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This Week in the Digital Photography School Forums

Weekly Assignment

This week we finished 2009, and with it, our Best of 2008 assignment. Where can we even begin. In the last year, we saw not only our membership numbers grow, but also our members skills grow. What follows is our picks for the Best of 2008 assignment.

Mt. Jefferson (by Programmable Glacier)Our winner was jbury for the timeless black and white shot of Mt Jefferson. Wulf said that it “stood out majestically” and that it could have been taken 80 years ago or today, and the subject is enduring. Saralonde said that it had a timeless quality that reminded her of Ansel Adams. Well done jbury because thanks to Crumpler Australia you have won a 5 Million Dollar Home Camera Bag.

IMG_0609 (by ellen_kinsel)Our first runner up was EllenK for her picture of one of her grand-daughter’s classmates, highlighted by unbelievable natural light in a 100 year old one room school house. The way that the light shone through the window highlighting one student, we couldn’t help but appreciate this image.

greetings from the moon (by M3R)And last, but not least, M3R‘s 30 second exposure of Bromo Mountain couldn’t help but catch our eye with the almost alien landscape. We were especially drawn in by the soft, silky fog and the twinkling stars.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the assignments in 2008. We have had some wonderful entries from both old and new members. Keep them coming because we have a lot of exciting assignments planned for the new year. In fact, we’ve already started our newest assignment, Crumpler Australia. In order to be eligible for the mini contest, there are a few rules. First, your image must have been taken between 24 December 2008 – 7 January 2009. Next, your post must include the words “Assignment: Fresh” and the date that the photo was taken in order for it to count. And last, but not least, your EXIF should be intact. Our next assignment with be “Dreams” so start dreaming up those ideas.

Hot Threads

  • What’s the simplest point & shoot camera?: One of our members has a great question for the community at large. As you can see from the thread title, he wants to find a very simple point and shoot camera to replace a Polaroid Instant Camera. So what are the options for someone who doesn’t want all the bells and whistles and would likely be happy with just the on / off button and the shutter release?
  • Water colour effect: We are big fans of different post-processing effects that people can use on their digital photography. One example of some of the post-processing effects our members have shared with us is the water colour effect which mimics, you guessed it, a water colour painting. This thread tells you how you can achieve that look.
  • How to: flash and burn: One of our mods has put together a great “how to” on using the flash to balance the ambient light and the subject so you don’t have your subject in a black hole. As jdepould explains: “shutter speed controls your ambient exposure, and aperture controls your flash” so if those seem like things you might want to know about, come have a read of the thread.
  • How to achieve a shallow depth of field with a point and shoot?: One thing that point and shoots often don’t do as well as a SLR is achieving a shallow depth of field. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are several ways to achieve a shallow depth of field including changing the aperture (if you can) or using modes like macro or portrait. If you’re trying to find out how to do this or you have suggestions for others, come join in the discussion.
  • What Would You Do: Our weekly post-processing thread took a little break at the end of 2008 because we needed photos. Well, a few people have been kind enough to submit some photos, so the game is back. So if you ever thought of submitting a photo to let the community edit, now’s the time. Check out this thread to find out how.

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is a DPS Forum moderator and keen photographer from New Zealand. See her Flickr account.