While this can be a generally truthful statement, it takes on particular meaning considering the 3 days we spent in Norfolk earlier this week.
The event is called PSD Experience and it is a 3 day intensive, hands-on photographic learning experience. Combining instruction from some of the most Incredible photographers in the country and directed hands-on photography with a number of amazing and beautiful models (along with truly talented hair and make-up artists), PSD Experience is probably the best 3 days of learning I’ve seen in many years in the business.
Our very own Jeff Bowman is one of the organizers of the event and planning is already in the works for the next PSD Experience event, likely to take place in October.
Jeff captured a number of images himself during his time teaching at the event and we’ll be sure to post a few very soon. Meantime, check out images created by many of the attendees and instructors during the 3 day event.
The competition season continues as the Southeastern Professional Photographers Association (SEPPA) wrapped up its annual print judging a couple weeks ago in Athens, GA. Jeff and James both entered 4 prints into the competition and came away with accolades. Each image is looked at by an expert panel of judges who evaluate the print according to the PPA’s 12 elements of a Merit Print. Each image is given a numerical score which while technically scored on a 1-100 scale, in practical application is scored from 60-100. Prints scoring an 80 or better are deemed as being worthy of a Merit and will be automatically accepted for display at the forthcoming judging at the International Judging for the PPA (Professional Photographers of America) coming up in late June. Judging at the regional level is generally more stringent than it is at the state level.
The final tally saw James receiving a Merit on one of his 4 entries, with Jeff receiving Merits on 3 of his 4. Even better yet, Jeff was also awarded a “Distinguished Award” for “Hoping for Better Days” in the category, Portrait of a Child. The Distinguished award is effectively a “2nd place” from all entries in that category. Congratulations Jeff! You can see the Award and merit images in this gallery…
Next up, as mentioned above, is the judging that will take place at the International Print Competition of the PPA. This is scheduled to happen later this summer. You can be sure that as the results come in from that competition that we’ll let you know how we all did.
Award season for the movies is just wrapping up…but its just getting started in the world of professional portrait photography. The annual convention of the Virginia Professional Photographers Association just wrapped up last week and with the close of the convention came the Awards dinner for the Print Competition that opened the convention. Judging was tough this year and the number of images awarded Blue Ribbons was significantly down from previous years, but through it all, Jeff Bowman still brought home 3 Blue Ribbons…from which one was also awarded a Court of Honor and two others gained Best in Category awards. Jeff also narrowly missed out on winning the coveted Photographer of the Year award…soooo close!
Here are Jeff’s 3 Blue Ribbon prints, with their awards listed below each one…to see the rest of the Commonwealth Team’s competition entries, hop on over to the Commonwealth Photography Page on Facebook.
The Next step is to prepare for regional competition at the end of March in Atlanta…we’ll keep you posted on how the Commonwealth Team fares at SEPPA!
Staying on top of any industry is a constant process, and photography is no different. So, here we are in San Antonio, TX for the annual Imaging USA convention (the National convention of the Professional Photographers of America, of which we are all members). Today began 4 days of learning from some of the best Photographers in the nation (and a few parties too). I’ll post more throughout the next few days…
After what seems like…years…of dismay over the lack of proper winter weather here in Central Virginia, here comes Ol’ Man Winter himself to remind us what it’s like. And in March, no less. Roughly Six inches of snow was our overnight gift in Chester and doesn’t it look incredible. Of course, it does have the tendency to throw some kinks into the schedule, but then, what is life without a little adversity.
I managed to wend my way into the studio this morning, even given the condition of many of the roads I was forced to traverse…and after arriving took a few moments to walk around with camera in hand to capture this rare seasonal occurrance (or rare of late anyway). Figured I’d get those images before I began the herculean task of brushing/shoveling off the walkways.
For those of you in the area, enjoy the snow while its around…build a snowman, make a snow angel, find a nice hill to do some sledding…these events don’t come often.
Well print judging is over and went very well. James got 5 out of 6 blue ribbon prints, Julia got 4 out of 6, and Jeff got 5 out of 6 with one getting a score of 95. One of the highest score of the competition and Jeff’s highest score ever. Tonight is the awards banquet. James will be getting his AFP Degree(associate fellow of photography), which is a multi-year accomplishment. Jeff is up for several awards, but we will have to wait and see. May people ask about how our competition works. Each year we can submit up to 6 prints or albums in a variety of catigories, such as Portrait of a Woman, Man, High School Senior, Wedding Candid, Group, Illustrative, Commercial, Electronic Art, ect… The images are then judged by a panel of 6 judges that are outside of our organization. The prints are judged on 12 elements(listed below) that are set by the Professional Photographers of Amer. The scores range from 0-100. 80 is the magic number. This means that that print is of exceptional quality and is worthy of recognition. 95% of the prints entered are between 77-83. This year there were 411 prints entered at the state level. Tonight should be a fun night. We will keep you posted on the outcome.
The Twelve elements listed below are in accordance to their importance.
Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.
Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.
Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print.
Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.
Lighting—the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.
Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.
Print Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.
Center of Interest is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.
Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.
Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect.
Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.
Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.
Last weekend I had the privilege to be a judge at South Carolina’s state photography convention. This week each of us are putting together our best 6 prints to enter into our state convention starting on Fri the 20th. We have looked through thousands of portraits to pull out the best 6. Competition is a great learning experience. While the judges are usually very tough, it teaches you to be more critical of your work. I’ll let you know how we did in a later post.
The construction is almost complete!!! This week,clean up began and on Friday the top coat of asphalt was put down. Now it’s time for the small details like cleaning and sealing the sidewalk. A great “Thank You” goes out to Wade Construction for their excellent work. They have my highest recommendation.
Welcome to our new blog. This will be a big mix. Everything from business specials, behind the scenes of CP(commonwealth photography), to even a look into our personal lives. We will try to keep things updated every couple of days, so check back often.
As Jan. is nearing it’s end we have been staying busy creating new marketing ideas and new looks for the upcoming year. One new look that we are getting a lot of questions about is the construction around the building. When we bought the building 6 years ago, we had to have it rezoned from residential to commercial. Part of that process is submitting a sight plan that shows parking and wheelchair access. The county was very nice and let us open with a temporary occupancy permit. This gave us the chance to get up and running before taking on the expense of the project. The job started in Nov. and was held up for little reasons here and there. When it came time to do the asphalt, the weather turned on us. Because it is in the right of way, everything must be done to VDOT specs. This means that rain and cold temperatures made things come to a halt. We have a base coat down and now we are waiting for one more warm day(over 50) to do the top coat of asphalt. This job has been in the plans for a long time and it will be nice to see it finished.
Please keep in touch with us and let me know your thoughts on our new Blog. We are also updating our records with everyone’s e-mail addresses. One of our goals this year is to keep in touch through e-newsletters( I promise we are not going to be obnoxious about it). So drop us a line at email@example.com with your email address.