Prints That Win: Alabaster Aster

For Dover, Ohio classic portrait artist Christine Walsh-Newton, working with people is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a photographer, so it would seem rather curious that her Sunset Award-winning print, “Alabaster Aster,” is something as simple – yet geometrically stunning – as a flower. “Working with people is great, I get to interact with them, but as a photographer, you don’t always have 100% control,” Walsh-Newton says. “Sometimes I just want to chill. Photographing flowers is sort of a means of meditation for me.”

Adding more meaning to her choice is the history of the Fuji Mum (in the Aster family) that is the subject of her winning piece. It was part of a bouquet given to her by her husband for their 19th wedding anniversary. “I rarely shoot flowers, unless it’s for my own entertainment, but I thought this would make for a great image, especially in black and white,” she says of “Alabaster Aster.” “I like to use alliteration for the titles of my flower pieces, and alabaster is a much more descriptive word than ‘white’, it was perfect for this selection.”

Be it flowers or portraits, you can see the influences of Tim Kelly and Monte Zucker, two pioneers in the field of classic portraiture in her work. “Even though Monte died in 2007, his publications have inspired my growth in portrait work,” she says. “I know it helps to have additional skill sets – educator, author, artist – to differentiate myself from other photographers. I also know that I can’t put all my eggs in one basket. It helps to have multiple areas of expertise. You need find a happy medium between being too specialized and trying to do everything. You don’t want to be single-minded or be a jack of all trades. Studying the works of Tim and Monte have helped me find that middle ground.”

When preparing for competitions, Walsh-Newton capitalizes on her versatile skills and previous experiences to create pieces that score well both emotionally and technically. “I’ve learned over the years that if you get the technical aspects dialed in – the shutter speed, ISO setting, and most importantly, the lighting – then you’ve already met the minimum elements for merit consideration.” Not one to settle for minimums, she emphasizes that the best part comes with the artistic narrative: “When the technical requirements are second nature, you can focus on the creativity and presentation and ensure that your story is being told.”

When it was time for the Professional Photographers of Ohio show, Walsh-Newton wanted the presentation of “Alabaster Aster” to be distinct. For printing, she chose LexJet Sunset Hot Press Rag 310g and then hand-deckled the edges. “I really love the way the image looks on the Sunset paper. It just pops!” she says of the final, show-ready image. “There is something special about black-and-white photography. It’s funny, I want the images to be high key, but I am such a low-key person.”

The juxtaposition works. Whether it’s the lively interaction with clients during portrait sessions or her meditative moments capturing the beauty of Mother Nature’s flowers, Master Photographer Christine Walsh-Newton uses the creativity of black-and-white images to convey her story to the world in a very colorful way.

Sub Shots: Making Great Artwork More Affordable

The evolution of SubShots by Dye Hard Sublimations over the past few years is a story that epitomizes the growing capabilities of inkjet and dye-sublimation printing. The team started out dye-sub printing uniforms for lacrosse leagues, but with new products and technology, they’ve begun to evolve into photography reproduction and décor applications and even Christmas ornaments.

“We had every intention of doubling-down on apparel, but once we got the equipment and printable hard surfaces, like ChromaLuxe metal photo panels, we thought: Why don’t we just produce really great, vibrant pictures on ChromaLuxe?” says Sean Calvillo of SubShots. “We think we make good artwork more affordable.”

Cavillo says his team is currently curating more photographic content from professional photographers, and customers can choose from a library of images and order metal or wood prints through SubShots ecommerce site. They also offer customized work for commercial interior design, such as the aerial shot divided into multiple ChromaLuxe metal panels, pictured above.

While the art/photography side of their business gains momentum, SubShots hasn’t veered to far from its sporting beginnings. With the purchase of an Epson SureColor P8000 44-inch aqueous printer from LexJet, SubShots was able to start producing complementary graphics, like life-size wall cutouts of athletes, like the lacrosse player pictured.

“We’ve augmented the metal pictures with LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric to create wall decals to keep with our sports roots,” Calvillo says. “We want to be the one vendor who can do both.”

The creative team has also been working with ChromaLuxe for customized holiday gifts. “We have a photographer customer who was taking the pictures she shot during a session and dye-sub printing them as double-sided ornaments,” Calvillo says.

The SubShots team became a LexJet Blue Business member, and Calvillo says the shipping program has been a game-changer. “LexJet’s personalized service combined with the free shipping program and your competitiveness on price is why you guys are always my first call,” he says.

Prints That Win: The Beauty of Innocence

For photographic craftsman Kimberly Smith of Muskogee, Okla., a hobby that started as a way to document the growth of her family through scrapbooking turned into a full-blown career. “I really was looking for a better camera to take better pictures of my kids. It turns out, not only did I find a better camera, I also found my passion,” she says.

Once Smith decided to pursue photography, she began looking for classes or other educational opportunities. A friend of hers suggested she reach out to Shannon Ledford of Broken Arrow, so that’s just what she did. “When I showed her my work, she said she could tell that I had a good eye,” Smith says. “She was so encouraging to me and my craft.” The two women bonded over photography and became fast friends, with Ledford inviting her to conventions, to her studio and into the lab for experience and training.

Latex-printable Fabric to the Rescue as Fundraiser Photo Backdrop

Every year, hundreds of guests attend one of the largest and most glamorous events in Sarasota, Fla., the Wine, Women & Shoes luncheon and fashion show. Earlier this year, organizers reached out to us for assistance with its photography area backdrop.

They needed a lightweight fabric that could hang elegantly without wrinkles or creases across a 19-foot area. Another challenge: It needed to be printed with deep black inks that really offset three logos at the top.

A Brave New World for SunTrust Park

When the Atlanta Braves moved into their new home, SunTrust Park, this April, they had a lot of blank walls to fill in offices and throughout the stadium. They turned to the corporate design experts at A-R-T & Associates in Atlanta to produce a one-of-a-kind series of canvas prints.

The artwork, supplied from the Braves’ archives, included a variety of baseball and ball-field imagery, both current and historical, with everything from wide-lens captures of an entire crowd to extreme close-ups of equipment, like mitts and grass.

“Some of my favorite pieces were old tickets, when tickets were cool and interesting little works of art,” says Rachael Zaudke Wilkins, who runs the print operation at A-R-T. “We enlarged some of them to 24-by-72-inch prints.”

Prints That Win: Prepare There’s Trouble

Award-winning master photographer Terry Blain was not always telling her story from behind the camera. She spent the past two decades traveling all over the country looking for interesting people to capture; however, in her early days as a model, she was the one who was captured on film. One day, after a particularly uninspired photo shoot, she realized that she would have set up the shots differently, had she been the one taking the pictures.

Utilizing her experiences on both sides of the camera, she has a self-awareness that helps her envision the best way to optimize the lighting, the setting and the model to strike the right tone and properly tell her story. “Putting the models at ease and making them comfortable is the best way for me to get the most flattering shot,” Blain says. “Often, I want to accentuate and flatter the highlights of the scene while downplaying the low-lights. I’m lucky enough to have experiences on both sides of the lens to help me clearly communicate this to my clients.”