Prints That Win: Deeply Attached

For Bend, Ore. photographer Julia Kelleher, photography is a family affair. Her photography studio, Jewel Images, is celebrating 10 years of capturing family milestones, including the arrival of newborns, pregnancy and other family portraits. Kelleher also shares her own family moments through the photographs she enters in yearly competitions.

“I try to enter my son every year,” Kelleher says. “My goal is to someday create an album of annual competition images for him from when he was very little to when he’s 18 or 19 years old.”

Recently, Kelleher’s quest resulted in a Sunset Print Award for her winning portrait, “Deeply Attached,” in the PPA Western District 2017 competition.

The portrait depicts her young son holding a toy dog attached to a blanket, a gift given to him by his aunt when he was born. Dean’s toy goes by many names, such as “Blankey” or “Stuffy.”

Prints That Win: Urban Assault

For a professional photographer who has made a career of portraits featuring Santa Claus, the PPA Southwest District winner in the artist category, titled “Urban Assault,” was a huge departure for Chris Smith, M.Photog.

Smith captured the Sunset Print Award-winning image during a SWAT team training session in Midlothian, Texas, when he was requested to shoot the training. It turned out to be an ideal opportunity to get creative for print competition.

“Competition work is something that I do for myself because it is so detailed,” Smith says. “It is very therapeutic digging into that level of detail.”

Freedom House’s Gallery of Hope Puts a Face on Homelessness

Each year Freedom House, a homeless shelter and family resource in Green Bay, Wis., holds a fundraising event to help support the work of the organization. Last year, photographer Mark Hawkins captured images throughout the facility, beautifully illustrating Freedom House’s good works and the families it serves.

Hawkins printed dozens of images and mounted them in a modern bare-metal-and-cardboard style, inspired by Chase Jarvis’s Seattle 100 project. The images were used to create the “Gallery of Hope,” a stunning collection on display during the annual fundraiser.

Experience LexJet at Adobe MAX

For the second year, LexJet has signed on as an Engagement Sponsor at Adobe MAX – The Creativity Conference, held in San Diego on Nov. 2-4. The event brings together creative experts and professionals in a trade show and seminar setting meant to inspire learning and discovering new technology and creative tools.

LexJet will head up the imaging booth where attendees can get hands-on experience with graphics, media and printer demos and application techniques.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase how these professionals can incorporate their designs into print,” says Rachel Gamberg, LexJet’s market development pro. “This event brings together an amazing creative audience from around the world.”

Keynote speakers at the event include photography Lynsey Addario, sculptor Janet Echelman, fashion designer Zac Pozen and writer/director Quentin Tarantino. Educational sessions and workshops will be covered in these tracks: creative careers, graphic design & illustration, photography & creative imaging, video and web & app design.

Stay tuned to the LexJet blog and social media to catch all the Adobe MAX excitement.

Exploring the Coast Through a Camera Lens

Photos provided by Gareth Rockliffe

 

Most people take one look at stormy, rainy skies and wouldn’t think twice about spending the day at the beach. However, photographer, Gareth Rockliffe, begs to differ. He loves stormy days at the beach. In fact, he prefers them.

Titled “The Great American Coastline,” Rockliffe’s latest exhibition is a three-part series that features coastlines of the United States. The first installment of the series, focusing on the Pacific Coast, opened at The von Liebig Art Center in Naples, Fla., this month.

Garith Rockliffe's exhibit is on display at The von Liebig in Naples, Fla.
Gareth Rockliffe’s exhibit is on display at The von Liebig in Naples, Fla.

It took Rockliffe and his wife, Jan, a fellow photographer, three months to travel from San Diego up to Cape Flattery, the most Northwestern point of the United States. Throughout the trip, Rockliffe and his wife found hidden parts of the coastline, away from the usual tourist traps, to take pictures. They also met lots of interesting people, took their portrait, and asked them the question, “what is your philosophy of life?”

Twenty-seven large prints, 10 of their favorite portraits, and 10 of their favorite philosophy answers make up the exhibit being held at The von Liebig, running from July 17-Sept. 4.

When printing his art, Rockliffe uses a large volume of ink in order to achieve very rich colors. “Other materials would curl when I’d print my artwork,” so when he was preparing to print for his exhibition, he chose a high-quality product. “Now, I use the Sunset Velvet Rag material because I love the weight, the texture, and the way it holds the ink.” Rockliffe uses a Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8400 to print his photographs.

Gareth and Jan Rockliffe

Rockliffe fell in love with photography as a teenager, but he went into sales and marketing. For years, he would only photograph on the weekends. “I realized I was spending five days a week doing something I didn’t like, and only two days a week doing something I loved.”

Eventually, Rockliffe dedicated himself to photography full-time, met his wife, and started taking portraits for a living. “Landscapes are my passion, but I’ve always been drawn to water,” Rockliffe says. He grew up in a small, seaside town in England, which is probably why he prefers moody skies, and dark waves. “When I shoot, I try to give the water and sky a sense of life.”

Next for Rockliffe, he’s raising funds to start part two of his coastal project. “Part two will be of the East Coast, and will start in 2016. Part three will be the Gulf Coast,” he explains. We wish Rockliffe the best in his travels, and look forward to seeing the second and third installments.

Prints that Win: Waiting for You

Waiting for You

Each portrait Kristi Elias creates is a unique work of art that is relevant and appropriate to its subject. Last year, Elias won a Sunset Print Award at the Professional Photographers of California state competition for You Won’t Bully Me, a grungy portrait of a young martial arts competitor.

Elias followed up this year, taking home another Sunset Print Award at the California competition for a decidedly different subject, entitled Waiting for You. This portrait purposely evokes Renaissance art.

“I wanted a painterly feel with a lot of detail in the props, like the bottle. There’s note in the bottle, and you can see the contours and the detail. There was a lot of time put into those details of the portrait. You can see even the music on the floor, and all the shading and detail in it. I did it just like it would have been as a Renaissance painting, and how they paid so much attention to detail on all the props,” explains Elias.

The portrait of her client, who also poses for Elias to spark modeling ideas, was captured in the studio. Elias purchased a custom dress from Bulgaria for an authentic touch.

Elias added a new background, a photo she took of a Gothic cathedral in Tuscany. She used Photoshop, Nik Software and Alien Skin to edit the image.

“When I edit I don’t use the same actions every time. I look at each portrait as its own piece of art. Some of it is my own custom actions, and some of it is edited with Nik Software to bring out the detail in the shadows. I like to put a lot of detail in the shadow for that hopeless romantic look. I took any painterly effect off of her skin so there’s no texture on the skin, because that doesn’t go well with judging,” says Elias.

Master printer Jonathan Penney, Center Moriches, N.Y., printed the image on a fibre-based paper to complete the beautiful, Renaissance-style portrait.