Congrats to the 2016 National Sunset Print Award Winners!

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2016 National Sunset Print Awards:

1st  place: Old Faithful by Christie Newell

2nd place: The Boxer by Ben Tanzer

3rd place: Homestead by Kari Douma

Our illustrious judges included jury chairman Carmen Schettino, Canon Explorer of Light Jane Conner Ziser, head of photograhy and digital imaging at Ringling College of Art and Design Thomas Carabasi and Master of Photography Scott Hime.

Prints that Win: Soul Salvation

Soul Salvation by Christie KlineChristie Kline’s specialty is bringing out the personalities of babies and children through her photography. Each portrait she captures at Sonshine Portrait Design in Germantown Hills, Ill., is unique to the subject, but no subject is more unique than you.

For the past three years, Kline has taken a self-portrait that is uniquely her. Last year, she created a self-portrait based on Soul Salvation, the title of her Sunset Print Award-winning image at the PPA Northcentral District photographic competition.

“I made it a goal to do a self-portrait and portray what I’ve gone through that year with the image. This past year, I came up with the title before I photographed it,” explains Kline.

Kline says she shot about 200 images before she captured the right one. It was a rather long and arduous process, using a statue in the spot where she would stand to focus the camera, all the while running back and forth between the camera and the scene she had set up.

“I wrapped myself in material and was clicking the remote while I was trying to get wrapped in the material. I had a full length mirror next to the tripod so I could see the angle I was shooting. It was a three or four hour process,” says Kline. “I rendered it in black and white and brought the opacity down to about 40 percent so that it’s light and airy looking.”

The image was printed on a watercolor paper and framed with a white double-matt. At competition it initially scored an 88. However, a judge who gave it a 100 challenged it. Then, it scored a 98. There was another challenge and Soul Salvation ended up with a perfect 100 score.

“One of the judges said the composition and lighting was perfect and he couldn’t see anything he would do to make it better. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me,” says Kline.