PPA Print Competition Results are in!

June 28th, 2010


Every art form has, and — if we are lucky — will continue to have, an ongoing discussion about what differentiates artistry from craftsmanship, about what works characterize the current movement and what emulations are merely defined by it. At the center of this debate, the green behemoth lounging between the two camps, is the notion that artistic values somehow logarithmically decline with an equivalent increase in commercial success, leaving a grumbling bevy of frustrated artists wishing they had enough money to pay bills and create art flanked by a legion assiduous professionals dreaming that someone would appreciate their contribution to the arts.

The Professional Photographers of America, the world’s largest nonprofit association for professional photographers, every year offers its 20,000 members in over 54 countries an opportunity to compete for such recognition in a print competition that is widely considered the gold standard for international judging of photographic images.

According to the PPA guidelines, photographs are judged against the following twelve elements (all of which must be addressed for an image to merit): impact, creativity, technical excellence, composition, lighting, style, print presentation, center of interest, subject matter, color balance, technique, and story telling. The specific criteria for each may be found here. PPA describes the use of these 12 elements as a way to connect “the modern practice of photography and its photographers to the historical practice of photography begun nearly two centuries ago.”

Camera Obscura Journal would like to offer a huge congratulation our photography editor Kate Parker who has been awarded 2010 Silver Photographer of the Year by Professional Photographers of America for demonstrating “excellence in her craft and earning tremendous achievements in PPA’s 2010 International Photographic Competition.”

The silver award is achieved by having three merit prints accepted into the PPA General Collection and one print selected for inclusion in the prestigious International Loan Collection, which is a traveling exhibition that exemplifies the finest work in the current world of professional photography.


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Volume II on the Horizon

June 15th, 2010

On the same day that the journal received a review on New Pages for the first issue, the future began to take shape for the next one. Congratulations to all the great photographers and writers who appeared in this first issue.

Hints of Camera Obscura Journal Volume II emerge from the primordial literary selection process with K.R. Sand’s short story “Half Life.” Sands unfolds this intricate story from the prospective of Marie Curie, guiding with precision a serendipitous encounter of science with art, ultimately to their unexpected collision.

The story begins:

“Oh, how she hated celebrity! All this traveling and eating and smiling and thanking and demurring–so tiresome! Such a waste of precious time! She was no longer young, and there was still so much work to do. Six weeks for this American tour, all the while accumulating heavy wooden plaques, childish gold and silver medals, useless doctoral robes, framed certificates, and other detritus that she’d have to carry in her luggage or pay to have shipped home to Paris. But this was the price she had to pay for the radium, the precious gram she needed to keep the work going. Although Americans were generous with their vast wealth, they certainly claimed their pound of flesh in hand-shaking.”

K.R. Sands is a university English professor, somehat new to fiction, whose scholarly work includes several articles and two books on the history of demon possession and exorcism (http://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-R.-Sands/e/B001HOOYSM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1).

8-minute interview of K.R. Sands by the director of the Mütter Museum:
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and Mütter Museum

More updates as the issue unfurls.
And many thanks to all the supporters of the journal. Your subscriptions are much appreciated!
M.E. Parker, Editor

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