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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> What Every DPC Newbie Should Know
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12/23/2011 11:14:16 PM · #1
Though we have had other welcome threads, thought I'd derail some of the more common gripes about DPC.

Dear brand-spanking-new DPCer. We are delighted to have you join the madness that is DPC. While there may be some people [shifty eyes] who will try to scare you with posturing and slobbering behavior, for the most part we're a friendly, helpful bunch. And while not all new member to the site are new to photography, here are a few things you should know about this delightful place to make your stay, and participation, more enjoyable:

Editing Rules - READ THEM BEFORE YOU SUBMIT ANYTHING!!!!!! And before you even go out to shoot, do yourself a favor and check the time/date on your camera. The #1 reason BY FAR for having an image DQ'd (disqualified) is that it was not TAKEN during the challenge dates. This does not mean you did not take the image during the right dates, but that your CAMERA is still stuck in the 80's, with mullets and shoulder pads. So, even though it seems like a no-brainer, and I said it before... MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE TIME AND DATE IN YOUR CAMERA!!! The #2 reason for a DQ is that you didn't retain your original, unedited image. If you don't know what that means, see "Forums" and "PMs", below.

Challenges - The most obvious feature of DPC (the "C" stand for "challenge", BTW) makes the nature of this site "competitive". Taken in the right spirit, this will hopefully inspire you, not scare you.

Meet the Update Button - for better or worse, it will be your new obsession, and you will love/despise it. Depending on your score.

Side Challenges - If for whatever reason you're not ready for the "shark" tank (MOST of us are vegetarian sharks...), there are numerous side challenges going on at any given time. This just means that they don't get scored, and everybody wins. They're a great way to meet people (see below), explore different techniques, focus on particular subjects, etc. Anyone can start one, most all of them have very few (if any) rules.

Commenting - everybody wants them, not nearly as many give them. Commenting on other people's images may be the single best way to improve your own photography. By examining what you like (and don't) about images, it helps you develop a critical eye for your own work. Comments don't have to be a dissertation; "nice light" is plenty good.

Voting - contrary to popular DPC mythology, voting is not a weapon. Although there may be images deserving of the lowest scores, please don't fall into the habit of "voting down" a perfectly decent picture just because you think it will help your image place better. That would make you a Troll (see below). Numerous statistical studies have removed any doubt that between scrubbed votes at rollover, "strategic" voting by other Trolls, and numerous other reasons which include a Site Council that will come and spank you, it doesn't really help your image at all.

Inserting thumbnail/user/HTML link into post - At the top of every comment box that opens when you click "post reply", there are 8 tiny icons. The four on the right are for formatting text. The four on the left are for inserting stuff. From right to left, the androgynous being with the chapeau is for inserting user names, the big square/little square is for inserting thumbnails, the round thing is for links, and the big square is for pictures. I don't think anyone uses this last one but by mistake. Depending on what you want to insert, you either click the icon first and type in the user/image ID#/HTML address, OR, type the user/image ID#/HTML address in the post, highlight it, THEN click the appropriate icon. Please note that if you misspell the user name, it will not parse, and it will look like this [user]example[/user]. And how do you...

Find Image ID - I knew you were going to ask. Click on the image you want to insert. In the address bar at the very top of your screen, the last several numbers are the image ID (we just passed the 1 million image mark so the image ID can be between 2 and 7 digits). Copy just those last numbers after the / and insert them into the post using either of the two methods described above.

Have a question? Whether it be how to do something with technique, hardware, photography terms, filters, styles, how to save an original file, change the date on your camera, ANYTHING!!!, there is an extraordinary trove of information both in our forums and members. We even have tutorials and a "how'd they do that" section. And if you see an image that blows you away and want to find out more about it, you can even contact the photographer. See? Friendly. Helpful.

Trolls - Even fairy tales have them. NOT friendly or helpful, these are voters who leave votes below "3" with no explanation, sometimes known as "Strategic Voting". If you feel an image deserves anything less than a "3" (which can certainly be legitimate votes - refer to post # 13 by ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' posthumous), it would be nice to know what is so awful about it. Infinite threads have been written about how horrible this practice is, but trolls are immortal creatures and won't go away. We have enough of those. Don't be one.

Getting/Giving Feedback - if you want it, you gotta give it. It's really as simple as that. If your image didn't receive comments during voting and you'd like some additional feedback on it, post it in the forums, AFTER ROLLOVER. If an image is in voting, it is NOT cool to discuss it on the forums. You can PM your pals and vent about it's gruesomeness, but sharing that opinion with the rest of the site will have to wait until rollover. Even so, be civil. Play nice with the other inmates. If you have any sort of REAL objection to an image, contact the photog privately or report it to the SC (see below).

Recognition - obviously, the blue, red, and yellow ribbons and the stars of DPC. But don't despair if your style leans more towards the blurry, the dark, the strange. There's lots of love being awarded to all sorts of images, and on DPC they are collectively known as PH (posthumous) awards (after the member by the same name). These include the PH blue, red, and yellow, and a host of other awards granted by other members. Heck, even YOU, yes YOU, dear newbie, can grant recognition to another photog.

People you should know (about):

Langdon - He is our Founding Father. Despite persistent rumors of his being a fictional character, he does exist.

drewmedia - apparently, the other founding father of the site, of whom I've never heard until ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Spork99 pointed him out...

Site Council (SC) - Sort of like Langdon's popes. They interpret his word and apply his laws. ANY problem you have with the site, with a photo (your own or someone else's), technical glitches, etc., should be reported to the SC RATHER than call for a public (and embarrassing) lynching in the forums. They have very conveniently set up a brand, spanking new site to "get satisfaction". Just remember, all these people work on a VOLUNTEER basis.

It has been my experience that your time on DPC is VASTLY improved if you make an effort to interact with other members, being supportive, inquisitive, contributory. Here are a few ways of meeting DPCers, virtually or in person.

Private Messaging (PM) is the easiest way to connect with fellow DPCers, whether to seek advice, ask questions, complain about Langdon/trolls/scores/whatever, get feedback on an image.

GTG (Get ToGether) - Shy about going out shooting, alone? Want some face to face time with other photogs? DPC has members all over the planet (with some having outrageously unfair photographic advantages, like Iceland/Finland) who regularly/occasionally get together. Seek out those in your neck of the woods and find out what, if anything, is being planned.

Social Media - lots of DPCers are on Flickr, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other photo sites. Get to know them and their work there.

Most importantly, remember that this is all for FUN!!! And that it takes a little while to get known and appreciated. Don't take anything or anyone too seriously. Just do your thing, and follow the suggestions above, and others will catch on to your awesomeness.

Hope this helps, and hopefully some other seasoned DPCers will feel free to add their two cents!

Message edited by author 2012-03-13 14:15:58.
12/23/2011 11:30:07 PM · #2

A very useful and well written intro, Johanna! I'm going to bookmark this for future reference. I do, however, take issue with one point you made:
Originally posted by tanguera:

we're vegetarian sharks...

I happen to prefer real meat.
' . substr('//webpages.charter.net/yospiff/Images/Smileys/Shark%20Attack.gif', strrpos('//webpages.charter.net/yospiff/Images/Smileys/Shark%20Attack.gif', '/') + 1) . '
12/23/2011 11:39:41 PM · #3
even though this is still handy now, i really wish i'd read something like this when i first joined dpc. just perfect johanna.
12/23/2011 11:45:57 PM · #4
Thanks guys!

@ Steve, LOL!!! I'll have to add a "warning about certain members" section :-)
12/24/2011 02:44:48 AM · #5
Awesome info, Johanna! I'm going to print a bunch and stuff a copy into each piece of fruit I put in the DPC Welcome Basket.
12/24/2011 03:02:51 AM · #6
Did we get a memo for this whole thing...? I don't think we were informed before, there is no memo.

I think we need a memo to follow these rules, and someone has to print memos and send to us please.
12/24/2011 03:23:42 AM · #7
Originally posted by FocusPoint:

Did we get a memo for this whole thing...? I don't think we were informed before, there is no memo.

I think we need a memo to follow these rules, and someone has to print memos and send to us please.

Spiff's shark ate the memo......

Nicely done, Johanna!
12/24/2011 04:45:49 AM · #8
Originally posted by tanguera:

People you should know be warned about:

' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Art Roflmao - well known to burn the village you live in if you piss him off !

' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Strikeslip (AKA Slippy) - completely loco, avoid him if you value your sanity !

Great post Johanna but I had to edit it a little ;-)

Message edited by author 2011-12-24 04:46:10.
12/24/2011 05:22:04 AM · #9
Cool! Thanks
12/24/2011 09:35:48 AM · #10
12/24/2011 09:43:47 AM · #11
really nice job!
12/24/2011 10:13:55 AM · #12
Excellent!!! I have one thing to add (what is that loud groaning I hear...) be warned of "free editing software" (i.e. Picassa)...it will get you Dq'd as you think you have an original to submit...but it is an "altered" original.

what a great welcome.....
12/24/2011 10:16:41 AM · #13
one more tip:

This site is full of Feelers but also full of Thinkers, so anything you say will always be wrong.

Feelers think you are a troll if you vote 1, because they think numbers are feelings.

Thinkers think you are silly not to vote 1, because it's part of the voting range that has been supplied to you.

So I suggest the Ricky Nelson method: please yourself.

(first sign of aging: typoz)

Message edited by author 2011-12-24 18:17:59.
12/24/2011 11:05:59 AM · #14
Originally posted by posthumous:

So I suggest the Ricky Nelsion method: please yourself.

Hmmm. Haven't been to any Garden Parties lately ;-)
12/24/2011 02:44:45 PM · #15
I recently joined DPC, Thanks for the information, Im 4 challenges in, and the information you posted is dead accurate. I hope I survive the DPC world. I wanna learn, and I need all the help I can get because not only am i new to the site but new to photography. Thanks for the post :D
12/24/2011 02:47:31 PM · #16
Nobody mentioned the hazing. ...probably better that they didn't.
12/24/2011 03:08:34 PM · #17
also, every dpc newbie should know not to allow embarrassing shots of themselves to be entered into challenges before joining. warn your friends and family!

yes, this is ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_N.gif', '/') + 1) . ' dbear
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1308/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_927190.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1308/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_927190.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
12/24/2011 03:14:11 PM · #18
Wonderful, Johanna. This will save a lot of grief and aggravation for the newbie. Now, we need someone to step up and decipher the rules of editing. I can't do it because I still am unclear on some all of them.
03/13/2012 01:18:42 PM · #19
Originally posted by tanguera:

People you should know (about):

Langdon - He is our Founding Father. Despite persistent rumors of his being a fictional character, he does exist.

Don't forget the even more rare ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/1.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/1.gif', '/') + 1) . ' drewmedia, the other founding father of the site
03/13/2012 02:02:28 PM · #20
Originally posted by mk:

As lots of you have noticed, and some of you have taken to mocking, I spend a bunch of time in the DPC forums...usually answering questions if I can. I decided to write up the answers to the questions that I seem to answer a lot in the hopes that it might be helpful. If nothing else, it'll save me from having to retype everything. This isn't an official resource, it hasn't been approved by the Site Council - it's just a list of how I'd answer a question if it came up in the forums. I make no guarantees about my accuracy although I think I'm generally mostly right. ;)

Comments, additions, questions, etc. welcome. Feel free to share if you think it's useful.

mk's unofficial, self-authorized frequently answered questions for dpc
03/13/2012 02:11:09 PM · #21
Originally posted by dtallakson:

Wonderful, Johanna. This will save a lot of grief and aggravation for the newbie. Now, we need someone to step up and decipher the rules of editing. I can't do it because I still am unclear on some all of them.

everyone is unclear on all of them.
03/13/2012 02:23:16 PM · #22
A very useful and well written post Johanna.
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