3 Ways to Create Statement Art with Your Images

Looking for new ways to add creativity to your printed images? You can create one-of-a-kind pieces of art with a few creative choices. If you are using an aqueous printer, here are three tips to delight your clients and finish your photos with flare:

GIVE THEM AN EDGE. Three-time Sunset Print Award winner Kimberly Smith loves the Sunset Bright Velvet Rag, which she uses to distress the edges of some of her fine art prints. “The thickness [of the paper] means the tears on the edges are perfect for a soft, multi-layered look,” she says.

WRAP IT UP. Another way to impress clients is to turn their photos into wall art. Printing on Sunset Select Matte Canvas and wrapping it with the easy-to-use GOframe system creates a final image that is worthy of hanging in any museum.

ADD SOME SHINE. To bring a little extra shine to your images, try printing on Sunset Photo Metallic Paper. Aluminum prints are increasing in popularity, but if you don’t have access to dye-sub equipment, you can get a similar effect with the metallic photo paper. It’s a cost-effect alternative solution that is compatible with aqueous printers. The metallic paper can also be printed and face-mounted to acrylic, using a clear permanent adhesive, to create a unique piece of statement art.

If you are looking for new opportunities with your clients, contact a LexJet sales specialist at 800-453-9538.

Get into Dye-sub Printing with EPSON’s New Desktop Printer

Dye-sublimation printing creates vibrant colors and durable images through the sublimation process. The combination of inks, transfer paper and a heat press means images won’t scratch, chip or flake when stretched. Now, Epson has made it easier to bring dye-sub printing in-house.

The new Epson SureColor F570 dye-sub transfer printer is the perfect size for desktop transfer printing. It can accommodate rolls up to 24-inch wide and has a 50-sheet capacity feeder. The small footprint means it’s a space saver for any office with limited workspace.

This printer offers a variety of applications from rigid substrates to soft fabrics, including mugs, mousepads, keychains, t-shirts and more. It’s perfect for photographers, souvenir shops or small-business print service providers looking to expand their portfolio with dye-sub printing.

The print driver is easy to use and understand with simple transitions from sheets to rolled goods or rigid to soft substrates. The job accounting tool software tracks ink usage and cost of prints over time, providing an easy way to figure return on investment vs. outsourcing work. Partner with LexJet InFuze transfer papers for additional savings.

If you are interested in learning more about this new printer, contact a LexJet printer specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet’s Dye-sublimation Page. Don’t forget to register for the EPSON F-Series rewards program and LexJet Edge for additional ways to earn points with your purchases.

Best Practices for Printing an Overlaminate with Timothy Mitchell

HP Latex application specialist Timothy Mitchell explores uses and best practices for the versatile HP Gloss Polymeric Overlaminate. This product not only works as a typical overlaminate used to protect prints, it can also be printed and used as a clear media that works with the HP Latex Print & Cut Solution.

Mitchell suggests using the product for a project like a decorative border around the edges of a window. The clear media works well on windows and can be custom cut using the Print & Cut system.

For optimal results, Mitchell suggests raising the ink load to 200%. “If you were to build this at 110%, and you were to put it in a store window with strong lighting coming through it, it’s going to look washed out … because you have what is a translucent material in a window, and that light cuts the color back,” he says. “If you were to switch that same print to 200% and you put it in there, the colors are going to pop.”

He suggests building the ink signature the same way as a backlit. In the video above, he walks through the steps to do that, and shows how the printer color calibrates and then can create a customized or standard ICC profile, based on the type of Latex machine.

Mitchell also discusses other advantages of the product and how to get the best results. Watch the video above for all of his insider tips and tricks.

Prints that Win: Stubborn Determination

Sacramento, Calif., photographer James Trapp decided to follow his heart and leave the safety of a corporate job to pursue something different about 20 years ago. “At some point, I said things have got to change, and I need to follow my heart rather than my head,” he says. “I found a small photography company that was looking for a studio manager, but at the time, I’d only ever had Photography 101.”

One day, the lead photographer was sick and no back-up photographers were available to shoot the customer sessions booked for the day. Trapp was surprised when he learned he would be the one behind the camera that day.

“The manager told me to pick up the camera and start taking pictures,” Trapp says. “I thought he’d lost his mind. I was so nervous, it felt like my stomach was going to leave my body, but I got through that day. About mid-way through, I realized I was having fun, so I relaxed and enjoyed the moment.”

Nowadays, Trapp is obviously more at ease behind the camera and recently won his first Sunset Print Award with “Stubborn Determination,” a piece that was captured when he was doing a Facebook Live lighting demonstration to promote the Georgia PPA State Conference. Working within a 10-foot square show booth, Trapp began taking pictures of the model and discussing the importance of lighting. Once he got home and looked through the images, one stood out. “There was something about it. I didn’t have a grab on it, but that’s what happens, sometimes,” he says. “I really liked it, but I didn’t know why. It [the image] just grabbed me and pulled me in.”

Once he converted the image to black and white, he entered it into a local Sacramento affiliate show. The image was well-received, so he submitted a printed version to the Professional Photographers of California competition. “I firmly believe in submitting images in a print format rather than a digital format, especially for competitions,” Trapp says. “If it is a digital file, anything can alter how it’s viewed on the other end. It’s a lesson I learned the hard way. I made the conscious decision to only submit prints because when it leaves my home, I absolutely know what the judges will view on the other end.”

The importance of print isn’t the only lesson that Trapp has learned from competing. He believes education is one of the most important reasons any photographer should enter a competition, even if it’s just a local camera club. “The things I’ve learned along this road and how I’ve improved compared to where I was during my first competition in 2013, I’m a totally different photographer,” he says. “I attribute that 100% to competitions.”

Trapp believes going under the microscope at a competition can only benefit a photographer when it comes to working with clients. “What you used to think was difficult is now done at the snap of your fingers,” he says. “You learn techniques to improve an image for competition, and then you start using for your clients’ images. It separates you from other photographers in your local area. That, to me, is the biggest benefit of competition.”

The friendships that Trapp has developed with other photographers is another reason he continues to enter competitions. “You have this little camaraderie, which helps with confidence to go to the next level. Next, you enter a state competition, then your pool of friends starts increasing a little bit,” he says. “Then you really get brave and enter a national competition and you realize your friendships are spreading from east coast to west.”

Having friends who understand the intricacies of photography is almost as important as taking classes. For Trapp, one of those friends is Reno, Nev., photographer Pete Rezac. He has influenced Trapp’s love of black and white photography as well as continued use of film. “I called him about five or six years ago to see what he was doing with film cameras,” he says. “I started in film before digital was a thing. It’s always held a special place in my heart. When you’re in a dark room and see that image appear out of nowhere, you realize that is something that you created.”

From the early days in film and watching an image appear before his very eyes to printing award-winning images on his Canon PRO-1000, Jim Trapp has come a long way from the nervous photographer he once was. One piece of advice he offers is photographers should never quit competing.

“I don’t need to keep putting images in [competitions], I already have my Master of Photography degree,” he says. “I do it because it still surprises me and I’m still growing.”

Imaging USA – 3 Days of Education, Awards & Fun in Nashville

Last month, the photography world gathered in Nashville to celebrate all things photo. From new technology to equipment insurance to the unveiling of Team USA who will compete in the World Photographic Cup, the sights and sounds from Imaging USA proved that the photography industry is more vibrant than ever!

The festivities opened with keynote speaker Jim Kwik, who provided some “kwik” tips on improving memory to enhance business. Whether using the tips to be more organized or to help remember clients’ names, the photographers were excited to kick off the event with Kwik and utilize some of his methods of remembering people they met at the show.

(l-r) Kimberly Smith, Brian Castle, Brooke Kasper

One of the most exciting events to take place during the conference was the Award and Degree Ceremony. Here, photographers – including top Sunset Award Winners Brian Castle, Kimberly Smith and Brooke Kasper – were on-hand to receive their hard-earned PPA degrees or award them to fellow photographers.

Speaking of the top three Sunset winners, they were awarded their 2019 International Print Competition trophies and cash prizes on the second day of the show.

All three winners are adamant about the artistic importance of printing their photos and the importance of being a Sunset Print Award winner when working with their clients.

Kasper feels that being part of an elite group of Sunset Print Award winners is an honor, especially because it celebrates the printed image, a practice she feels is disappearing all too quickly. “It’s such a wonderful honor to receive this award,” she says. “Especially for something that I believe in and that is becoming less [frequent], with more people doing digital. It has to be printed, it’s just not art until it is.”

Smith also considers it an honor to be recognized for printing her work. Her favorite media is Sunset Bright Velvet Rag, a fine art paper that helps her create a signature look. “I like to do color pencils over. I love the way it tears on the edges,” she says. “Winning the award is even better because this is the paper that I love. I think it [the win] is important because I print on it and I believe in it.”

Castle, who received his first two degrees – Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman – at the ceremony, believes strongly in printing his photos. “Winning an award on a national level is a pretty big achievement,” he says. “It helps me market myself, too. It shows that I take care of my prints, and I make sure they look right. It’s not just a digital file that I’m giving you, it’s a piece of art.”

Throughout the week, the convention center was teeming with classes and learning opportunities for photographers of all backgrounds. The PRINT for Success Theatre was a 3-day session that of quick hit 30-minute workshops that showed photographers how they can make more money by selling and marketing printed images. Other longer seminars ranged from Adobe Lightroom techniques to how to establish your brand.

If you are a photographer looking to gain new skills, update your equipment or be inspired by other photographers, you won’t want to miss Imaging USA 2021 in Grapevine, Texas. If you are interested in the Sunset Print Awards and competing for the top prize, ask your chairperson to register for the 2020 Awards.

These Savings will do Your Heart (and Your Wallet) Good

If you have your heart set on getting a new printer this month, you won’t want to miss these special savings from Canon, HP and Epson. Also, receive additional savings when you attend one of the free Canon or HP webinars. Highlights include:

  • Get up to $1,000 cash back on a qualified Canon PRO-Series printer.
  • Trade in the motherboard from your old printer and $6,000 cash back when you “Upgrade to Latex” and purchase a Latex 570 or get up to $750 back on the purchase of a qualified aqueous printer with “Cash in and Trade Up” rebates.
  • EPSON instant savings up to $5,000 on qualified printer purchases

Free printer webinar series:

Canon PRO-Series Webinar: Join us for a webinar on Feb. 18, at 11 a.m. ET to learn about the features of the next generation Canon PRO-Series printers, software, and new cutter bundles. Attendees will receive an additional 5% off their PRO-Series printer purchase. SIGN UP NOW

HP Latex Webinar: Join Timothy Mitchell – Latex Applications Architect – for a webinar on HP’s Latex printer technology Feb. 25, 11 a.m. When you attend this webinar, you’ll save $1,000 on an HP Latex 315 Print & Cut Bundle or HP Latex 335 Print & Cut Bundle, $3,000 on an HP Latex 560 or HP Latex 570. SIGN UP NOW

Canon Mail-in Rebates on the new imagePROGRAF PRO Series printers through Mar. 20:

Canon Instant Rebates on TM Series through Feb. 29:

Don’t miss the free Canon PRO-Series webinar*

 *Webinar savings can be stacked with instant rebates where applicable

HP Latex Printer Instant Rebates, valid through Feb. 29:

  • HP Latex 115, 54-inch printer: $1,200 when you by 2 units; $1,700 when you buy 3 units
  • HP Latex 115 Print & Cut: $1,200 when you by 2 units; $1,700 when you buy 3 units (can mix and match Latex 115 and Latex 115 P&C when purchasing 3 units)
  • HP Latex 315, 54-inch printer: $1,000
  • HP Latex 335, 54-inch printer: $1,000
  • HP Latex 365, 64-inch printer: $3,000; 1-year free Flexi RIP included with purchase

Upgrade to Latex

 Get $6,000 cash back on the purchase of a Latex 570 when you send in the main print controller board of an eligible printer. Purchase before Feb. 29 and submit an online claim by Mar. 31.

Don’t miss the free HP Latex webinar.

 HP Latex LOI available through Feb. 29:

*LOI and Upgrade to Latex cannot be combined

Partner the HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminates with the HP Latex Print & Cut for perfect stickers.

HP DesignJet Cash-in & Trade-up valid through Feb. 29:

For the Cash-in & Trade-up claim, the formatter board of an eligible printer must be returned. The claim must be filed by Mar. 31 and formatter board shipped by Apr. 30.

 

EPSON Instant Rebates – Valid through Feb. 29, 2020 

EPSON P-Series:

**NEW** SureColor P9570 SE, 44-inch printer

**NEW** SureColor P7570SE, 24-inch printer

Visit our EPSON P-Series selection page to see which photo printer is right for you.

EPSON S-Series:

New Bulk Ink System with 1500 mL ink system:

Print & Cut Bundle includes S-Series printer, Graphtec cutter and ONYX software:

Production Edition:

EPSON F-Series:

EPSON T-Series Instant Rebates:

EPSON Education Discount

Is your printing facility in a school or university? Call your LexJet rep to learn about special pricing on a qualifying Epson printer.

Give us a call at 800-453-9538 if you have questions about these rebates and promotions or if you are interested in available financing options.