Visit Our Redesigned Sunset Print Awards Website

The next time you log on to the Sunset Print Awards website, you’ll notice some changes. The sleek new appearance makes it easier for photographers to learn about the prestigious Sunset Print Awards as well as local print competitions offering the award.

Other updates include:

  • Easier navigation
  • Better views of past winners
  • Easy access to the blog for all the latest Sunset news
  • Interviews with winners
  • Recommended Sunset branded media

What hasn’t changed are the benefits to district and local winners or the top three prizes awarded at the International Photographic Competition. Each winner receives a customized crystal trophy, a lapel pin, and a free pack or roll of Sunset Media, while the three IPC finalists receive engraved trophies and cash prizes.

If you are involved in a local PPA group, camera club or other photography organization that has a minimum of 150 printed entries and would like to include the Sunset Print Award in your competition, have your chairperson register today.

This year, we will be presenting awards to the 2019 IPC winners at Imaging USA in Nashville. If you are attending later this month, be sure to stop by the IPC Display and pick up some information about the 2020 Sunset Print Awards.

Trade in the Old and Bring in the New with These Printer Deals

Welcome to 2020! With tradeshows, sporting events and other print-heavy activities right around the corner, don’t miss an opportunity to save when you purchase a new printer. Receive additional savings by attending a free HP or Canon printer webinar. New Year highlights include:

  • Canon is offering instant rebates on the PRO-Series and qualified CAD printers.
  • Trade in the motherboard from your old printer and receive $6,000 cash back when you purchase a Latex 570 or get up to $1,500 back on the purchase of a qualified aqueous printer with “Cash In and Trade Up” rebates.
  • EPSON instant rebates for P-Series, S-Series, T-Series, and F-Series, with additional mail-in rebates on some P-Series printers.

Free printer webinar series:

Canon PRO-Series Webinar: Join us for a webinar on Jan. 14, 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 us for a webinar on HP’s Latex printer technology on Jan. 17, at 11 a.m. ET. 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 Instant Rebates on the new imagePROGRAF PRO Series printers:

Canon Instant Rebates on TM Series through Jan. 31:

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 Jan. 31

  • 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 Jan. 31:

*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 Jan. 31

For the Cash-in & Trade-up claim, the formatter board of an eligible printer must be returned.

EPSON Instant Rebates – Valid through Jan. 31, 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:

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.

Kick Off 2020 with the First Printer Webinars of the Year

Now that the holidays are over, take some time for yourself by attending a free printer webinar. If a new printer is in your 2020 business plan, then don’t miss your opportunity to learn about some of the most popular aqueous and latex printers available today. You can register for sessions from Canon PRO-Series or HP Latex industry pros. Learn about the latest technology, new applications, and receive extra savings on qualified purchases as a “thank you” for attending. Don’t wait to register, space is limited.

Canon

  • What? Learn about the next generation Canon PRO-Series printers, software, and new contoured-cut bundles.
  • Who? Pete Wright, an award-winning photographer, discusses the benefits of the recently updated PRO-Series printers.
  • When? Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 11 a.m. ET
  • Why? Attendees will receive an additional 5% off their PRO-Series printer purchase. SIGN UP NOW

HP

  • What? Join us for the free HP Latex printer technology webinar
  • Who? John Stevens, one of the industry’s leading latex specialists, will discuss the applications and benefits of HP Latex technology.
  • When? Friday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m. ET
  • Why? Attend and you will save $1,000 on an HP Latex 315 Print & Cut Bundle or HP Latex 335 Print & Cut Bundle, or save $4,000 on an HP Latex 560 or HP Latex 570. SIGN UP NOW

Sign up online or call one of our printer specialists at 800-453-9538 for additional information.

2019 International Photographic Competition Winners Recognized

Congratulations to the 2019 International Photographic Competition winners. Earlier this summer, the top images were selected from the PPA District Sunset Print Award recipients:

1st Place – Brian Castle “Sins Broken Chains

2nd Place – Kimberly Smith “Owl Always Kneed You

3rd Place – Brooke Kasper “Solitary Journey

Each year, the judges award the top three prints that best embody the 12 Elements of Merit. This year’s district winners included everything from a rocky rush of water in Kari Douma’s “Just Around the River Bend” to a burgeoning chemist in Vanessa Longuski’s “Science.” As always, the talent at the district level makes it difficult for the judges selecting the National IPC winners.

Castle, who took third place in last year’s event, was once again inspired by a dream. “I dropped to my knees and prayed, this light came from above and Archangel Michael came and loaned me his wings to rip the chains apart so we could ascend to Heaven,” he says. What he didn’t expect was to be so personally affected by the photo shoot. “What did people go through back in Biblical days when they were chained like this? I teared up, it was emotional, I couldn’t hold it back,” he says.

Smith, who consistently finishes with district and national wins, had a most unusual image serve as the inspiration for her 2019 entry. “I had to have a knee MRI and they sent me home with the disk,” she says. “As I’m going through them, I noticed one of them looked like an owl.” She combined an image of a tree from a previous photography session and the base image from the MRI into an artistic image of an owl and her owlet. She won the PPA Southwest District award, subsequently leading to her second-place national finish.

Kasper says her award-winning image is extremely personal. While she may be on her own “Solitary Journey,” she has a strong faith in God, so she knows she is never truly alone. “We all have our own personal stories, and this one represents how I’m charting my course,” she says. “We may feel abandoned and alone at times, but we are surrounded by so many wonderful memories of people and things that have given us strength, even in solitude.”

Along with an engraved crystal trophy, the winners also receive cash prizes: $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. The awards for the winning photographers will be presented at Imaging USA – Nashville in January.

We want to thank all the participants in the 2019 Sunset Print Awards. You can see these and other winners on our newly redesigned Sunset Print Awards site. If you are interested in the 2020 Sunset Print Awards, have your chairperson fill out the application. The Sunset Print Award is offered to those competitions judging a minimum of 150 printed entries.

Prints That Win: Sins Broken Chains

Last year, Kingsport, Tenn., photographer Brian Castle not only won a PPA Southeast District award for his portrait “Heaven’s Hands of Hope,” but he also took third place in the 2018 IPC awards, in which he saw stiff competition from all of the District PPA Sunset Print Award winners. Because he had such a personal connection to his 2018 award-winning image, Castle wasn’t sure if he could surpass it in 2019.

As it turns out, he not only exceeded his 2018 accomplishments, he blew them out of the water. He once again took home a Sunset Print Award for PPA Southeast District Portrait with “Sins Broken Chains” and, after the judging was finished at the 2019 IPC, it was revealed that Castle would take first place in this year’s competition.

“I was a handler at this year’s competition, so I put each of the competition images on the turntables for the judges,” he says. “It was a neat experience to see the live judging, especially since my image received a ‘Unanimous Loan’ from all five judges.”

Like his previous image, “Sins Broken Chains” came to him in a dream. “In the dream, I was in a dungeon with a family member who couldn’t get free of the shackles,” he says. “I dropped to my knees and prayed, this light came from above and Archangel Michael came and loaned me his wings to rip the chains apart so we could ascend to Heaven.”

To recreate the dream for his photo shoot, he knew it was going to take the right setting, light, staging and props. The day of the shoot was a true family affair. “My whole family was helping: my wife, my mom and dad,” Castle says. “My dad taught me how to shoot on a film camera, so who better to have on-site than someone who has experience and who can set up the lights.”

Castle says the actual shoot took about nine hours from setting up to costuming and makeup, as well as additional action shots to get the chains breaking. “We rented the basement of an abandoned department store, originally built in the 1920s,” he says. “I borrowed the pants from a local theater group, I bought a brand-new white t-shirt, ripped it with a razor and dyed it with teabags. I took theater makeup and smudged it all over to give me a dirty look.”

As he was shackled for the shoot, Castle had an unexpected emotional reaction. “I had these big logging chains attached to me and I had this quarter-inch plate shackle around my wrist, all I could think was ‘What did people go through back in Biblical days when they were chained like this?’ I teared up, it was emotional, I couldn’t hold it back,” he says. “The chains were so heavy, and they wore my arms and shoulders out. I felt the pain a little bit.”

One thing Castle has learned over the years is that it’s important to get every angle, light setting or version of a shot while the scene is set. “For example, to capture the broken chain, my dad whipped the chains and I photographed it several different ways to make sure I had enough for the image,” Castle says. “Newer photographers don’t know to get those extra shots. Through competitions, I’ve learned to think about editing before I’m through shooting, that way if I missed something, I can get it then and won’t need to redo it, later.”

Castle has accomplished quite a few things in 2019. Not only did he receive the top prize in the Sunset Print Awards competition for the first time, but he also completed his first two photography degrees: Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman. “Now I am going for the Master Artist degree,” he says.

Castle says he uses the Sunset Bright Velvet Rag on his Canon PRO-4000 because the paper came highly recommended by fellow Sunset winner Kimberly Smith. “Kim told me about it, and I want every piece to be printed on Velvet Rag; I love it. I will never go to another fine art paper,” he says. “I know LexJet sells other brands, but that Velvet Rag produces more accurate colors, and it’s not as expensive.”

He also travels around the country for speaking engagements where he shares his experiences and success stories. “I travel from Memphis to Atlanta and from Florida to Virginia and I always mention LexJet and the papers,” he says. “I tell them ‘when you buy from LexJet, you’re not just buying the printer and the paper, you’re buying their customer service, too.’”

With another Sunset Print Award-winning image and a first-place finish in 2019, it seems that Brian Castle’s work really is the stuff of dreams.

10 Customer Print Projects that Inspired in 2019

From floor-to-ceiling murals to thought-proving graphics for a children’s art center, LexJet customers printed some awesome – and awe-inspiring – images in 2019. Here are a few examples of what our creative and innovative customers designed throughout the year:

University Brings Football History to Life with Extreme AquaVinyl When it was time for the University at Buffalo to celebrate 100 years of football history, Kris Miller turned to LexJet for help designing the 35-foot by 10-foot mural that was the centerpiece graphic. “I’m not a professional installer, so whatever I use has to be easy to work with and install,” Miller says. READ MORE

Mixing Up the Painting Process with Canvas & Coating Combining oil painting and wide-format printing, San Francisco photo retoucher Leonard Gordon has his Surrealist-style artwork printed on Sunset by Fredrix Canvas, then protected with Sunset Satin Coating. Then he added additional texture with oil paints. “That’s what’s giving the painting depth. It’s all about bringing out the color of the print itself,” he says. READ MORE

GeoJango Maps: Bringing the World (of Maps) to Everybody Debbie Dennison at GeoJango Maps is excited to share her passion for maps with the world. Using HP Everyday Instant-dry Satin Photo Paper on their HP printers, Dennison and the team did a tremendous amount of research before deciding which products to use. “We’ve done a lot of testing with different inks, printing methods, and materials, and we’ve found the right ones. The customers are thrilled with the results,” says Dennison. READ MORE

New Exhibit Takes Flight with Floor-to-Ceiling Murals Inspired by an over-sized book by James Audubon, Nel Fetherling at the Field Museum in Chicago wanted to “go big” for an exhibition showcasing Audubon’s 19th-century work. Fetherling and her team printed six 14-foot x 75-inch wall murals as well as one for the entryway using LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric. “The colors were so brilliant,” Fetherling says. “Our designer was skeptical, but after we printed it, she said the colors were almost better than the actual illustrations.” READ MORE

What They’re Saying: HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP – ‘It Really Shines’ Husband and wife team Rick and Connie Rhind Robey, of SpeedPro Imaging in Silver Spring, Md., had the opportunity to use HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP and HP Gloss Polymeric Overlaminate on storage spaces of downtown Kensington, Md., businesses. “I loved the high-quality look of the images,” Connie says. “It’s important that the final piece looks great and the artist loves it. It really shines in the high-end market place.” READ MORE

C’est Magnifique! Turning Antique French Postcards into Wall Art Photographer David Humphreys was tasked with turning old French postcards into 5-foot by 8-foot canvas murals for off-campus housing at Louisiana State University. Knowing he would need a 60-inch wide printer to accommodate the width of the images. Humphreys bought a Canon PRO-6000 and he’s pleased with the results. “The printer is incredible. It’s user-friendly and did a beautiful job,” he says. “Now I’m doing a lot of larger images for other people because of the 60-inch capability.” READ MORE

Artist Jonathon Romain Creates a Colorful World for Children Jonathon Romain and his wife purchased an old school in Peoria, Ill., to build the Romain Arts & Culture Community Center where they hosted their first summer program where kids could talk about issues that affect them and then create murals to present to the local school superintendent. “Each one of the children received a smaller framed copy of images to take home to their family and friends,” he says. READ MORE

Sunset Photo Metallic Paper Beats Aluminum for Gallery Exhibit Hollywood director Blair Hayes wanted to create a new exhibit called Light of Future Past, from his movie-site images. He originally set out to print them on brushed aluminum for a sleek, modern look, but the bright gallery lights bounced off the aluminum and muddied the colors. Turning to Chris Glassman at Casual Graphics for suggestions, they settled on Sunset Photo Metallic Paper. “They stated to me that if it weren’t for Casual Graphics, the show would not have happened due to the lighting issues,” says Glassman. “I must state that if it wasn’t for the LexJet media, I wouldn’t have been able to provide a cost-effective alternative solution to aluminum prints.” READ MORE

Bringing Children’s Books to Life with Wall Decals John Etienne of Wall Adventure, offers activity books with matching fabric wall decals that are ideal for children’s spaces. He prints the decals on LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric on his Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-Series PRO-4000S. “My customers love the products. The colors on the fabric are bright. The combination of printer and fabric is working well,” he says. READ MORE

Real Color Design Partners with EPSON for Marvel-ous Results Alex Costa, of Real Color Design in Torrance, Calif., works closely with Marvel, WB, DC Comics and other studios. With a customer base like that, there is no margin for error. To meet the demands of qualifying as an authorized print resource, Costa and his team work with a fleet of EPSON printers. “We’ve been with Epson since the beginning,” he says. “Currently, we use the SureColor F6200 (dye-sub), SureColor S80600 (solvent) and SureColor P10000 (aqueous)”. READ MORE

Do you have a story you’d like to share on the LexJet blog? Email us your projects and you could be featured in 2020!