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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Does DPC shape you?
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07/07/2010 10:34:49 PM · #1
Or do you shape DPC? I guess this is mainly a question for ameture photographers like myself who never really had a lot of photog experience before joining. I joined this site the day I decided to get serious about photography (as serious as a person with a full time job and photography as a hobby can get). The actual day that I put the P&S in the drawer and purchased a used DSLR I signed up on DP. However, I find myself a lot of times trying to figure out what the voters would like. I have even had my wife make suggestions about what I should do to an image and I would say yeah I like that but I don't think it can win a challenge.
07/07/2010 10:47:54 PM · #2
If you are shooting for score in challenges, then you need to take the DPC tastes into account. So in this case it will shape what you do. At the same time we all add to and do shape DPC by our very presence. Thus the proverbial two way street.
07/07/2010 10:49:50 PM · #3
I think it goes both ways, but I think it's a choice. I have images I edit to score well, and I have images I do just to learn something and try something totally new and different. I did pretty much the same as you though... joined when I threw in the money for my Nikon. Interestingly, I think DPC has given me a WIDER appreciation for images though. Even if certain types win more, when you vote, you see LOTS of different types, many of which aren't necessarily what a beginner would be apt to see in photo books or whatever. This variety, I think, is integral to developing as a photographer. Generally though, my goal is to be happy with the image. If I'm happy with the image, I'm happy. If it scores great, nice. If it doesn't, I'm still happy with the image, external to my score.
07/07/2010 11:20:50 PM · #4
I think it does. Look at how a lack of good scores (read more beers) shaped me:-)

' . substr('//beer-belly.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/beer-belly.jpg', strrpos('//beer-belly.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/beer-belly.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Jokes apart, I agree with the previous two posts (Alex and Derek).

I think we can take away as much as we want, in different shapes and forms, from DPC. I have been there - struggling to get the voters to like my technically sub-standard images. And then it dawned on me (courtesy many many on DPC, see my profile to see a list of names) that I must first figure out the kind of pictures that make 'me' happy, and then work on improving skills to do that better. There are many great souls here who wont mind spending hours on your pics and guiding you in doing that. In fact I am being mentored by some such souls right now.. off and on the challenges.

You may also want to read what ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' NikonJeb said about this. also on my profile.

07/08/2010 05:51:41 AM · #5
I think it's inevitable that DPC will influence you unless you are comfortable in your own style; after all this site is based on a competitive structure and people who enter challenges will want to do well.

My own opinion is that I haven't developed my own style and I don't have enough experience to know what style and subjects I'm most interested in, so I see DPC as a chance to learn the technicals and build up my "toolbox" so I will more capable and versatile as I explore what interests me.

This can mean choosing to tackle the DPC-clichés, but understanding the techniques and art behind this is not wasted time. I'm hoping to develop my own style and I'm trying to enter pictures I like but know will not score well here, but equally I will try to take on the DPC friendly styles and learn how the amazingly skilled photographers on the site make these work so well for them
07/08/2010 06:27:41 AM · #6
In regards to the question posed, absolutely, DPC has helped shape me. Mostly by challenging me to find and become the photographer that I am.

Originally posted by menele:

I think it's inevitable that DPC will influence you unless you are comfortable in your own style; after all this site is based on a competitive structure and people who enter challenges will want to do well.

Initially, this site sweeps you along into that whole, "What can I do to score better?" thing, but over time as you improve, you cannot help but notice that there are distinct techniques, challenge themes, and aspects of both shooting and post processing that you are becoming more comfortable with than others. It's the nature of the concentrated aspect of the continuous competitions. For example, I was completely unaware that I have a "thing" for dilapidated, broken down, forlorn, and abandoned structures & equipment 'til it surfaced through challenge entries, not only to become something of a signature style, but also reasonably successful in challenge entries (See my profile page top entries.......I even had to have someone else point that out to me! LOL!!!).
Originally posted by menele:

My own opinion is that I haven't developed my own style and I don't have enough experience to know what style and subjects I'm most interested in, so I see DPC as a chance to learn the technicals and build up my "toolbox" so I will more capable and versatile as I explore what interests me.

Right on the money with this observation, IMNSHO. that's the way it went in my case, and I think you'll find other's who'll agree.
Originally posted by menele:

This can mean choosing to tackle the DPC-clichés, but understanding the techniques and art behind this is not wasted time. I'm hoping to develop my own style and I'm trying to enter pictures I like but know will not score well here, but equally I will try to take on the DPC friendly styles and learn how the amazingly skilled photographers on the site make these work so well for them

At some point, hopefully, you'll be come more cognizant of what it is that you want out of your photography, and you'll find yourself working more towards that goal than trying to please the voters. Once that starts to happen, then the scores will become secondary to the creation of your work in its own true manner.

Then, despite the fact that you will not so much be shooting for DPC, to your surprise and delight, it will have shaped you into the special and unique photographer that you've become.

Message edited by author 2010-07-08 06:31:31.
07/08/2010 06:42:31 AM · #7
well, Jeb has wrote everything, so thanks, i've not much time now, i totally agree with Jeb!! ;-)
07/08/2010 01:54:17 PM · #8
Awesome input Jeb. I wasn't the OP but I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately and only recently got my head in the right place over my photography. I think a DPC break actually helped with that, and I have more realistic (and personally beneficial) aims now.

Oh and if anyone is feeling a bit challenged-out, try a side challenge. No scores, just good community input and a chance to explore a topic on your own terms. I'm also coming to terms with the fact I have a thing for macros :)
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