Doug Walker earns Silver Medal at 2018 International Photographic Competition!

Olympia, Washington – Doug Walker of Walker Photography in Olympia, Washington earned a Silver Medal at the Professional Photographers of America's 2018 International Photographic Competition (IPC). Walker’s work will be on display at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Jan. 20-22, 2019. This International Photographic Exhibit is held in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers.

The IPC is a premier competition for photographers often hailed as the Olympics of the photography world. A panel of 32 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,073 total submitted entries at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. Judged against a standard of excellence, 2,622 images were selected for the General Collection and 513 (roughly 10 percent) were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection—the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated “Loan Collection” book and over 365 selected General Collection images will be published in the “Showcase” book by Marathon Press.

'ON THE CUTTING EDGE' Included in the prestigious LOAN collection. (93 points)

His Open category case went 4/4 with one image, titled: “On the Cutting Edge” voted for inclusion in the prestigious LOAN Collection. The image was challenged up from an initial score of 88 to 93 after a raucous debate. This final print judging realized another Silver Medal, a respectful fourth medal in six years of entering the IPC. And a most satisfying one as it was an all-architectural true passion.

Each year Print competition strikes fear in the hearts of photographers. Some rush towards it; others run from it!


Right! Why enter at all? Who cares what others think of my images? Isn’t the process flawed?  Aren’t these scores subjective? Isn’t the process a waste of time? I have heard them all…and probably uttered them along the way. Let’s face it, Print Competition is not for the faint of heart. It exposes you and your creative processes to critical examination.

Some insights:  

Q: Why enter at all?  

A:  Entering print competition provides opportunities for personal growth. Nobody wants to be in a rut. And by doing the same things over and over you run that risk. Entering print competition gets you out of the rut and allows for personal growth.

Q: Who cares what others think of my images?

A:  No one creates in a vacuum, and success is very much tied to relationships. By taking a chance and entering you are exposing yourself to other people and building relationships. You will discover that there are lots of great ideas and suggestions that will flow your way as a result of risking to hear what others think of your images.

Q: Aren’t these scores subjective? Isn’t the process flawed?

A:  The judging process is borne of much research and is a culmination of tremendous effort through the years. Certainly there is an element of subjectivity in all scoring of photography as no two prints are alike. Each one is unique and judged against Judging is scored against “The 12 Elements Of A Merit Image” as listed on the Professional Photographers of America’s website.

At the end of the day print competition remains an outlet for personal expression and creativity,  An integral part of a personal growth strategy.  It's a journey; not a destination...and comes with great highs and crushing lows. But it always remains a process that is most rewarding if properly embraced.

These are the Doug's four images and ticket to this year's dance!


This was the proverbial self-assigned personal journey image for me. I had a desire to work in black and white again and this was just the ticket. An East elevation of Washington State Department of Natural Resources in Olympia, Washington I had passed by scores of times before. I had always loved way the architect brought the facades together to a sharp and rather abrupt point. And so I took my created image round trip through post production, layer by layer, working to direct the eye and isolate the viewer where I wanted. The overhead of the Canon 5DS R was a blessing. And thanks to my Wacom pen, the post process was tactile and immersive. After several rounds wrestling with tones the image I had locked in my head was born.  It first burst on the scene as a 20"x20" printed piece printed by the great folks at American Color Imaging (ACI)...Thanks again Pat, where I entered it into the Professional Photographers of Washington (PPW) annual print competition earlier this year. It scored scored an impressive 86 at PPW but I chose to 'break the proverbial seal' to make a few minor changes before entering at the IPC where it scored 93 and went ‘Loan’.


This dusk image was an image created on assignment for Ron Thomas of Thomas Architecture Studios (TAS Olympia) and is of the 321 Lofts building at dusk. It was a 'signature' dusk image we do for each project. I initially captured red taillights swooping through the scene but decided not to include them in my submission. Call me chicken if you will, but a friend and print sage shared with me that it just might be that one thing the judges hang on and object to. Never a good thing!!  When at that creative fork in the road - choose wisely!  The color harmony of this front facade working against the gradated sky was simply perfect! 


This image is the back side elevation of the Billy Frank Building, a space I had photographed earlier in the year for the Low Income Housing Institute. I discovered this quite by accident while working to capture an adjacent building at dawn. The early morning rime ice blotched the other structure so was to be a fail. As I turned to leave I saw this yellow/blue delicious contrasted image right in front of me, and at dusk even more electric! And so I hustled to create the image, working hard to gain elevation on a ladder as security fencing and barbed wire blocked my view. Success! Another testament to not giving up on concept. Add a tiny post composite element and 'voila', 'The Ascent' was born.


This fourth and final entry in my case was self-assigned. I had watched this space unfold and had driven by it as it went up. I wanted to see it in all it's final glory so ventured up to create this clean, dusk image of the new 'Amazon Spheres' building in Seattle, Washington. I am always stoked for Dusk photography...That brief window of time about 30 minutes after sunset when buildings come alive!!

No matter what print competition remains an outlet for personal expression and creativity,  An integral part of my personal growth.  It's a journey; not a destination...and comes with great highs and crushing lows. But it always remains a process that is most rewarding if properly embraced.