Apr 24 2008
DPChallenge was born in January 2002 by 2 young guys (Drew Ungvarsky and Langdon Oliver). The original idea behind the site was for it to be a place where the two of them and a couple of our friends could teach each other to be better photographers by creating weekly challenges. The idea quickly took off and became much more in the months that followed. And now it has 92 738 registered users that have submitted a total of 178 373 images to 849 challenges! It was also rated in the “Top 100 sites you can’t live without” by PC Magazine!
Main focus: the contests
Each week new contests pop up on the main page. Non members (free registration) have 2 themes to choose from for that week (open challenges). Paying members (a measly $25/year) get an extra contest theme which starts at a different date in the week and a monthly “free study”. The open challenges have more restrictions in post processing compared to the member challenges.
Once the week is over and the images submitted, you now have a week to vote on them. Woohoo! This is the fun part! participants can score an image between 1-10 and also leave comments and critiques. Usually, if you finish above 6, you submitted a better than average image for that challenge. A score above 7 might win you a famous ribbon and be splashed on the front page for everyone the admire for a whole week! Yeah baby! Or at least a top 10 standing which is still quite an amazing accomplishment considering that hundreds of photos are submitted in every challenge. Ok, so that’s the contest part of the site… and to me that’s just a small piece of the pie!
DPChallenge is above all else a community of photography lovers. The forums are among the most active that I’ve seen on a photography Website. You aks a question… you get an answer within a few minutes! There’s a fraternity ambiance. People are here to help other like minded people increase their photography skills. It’s the most helpful place on the net for anything related to photography… and sometime beyond!
Even though it’s members are mostly amateur photographers, you’ll also find quite a few pros on there taking part in challenges and in the forums. And actually, some pros started out as amateurs on DPC and thanks in part to the site and community, got the skills, knowhow and confidence to take the big leap. I am one of them.
It’s a place to learn and share about all things photography. It has a “how’d they do that?” and “tutorials” section. But mostly you learn just by seeing the 100s of wonderful images that are created each week. I’ve been a member now sine 2002 and I always peak at the new challenge results just to get inspired by other great photographers. The only way we can improve in anything is to witness what others are doing.
As a bonus for paying members (remember that tiny $25/year?), you also have access to DPC Prints! The online print store where you can sell any photo that you like not just the ones you submit to DPC. The print quality is what you’ll find at most professional photo labs without the high costs. I was so happy with the print quality that now, I print most of my photos there, including all the orders I receive from my TouchPhotography Website.
To sum it all up, if you have a digital camera and you would like to learn a thing or two while having a blast, DPChallenge is for you! The first thing to do once you register is to post in the forums and introduce yourself. You’ll be amazed at the warm welcome you’ll receive!
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