Creating Visualizations in Photography

Reeds Along Merced River - Yosemite National Park

Reeds Along Merced River – Yosemite National Park

As a member of Oregon Professional Photographers Association and Professional Photographers of America, I have learned how to edit my photographs according to the 12 Elements of a Merit Print. The Photographic Exhibitions Committee (PEC) of PPA uses the 12 elements  as the “gold standard” to define a merit image.

1.) Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time.

2.) Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself .

3.) Creativity is 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 is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image.

5.) Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together 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.

6.) Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look.

7.) Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together can enhance its emotional appeal.

8.) Center of Interest is the 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 —the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, 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 is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.

12.) Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination.

That being said and adhering to the 12 Elements of a Merited Print, I have learned how to create what I want you to see, “It’s not what you see, it’s what I want you to see.  By the use of creative dodging, burning and use of contrast, I am able to guide the viewer through the photograph to what I want a you to see’.  A quote by Ansel Adams.