Hi everyone, this is my second guest blog here at Frank’s website and this time I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite websites “DPChallenge”, which is short for “Digital Photography Challenge”.

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DPC has been around since 2002 and I have been a member since 2006. After more than 7 years of fun and building my photography skills through entering challenges and chatting with other members, I think you should know about this place as well… Becoming a registered user is free, and yearly membership costs only $25… with that, you can enter more challenges each week, join member-only discussions, get more space and have your own portfolio page.

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DPC is a public place but also has a crew of volunteers known as the Site Council who ensure that all of our fun stays (mostly) PG in nature. Not only does the SC monitor the forums well enough to ensure that this really is one of the most friendly places on the ‘net, but they also work hard to ensure that the system is VERY fair and honest. Voting is completely anonymous and there is no tolerance for cheating or voting manipulation tactics. In short, it’s a super ‘safe’ place, and one where the images that DESERVE to win are the winners. Being popular at DPC is great in the forums, but it won’t help you win a ribbon! Speaking of safe – all ages are welcome at DPC, even kiddos with parental permission.

 

DPC has played a major role in the development of many successful photographers; some of them became well known names, probably the most well known is Joey Lawrence, who became famous after shooting the Twilight movie series posters. Of course, we don’t just have portrait people, we’ve got professional sports photographers who shoot major league events, concert photographers, landscape people, wildlife photographers, fine art photographers, and a plethora of other styles as well. And these folks can SHOOT, be ready to bring your ‘A’ game, because each week the front page is always filled with new amazing images… Not only can they shoot, but editing is also pretty strong with many of these folks – but don’t worry, editing is usually restricted to ensure that things don’t go into the ‘digital art’ realm… (Although we have a few ‘expert’ challenges for that too!).

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Now before you run away, worrying that you can’t possibly compete with these people, consider this: The primary purpose of DPC is to educate and share knowledge. Need to know how to do something? Just ask in the forums, it’s a guarantee that someone will give you a great answer.

 

Ok, so now that you’re convinced, and you’re ready to head over and start entering challenges, let me tell you how challenges work…

 

The typical challenge is limited to a one week time period. So, after the subject of the challenge has been announced, you have one week in which you’ll take your photo, post process and upload to the challenge. There will then be one week of voting, after which the top three finishers are posted on the front page. There are also monthly Free Study challenges, and occasional “speed challenges” which last only one or two days. If your photo requires validation, you will be asked to send the original digital image for verification, and if it ends up in top 5 such verification is automatic. In order to pass this verification, you’ll need to make sure your original file is available. Also, because date is so important here, you’ll need to check your camera date to ensure that it is accurate before shooting, as they only allow images that are taken during the correct dates. Note that the validation process only applies to whether the rules have been followed, not the image quality or interpretation of the topic.

 

Even if you’re not sure that this is for you, I encourage you to visit the www.dpchallenge.com website where you can then check out the “Challenge Archive” in “Challenges” menu. You will see there are many fantastic ribbon-winning photographs; in fact, this is probably one of the best curated collections on the entire internet. It is a very inspiring place to be, a very exciting place to be entertained and the perfect place to test and build your skills on a weekly basis.

 

Take my word for it, once you’re in, you won’t wanna get out :)

 

Leo Koach
AKA “FocusPoint” at DPC