Friday, November 28, 2008

Community Photo Challenge-Christmas Season


This Challenge is.....The Christmas Season! It can be anything representing Christmas. A Santa photo, a church, a nativity scene, you can make your own Christmas card, a Christmas scene, you can do a collage. It can be ANYTHING, just no moving photos or slideshow.
If you don't celebrate Christmas, you may post something that represents your holiday. Our Challenge starts today & all photos must be posted between now & Thursday Dec. 4th at 9 PM EST.

Try to add an active link when posting your entry in the comment section. Tutorial below or click here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Adding an Active Weblink in a Blogger Comment

One of the conveniences missing in Blogger is the ability to easily leave a weblink in a Comment. Here at the
Photo Challenge, we ask people to leave links to their entries so that we can see their wonderful images, but in most cases we have to copy and paste the links into a browser window in order to see them.

There IS, however, a way to leave a real link within the Comment field. It takes a verrrrry small amount of html code, but it works well and allows people to more easily reach your entry.

Here’s how it works:

- Save the short html string below somewhere you can easily retrieve it – in a word processing document or email, for example.
- Leave your comment as you normally would, but instead of pasting the “http….” link to your entry, paste it into the string below instead, substituting your link information in the area highlighted in blue - i.e., between the " " marks.
- In the area highlighted in red, type the words you’d like to appear in your Comment. These are the only words that will actually appear visible – the link info itself will be hidden. These words will appear underlined to indicate they are a weblink and, when clicked, will take the viewer to your entry.

NOTE: In order to show you the HTML string, it needed to be embedded as an image rather than text in this entry – otherwise it would do exactly what its supposed to do: act as a link and not show you the underlying code! Click on the small words directly below for an image that’s easier to read, then retype the text EXACTLY as you see it into a document for later editing. You can keep the blue and red colors in your link to help you if you wish – html is colorblind and will not recognize or duplicate the colors when you paste them into your Comment.

The sample string above will take the viewer to the Photography Basics 101 entry in this Journal. (Click the blue words to test it).

To test your link and see how it will appear, simply go to your own Journal and paste the string you typed from the above example into the Comment field. Once you’re sure it works, you can delete it.

Hope this helps make your Blogger experience a little more user-friendly. THANKS for supporting our Photo Challenge. Tell your friends!


Give Thanks for.....Winner

Congratulations to Rob!
As of last night at 9PM the votes were very close. In fact, a tie at 9PM EST!
My deciding vote was for Rob. His whole entry was outstanding.
You may visit his Blog @Lord, I Was Born a Ramblin' Sam

So thank you everyone who participated, & congrats, again, to Rob!
He is added to our galley!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Reminder To Vote!

This is only a reminder to vote for our "Give Thanks For...."Challenge.
You have till 9PM EST tonight, Sunday to cast your vote.

We have some ideas for the next few challenges, but if anymore would like to make some suggestions for the future challenges, e-mail me at
&/or Vicki @


Friday, November 21, 2008

Poll for Give Thanks for.....

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6

Photo 7

We decided to include all images for this poll due to low participation in this challenge.
PLEASE, only one vote per person.
Remember the voting starts today & ends on Sunday Nov.23 @ 9 PM EST
To view larger images, all photos can be viewed on the owners blogs.
Check out the links in the original Challenge post under comments.
Before voting, I recommend you visit some of the blogs that participated, some people really wrote beautiful entries. Also keep in mind the challenge subject. This is not about popularity, it's about the images & what each represents.

Rob has discovered a way to post our LIVE links, into the comments area, watch for his tutorial on that.

Give Thanks for.......

View Results
Free poll from Free Web Polls

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sharing is Caring...Ü

First off, I miss the email address on our alerts & comments from AOL. It was nice to be able to answer questions that were left on our journals or just to say thanks for the kind words. AOL made it real simple.
The past month I have noticed that some emails from Blogger comments have a specific email address in the address window, other than mine. Having this made it easy to respond to that comment. All you have to do is hit reply. I remember Gina & Donna having this feature. Well, I found out how...Ü
Each comment that you leave on someone's blog is actually coming from you.

Make sure your email address is filled in under IDENTITY/email address.
Click SAVE Profile

In the process of trying to figure out how to do this, I found 2 Blogger blogs
Blogger Tips and Tricks
Dummies' Guide to Google Blogger

Monday, November 10, 2008

Autumn Gallery Winner

Congratulations to Nancy!!!
She won our Autumn Challenge, you can visit her journal

You can also visit her winning photo in Our Community Photo Gallery
along with other winning photos from our past challenges.

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Wishing Donna(Nightmaremom) from D's Designs & Other Things a speedy recovery!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Photography Basics 101 Ü

When choosing a photo to submit to a challenge, there are some important factors to consider. The following list should help, but is by no means a complete one:

  1. FOCUS - It's important that your subject be in focus. Even the slightest blur can keep your image from being selected as a finalist. There are different ways to avoid blurring the main subject: tripods can help, using both hands to steady the camera also offers stability. My camera has two timer options so, when I'm shooting, I sometimes use the shorter timer so that I don't move the camera when I press the shutter.
  2. SIMPLICITY - Keep things simple with an uncluttered background. Clutter and backgrounds that are too 'in focus' can totally distract the viewer from your subject.
  3. CROP/COMPOSITION - The best way to compose a good photo is in the camera using the viewfinder but not the only way. Many photographers seem to be afraid to crop their photos. Keep in mind that there's an unwritten 'rule of thirds' in composition that says the best place for your subject is along an imaginary line or dot that's 1/3 of the way into the photo. The following two websites give a great explanation of the rule of thirds:
  4. HORIZONS should be straight...not crooked. Also, it's best to NEVER place your horizon line right in the center of the photo...try moving it up or down for a better composition.
  5. GET CLOSE - fill the frame with your subject. One of the best ways to avoid a cluttered background is to not have a background. We've all seen lovely flower shots where the entire frame is filled with the flower...try that technique.
  6. LEADING LINES can be used to draw the viewer into your image. A country path through the woods leads the viewer into the woods. A fence line can lead the viewer into a pastoral scene. Some tips are available at the following:

There are more to consider:
  • Contrast
  • Patterns
  • Balance
  • Framing
  • Create Depth

More to follow~
Vicki has found some really useful links which I will post on the sidebar. So take advantage of all these great sites for additional information on Photography.

THANK YOU, VICKI, for all your help. Ü

Friday, November 7, 2008


Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3 free polls
Try voting both polls, seems like we are having a problem with the Blogger poll.
When you vote, vote the same on here & the sidebar. I want to see what works better.
UPDATE:We found errors with the sidebar Poll, so it is very important that you vote here first & if you can, vote the sidebar. We are using the results on this poll.

Autumn Poll Photo

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

On The sidebar you should see a Poll for this weeks Autumn Photo Challenge.
Please select your favorite image. Only one vote per person.
Voting ends Sunday night Nov. 9 @ 9PM EST

If you cannot vote, or cannot see the poll on the sidebar, please try another browser, like safari, IE, firefox & see if that works. I used Firefox. AOL Browser, did not show the poll( I have a MAC, so things are different)
If the vote still does not go through, email us your vote, but first try another browser.