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.