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.

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.

ppa image competition district

ppa image competition district

Coming Soon PPA’s IPC District Competitionppa image competition logo

IPC. Stands for International Photographic Competition from Professional Photographers of America. (PPA) If you are a PPA member it’s time to finish creating those images and get them printed and/or uploaded.

I am a huge fan of PPA’s Imaging Competition. I believe that it had a strong indfluence on me becoming the image maker I am today. My growth as a photographer and artist was accelerated and continues to keep my skills moving forward. I highly encourage you to get in. Remember that you are not getting into image competition to compete with others. It is to compete with yourself.

I’ll be helping to judge the District Competitions at PPA Headquarters in Atlanta from the 5th through 7th of June. Judging will start on the 2nd of June and you can tune in to hear it live. This link will be valid once IPC starts. You do not need to be a PPA member to watch and learn. If you a PPA member and are in the Atlanta area come on by to see the competition live. This is the warm ups to the IPC in August. IMages that do well in Districts automatically earn a Merit at IPC.

Here are some links to some of my past IPC results.

PPA Artist entries 2018

PPA Open entries 2018

Kinda cool that PPA choose one of my images in the PPA Loan Collection to help promote the 12 elements!

Learn about the twelve elements of a Merit image

You have a little over a month from today to complete your registration. Here are the details…


  • $129.00 for PPA members registered by 5:00pm EST May 8, 2019. (non‐members: $65 additional)
  • Please note, any PPA member that entered a district competition will pay a reduced case fee for IPC of $50.00 for PPA members registered by 5:00pm EST, July 18, 2019
  • $164.00 for PPA members registering May 8, 2019 after 5:00pm through May 22, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST No registrations accepted after May 22, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST
  • $39.00 per case for image critiques. Please allow 4 weeks following the completion of the competition. Critiques will be posted in your “My PPA” account
  • Physical print entry cases must be received by May 29, 2019

    Best of luck to you in your quest to become a better photographer and image creator!

    Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

tuesday painterly art – michelle parsley part two

tuesday painterly art – michelle parsley part two

Tuesday Painterly Art – Part Two
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 ot the post.

Hear again from Michelle as she continues her talk about her work and producing images for PPA’s International Photographic Competition

michelle parsley image

“Another glimpse into my imagination would be “Get off my lawn!”. Who hasn’t thought of
finding a Leprechaun? Just me?? Oh, ok… ;)

I absolutely love history. You can see the influence of times gone by in images like, “Secret
Admirer”, “Patchwork”, “Waiting for Papa”, and “All in a Day’s Work”. These were some of my
favorite images I’ve ever created — partly because of the historical context, but also because I
built the “sets” in scale miniature and composited my subjects into the scenes. None of those
rooms are more than 12 inches tall!

michelle parsley image“Secret Admirer”

michelle parsley image “Patchwork”

michelle parsley image“Waiting for Papa”

michelle parsley image




“Source of Wisdom”

Easily one of the craziest things I have ever done for print competition was “The Source of
Wisdom”. This print really has to be seen in person to appreciate it. I knew by adding 3D
elements to the print, I was risking being disqualified — but it was something I just had to try. I
have an absurd amount of time in both building the set (I made over 300 books the size of my
thumbnail!!), compositing over 50 frames together, and then adding the miniature books to the
face of the print to give the final piece a 3D feel. At one point I found myself VACUUMING the
print to be 100% sure none of my elements would damage anyone else’s entry. Thankfully –
the judging panel really understood the story and rewarded me with a loan. One word of
caution — if you ever attempt a 3D print, ALL of the 3D elements must be below the face of the
mat or you could potentially be DQ’d for damaging other entries. Proceed with caution!”

Michelle Parsley, M.Photog, M. Artist, Cr., CPP

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




silver and bronze medalist at IPC

silver and bronze medalist at IPC

Silver and Bronze Medals Earned in PPA

Bob Coates of Bob Coates Photography is honored by peers and jurors for high-quality photography

Sedona, AZ – Bob Coates was named a Siler and a Bronze Medalist during Professional Photographers of America’s 2018 International Photographic Competition. Coates’ work will be on display at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Jan. 20-22, 2019. This International Photographic Exhibit will be held in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers.

bob coates photo

Bob Coates of Bob Coates Photography

A panel of 32 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from 5,073 total submitted entries at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. Judged against a standard of excellence, 2,622 images were selected for the General Collection and 513 (roughly 10 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 and over 365 selected General Collection images will be published in the “Showcase” book by Marathon Press.

PPA medalist photoTwo new medals came in the mail this week from PPA!

The level of the award is determined by how many of those four images receive the highest possible honor: acceptance into the PPA Loan Collection, which is displayed at photographic exhibitions, conventions and other photography events. Coates was named a Silver Medalist in the Photographic Open Category, meaning that one of his four merited images entered the PPA Loan Collection. Coates was also a Bronze Medalist in the Artist Category with all four of his submitted images earning a Merit score.

About PPA:
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international non-profit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA’s roots date back to 1869. It assists 30,000 members through protection, education, and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers Be More at