PPA Features Dan Frivalt Episode

I’m not sure if you saw it, but the PPA featured the episode with Dan Frievalt a couple weeks ago. That episode has been a hit with the listeners. It didn’t take long for it to hit the this show’s top five listened-to episode. That is pretty exciting stuff. I’m also playing with some additional ideas, and I’d like your feedback.

Looking for Feedback

I’m considering putting together a newsletter that combines a month’s worth of show notes together to make things easier to find. Another thing I’m looking at doing are transcripts of the shows. If these ideas appeal to you, I would love to know. And if they don’t, well, I’d like to know that to.

Let’s get to this week’s interview. When going through the audio in post-production, I found a couple spots where the recording gets a little fuzzy. I’ve cleaned it up a bit, so I hope it doesn’t affect it too much for you.

Interview with Woody Walters

We’re fortunate to have Woody Walters on the show today. Woody is a consummate artist, print competition judge, professional photographer, teacher and speaker. For years, he has shared his artist vision and passion for photography with photographers from around the world. His Digital Photo Candy website provides a unique resource for photographers and digital artists for creating edgy, mind-blowing images.

During the Woody mentions Frank Frazetta as an illustrator. I remember his work from a Molly Hatchet album and several books I read during the 80s and 90s.

Make sure you check out the images we talked about and for links to his websites and other items of interest.

As always, feel free to give ratings and comments on iTunes or leave comments on the show notes site, too. If you’ve got questions, you can post them on site or via twitter using #12elements.

My First Experiences with Print Competition



It can be a little intimidating to do print competition. I remember the first time I heard about the 12 Elements of a Merit Print. The one that confused me the most was Storytelling. I wondered, “How are we supposed to tell a story with a single image?” It seemed a little crazy to me.









What a Witch

What a Witch

Then I sat in on a print competition. Wow. That changed everything for me. I saw images that had impact and stories and technical excellence. The judges sat coolly at the front of the room and could score images in seconds. I had barely registered a fraction of the detail of the image before the score was announced, and the next title was being read.










After the judging was over I could talk to the photographers that made the images and found out all the stories behind their images. That is where this podcast gets its roots….from the stories behind all the wonderful photos that professional photographers call their best.






Married Couple

Married Couple

In this episode, I talk about the following images that didn’t merit at IPC this year. You can see the images and see find out what the judges had to say in their critiques by listening to the episode.

Listening to Some Print Competitions

In several of the episodes, my guests and I have talked a bit about what judges say during the actual print competition. I started thinking that maybe everyone isn’t familiar with that. I found a great website called printcompetition.com. It has a very modest fee ($10/three months), but it allows you to see images and listen to some print judging. If you’re curious about what that is all about, this might give you a pretty good idea.

Interview with Dan Frievalt

I interview Master Photographer and national speaker Dan Frievalt of Frievalt Photography in Green Bay, WI. I’ve been trying to get Dan on the podcast for a while and I was finally able to. If you’ve not seen Dan’s work or see him speak, I seriously think it is something you should do. He does some mind blowing stuff that has a great balance of grit and beauty….if that makes any sense.

Dan has also taught at After Dark and he shares some stories from those experiences.

Dan and I talk about several of his IPC 2015 images and the stories behind them. Dan really puts it all out there and talks about the story behind each of them. Dan also talks about his cadre of friends that provide him support and help be extra eyes for his images to help him improve. I think that is an important aspect of print competition. Toni Harryman talked about that, too, so if you’d not heard that interview, I suggest checking it out.

Lastly, if you like Dan’s images and would like to watch his process, he has started a new educational site called, The VALT. Dan publishes regular videos out there that show how he gets from his source to final images. It is pretty cool and he leaves nothing out.

Baller, By Dan Frievalt

If You Want Peace, Prepare for War

Urban Warrior



Connect and Chat with the Show

If you have requests for questions for future shows, let me know and I’ll talk about them on future episode. You can email me or hit me up on twitter. My twitter handle is markoehler. Use the hashtag 12elements to help me find those tweets.

I want to thank all of the loyal listeners of the podcast. The show passed its 1000th download in the last week, and in the last couple days downloads have increased eight times what they have been. Thank you for listening and sharing the show with others that you think appreciate the information and stories behind the great images. This show continues to talk about images, but with a little twist because the images of our guest today differ from a lot of images we normally see. I hope you enjoy the stories and the images.


Fish Talk Radio

Print Competition Interview

On this episode of I talk with Master Photographer Thom Rouse from Chicago, IL. We’re lucky to have Thom. He has some cool stuff. I have his book titled, “Latent Icons,” which has an amazing collection of beautiful images. Thom’s art integrates fine portrait with surreal elements to create something I find unique.  I met Thom last February at the Iowa Winter convention. He served as one of the print competition judges and was one of the final keynote speakers for the convention. I admire Thom work as it cuts across some of of the traditional images that we see in print competition, but still maintains a connection to the 12 Elements.

Comments and Tweets

If you have requests for questions for future shows, let me know and I’ll talk about them on future episode. You can email me or hit me up on twitter. My twitter handle is markoehler. Use the hashtag #12elements to help me find those tweets.

Built to Last

Built to Last

The Way To Como

The Way To Como

The Colors of Varenna

The Colors of Varenna

View of Saint Giulio Isle

View of Saint Giulio Isle

If you’ve been watching Facebook over the last week, you have probably seen all the amazing 2015 PPA IPC print competition loan images being shared. There are some incredible professional photographers out there. I believe each of those images has a story behind it. That is what I want this podcast to be about: the stories behind great photos. I try to reach out to as many of the photographers as I can, but I know I don’t get to see all of them. If there are images that you think have a great story behind them, let me know, and I will try to get an interview with the photographer that made them.

This episode features an interview with Mark Bortz of Fusion Edge Photography in Robins, IA. Mark hails from my neck of the woods. I see him and his wife at many of the Iowa events I attend. I’m excited to talk with him today about some great travel photography he entered in the International Print Competition this year. His images went 4 for 4 in the photographic open category.

If you have requests for questions for future shows, let me know and I’ll talk about them on future episode. You can email me or hit me up on twitter. My twitter handle is markoehler . Use the hashtag #12elements to help me find those tweets.

I hope you have all had a good week since the last episode came out.

Today I’m talking with speaker, International Print Competition (IPC) judge, and Professional Photographer Dennis Hammon of Hammon Photography in Idaho Falls, ID. I met Dennis back in the late 90s when he spoke at McKennavention. I’ve always been amazed by his images. He was a judge at the Iowa print competitions a couple years ago and just helped judge at the 2015 IPC. We talk about Dennis’ 2014 IPC images shown here. Please make sure you go out to Dennis’ site to see more of his work and keep up with what is going on with him.

Architect's Dream

Architect’s Dream


Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend







As I work on booking guests for the show, I try to mix things up between the different genre of pictures. I try then to gauge the popularity of the shows based on the number of downloads or listens it has. Most of the  time we talk about pictures that have done well and not those that haven’t done so well. I do that because I don’t want to put people on the spot for images that didn’t merit. I guess, I don’t want to embarrass my guests.

But I have not problem embarrassing myself. My IPC 2015 case went 0  for 4. This week I got my critiques from the case. I thought it might make an interesting show to hear what the judges had to say about those images and areas they thought they were weak. For copyright concerns, I can’t broadcast the actual comments, but I can paraphrase what they said and my thoughts on those comments. If you think that is something you’d like to hear and incorporate into your work, let me know in the show notes or drop me an email.



In A Nutshell

In A Nutshell

Well, PPA just finalized the 2015 International Print Competition last week. If you’re like me and you watched any of the streaming of the print judging, you are most likely aware of the incredible images entered this year. I hope you felt confident enough in your images this year to enter, and if you did, I hope you did well. If not, I suggest thinking about images for next year and maybe get inspiration from the guests on the show.


I Think I Hear Him

I Think I Hear Him

Today I’m talking with Certified Professional Photographer and national speaker Bree Barber Adams of Bebe Charm Photography in Mansfield, TX. Bree just completed her PPA Masters degrees at the 2015 International Print Competition. I only recently became familiar with Bree’s work. I have to say, she does great competition and client images. In April, one of her images graced the cover of Professional Photographer magazine.

In the episode Bree talks about the images she entered at the 2015 PPA International Print Competition and how taking a risk gained helped her achieve her PPA Master Photographer Degree.

Make sure you check out Bree’s work on her website. Since several of the images that we talk about were selected for the PPA Loan Collection and the final awards have not be made, but I can share these. The other the images can’t be shared yet, but come back to this page for a link to those images.

This week I do an interview with Adam Hunter of Cedar Rapids, IA. I’ve seen Adam’s work for years, and he has some great illustrative images I wanted to talk to him about. Adam also works as an instructor for Hawkeye Institute of Technology, which has an incredible professional photography program. Make sure you check out the notes page for a link to Adam’s images. You should go to his site to check out all his work. It’s great stuff.

This podcast may sound a little different this week. I usually do my interviews on the phone because I’m talking to photographers from all over. This week, I talk to Adam Hunter, who lives in the same city I do. This fact gave me the opportunity to do a face-to-face interview. I’m not sure about Adam, but I think it went great. It had its technical challenges so that you might have a little background noise near the end of the interview. I tried to remove it, but I wasn’t  100% successful.

During the interview Adam mentions a couple different things. I thought it would help if I chased them down for you.

John Alton: Adam mentioned Alton in his description of Tribute to Film Noir.

Light Pillar: The beam of light he talked about “Off Until Tomorrow” I think is called a Light Pillar.

This episode features an interview with Kim Stephenson of PawPrint Pixs from the Chicago area. As you can probably guess, Kim specializes in pet photography. If you’ve watched a PPA Print Competition before, you surely noticed lots of images with animals. Kim seems to have an eye for photographing our furry friends. Unlike the previous guests, Kim Stephenson has just started entering images at the national level. Make sure you check out Kim’s images so you can see what we are talking about.

I’m in a similar boat. While I had entered images into my state competitions for years, last year was the first time I had images at the district and International Print Competition (IPC). A lot of that comes from master photographers and judges encouraging me to make changes to my images and getting them submitted.

If you plan on entering your first competition, I encourage you to talk to the judges to find out how you can improve your images. I find that many are more than happy to help out.

Bob Coates mentioned in the last episode that his competition images have helped him improve his client work. I believe that competition has helped me and my clients, too. So, if you’re nervous about entering, I say, “Don’t worry too much, but just get in there and try.” You’ll probably hear Kim and I talk about that in this interview, too.



This episode features an interview with Bob Coates. Bob is a professional photographer, author, speaker, and affiliate judge. He lives and works in Sedona, AZ. He’s written several books and trade articles, and Panasonic sponsors him as one of its US Lumix Luminary speakers. We talk about his 2014 images from both his Photographic Open and Master Artist cases.

You can see the images Bob and I talk about on his website, so please go check out those out. I think you’ll agree they are great. For his image, “Thistle,” we discuss Helicon Focus from Helicon Software. It seems like a really interesting piece of software.

If you have questions or ideas for this or future episodes, please leave them in the comments section below. I really want to hear from you.