Welcome to The Twelve Elements Podcast Show Notes site. The Twelve Elements Podcast highlights the work competition work done by professional photographers. The name comes from the Twelve Elements that judges use during Professional Photographers of America Print Competition every year. Every year thousands of photographers from around the world submit images for judges at local, state, district and and international levels. Print competition provides a unique venue for professional photographers to show off their best and most creative work to help them better their craft.

The 12 Elements

The elements the judges use in competition include the following:

1.) Impact covers 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.

2.) Technical excellence addresses the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color contribute to quality of the final image.

3.) Creativity of and image includes the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.

4.) Style includes a number of features that apply 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.

5.) Composition contributes 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.

6.) Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used, either physical or digital, should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.

7.) 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.

8.) Center of Interest draws attention to a 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.

9.) Lighting refers to how the image-maker used like to define dimension, shape and roundness. Whether the light applied to an image comes from man-made or natural sources, proper use of it should enhance an image.

10.) Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.

11.) Technique includes the printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more, the image-maker applied to an image.

12.) Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. Art can have that beautiful ability to allow each viewer to collect their own message or read their own story into an image.

PPA Ratings

At levels below the International Print Competition (IPC), the images are scored on a scale from 1-100.

100 – 95: Exceptional
94 – 90: Superior
89 – 85: Excellent
84 – 80: Deserving of a Merit
79 – 75: Above Average
74 – 70: Average
69 – 65: Below Exhibition Standards

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