Thursday, May 15, 2008


What is the "Monthly Special"?
The monthly special is a project-oriented monthly photo challenge. Based on work I've done for clients or ideas I'd like to try out, each month I will walk you through a project from start to finish, and then you're invited to post your project and link it to my blog.

How do I link my finished Monthly Special project to this site?
The first thing you need is a host for your photos such as Flickr, Photobucket, Smugmug, OR your own blog. When you've finished your project, upload it to your host and copy the URL. Then, visit takeoutphoto and look for that month's "Monthly Special" post in the right-hand menu bar under "Participate in the Monthly Special." Next, you will go to the bottom of the post where you'll find a box that says "This site is using auto-links..." Click on the "comment" link inside that box. Enter your name, email, and the URL where you uploaded your photo. Leave a comment and don't forget to check the "TOP Monthly Special Participant" box before you hit enter. That's it. Now your link will be added to the list.

Do I have to link back to your site to participate in the Monthly Special?
No, but it will be a lot more fun for all if you share. One of the reasons I'm doing this is so that we can inspire each other with variations on the theme.

When do I post and link my completed project? Do I have to wait until the end of the month?
You can post (on your own blog or other online venue--see above) and link back to the "Monthly Special" page here at any time--preferably during the month of the challenge. There is no need to wait until the end of the month. I will happily visit and comment on (where possible) my favorite things about your post once it's up.

What equipment/software will I need?
Any camera will do, provided that you have a digital version of the photos. As for software, I highly recommend Photoshop Elements. It retails for under $100 and sometimes comes free with digital cameras or scanners. Most projects will use Photoshop Elements as a reasonable alternative to Photoshop.

What if I can't afford to/don't want to buy Photoshop Elements?
Not every "Monthly Special" will require Photoshop, so please participate whenever you can.

What if I'm on a Mac? PC?
I'm a Mac guy and PCs are pretty foreign to me. However, the process is nearly identical on Macs and PCs. The only things that change are the hot keys. I'll post instructions with the Mac hot keys and trust that you PC people can figure out how to convert. If not, please ask in the comments.

Who is that cute little girl in the photo on your web banner?
OK. Nobody actually asked this, but still...It's my daughter, Eva, who I'm sure you'll see in some of my posts.


Jane of JaneZworld said...

Hi Marc,
I am new-ish to photography, and even newer to my camera.
I suddenly began to take great images with my phone, which raised the question, what might I achieve with a real camera?
So far I can't get my head around photoshop, so I use MS Digital Image Suite. I guess that is ok?

Do you have a banner or something to ID each months challenge when I post it on my blog?
I do photo-hunters and they have a helps.

Also I cant see where to post the link from my blog....
you will find me at
daily blog & photographs etc.
Im off to create an image + text.
and hey what a life teaching film in France.
I am green.
Jane from Australia