The Twelve Elements of a Merit Image: Part 3

  • Instructors:
    Michael Timmons

    PPA Members:


    Michael Timmons is the resident expert on all things competition. Whether it’s the judging, the submission or even the reasons why to compete, Michael knows all.

    In this class – the third of a three-part series -- Michael completes his discussion on the 12 Elements of a Merit Print. With the thousands and thousands of images that judges see annually, the 12 elements create a judging standard that is consistent throughout all competitions. Once you understand the standard, you can better create a competition-winning print.

    In part 3, Michael takes you through the final four elements of a merit print.

    • Color Balance: Discuss how color can lend harmony to the image, and the effects balance, or imbalance, can have. Learn the pitfalls of oversaturation and how you can use color to enhance your image.
    • Technical Excellence: Competition is your chance to let your technical excellence shine! Michael discusses areas like print quality, mounting, sharpness, exposure and more. Learn what’s important to a judge and the flaws that are easily noticed.
    • Technique: Your technique is your approach to the picture, and should be unique to your style and image. Discover how judges weigh facets like printing, lighting, posing and film/ISO selection.
    • Storytelling: Your image is there to tell a story, and you want to evoke imagination and possibility or even the viewer’s own personal message that they glean from your work. Delve into the ways you can do this, and the importance it carries in the judging process.

    If you’re serious about taking your work to the next level, then mastering the 12 elements is key, and Michael gives you the knowledge right here. Not only will you know and understand these aspects of a merit print, you will have the ability and confidence to incorporate them into your own work.

    We value your feedback and want to know how we can improve. Please share your thoughts about the class here.

  • Duration: 0:18:59 Expand video to full screen for best view.

      • Michael Timmons

        M.Photog.M.Artist.Cr., CPP, F-ASP

        Michael E. Timmons owns and operates Gallery 143 and the Portrait Gallery in Vassar, Michigan. The Gallery clients includes NASCAR Teams, Hendricks Motor Sports, Drury Inns, and McDonalds Restaurants, in addition to banks, hotels, businesses, doctors' offices, and private collectors. The Portrait Gallery is an all inclusive portrait studio photographing portraits, high school seniors, children, families, commercial and underclass.

        Michael Timmons is a published poet, writer, artist, and photographer. He has been involved in the arts for over 38 years. Michael has lectured around the world and at local, state and regional conventions. He has presented programs several times at the Professional Photographers of America International Convention.  Michael is also an approved PPA International Juror and a PPA Jury Chairman.

        Michael has received his Master of Photography, Master Artist and Photographic Craftsman degrees from Professional Photographers of America, in addition to receiving the Imaging Excellence award.  Michael also was awarded the Fellowship degree from the American Society of Photographers. He is also a Certified Professional Photographer. 

        Michael is a past president of the Arkansas Professional Photographers Association, has served on the Portrait Group for Professional Photographers of America, including Chairman of the committee, and has also served PPA as a member of the Photographic Exhibitions Committee, including Vice Chairman, and several years as a PPA councilor.  Michael is currently serving on the Professional Photographers of America Board of Directors as Vice President for 2014 - 2015. Michael has also served on the board of directors of the Professional Photographers of the Ozarks. Michael has received the Arkansas Distinguished Service Award, the Michigan Service Award, and the American Society of Photographers Service Award. Michael also received the coveted “National Award,” from the Professional Photographers of America.

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