Each year now for the past 4 years I have entered portraits created on my international travels to the Professional Photographers of America's International Print Competition. This year three of my four images received a merits and one of those titled "Untold Story" scoring an 87, received the highest level of recognition going to the 2019 PPA Loan Collection.
A total of 5,245 entries were submitted. Judged against a standard of excellence, 2,654 images were selected for the General Collection and 625 were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection—the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated "Loan Collection" book. Images will also be on display at the PPA's Loan Collection exhibit at #ImagingUSA
Each year photographers from around the world enter images to be judged. Many will shoot images specifically for this competition, however, I always choose to enter images that were created during my third world travels on personal projects as they hold a deeper meaning to me than my client work. These images are some of the most challenging portraits I have ever created and to receive recognition for this work just astounds me.
SCROLL DOWN TO READ EXCERPTS FROM THE JUDGES CRITIQUE OF "UNTOLD STORY"
Mark continues to go on and explain the importance of titling images (this is always the hardest part for me...titling) "I like your title…your title which I think some entrants because of titling is one of the hardest things to do…but titling can be utilized to make a connection with those jurors from the time the title is read and the split second the image comes up on the screen. When you can connect with a juror via a great title, and I think this is a great title, instant upward scoring momentum takes place. Now this could had been a terrible title and you could had called it 'Suzy'…but no judge is going to take off point for that but what happened then is you didn’t take advantage of them making that connection with the jury panel.
So again great title because you can really read that in there and the stories that could be told from this person would be really amazing"
He continues with more of the critique on the image and artwork: "Like I said your quality of black and white is extremely striking…your composition is just wonderful…you used the outside brim of the hat to give an nice oval around her keeping her eyes in yet again we have nice base with the body…a lot of dark tones which give the spectral highlights pop and give us a very dimensional look. Extremely well done!
Your presentation I think nailed it…when you go with a darker presentation you are forcing the viewers eyes to go to the lighter area of the image. The lightest areas of this image are the mask of the face so well done with that…I think it would be a mistake if you went with a white or lighter presentation…because then we are drawing emphasis on the dark areas and we don’t need to be drawn down there."
I'm very happy with this critique as a Loan Image takes hours of work and dedication from the artist. Each year I learn more through the process. Looking forward to achieving my "Master of Photography Degree" hopefully in the next 1-2 years thru education and print competition. Keep pushing myself forward!
SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW THE BEFORE & AFTER OF "UNTOLD STORY"
100 - 95: Exceptional
94 - 90: Superior
89 - 85: Excellent
84 - 80: Deserving of a Merit
79 - 75: Above Average
74 - 70: Average
69 - 65: Below Exhibition Standards