“Charged” – Image accepted into the Professional Photographers of America ( PPA) Loan Collection

Snowy Egret image digitally manipulated in Photoshop.

This week I am posting an image titled “Charged”. Several weeks ago, I was notified that “Charged” had been selected into the PPA loan collection. More on the significance of the loan collection in a moment, first let me describe the process leading up to the selection.

Early this year, I submitted four of my images for judging at the PPA District level. In North America, the PPA is divided into six districts. Included in these districts are the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, Korea, and Australia. My images were entered into the Northeast District. In the spring, I was notified that three of my four entries received a PPA Seal of Approval, based upon points received during judging. Images are judged against a standard of excellence using the PPA 12 Elements of a Merit Image. A score of 80 or more is considered a merited image and receive a PPA seal. Since this was my first time competing in the PPA photo competitions, I decided to see how these four images would do at the international level, so in January 2018, they were submitted for judging in the PPA International Photographic Competition (IPC).

I consider “Charged” to be a digitally manipulated image since reality has been altered in the image. For me, this is the exception rather than the rule. In other words, almost all of my nature and wildlife images portray the scene as it was seen through the camera viewfinder and are not manipulated in the digital darkroom. This particular image of a snowy egret was a nice image but was lacking an exciting or unique characteristic. One day, while using the snowy egret image to experiment using some new techniques in the digital darkroom, I liked the results these techniques produced on this image. Further work to refine and perfect this technique produced results that I really liked. I felt that the image was very unique and unusual; in fact I have tried this technique on other images and have not been able achieve the same impact. The image has a unique translucent and other-world appearance.

Two of the four images received a PPA Seal and were selected to be part of the PPA General Collection. One image was a wild wolf, the other a polar bear sow and cub-of-the-year. I will post those images soon. These two images were not altered. The fourth image, sadly, did not place.

The competition to reach Loan Collection status is extremely rigorous. Photographers from all over the world submit images to compete at the international level. A panel of jurors selects the top images based on the PPA 12 Elements of a Merit Images. The competition is so intense that there are two rounds of judging. Since this was my first time competing, I feel very fortunate that one of my four submitted images was selected to be part of the PPA Load Collection and published in the PPA Load Collection Book and and will be displayed at the annual PPA Convention in Atlanta in January 2019.