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IDIOTSí GUIDE

by Flick
with minor updates by Warren

First of all, you donít have to be an idiot to need this guide. Many people are flummoxed when first confronted with getting their pictures into the challenge galleries, though itís easy once you know how.

You will find the current challenge under its appropriately titled thread at: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1026

The Rules:

These are important. Itís surprising how many people donít read them properly. They are different to the guidelines stated later. There arenít very many of them, but they are more or less set in stone. Itís best to read and abide by them, otherwise whoever is running the current challenge is put in the awkward position of having to enforce them.

  • The primary rule is: have fun. The challenges are a great way to get our creativity going and to view other peopleís work. Donít let yourself get too competitive or youíll stress yourself unnecessarily and miss out on the enjoyment factor.
  • The second rule is: read the rules properly at http://www.pbase.com/kodak_challenge/rules . My guide is intended to simplify things; you still need to read the fine print!
  • There are two galleries, the Competition Gallery and the Exhibition Gallery. The Competition Gallery is only for images taken with a Kodak Digital SLR (any Kodak DSLR will do, it doesnít have to be a recent one), and only within the submission period. If you donít own a Kodak DSLR, itís perfectly acceptable to borrow one. The Exhibition Gallery is for images taken with any camera, either film or digital, at any time, including within the submission period. You can dig out your old Box Brownie shots, pinhole camera pics, 35mm, medium format, large format, camera obscura etc. etc.: and they can be from any period, including the turn of the last century if you were alive and taking pictures then!
  • There will be a winner from each gallery, but only the winner of the Competition Gallery will be eligible to set the next challenge theme.
  • You need to follow the challenge theme. If the challenge states black and white, donít enter a full colour photo just because itís cute and your best work; if the theme is buildings, there is no point in entering your favourite weird shaped vegetable photo Ė unless you can bullshit and convince the moderator and the other contestants that your potato with a nose and chin doubles as your summer residence.
  • The winner of the last challenge sets and moderates the next one, including creating the necessary galleries and sub galleries. This isnít as scary as it sounds, and there are plenty of us whoíve already done it and will be happy to answer any questions, help out etc. If you really canít do it, for example you may be going away, then invite the winner of the other gallery to take over.
  • You really need to load your pictures within the size and resolution stated (see the section on uploading), otherwise they will overflow the screen and cause those unfortunate souls still on dialup to tear out their hair.

Some Useful/Optional Guidelines:

Some of these are very optional, some are advisable though not absolutely necessary. Following these guidelines makes the challenges more fun and fosters a nice cosy, friendly atmosphere, which makes us all feel altruistic and team spirited and encourages everyone to love each other ;-)

  • Try to include exif information: the easiest way, with a digital camera, is to use the save as option in Photoshop, as this will automatically include the relevant details. If you are using a film camera, try to remember some of the basic details like lens, aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc and add them manually in the challenge gallery (more on this later). It makes it interesting for others, especially for those technical freaks who would love to know exactly what you did. However, if you donít have the information, donít stress (after all, you can always make it up ;-)!
  • If you have any other details, like printing techniques, digital editing etc. then itís nice, though not obligatory, to include those too.
  • Itís fun and encouraging to add comments in the appropriate section under those images which evoke a response from you.
  • If you enjoy the galleries, think about voting, even if you havenít entered.
  • You donít absolutely have to vote for both galleries if youíve only entered one, but itís a nice gesture to vote for both.
  • As far as I can tell, you donít have to vote just because youíve entered pictures in one or both galleries, but I personally think itís a bit mean to sit back and scoop othersí votes for your pictures but not bother to return the compliment.

Uploading to the Kodak Challenge Galleries:

First you need to prepare your image for the galleries using Photoshop. Convert your image to profile (using sRGB works well) by going: image>mode>convert to profile. Then change the image size to 800 pixels on the long side: image>size. Save as jpeg in file menu>save as, then make sure the slider is set so that the value at the bottom doesnít exceed 200k.

Here is the link for the challenges:

http://www.pbase.com/kodak_challenge/kodak_challenges

  • If you are already a PBase user, it's best to log out before trying to upload to the Kodak Challenge galleries. Otherwise Pbase will try to be too clever by automatically adding your Pbase userid to the photo title, which may not be your actual name and which will confuse the online voting application.
  • Go to the above link. You will see a page entitled The Challenges; it has a black background and shows brightly coloured thumbnails for all the challenges so far.
  • Click on the thumbnail for the current challenge, which will take you into the galleries page, showing thumbnails for the compettion gallery and the exhibition gallery.
  • Click on thumbnail for the gallery you want to upload to.
  • Go to the string of blue script at the top of the page and click on edit this gallery.
  • This takes you to a different page with a white background. There's a form titled Upload Photos to this Gallery, with one field. You will see a button that says Browse.... Clicking this button will allow you to navigate your hard drive till you find the location of the image you want to upload. Click this image, click choose (on a Mac) or Open (on Windows), then look on the PBase page and you will see, below the pathname of the file you chose, another button that says Upload image. Click this, then watch the progress bar in your browser till you can see the image has completed loading.
  • Now return to the gallery, refreshing/reloading the page if necessary. You should see a thumbnail for your image.
  • Click the thumbnail to see the full size image.
  • At this stage you will be missing some of the information your picture needs, so go up to the top and click edit image. This will take you to a page which contains a thumbnail of your picture, plus various boxes for you to fill in.
  • Fill in the title section with your pictureís title plus by ---(your name). You can put a bit of interesting info in the caption section if you like, then fill in the other details in the relevant spaces. If you used a digital camera, many of the details such as date, ISO etc will already be filled in for you, and there are drop down boxes for some of the others.
  • When youíve finished, click the update image button, then go back to the gallery, refresh the page and look at your picture.

Thatís about it. There are detailed rules within the Kodak Challenge pages, but hopefully this guide will help to explain things a bit more.

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