • Selected pictures may compose special art materials connected with the Imagine Cup theme.
  • 6 teams will advance to the worldwide finals in France

  • Link to your Windows Live Space where you published your pictures.
  • A photo essay connected with the Imagine Cup 2008 Theme of up to 10 pictures, presented in a PowerPoint document or other display format
  • Maximum longest dimension: 1024 pixels
  • Maximum file size: 15MB
  • File Format: JPEG
  • Color Space: sRGB

Onsite 24 hour challenge for creating an Imagine Cup essay connected with the theme.

Judging Elements
  • 20% Originality
  • 20% Technical execution (focus, exposure)
  • 20% Visual Impact (composition, impact, lighting.)
  • 20% Relevance to the competition theme
  • 20% Ability to tell a story
Prize Amounts for Worldwide Finals
  • First Place $8,000
  • Second Place $4,000
  • Third Place $3,000
Additional prizes: Competitors that achieve advancement to the worldwide finals will also receive travel and accommodations to attend the final competition in Paris, France.

Read Contest Rules & Regulation here.
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