asp images of distinction competition

American Society of Photographers (ASP) has announced their second annual image competition. Images of Distinction (IOD) was wildly successful in it’s inaugural year. Using the same criteria for judging, and Professional Photographers of America jurors the event is a great way to get feedback on your photographic imagery. Check out the rules at  And get start getting your images ready.

ASP Images of Distinction February 25-26, 2022

What’s different?

IOD uses scores on the first day of judging. The following day there is image commentary for all makers who wish to receive feedback on their work. This is an invaluable part of the learning process to get your images ready for Professional Photographers of America’s (PPA) International Photographic Competition (IPC). Kristy Steeves shares her thoughts on how the process helped her achieve Diamond status in the Artist category and Platinum in the Open categories at PPA’s IPC.

I interview Kristy about last years ASP – IOD success and why you’ll benefit from entering.
Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

International Photographic Competition – IPC

International Photographic Competition – IPC

International Photographic Competition (IPC) starts on Sunday.

If you have an interest in photography and would like to see some incredible work this is the place for you. Starting Sunday September 12 at 9AM EST through Wednesday you’ll have the opportunity to see the scoring along with comments when the judges challenge the results.
The header image above was titled ‘Taking Flight’ and was awarded LOAN Collection status two years ago.

Professional Photographers of America (PPA)

IPC is presented by PPA. It’s the chance for makers to have their work reviewed by trained judges. The resulting scores are part of the PPA Master of Photography Degree system. The degrees are designed to recognize above average work by above average photographers. This is also part of the initial selection process for Team USA in the Photographic World Cup as images are selected from the Image Excellence Award winners for the International Competition.

‘Orange Outburst’ is a water droplet photo made it into the PPA LOAN Collection last year. The LOAN Collection name will be changed to Image Excellence Award this year.

PPA image makers work all year to prepare their work for this event.

You can watch

While the competition is geared toward professional photographers and PPA members you are welcome to pull up a chair and join in the learning. You can stream IPC live from Sept 12–15. Judging starts each day at 9am ET. if you are not a PPA member? Create a free account to watch live.

international photographic competition results

international photographic competition results

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) hold the International Photographic Competition (IPC) each year. My results.

The Jury

A panel of 36 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from over 5,000 total submitted entries at PPA headquarters in Atlanta. Judged against a standard of excellence, 1,706 images were selected for the General Collection and 865 (roughly 17 percent) were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection—the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated “Loan Collection” book by Marathon Press.

“I’m thankful that these challenges exist through PPA. Having your work reviewed and judged by top industry professionals helps keep my image making from becoming static. I get feedback on new techniques which is priceless in keeping me growing my image creation skills.”

‘Another World’ was captured at the Toadstools in Southern Utah.

‘Great Blue’ was captured in Page Springs, AZ at the Bubbling Ponds.

Loan Collection

Three of my images were accepted into the Loan Collection.

‘Orange Outburst’ is a water droplet photo.


Another water droplet capture in the PPA Loan Collection.

Two were made of experimental photography involving falling water droplets. Orange Outburst and Twice Nice show the result of specialty lighting of three water drops crashing at intervals which are done by very specific timing of the drops, plus a bit of endurance. Many images need to be captured to find some that create these patterns. The other Loan image was from a composite image titled ‘Blessing Place. Bob worked with images of animals photographed at the Phoenix Zoo some northern Arizona landscape features and and clouds photographed from above. 

In addition two more photographs were named to the General Collection. I rendered a watercolor of a great blue heron in flight over the Bubbling Ponds in Page Springs. ‘Another World’ was a night sky photograph of the Milky Way made while in Southern Utah of the Toadstools. It has a very prehistoric feel.

‘Blessing Place’ is a bit of a departure from my normal work.

Images will be in the International Photographic Exhibition alongside other top photographic works from the competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute one of the world’s largest annual exhibits of professional photography gathered simultaneously in one place.

About PPA

Founded in 1868, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest and longest-standing nonprofit photography trade association. It currently helps 30,000 professionals elevate their craft and grow their business with resources, protection, and education, all under PPA’s core guiding principle of bridging the gap between photographers and consumers. See more of my artwork at or at the Gallery of Modern Masters in Hillside, Sedona, AZ.

Coming soon

Above you can see the images that were favored by the judges. Soon I’ll share those that did not make it into the General Collection.

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

ppa ipc image prep

ppa ipc image prep

For those that compete (or want to compete) at the International Photographic Competition (IPC) through the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) an important part of the process is presenting your image properly. There are twelve elements on which the images are judged. One of them is image presentation.

Think of it like this. Have you ever had an image that you thought was quite good? Then framed it and it looked even better? That is what you should try to make your image do when putting together your submissions.

Here is a video to give you one way to put together a presentation for a black and white image. This example is showing a double keystroke. The final image could be done with a single keystroke as well. As an artist it is your choice for the color (or tone) of your keystroke as well as the width. Coming soon, I’ll share some ideas on working with color images.

If you have any questions on PPA image competition, don’t hesitate to ask. I wish you the best in your competition journey.

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

PS – The subject is Craig Christopherson a wood and metal sculptor. See some of Craig’s work here on Instagram. Image was made with the Lumix G9 and 42.5mm f1.2 Leica lens. You can see how I went from the original capture to the final post processed image in my blog on post processing with Adobe Photoshop and Skylum Luminar 4 software.

tuesday painterly artist – michelle parsley part one

tuesday painterly artist – michelle parsley part one

Tuesday Painterly Art
Michelle Parsley M.Photog, M. Artist, Cr., CPP

I had the pleasure of taking a Michelle Parsley full day Pre-Con class at Imaging USA this year. I was extremely impressed with her attention to detail and classroom style. If you ever get the opportunity to learn from Michelle, I highly recommend it. BTW, you can also work with Michelle online. Check out links to her education at the bottom of the post.

Hear now from Michelle below as she talks about her work and producing images for PPA’s International Photographic Competition. All Images © Michelle Parsley 2019 All Rights Reserved

michelle parsley image“For most of my client work, I create “pretty pictures” in either digital or traditional mediums. An
example of client work would be “A Study in Pastels”.

But when I’m given free rein to do anything I want — I love to tell stories with my images. I
believe storytelling is one of my artistic strengths and I find it especially satisfying when others
can easily see the story. I often employ this tactic in my competition images.

michelle parsley imageSometimes, I am compelled to tell a serious story — like in the image “Dear John”. Anyone
that has served in our armed forces can easily identify with this image.

michelle parsley imageMore often than not, I tell humorous stories like “Dinner and a Show”. What little one hasn’t
used a pot for a drum and sang at the top of their lungs? By giving him an audience of
puppies in a barn, it accurately reflects the realities of life with boys on the farm. (No — this
child is not one of my boys)

michelle parsley imageIn “Who’s Training Whom?” You can really get a glimpse into my imagination. I had the
pleasure of visiting the old Sheldon Church ruins in the Charleston, SC area with Tiffany Briley
of Charleston Photography Tours a few years back. I couldn’t help but let my imagination run
wild! What a giggle it was to have Julia Kelleher photograph her son based on my directions,
and create this fanciful image of a friendly dragon. The dragon was created by photographing
a plastic toy from several angles and frankensteining it together in Photoshop.

Continued next week!

Behind every artist there is a story and Michelle’s story began as a child when she would draw or paint with anything she could find (which got her in trouble on more than one occasion!). She has been creating hand drawn and hand
painted art for clients for nearly 20 years. Michelle is mostly self-taught in all the mediums she uses to express
her creativity. By combining her love of both digital and organic mediums, Michelle is uniquely equipped to both create and teach art. Michelle earned her Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) designation from Professional
Photographers of America (PPA) in 2009 which led her to enter her first International
Photographic Competition in 2010.

She has since earned the Master of Photography michelle parsley head shot art
and Master Artist degrees in 2014, diamond artist of the year in 2012, the
Imaging Excellence Award in 2015, Photographic Craftsman in 2017, Double diamond and the Imaging Excellence Bar in 2018.

When Michelle is not teaching, photographing, or painting, she enjoys a great cup of coffee, dark chocolate, and working on the family farm in rural Tennessee where she lives with her husband of over 25 years, their four children, four dogs, and an ever changing host of farm animals.


The class I took from Michelle – Photoshop Clone Painting

More Clone Painting Classes – All Clone Painting Classes

General Teaching site – Elevate Your Art


imaging usa 2019 part three

imaging usa 2019 part three

Imaging USA Part Three

Here’s my final wrap up from Imaging USA in Atlanta.

As mentioned, but worth saying so again, networking and speaking with people is a great way to continue your education. And I don’t think you can put a price on that.

Accolades at IUSA

I mentioned some ASP accolades that were earned this year and I also want to recognize the Grand Imaging Awards. This is a way for people to be recognized to push and further their photography skills. While the GIA’s are the pinnacle you don’t wait until you think you have the imagery to win there, you get there by getting into it to learn. These results come from International Photographic Competition (IPC) which is a contest with yourself to become better than you were the previous year and to learn, sometimes through hard knocks, what you might do to better your skills. In my opinion, IPC has been probably the single most important vehicle in helping me become the image creator I am today. Not to mention that it generates a reason to send out a press release, not only when you are successful, but even just being a participant! (you know me and press releases for promoting my business!)

I was a Silver Medalist and Bronze Medalist by going four for four in the two of the image cases I submitted. Proud of those results indeed. I also managed to earn a Third Place GIA Award in the Non-Event Album category with architectural images made from a personal project captured at the Phoenix Art Museum.

coates architectureOne of the Spreads from my Third Place album

Additional AZPPA success

A big salute to the other big award winners from the Arizona Professional Photographers Association.

dave shields photoDavid Shields, CPP, getting third place for his image “Oh the Places She Will Go” in the High School Senior Portrait category. Image © Dave Shields 2019 All Rights Reserved

heidi mixonThis is by Heidi Mixon in the Top Ten in the Portrait category and will be one of the images representing the United States in the Photographic World Cup!!! Image © Heidi Mixon 2019 All Rights Reserved

Both Heidi and Dave are part of Studio Three Images in Phoenix.

There were other AZPPA peeps that did well too but these are the highlights. It has been so amazing to watch those that enter competition accelerate their photographic voices so quickly. AZPPA is having their image competition this weekend. Time to get in! If you are looking for feedback on your work with PPA Approved Jurors and  Jurors in Training you can get in to get scores too. Awards are for AZPPA members only. AZPPA Convention

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob