Architectural Photography - Delivering Magic Through Post Capture Artwork

Before/After images of The Campus Lofts & Townhomes following post production artwork.

As an architectural photographer very often the image I desire cannot be created in camera. Living and working in the Pacific Northwest means weather can be 'iffy', and last minute punch-list items often provide obstacles to navigate onsite - and always at the worst possible time. :) So when a client calls with an image need but the project is in that ‘punch-list mode’ and the weather is 'headed South', how do I approach this challenge? Simple. I take charge as usual but make the magic happen with post production artwork!

"The Wacom Pen - mightier than the mouse!"

Creative post production artwork has been an essential step in my workflow since I pressed a Wacom Intuos 5 Medium tablet into service back in 2013. It very quickly changed the way I approach post production and opened up incredible new opportunities I had not even imagined possible including taking my images round trip to the top of the International Photographic Competition stage as a Diamond Photographer of the Year (2015) and Silver Medalist (2016).  As a heavy Wacom user I look back and note it did take a bit of time to gain fluency with all the custom settings, keys, shortcuts and setup specific to my artistic vision and workflow. But clearly it is now one of the most important tools in my creative arsenal. Today I cannot imagine working on my images without the finesse and control it provides.

The Wacom Intuos 5 Medium tablet is an essential piece of kit in my creative photography!

The Wacom Intuos 5 Medium tablet is an essential piece of kit in my creative photography!

When working an image in post production I move through an image examining each element, ultimately asking that critical question “does it help the image? or hurt it?".  If it is a distraction or not. If it is I remove it and rebuild the surrounding elements. There is no formula, and there are always limits. Some complex scenarios are simply too time consuming and beyond the scope of the assignment budget. But no matter what my clients' images always benefit through post capture artwork. 

The example above is a classic Before/After image showing the value of post production artwork. It is an image taken of the Campus Lofts and Townhomes, an 'adaptive re-use' project recently completed here in Olympia, Washington for Ron Thomas of Thomas Architecture Studio.  Designer and Business Manager of TARCSTUDIO Christine Van Duzer was thrilled upon seeing the results appear before her. She shared this nice comment: "Comparing the images side by side, the difference is simply stunning. The original photo accurately portrays the building, but the enhancements allow you to notice all of the gorgeous architectural details without distraction as the architect intended." Thank you Christine!

International Photographic Competition - Silver Medalist!

The results of this years International Photographic Competition are in the books following an exhaustive 5 days of judging. I am pleased to share out that I brought home a Silver Medal. I am feeling both blessed and relieved. It was a tough competition this year and the dates were accelerated over previous years. Can't wait til next year!!. The official release.

Doug Walker of Walker Photography earns a SILVER MEDAL from peers and jurors for high-quality photography.

OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON, August 11th, 2016Four photographs created by Doug Walker of Walker Photography in Olympia, Washington, have been accepted into the GENERAL Collection at the Professional Photographers of America's 2016 International Photographic Competition held this past week in Atlanta, Georgia. One of his images was further elevated into the prestigious LOAN Collection earning him a SILVER Medal. This is Walker’s third medal in five years competing in the International Photographic Competition. The work will be on display at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 8-10, 2017. This International Photographic Exhibition is held in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers.

 Beast of Industry

A panel of 46 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,700 total submitted entries at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. Judged against a standard of excellence, just over 2,428 images were selected for the General Collection and 1,007 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 200 selected General Collection images will be published in the "Showcase" book by Marathon Press.

 The Sentinel

The image titled "Beast of Industry", Walker’s architectural photograph will be in the International Photographic Exhibition alongside other top photographic works from the competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute one of the world's largest annual exhibits of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof.

 Bridge Across Time

Walker has also qualified as an Elite Member of the Professional Photographers of America. PPA Elite Membership is a designation conveyed to members who are both Master of Photography (M.Photog.) and a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), have all four of their prints accepted into the General Collection same year and have earned two non-photographic merits during the current year. 

 Mark Of Distinction

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international non-profit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA has roots that date back to 1869. It assists nearly 30,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at ppa.com. As a PPA Councilor for Washington State I stand ready to help both current members and others who have questions or concerns.

Contact: Doug Walker
Photo: 360-943-1293
Email: doug@walkerphoto.com

Doug Walker receives ASP State Elite Award at Professional Photographers of Washington Banquet

Monday night I received the ASP State Elite Award for the State of Washington. The award was presented by Rob Behm, M.Photog.,Cr., CPP, and new Vice President of the Professional Photographers of America who joined us at the banquet. The ASP State Elite Award is presented to the ASP member in good standing with the highest scoring entry at their State Print Competition. It was such an honor to receive it and especially in front of such great friends and peers. A hearty 'Thank You' to Miller's Professional Imaging for their dedication to our industry and for sponsoring this award!! As is tradition I created an image of the award. This images is a modified Black-Line Lighting images coupled with a stylized fabric. Now it is on to Western District and eventually to the International Photographic Competition in August 2016.  ‪#‎PPW‬ #PPA #IPC #‎AmericanSocietyofPhotographers‬ ‪#‎printcompetition‬ #‎MillersProfessionalImaging‬

Diamond Photographer of the Year - 2015 International Photographic Competition

I am thrilled to share the news that my submission to this years International Photographic Competition has earned me a coveted Diamond Photographer of the Year award!  Yep, just hanging out here on cloud 9!  AND if that is not enough fun I also qualified to receive my Master of Photography (M.Photog. degree. I am so jazzed about this. All four images will be published in the 2015 Loan Collection Book. Harmony will be featured in the January 2016 Professional Photographer magazine in the Diamond Photographers. I take great satisfaction in seeing my passion for excellence and mastery of craft celebrated. I continue to share out this infectious passion with clients every day. 

Below are the images that brought me to this dance!

HARMONY

This was a single clarinet photographed to reveal the highly specular surfaces and form of the instrument using my Einstein E640 by Paul C. Buff with many diffusion panels, cards and carefully placed wispy-doos. Once it reached my satisfaction I then thoroughly extracted the instrument and went into artistic vision mode in the computer.  I used a step and repeat process to taste and using multiple layers went to work on the color harmony and textured background.  Subtle and nuanced musical references were included and screened back sufficiently so that the viewer had to actually ‘discover’ them.  My vision for this piece was to create an artistic image with impact that would draw viewers in, hold them, and make them stay a while.  This image scored a perfect ‘100’ at the Western District Print Competition.

DAILY GRIND

This image was the reprise of last years “American Made’ which was the top PPW photograph 2014 and achieved a Merit print at IPC, however did not make Loan Collection. My purpose to revisit the image was personal, as I was determined on taking this concept image to Loan status.  I worked with Dean Schmidtke, owner of Capital Heating & Cooling in Lacey, Washington, on revisiting this his machine shop space.  Refinements in lighting, stylizing, and refinement by way of more Wacom time in post meant an image with much more impact and story-telling ability. Scored 96 at Western District.

ON THE EDGE OF NIGHT

This is an architectural dusk portrait of the Port of Kalama Interpretive Center created for the Berschauer Group Inc.  The actual final dusk image included a parking lot left and drain area near foreground both functional elements in the actual space.  For competition, where the lines of reality become blurred I transformed the image into a serene destination space with a reflecting pond in the foreground. The artwork was a result of quality zen time with my trusty Wacom pen and just imagination.  The litmus test for elements being…"if it does not help the image; it hurts the image”......aka eliminate it. Thanks Bry Cox!  The entire front and left side had to be rebuilt to taste, so as to balance the image and provide impact. Fun times!  Interesting to note this image scored an 81 (Merit) at Western District but went ‘Unanimous Loan’ at IPC.

REFLECTIONS OF INDUSTRY

For my final image I had always wanted to photograph the Museum of Glass building in Tacoma, Washington. And especially at Dusk, or Dawn as this image was.  Interesting to note that I had a bout of the flu but made the journey anyway at 4 a.m. that fateful and sub-zero morning in February.  The sun being some nine degrees below the horizon and the mercury below freezing I could barely use my hands. It was a painful process I was quite honestly under dressed for but plowed through none-the-less.  Both reflecting ponds were frozen over with unsightly bits of frozen irregularity. ‘Frequency Separation' to the rescue to champion that problem!  This scored 91 at Western District and also went ‘Unanimous Loan’ at IPC.