Tag Archives: PPA

Last Day and Exam

Last Day and Exam

It is the last day and exam for CPP.  I’m the exam proctor which means I stick around for 3 extra hours to administer the exam.

I had three people taking the exam.  After it was over, I loaded the exams in to a FedEx envelope and drove them to the Victor FedEx store to ship them back to PPA for scoring.

On my way to Victor I missed the exit and ended up all the way at the I-90/390 interchange.  That added about 45 minutes to my travels.  So, by the time I got home it was about 5:15pm.  I was tired and beat.

I pulled leftovers from the fridge for dinner and then went to my office to catch up on my blogging.  (It is now Saturday, and I’m still catching up.  Oh, after this one, I will be caught up!)


Today is Super One Day

Today is Super One Day

Today is Super One Day for PPA.  I’m teaching a class here.  I got up at 6:45am to start the preparations.  The students arrived on time and we had a great class.

copyright 2015 db walton

Me and My Students

Part way in to the morning, Corel Painter 2015 just stopped working for me.  I re-installed it and it still didn’t work.  Then, I got an idea to change the permissions on the folder where the software resides and that fixed the problem.  It was very disconcerting to have this happen while teaching a class on Painter.

Once it was working it was a huge relief.  We moved on and got through the instruction.   It was a fun class.




After class we sat around and talked for a while.  Then, it was time for me to clean things up.  It was so tempting to just let it sit.  But, I disciplined myself and I got it done.

Selecting Images

Selecting Images

Selecting Images for International Print Competition (IPC) is quite the chore.  Every year, PPA (Professional Photographers of America) hosts a huge print competition.

I anguish over the selection process.  And, for some crazy reason, time slips away from me and all of a sudden I only have a few weeks to come up with suitable images.

It would really be nice to have someone with a Master Artist eye could sit with me and say, “Yeah, that one… no, not that one… Okay, there’s a good one… oh, and that one there.”

Anyone qualified for the role?

A few years ago, I tried getting friends to help in the process.  (If you are one of them, please don’t take offense at what I’m about to say.)  The problem was they were all “yes-men”.  Everything was good.  Plus, one has to understand the process of Print Competition.

The ideal screener would understand the 12 elements of style and be able to say, “That needs this done and that done.”

Elizabethe suggested I not worry about print comp, but having a goal to shoot for gives me motivation.  Without that motivation I don’t get anything done.  I guess I’m just a goal-oriented type of person.

The weather is still cold.  I think this is the February Don McClean wrote about when he said, “February made me shiver.”

Yeah.  It’s cold.

STPP Presentation

STPP Presentation

Tonight was my STPP Presentation.  I drove for about 4 hours down to Pennsylvania to give a presentation to 10 professional photographers from the Southern Tier region.  I had good weather the entire way there and it remained that way after my presentation.

On my way there I stopped at the Priesthood Restoration Site in what used to be known as Harmony, Pennsylvania.  (Now the Oakland Township.)  They are coming along as you can see from these pictures…

copyright 2015 db walton

Priesthood Restoration Monument

copyright 2015 db walton

Priesthood Restoration Monument

The above two pictures are adjacent some railroad tracks.  (You can see the train cars in the background.)  On the other side is the Susquehanna River.  I’m standing by the highway which is going to be re-routed and a pedestrian underpass is already built.

copyright 2015 db walton

The New Chapel in Harmony

This will house the visitor’s center.

copyright 2015 db walton

Joseph’s and Emma’s Home

This is a recreation of the home Joseph and Emma stayed in.  This is where they had a son they named Alvin.  He died and is buried just east of here.

It was fun touring Byron Sands’ new studio.  He’s converted a huge pole barn in to quite the studio.

I presented my painting presentation where I teach photographers about nuances of painting and how they can impact their photography.  I also explain various techniques I use and the tools I use.



Back to Nashville

Back to Nashville

I’m heading back to Nashville today.  As I was driving, I was reminded of the song Donny and Marie used to sing, “I’m a little bit of Memphis and Nashville,  With a Little bit of Motown in my soul.”  I also found it odd that most of the FM radio stations were talking-head programs, but they do have a few good ol’ rock-n-roll stations.  (What happened to the day when AM was talk, and FM was straight music?)

Locating the Nashville Temple took me way off the beaten path.  At first, I thought I was heading the wrong direction, but the street names all seemed correct.  I finally found it.

copyright 2014 db walton

The Nashville Temple

After checking into my hotel I decided to just relax and take a nap.  After that I headed to Jack-in-the-Box for lunch.  Once I ate my lunch I took a good long nap.

I had about 1 hour so I thought I’d drive down the road and check out the Grand Ol Opry.   I’m not into country western music, but the place is iconic.  Why not check it out?

copyright 2014 db walton

Grand Ol Opry, Nashville, Tennessee

I was there for about 30 minutes. I stuck around just long enough to get a few pictures and a souvenir.  As I’m getting in my car, the couple next to me were getting out of their car.  The man had a black badge that read, “Elder Wood”.

I said, “Hi, Elder Wood. I’m Elder Walton.”

We got talking and when he found out I was from Palmyra, he said, “We have some friends serving a temple mission there.  Do you know John Morgan?”

I laughed and responded, “Yes.  I’m his landlord.  The Morgans rent a room from us in our house.”

copyright 2014 db walton

Elder and Sister Wood

What a small world!

It was then back to my hotel to grab the stuff for my presentation.  Of course, I left something at the hotel and once I got to the venue, I had to turn around and go back and pick it up, but I got there on time and had a wonderful time.


copyright 2014 db walton

Professional Photographers of Middle Tennessee Prize Winners

After my presentation they treated me to dinner at Ruby Tuesday.  I had a wonderful visit with them.

Losing It

Losing It

Some days I feel like I am losing it.  My mind, that is.  I’m losing my mind.

As I prepare to pack for my speaking tour, I can’t seem to find certain things.  I couldn’t find my cables for my hard drive.  Then, I couldn’t find the battery charger for my little Canon G12.  Then I couldn’t find my LensBaby discs.  Uhg.  Like I said, I’m losing it.

I think I’ve found everything now, and it is about time to call it a day and get some rest.  The plan is to bring Elizabethe home from church tomorrow and then head off to the airport.

Monday I speak in Memphis.  Tuesday in Nashville.  Wednesday I’m in Chattanooga.  Thursday I’m in Knoxville.  I’ve never been in any of those cities so it will be a new adventure.

I hope this tour will open the doors to more speaking engagements and teaching some of the week-long schools.

Earlier in the day I picked a full basket of tomatillos, jalapeños, and tomatoes.  I asked Elizabethe to make jalapeno and tomatillo sauce.  12 jars full!!!

She’s cooking the tomatoes down for pizza sauce.

All of this rain and the warm days have done well for our garden.


IPC 2014

IPC 2014

IPC 2014 is on its way.  IPC, oh, that’s International Print Competition.  It is an annual print judging by Professional Photographers of America.  It is a juried print scoring.  I’m not sure why they call it “competition” because your prints are scored on a 100 point scale, and there’s no grand prize, first, second or third place.

They started something new where they text you when your image is about to be judged.  Then, you can go on-line (and if the site is working) watch it on a streaming video.  I got a couple of texts this morning, and was able to watch mine.  They didn’t say anything except, “Merited” or “Did not merit.”

The good news is, one of my paintings (they have an artist category) received a merit.  A little later, I received a text saying it was up for review for the Loan Collection.  Now, the Loan Collection is huge deal.  Only the best make it in to the Loan Collection.  There, they are published in to the Loan book.  This is my first ever Loan image.  There is a second book, called the Signature Collection.  I’ve had 3 images that made the Signature Collection.  The Signature Collection is an honor, but not many people know about it.  However, the Loan Collection… that’s a huge deal.

copyright 2014 db walton

First Loan Collection Painting – Title: Lips


I spent most of the morning in bed hoping the rest would help me recover from my bronchial infection.  The prednisone has another undesirable affect and that is, it keeps you awake.  I got up, ate some breakfast, and then did some computer based work.  By late afternoon, the congestion and coughing was back.

How I hate being sick.


I wonder if posting anything on Facebook has any impact for good or bad.  It’s like Ben Franklin said, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

That said, I think it is important to stand by one’s convictions.  Some guy posted a meme about Israel being unfairly treated by the media.  Immediately, someone jumped in accusing Israel of genocide.  I had to state, “It’s ironic that defending one’s self in war is genocide, but out-right terrorism is not.

Not sure it will do any good.

Copyright notice:  All images, unless otherwise noted, are copyright 2014 db walton – all rights reserved.  Any re-blogging, reposting, image sharing, etc., are subject to written permission of the owner.

Workshop 2014 Day 4

Workshop 2014 Day 4

Workshop 2014 Day 4 progresses.  We’re kind of bringing it all together on our composite image.

I did a search for flying monkeys and I did not find a single image I could use.  I thought it would be fun to add flying monkeys to my composition, but ended up with dragons instead.  Don’t ask my why I wanted flying monkeys.  This has nothing to do with the Wizard of Oz.

copyright 2014 db walton

Work-in-Progress Final Composition

We had an awards banquet after class and they handed out our certificates of completion as well as our educational merits.

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Richard Sturdevant and Me


You can see Tom Mack in the background “photo bombing” the picture.  (Special thanks to Jim Cravacs for taking the picture with my camera.)

We still have tomorrow morning in class.  I guess they get better attendance at the banquet if they do it Thursday after class instead of Friday after class.

I’ve been thinking about some of the composite images I want to create on my own.  I’ve been toying with Book of Mormon scenes that you don’t see very often.  Everyone’s done Mormon and Moroni on the hill at the last battle.  They’ve done Samuel on the wall, and many more.  I want to do some images you don’t often see.



There is so much misinformation about excommunication in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I read today that Kate Kelly, the organizer of Ordain Women, has been excommunicated for apostasy.  It is important to note that we will only hear her side of what happened.  Such excommunication proceedings are confidential, and since she didn’t attend her own excommunication, she cannot even comment on what was said in the proceedings.

It’s a sad chapter in this story.  To me, the sadness is she doesn’t understand the church or the priesthood, and she chose to continue in her fallacies rather than learn and grow.

Someone who truly believes in what the church teaches realizes that the priesthood is not controlled by man.  It is controlled by revelation.  I have no doubt whatsoever, that the brethren have prayed about the matter, and the teachings we’ve received in Conference reflect the will of God.

Someone who truly believes would take their petition to God, in prayer, and not lead a campaign in the media and through picket lines.  God doesn’t work that way.  A good example would be God’s dealings with Sodom and Gomorrah.  Look how many times Abraham petitioned the Lord to save those cities. Or, look at what happened when Joseph Smith kept going to the Lord about the 116 pages.

The logical part of my mind says Kate Kelly would, if she truly believed in what the church teaches, repent.   To quote from their own web site:

Debra Jenson of Ordain Women said, “We are deeply saddened by this news. As Mormons we recognize the gravity of this action. We follow the directive of Mosiah 18:9 and will mourn with our sister as she mourns. We regret that there is no way to predict how local leaders will react to conversations about gender inequality in the Church—-many have been supportive in these discussions, others have not. Ordain Women will continue.

(Color added for emphasis.)

One would think a penitent attitude would be to teardown the web site and disband the movement.

It’s not that Kelly believes that women should hold the priesthood.  Albeit a misunderstanding of the priesthood and womanhood in the church, it is how she has gone about her movement.

The irony of the whole thing is quite simply this…. If someone believes the church should change in this regard, that very church would cease to be the same church as we know it.  They are talking about a doctrinal, not administrative, change.  The leadership of the church does not have the ability to change doctrine.

Anyone in doubt should go read the talks of the last General Conference of the church.  (It can be found at lds.org.)

I don’t know what type of person Kate Kelly is in real life.  She may be an absolutely delightful person.  There are indications from some of the things that have been posted on Ordain Women’s web site that she’s not an active member of the church.  (By that, I mean she doesn’t attend regularly.)  Again, I don’t know, but her comment to her bishop where she says her bishop doesn’t know her leads me to believe she didn’t attend much.  But, my conclusion may be wrong.

That said, I do not sympathize with her movement.  Those involved appear to have a gross misunderstanding of how the church operates and the roll of the priesthood.   I will admit that there are some individuals in the church who are on the other end of the stick who don’t understand how women should be treated (in or out of the church), but that is totally separate (and opposite) of church teachings and doctrine.


I managed to get my 4 images off to the Master Artist part of IPC.  I’ve decided, starting now, the entire year will be spent in preparation for next year’s IPC.

It is also good to know that others are very dissatisfied with how the Northeast competition was judged.  And, from some of my critiques, it sounds like some of the judges are imposing their own agenda on images.  I’m hoping IPC will prove me right on this.  If it does, I’m registering a complaint with PPA.


When it comes to technology, some people… trying to say this nicely… are so ignorant.  Based on their assumptions, DiVinci was a bad artist because he didn’t use a Mac, and Ansel Adams was a bad photographer because he wasn’t using a Nikon D800 or a Canon 5D Mk III.  (Of course, neither of those existed when they were alive, but I want to make the point obvious.)

It doesn’t matter!

Someone asked me, “Don’t you want to use the best tools at your disposal?”

Well, if I could afford them.  But, those tools only offer more options, and those options are not necessarily (a) going to be used and (b) going to affect the quality of the final product.

Aye, yi, yi.

So, the next time some one asks me if I’m Mac or PC, Canon or Nikon, the answer will be to show them an image and say, “Neither.  I’m an artist.”

copyright 2014 db walton

Feeling Much Better

Feeling Much Better

I’m feeling much better today.  No meetings are scheduled, and I can basically take things slowly.  My stomach is still a little sensitive, and I still shun certain foods, but at least I feel like doing more than just laying in bed.

Although I’m not up to going out and working in the yard, or even taking a long walk, I do feel well enough to get some computer work done.  So, I spent a good portion of the day responding to over-due e-mails and commenting on professional photographer issues at PPA.

Why is it people feel that just because they love to do something they can go in to business doing it?

Or, maybe I should ask this in a different way…

Why is it the jump in to business doing something they love without getting the ground work laid?

I just go nuts when I read a post by a fellow photographer who asks, “How do I show sales tax on my invoice?”


You total up all of the goods and services, multiply that by the tax rate, and then you sum the two together!  Actually, what she was thinking was she didn’t have to charge sales tax on her time.

Gosh!  Imagine buying a new car and on the sticker it showed the amount of labor costs to build the car.  Do you really think you could get away with not paying sales tax on that portion of the car?

Of course not.

Anyway, the way my accountant explains it is if your customer comes away with a tangible product, everything to produce that product is taxable. (I wouldn’t think mowing my lawn is a tangible product, but a service.  However, it too is subject to sales tax.)

I’m not an accountant, but I’m sure if you asked your accountant, or called the state sales tax board, you’d get an answer about your sales tax questions.  I’m very surprised how many business owners do not do that.  It’s not only crazy, it might be criminal.

Another one of my favorites are those who ask…

“How much should I charge?”

Well, if you have to ask, then you haven’t done your homework and you probably shouldn’t be at that stage of business yet.

Okay… I’ll stop.  As you can tell I’m feeling better and I really need to feel good enough so I can go talk a walk before my brain explodes.