Prints That Win: On Fire

Orlando, Fla. photographer Gary Shaver has no shortage of beautiful scenery surrounding him, but with so much beauty, it takes a keen eye to catch what some may miss. As part of the Orlando Camera Club, Gary and the group often go on “shoot-outs” to local hot spots like Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Bok Tower to practice, learn and teach in a group setting.

While on one of these shoot-outs, as Shaver was teaching other members of the club some tips and tricks about photographing flowers, that he noticed a bloom about three-quarters of the way opened. “Once I lined up the shot, I realized there was a full bloom in the background that created a fiery halo around my partial bloom,” said Shaver. “Then it was a matter of using the deflector and diffuser and adding a little texture during editing.” The result was his Sunset Award-winning shot “On Fire.”

Prints that Win: Photography in the Twilight Zone

Michael Zerivitz, DDS is a Deltona, Fla.-based dentist who’s had a lifelong fascination with photography. Though his photography is a sideline to his successful practice, Zerivitz has been practicing photography since high school.

Award winning photographyThat continual practice, plus the help of his professional photographer friends in the Orlando area, helped make Dr. Zerivitz a distinguished award-winning photographer.

“I set photography aside after college while I raised a family and started a practice. Then I went to back to school at Daytona State College, which has a great photography program, and started getting together with mentors in the Orlando area,” says Zerivitz. “I have some really good professional photographer friends who have a group called the Portrait Artists Group and I was fortunate enough to be invited to join them. I have to give credit to my friends and mentors in the Orlando area who have helped me become a better photographer.”

Zerivitz was recently honored with a Distinguished Award in the Architecture category and a LexJet Sunset Award at the recent Florida Professional Photographers convention for his work entitled Twilight Zone.

Zerivitz captured the image while touring the Israeli Supreme Court building. A certain passageway with windows lining the corridor leading to an interior courtyard caught his fancy so he stopped and took a frame. Later, the image caught his eye again.

Though it’s not the type of shot he usually takes or enters in competition, he did some minor adjustments to it in Photoshop and Nik Software to make it more high key and had the image printed by photographer Tim Kelly.

“We mounted it and matted the print, and then hand-cut the deckling along the edges. There was a little exit sign that was visible in the corner we took out, but other than that it’s a straight shot,” says Zerivitz. “I call it the Twilight Zone because it reminds me of the opening of the old TV show. I think the judges liked the monochromatic image with tones that are all in similar ranges.”

Despite his busy schedule fixing and fine-tuning teeth, Zerivitz is pursuing Certified Professional Photographer and Master Photographer degrees and had one of his images accepted into the PPA Loan Collection this year. Last year Zerivitz was among the Top 10 Florida Professional Photographers and was Photographer of the Year in his local guild.

Here are some of the stories (Prints that Win) of other LexJet Sunset Award winners:

Printing to Win with Sunset Photo Metallic and eSatin Inkjet Media

Bridging the Realism Gap

Something Old, Something New

Old West Shootout in the Southeast

Bridge over Water

Walking the Lonely Street

The Artisan’s Workbench

The Perfect Image with the Perfect Paper and Laminate

David Ziser Wins Sunset Award for Print on Sunset Photo eSatin

Prints that Win: Bridging the Realism Gap

Painting photographs with Corel and Photoshop

Ann Naugher, owner of Hopkins Fine Portraits in Tulsa, is sought after far and wide for her artistic portraits of children. They bridge the gap between the realism of photography and what can be the surrealism of painting.

“My clients’ issue with a painting of their child is that it’s their child, and they don’t want to lose the realism of who their child is,” Naugher explains. “This bridges both worlds nicely where it’s an artistic feel but it looks like their child.”

In other words, with a painting, like a box of chocolates, you never really know what you’ll get. The image pictured here, called Windswept, perfectly illustrates this delicate balance. It’s a beautiful and artistic rendering of one of her client’s children, but it retains the character and essence of the subject.

Windswept won a LexJet Sunset Award in the Electronic Imaging category at the PPA’s Southeast district competition, and for good reason. It’s a tasteful, colorful and rich image that takes an ordinary portrait (displayed at the bottom right of the accompanying picture, below the final “painting”) and takes it to the next level.

“I’m more artist than technician, so the end result is based on feel. I retouch the photo so that the portrait starts out as the best possible portrait it can be. In Photoshop I start by drawing what I want that’s lacking in the image into the image. Then, I take the image into Corel Painter and not only paint what’s there, but I’ll add to it in Painter with the different brushes until it feels right,” explains Naugher. “I think it’s important to repeat colors and I tend to like images that have depth to them, so I like to work with the point where light is entering the portrait. In this case, it’s behind her, and instead of a tunnel of light I created a more circular feel to the background.”

Naugher adds that she usually applies oil painting highlights to the canvases that are produced from the digital work, which was not done for this competition. And, most of her competition prints are from actual client work, as was Windswept.

Prints that Win: Something Old, Something New

Award winning photographyIt’s rare to find someone from the next generation of photographers who prefers to shoot film over digital. This year’s LexJet Sunset Award winner for Best Quality Print and Presentation at the Plymouth Center for the Arts competition and exhibition, The Fine Art of Photography, is more than just a throwback to traditional photography.

Elizabeth Ellenwood enjoys the interaction of the historical and the modern in both her photography process and in the subjects of her photography. Her winning print of Boston architecture exemplifies this seeming contradiction.

“The image is from a series I started for my senior thesis at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. I started photographing Boston architecture because I enjoy the combination of historical and modern architecture that overlays each other,” says Ellenwood. “I photograph with a Tachihara Field Camera, which renders everything in the viewfinder upside down and in reverse. It’s great to work with architecture from an almost abstract point of view. I’m a film person at heart; it’s what interested me in photography in the first place and it still holds true for me.”

Ellenwood scanned the color negative, printed it on the school’s Epson 9800 on Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper, then matted and framed it herself. Like the image itself, it was a unique blend of history and modernity using analog and digital tools.

Photographing Boston architectureEllenwood was introduced to the Plymouth Center for the Arts exhibition by another Sunset Award winner, Neal Rantoul. A year after Rantoul won the award, Ellenwood took one home.

“When I moved to Boston I started to get involved in the local photography community and met Neal, who became a mentor to me and was very inspiring. He sent me an email about the Plymouth show and encouraged me to enter. It was exciting for me because this photographer I really admire won the same award the year before,” says Ellenwood.

Prints that Win: Bridge over Water

Award winning photography and printing

Award-winning photography is often a fortuitous combination of skill and luck as was the first-place winner of the Commercial division and LexJet Sunset Award winner at the 2012 Professional Photographers of North Carolina print completion, Gregory Georges.

Georges co-owns Jonathan Penney Inc., a New York-based fine art print making business, with the company’s founder, Jonathan Penney. The skill is obvious in the presentation of the image, Bridge Over Water. The luck was in finding the scene at the right time.

Georges captured the image at the Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge over Coos Bay on US 101 in North Bend, Oregon, with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III using an EF70-200 at 148mm set to 1/320 @f/8.0 and ISO 100.

“I was fascinated by this beautiful old bridge. It was near sunset with lots of clouds and not much color, so it was very monochromatic to begin with. I got very compulsive about locking-down my tripod, and using mirror lock-up to minimize vibrations to get the clearest image I could,” explains Georges.

Equally important, says Georges, was the combination of Adobe Camera RAW 7 RAW file conversion and black-and-white conversion done in Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2.0. “Silver Efex has absolutely amazing features that really bring out the best in a black and white image,” says Georges. “My vision was to make the print look like a mechanical pencil sketch without pure black tone and yet still show extremely fine detail.”

He printed on a fine art watercolor paper at competition size – 16″ x 20″ – on an Epson Stylus Pro 3880. Georges says that those who saw the print at competition were amazed by the amount of detail in the image, especially the individual cars crossing the bridge and fine line detail of the wires on the bridge.

“Monitors, color calibration tools, media, ink technologies and printers are so awesome now that if you edit it well on your computer you will get an amazing print. I also use ColorByte Software’s ImagePrint RIP, because it’s giving me extraordinary paper profiles,” adds Georges.

For more information about Jonathan Penney Inc., go to

Prints that Win: Walking the Lonely Street

Award winning photography and inkjet printing

One of the great ironies of photography is that you can turn a certain weakness in the original capture into a strength that sets the tone and separates it from the usual. Such is the case with Bob Klein’s LexJet Sunset Award-winning image at the Photo NorthEast competition called Walking the Lonely Street, which was captured in a village near Vienna.

The image has just the right elements that evoke an Old World scene. Or, as Klein puts it, “You can project yourself walking down the street in this scene.” Perhaps that’s what caught the judges’ eyes, but much of the beauty of portrait – aside from the framing of the street, the lone figure with an umbrella slightly off center walking away from the camera and the way the buildings come to a satisfying point on the horizon – is in its weakness.

Klein explains, “It was overcast with poor light and light rain, but I loved the way it looked. At the time I considered it unfortunate, but in retrospect it was fortunate. That camera I used is more for speed than high ISO, so it was kind of noisy. I had to figure out what to do with the noise, and decided to put more noise in it.”

Klein spent 25-30 hours on the image to get just the right effect, or as he calls it, “trial and error.” He essentially took all the color out of it and treated it like a painter’s canvas using Photoshop and Lightroom.

“The sad thing, or really the good part of photography for me, is that it’s a borderline obsession where I get lost in time. It offers an opportunity to be creative in capture and creative afterward,” he says.

Print master Jonathan Penney output the image for him and added the appropriate matting and deckled edges of the print to complement the image.

“The printing and the presentation are wonderful, and it’s something I’ve never seen anywhere else; it really enhances the image,” says Klein. “I sent it to Jonathan and he said that he’d hang it in his house. I was really encouraged by that, because he has some great images he’s printed for others.”

Klein is a partner in a media buying and strategy business. Photography is his creative outlet, especially on his extensive travels. Though not a full-time photographer, Klein says he spends almost as much time on his photography as he would if it were his full time job.

“I joined the Westchester PPA and started competing, and the critiques helped me see things differently and I worked to try and improve what I do. Fortunately, I have come up with some images that others say are good, and not just me thinking they’re good,” says Klein.