On January 20, 2014, I attended the monthly meeting of the Austin Professional Photographer's Association. Each month there is a print competition and the members in attendance vote for their favorite prints for that night. This was only the second time I had entered a print and was pleased to take home a 3rd place ribbon for my submission, a mono tone print of my friend Greg Jones playing his guitar. This photo was captured at Greg's home after I had completed a family photo shoot for him. I set up a gray paper backdrop and used one "beauty dish" camera left to provide a directionally harsh lighting scenario. Post processing included the use of Nik filters in Photoshop to add a measure of grit to the image.
These monthly print competitions are informal and certainly not equivalent to the judged print competitions many members participate in yearly to qualify for PPA merits leading to the master craftsman recognition. I spoke briefly to Maria Bernal, a national PPA judge about what changes I should make in this print to qualify for a merit and got some great advice. After making those changes, I may enter this print this summer.
In the first photo below, I am on the far right. First place ribbon went to my mentor and friend Tim Biabak. I have often attended his instructional sessions on portrait photography at his studio. Entering this specific print was at his encouragement, so thank you Tim for giving me the confidence to do so.