National Sunset Print Award Winner Christie Newell Visits Sarasota

As the winner of the 2016 National Sunset Print Award, Peoria, Ill.-based photographer Christie Newell won a trip to the Lido Beach Resort and a $500 Visa gift card. She swung by LexJet’s headquarters last Friday for a quick visit and tour before enjoying her mini-vacation on Lido Key.

Newell took first place for her image, “Old Faithful,” a portrait of a client’s dog, named Tilly, an Aussie Doodle. The photo beat out 25 other finalists from around the country.

“I was very surprised that it won,” Newell says. “I knew a lot of the other photographers who were in the running, and their work is top-notch. It was very exciting.”

Meet the 2016 National Sunset Print Award Judges

All year long, photographers and digital artists have competed in Sunset Print Award competitions throughout the country. This month, we welcome all the winning entries into the National Sunset Print Awards held in the S-One Holdings Corporation’s Sarasota headquarters, home of LexJet and Sunset, on Nov. 16.

LexJet-sponsored Sunset Print Awards took place at various professional photography associations across the country. Thirty winners of the 2016 competitions were entered for this year’s National Sunset Print Award grand prize.

Congratulations to the National Sunset Print Award Winners!

Five prestigious judges convened at the LexJet headquarters in Sarasota, Fla., last night to determine the top three prints in the second annual National Sunset Print Award.

Each year, photographers enter prints in their Professional Photographers Association of America local and regional Sunset Print Awards. The winners of those awards then compete in the national Sunset awards. This year, 28 prints were entered into the competition.

2015 Sunset National Print Award: Meet the Judges

We’re gearing up for the second annual National Sunset Print Award on Nov. 15 in the fifth floor gallery of the S-One Holdings Corporation Sarasota headquarters, home of LexJet and Sunset. Throughout the year, the LexJet-sponsored Sunset Print Awards take place at various professional photography associations across the country. Nearly 30 winners of the 2015 competitions were entered for this year’s National Sunset Print Award grand prize.

Get Recognized with a Sunset Print Award at Photo Competitions across the U.S.

Sunset Print Award

The Sunset Print Award, which debuted in 2009, will once again be presented at local, state and regional photography competitions across the U.S. in 2015, starting in January.

“The Sunset Print Award has become the coveted award in the photography market, and from my perspective as a board member of the Professional Photographers of Michigan we couldn’t be more appreciative of the award,” says Tina Timmons, owner of The Portrait Gallery in Vassar, Mich., a previous Sunset Award Winner who also prints for other photographers for competition.

The winners of Sunset Print Awards at each competition will then be eligible for the National Sunset Print Award, judged by a panel of expert judges in November at LexJet headquarters in Sarasota, Fla. Click here to read about this year’s National Sunset Print Award competition and the winners. And, to see all the winners since 2009, and the stories behind the images, click here.

Winners at each competition where a Sunset Print Award is presented also receive a beautiful crystal trophy (pictured above), a lapel pin and a $250 gift certificate good toward the purchase of Sunset award-winning inkjet photo papers, fine art papers, coatings and canvas.

Go to www.sunsetprint.com/competitions/ to see the most current list of competitions presenting a Sunset Print Award, and check back here regularly, as more are being added over the next month.

To find out more about the Sunset Print Award and upcoming competitions, as well as a gallery of previous winners and information on Sunset inkjet media, go to www.sunsetprint.com, or contact a LexJet print expert at 800-453-9538.

Sunset Print Award Grand Prize Winner: Permanent Bond

Permanent Bond by Tammy Bevins

The judging panel for the first annual National Sunset Print Award described the First Place Grand Prize winner – Permanent Bond by Tammy Bevins – as “flawless,” “masterful” and “fully resolved.” The image depicts the bond her twin sons have had since before they were born.

In fact, there was little debate about the print, other than how perfect each element of the image – from composition to lighting – was absolutely spot-on.

Permanent Bond was one of 29 prints judged at LexJet headquarters in Sarasota, Fla., on Thursday, Nov. 13. All of the entries in the National Sunset Print Award competition won a Sunset Print Award at state and regional competitions across the U.S. in 2014.

Permanent Bond won the Sunset Print Award at the Professional Photographers of South Carolina (PPSC) competition, and was thus automatically eligible for the national competition.

Sunset Print Award
One of Tammy Bevin’s twins prepares to get into the water tank for the Sunset Print Award-winner, Permanent Bond.

“It took four minutes to photograph something, but it took me four years to come up with the idea,” says Bevins. “For several years I’ve been trying to come up with a concept to show the bond my twins have with each other and what it means to be a twin. It’s one of the most amazing experiences to have twins that look so much alike and have been best friends. Over the years I didn’t come up with something I was inspired to do until I came up with Permanent Bond. I wanted to position them like they were in the womb together, and I used rope to signify the umbilical cord.”

The shoot actually took more than four minutes as Bevins built a water tank in the back yard filled with a few inches of water and dry ice to create the fog effect. What you see is basically what Bevins captured; there was very little Photoshop work done to the image.

Bevins captured the image with a Canon 5D Mark II with a 24-70mm lens at 1/200, f/4.6, and 160 ISO. Master printer Jonathan Penney, Center Moriches, N.Y., printed the image on fine art paper.

Sunset Print Awards
The judges at the first annual National Sunset Print Awards evaluate Permanent Bond by Tammy Bevins. Photo by Billy Elkins.

“I used available light and a 2×3 soft box. I had the soft box on pretty low and wanted the light skimming across them and coming up from the top a bit,” explains Bevins.

Bevins runs Nuvo Images in Charleston, S.C., with her daughter and son-in-law, both of whom are award-winning photographers as well. Bevins has nine children – six girls and three boys – ranging in age from 13 to 29. The twins are the third and fourth out of the nine.

“I grew up in West Virginia, and everyone in my family were coal miners. I moved to South Carolina after I got married and was in the medical field. We started having children and I stayed home with the kids, which gave me some time to explore my creative side,” says Bevins. “About 13 years ago I started taking art classes in oil painting at the local museum and I absolutely loved it. My husband suggested I take photography classes, and it really exploded for me and fit my lifestyle. My first year in business was 2004 and I immediately joined PPA and PPSC, and shortly thereafter got interested in print competitions.”

The National Sunset Print Award judging panel - from left to right,  Carmen Schettino, Julie Hughes, Jessica Vogel, Tom Carabasi and Rich Newell - with their choice for First Place, Permanent Bond by Tammy Bevins. Congratulations, Tammy!
The National Sunset Print Award judging panel – from left to right, Carmen Schettino, Julie Hughes, Jessica Vogel, Tom Carabasi and Rich Newell – with their choice for First Place, Permanent Bond by Tammy Bevins. Congratulations, Tammy!

Bevins’ accomplishment at the National Sunset Print Awards is made all the more remarkable by the quality and variety of the images entered in the competition, from fine art photography to portraits and landscapes.

Julia Kelleher of Jewel Images in Bend, Ore., won second place for He Has Arrived. Click here to read the story behind Kelleher’s award-winning print that scored a 100 at the PPA Western District print competition.

Pete Wright won third for his retro image, Temptress, which won a Sunset Print Award at the PPA Southeast District competition. Click here to read the story behind this stunning image.

Congratulations to all the 2014 Sunset Print Award winners who made it to the National competition! Go to http://www.sunsetprint.com/previous-winners/ to see all the winners from 2014 and earlier years, and the stories behind the photography. While you’re there, look around to find out more about the 2015 competition and which competitions you can enter for a shot at a Sunset Print Award.

And, special thanks to our judges this year, who not only did a thorough and fair job, but gave everyone at LexJet a valuable education in what makes a print stand out at competition. This year’s judges were: Tom Carabasi of Ringling College of Art + Design; Julie Hughes, Abbey of London, Jensen Beach, Fla.; Rich Newell, Professional Photographers of America; Carmen Schettino, Carmen Schettino Photography, Sarasota; Jessica Vogel, Jessica Vogel Photography, Shelbyville, Ky.