Prints That Win: Homestead

Veteran Michigan photographer, Kari Douma, has paid many visits to the winner’s circle at print competitions. Ever since her first competition in 2007, she has been capturing numerous show-stopping photographs that catch the judge’s eyes.

Her photograph, “Homestead,” is no exception. She won the Sunset Print Award at the PPA Northeast District in the spring, and was named the third-place winner at the National Sunset Print Awards in November. Coming across the scene captured in “Homestead” happened almost by chance.

An unseasonal spring snow in Montana inspired her to go for a ride in search of the perfect landscape. “We were driving on two track roads out in the middle of nowhere when I saw the scene and captured it,” she says. “I loved it so much that I wanted to come back at sunrise the next morning but I still liked the original one better from the day before.” After some slight editing in Photoshop, “Homestead” was primed to be a winner.

Prints That Win: Elizabeth

One bride’s fairytale wedding portrait turned out to be a winner for Richmond, Virginia photographer, Mary Fisk-Taylor.

Elizabeth Mary Fisk TaylorFisk-Taylor originally captured the 2016 Virginia PPA Sunset Award Winning photograph “Elizabeth” to be displayed during the bride’s wedding reception. “We actually have a studio in the basement of this 30,000 square-foot mansion. We get to shoot there all the time!” Fisk-Taylor says.

The natural light warped by the stunning windows and arches made the editing process straightforward. “I used natural light augmented with a Profoto B1 strobe in a Speedbox Diffuser 70 from XP Photo Gear,” she says. “Lightroom was used to tone down the highlights in the windows a bit and using the highlight slider and a little clarity to add mid-level contrast.”

Prints That Win: Morning on Mormon Row

A few quiet days alone in Grand Teton National Park was highly worthwhile for Sunset Print Award winning photographer, Jaki Miller. Although she is no stranger to the beauty of Mormon Row, an early morning sunrise gave her an entirely new perspective.

“I got there about a half hour before it was even light enough to see and before anyone even got there. I just didn’t want to miss it.” She set up her Fuji X-T1 on a tripod and began to capture the simplistic beauty as the sun started to rise.

The early sunlight was breathtaking, turning the mountains shades of pink and purple. Miller, however, wanted the rustic barn to be the star. She converted the picture to black and white using the Nik Silver Efex Pro and allowed the scene’s true beauty to shine through.

Prints That Win: Retreat

Christine Cook Retreat

Famous photographer Ansel Adams once said, “A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”

For Christine Cook, that is exactly what she had in mind while creating her 2016 Sunset Award winner, “Retreat,” pictured at left.

“As I was wandering through various options in my creative exploration, I felt myself going inside deeper and deeper — inside the shell and inside my own ethereal being” she says.