PPA Photographer of the Year Award 2017

Chris Smith, M. Photog., PPA Master Photographer, competed in the National finals for the Professional Photographers of America’s International Print Competition. Professional photographers from all over the world start competing with their best images in March and through a series of qualifying entries the best of the best are submitted to PPA national headquarters in Atlanta, GA. This year, there were over 6000 qualifying entries. 

PPA International Print Competition

Chris’ images were judged against the highest professional standards using 12 elements of scoring by a panel of 5 judges. The judges have not seen the images until they are asked to give a score based on Impact, technical excellence, color harmony, and composition, among other elements. The benchmark for PPA Professionals is a “Merit” Score of 80 or higher. The scale of scoring is more logarithmic than linear, and a score of 80 is far better than a score of 79, and an score of 82 far better again, and so on. Roughly 45% of the entries scored 80 or higher, and less than 20% of entries score 85 or higher. If an image scores 85 or higher it is eligible for the prestigious “Loan Collection”, a collection of the BEST images entered from all over the world. The images are bound together in a collection and printed in a book at the end of the competition. Chris has had images entered in the book in 3 years past.

PPA Photographer of the Year Award

This year, Chris entered images in the Photographic Open Category, where the rules allow less digital manipulation, and the Master Artist Category, where the rules are less stringent for entry, but the judging is much more strict.  He had all 8 of his entries score 80 or higher. His Photographic Open Case earned scores of 80, 82, 86 and 86. Both of the scores of 86 were moved to the Loan judging where both were accepted into the Loan Collection. His Master Artist Case also earned scores of 82, 82, 86 and 96! The 96 was awarded the District LexJet Award for the best print by a Master in the 7 state region surrounding Texas. It was also accepted into the Loan Collection and will be published in the Loan book later this year.

Double Medal Winner

There were 6200 images entered in the competition by 1250 photographers. Chris was one of only 21 to have all 4 images in both the Artist and Open categories achieve the Merit or Loan status.  His Photographic Open Case earned him the title of PPA Silver Medal Photographer of the Year 2017.  His Master Artist case earned him the title of PPA Gold Medal Photographer of the Year 2017.  This is the first time Chris has earned two medals at the IPC Print Competition.  Please enjoy Chris’ entries for 2017 in the gallery.  On some of the images, you’ll notice a series of guide prints along with the main image.  The format of the Master Artist category requires the maker to display the source images they used to create the final print.  The difficulty of the category is elevated because the maker can’t “fool the judges”.  The analogy is that a chef has to bring all of the ingredients to your table and prepare the meal, leaving no question about how and why the final product was created.  
You can see the full results of the PPA International Print Competition here.
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