A great print can make all the difference at photography competitions. It’s certainly not the only difference, but it can provide that little extra boost that makes judges take notice. Take, for instance, Duncan MacNab’s entry, End of the Line, which won a LexJet Sunset Award for Excellence in Image Quality at the 2011 PPA Western District Competition.
MacNab turned to friend and fellow professional photographer Michael Timmons of The Portrait Gallery is Vasser, Va., to turn his image of a train near Nevada City, Mont., into a printed piece of art. Timmons used LexJet Sunset Photo eSatin Paper to capture all the depth and detail of the image.
“When it came in and I unwrapped it, I called Michael and damn near cried I was so happy with it. The paper is phenomenal. When you really look closely at it, it really has a nice glow,” says MacNab. “The paper lends itself to competitions and Michael’s a master at printing. He knows what I want and off we go.”
MacNab used his Panasonic LUMIX digital camera with a 7-14 mm lens for the capture and converted the image to black and white. He also submitted a color version in another competition, but the black and white image was the award winner.
“It’s one of my favorites that I’ve done in my long career. It just grabs you and demands attention. It came up on the easel and instantly the judges got up and looked at it,” explains MacNab. “I’ve been a jury chairman for 25 years and when I watch the judging panel as the prints come around I can see their eyes and which prints grab their attention. Sometimes they’ll take a closer look at it and find a bunch of things wrong with it and it goes down the tube. Most of the time when you see that pop the judges will look at that image a lot closer. When you see that first reaction you know it’s going to score pretty well.”