Episode 4: How to Get the Best Shots and the Best Deals

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Whether you're looking to improve your photography or get the best possible deal on photo equipments, this episode of  Digital Photography Life is for you. See www.scottsphotoblog.com for complete notes on today's show.

What are the three basic elements of a successful photograph? That's the question we answer on today's show, based on principles taught by the New York Institute of Photography.

It's back to photo basics as we discuss how to emphasize your subject through composition, relative size, selective lighting and focus, and other photographic techniques.

You might want to use some of those methods if you're going to enter our first photo contest on Digital Photography Life. The theme of the contest is "The Joy of Photography." We're looking for shots that best capture this concept, and on the show, we discuss some examples of what they might look like. Feel free to use our ideas, but be creative, too.

The Grand Prize Winner of our Joy of Photography contest will receive a camera bag from ThinkTankPhoto: You get to pick which one fits your needs. See www.scottsphotoblog.com for details.

Next week we'll tell you how to submit your contest entries and the deadline for submission. (It will be sometime in mid-January). You'll be limited to three entries, so start planning now. Placing as a finalist or actually winning a photo contest is a great accomplishment, and we'd love you to do it with us.

Today's interview is with Ron Risman, founder of the wonderful resource Cameratown.com.  Cameratown is the best place on the web to find the latest photo news, reviews and deals. It's an invaluable resource, and you'll only have yourself to blame if you spend too much money because you didn't subscribe to Cameratown's terrific newsletter, which brings the biggest  photo stories and the best sales to your inbox twice a week.

Ron is a former camera retailer, and he tells you the secrets of how physical and online stores try to make the most money off you. He'll also share how you can turn the game around and score the best and fairest prices for your photo needs.

Does an online price sound a little too good to be true?  Ron explains how you can avoid the scammers and determine the trustworthiness of a retailer with which you might not be familiar.

Check out Cameratown today, not just for the great information it offers, but to sign up for the newsletter and to enter their terrific fifth anniversary contest with a sweet grand prize: A Pentax K20D Digital SLR Outfit with DA 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 AL II Lens and Slingbag. I've entered fifty times already under different aliases - just kidding!

On Digital Photography Life, Ron gives away an M-Rock Grand Canyon. This $80 value is described by the good people of M-Rock as follows: "slim and handsome Grand Canyon SLR camera bag comes with many adjustable dividers and a padded U shaped lens cradle to offer the photographer two distinctive ways to carry their photo gear."

Send the correct answer to the question we ask in the show to us at dplcontests@gmail.com. Our Queen of All Contests, the lovely and talented Laurel Housden http://thephotoenthusiast.com/, will pick a correct answer at random on January 1, 2009.

As I said earlier, we based some of our shooting advice today on the excellent instruction we've received from The New York Institute of Photography. NYIP is an amazing resource. In their words:

Whether you want to become a professional photographer or simply enhance your basic skills, New York Institute of Photography, the world’s largest photography school can help you. Instruction by respected real-life photographers combined with our online magazine and featured tips provide an unparalleled level of support to guide you through the amazing landscape of traditional or digital photography.

If you're ready to make a serious commitment to improving your skills, visit NYIP and be tempted by their excellent courses.

Thanks as always for listening.