This year all four of my entries scored high enough against the rigorous standard in the Professional Photographers of Washington print competition to be displayed as part of the exhibit at the just-concluded PPW spring conference. Two of my prints also received a “seal” that means they’ll automatically receive a Professional Photographers of America Merit when I send them on to international competition later this spring. When I’ve earned enough Merits I’ll receive the Master of Photography designation.
Why do I enter competition? It’s somewhat costly — entry fees, the expense of making prints, and shipping them to the conference for judging. The process of selecting or creating new images for competition, perfecting them in my computer darkroom (aka Adobe Photoshop), getting feedback from other photographers, and finally getting feedback from the judges all contribute to my learning to be a better photographer. That translates into better work I do every day for my clients.
One of my entries this year, “Sunset Meditation,” was from an extended on-location business portrait session I did for Chikeola Karimou of The Stellar CEO. It was photographed at sunset at Larrabee State Park.
“Tropical Winter” was photographed in late autumn at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, BC on a trip to create new garden stock images. It’s a Gunnera leaf with a few Eucalyptus leaves that had fallen on it.
“Autumn Sentinels” was made on a dayhike out Cougar Divide with Rick Dubrow and Cindi Landreth of A-1 Builders last October. It was a magical day, with the ridges shrouded in cloud and peak fall color from the blueberries and mountain ashes. I made a large number of wonderful images that day, but this was my favorite.
“Masked” represents a new direction for me. It’s from the first nude session I’ve done, with a Seattle model I connected with through Model Mayhem. He’s a Western Washington University theater grad.
I’m showing the images here as I printed them for competition, with a black digital mat and color-coordinated keyline. It’s the way most images are presented for competition, but not necessarily the way I’d present them in a gallery or for your home. The only thing I’ve added for the web is my signature, which can’t be on the front of competition prints so judging is completely anonymous.