Prints that Win: A Bridge to Remember

Black and white photo printed on Sunset Photo eSatin Paper

A bridge can be a metaphor for many things. For photographers, it’s about bridging the gap from capture to print.

Award-winning pro photographer Darrell Moll did just that, both literally and figuratively, with this stunning black-and-white image of a bridge over Cape Cod Sound that commemorates people who have passed on.

Moll bridged the gap between capture and print, ultimately capturing the judges’ attention at the recent Professional Photographers of Ohio conference. The print scored a 96 – the competition’s highest score – garnering a LexJet Sunset Award in the process, as well the People’s Choice Award, and numerous other accolades.

Moll judged the competition in Michigan the previous week, and says: “The LexJet Sunset Award is quickly becoming the most coveted award you can win for an image.”

Printed on LexJet Sunset Photo eSatin Paper by Michael Timmons, The Portrait Gallery, Vassar, Mich., Moll says competition printing is not something to leave to chance. Though Moll prints his own work regularly, he prefers to use Timmons’ expertise for competition prints. “Since I’ve been working with Michael for competition prints, it’s ridiculous how many awards I’ve won. Printing definitely has an impact on scoring at competition,” he says.

“What good does it do to have all this expensive equipment and use the best techniques in the field to make it look as nice as we can and then just send it to the printer and print it on anything? Why not use a RIP and the best media and ink we can? I print everything on LexJet paper; it doesn’t do any good to do all the right things and not follow through with a calibrated monitor and the right print media. It’s the final step for the finished product, so you leave nothing to chance,” says Moll. “Michael [Timmons] thinks eSatin has the best white point of all the papers he’s tried, and I tend to agree. It doesn’t get blocked up, it sets the ink very well and dries nicely. The finished product is what it’s all about, and in this case it was the reproduction of the subtle gradation of tones and light. With really good black-and-white printing there’s a luminescent quality that comes through; the eSatin paper lends itself well to that and a lot of other subjects. It’s the nicest everyday paper you can use.”

Of course this would be all for naught if not for the photographer’s talent to capture the moment properly and at the right time. Moll was on Cape Cod shooting a wedding and would venture out super early each morning (5 a.m.!) to see what he could see and capture.

He ran across this bridge and all the elements were in place: early morning light, fog and still water. He set up with his Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a 24-105 L series lens and graduated neutral density filter to darken the top of the horizon and show more detail in the foreground. He captured the scene at f16 for four seconds at 100 ISO.

Everything was perfectly in place, and Moll knew right away that this scene would render best in black-and-white. “I made sure it was tack sharp after I shot it before I moved onto another subject. The last thing you want to do is go back home 700 miles from the shot and realize you weren’t sharp,” he says.

Next Level Photography Workshop at Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Photography workshop in the Great Smoky Mountains

Winners of the past four Photographer of the Year titles in Ohio (PPA of Ohio), and with more than 40 years of professional experience between them, Darrell Moll and Rod Brown are hosting a Next Level Workshop at Great Smoky Mountain National Park, April 11-14.

Geared toward advanced amateurs and professionals looking to take their landscape photography to the next level, the workshop will take place mostly in the field capturing the best landscape shots possible.

“Rod and I are both very familiar with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We know where all the iconic images are, but we also know where the quieter areas of the park where you can get just as good, if not better images, than the iconic spots,” explains Moll. “We keep it flexible based on the conditions: based on the light we’ll know where to go that will be the best spot for the best chance to get good images. We teach what techniques the professionals use in the field to guarantee they get the best results before they move onto the next spot, as well as what they may have missed.”

Moll adds that he shoots Canon and prefers to process in Photoshop while Brown shoots Nikon and prefers to use Lightroom.

“If you’re shooting Canon, I’ve got you covered, and if you’re shooting Nikon, Rod’s got you covered, and the same with Photoshop and Lightroom,” says Moll. “But beyond that we both use the same tools right down the line, including LexJet paper for our studio printing.”

The workshop is $795 while spots last, and for more information go to

The Next Level of Landscape Photography: Fall Workshop in Zion National Park

Outdoor landscape photography workshop

Master photographers Darrell Moll and Rod Brown are providing hands-on instruction for a fall workshop in Zion National Park, Oct. 30 through Nov. 3, 2011. There are only 10 to 12 spots available for the workshop, so if you’re interested in taking your outdoor landscape photography to the next level, work on reserving your spot now.

Photography workshop for outdoor landscapesThe cost of the workshop is $895, and includes instruction in the field on everything that makes landscape photography pop in one of the most scenic areas of America. Moll and Brown will cover the proper equipment needed and technique, including white balance, RAW versus JPEG, and their thought process on what aperture and shutter speed to use based on what’s before you.

Post capture techniques will be demonstrated as well. While Brown is a Nikon user who prefers Lightroom, Moll is a Canon user who prefers Adobe Camera Raw and Bridge, so everyone should feel comfortable. They are also well versed with many of the plug-ins like those from nik Software.

Brown knows Zion National Park very well, having photographed there many times over the years, but both will scout out the area a few days ahead of the workshop to find the best places to capture based on conditions at the time.

You’ll see firsthand how they work an area, as well as their different perspectives on each scene, and get additional tips and tricks along the way while you shoot with them. While one will be roaming all the time asking if you need a hand or answering questions, the other will be shooting so you can see afterwards what they saw, how they chose to capture it, and how their use of angles, lens selections and filters make such a difference in the results.

There will be various door prizes from the workshop’s sponsors, which include LexJet, Lowepro, NIK, Midwest Photo Exchange, and Singh-Ray Filters.

Photographing outdoor landscapesBoth photographers hold Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsmen Degrees from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), are Ohio Certified Professionals and PPA International Jurors. Moll holds an Approved Imaging Instructor Degree from PPA and Brown is one of only 106 American Society Fellows. Both have won Ohio Photographer of the Year more than once and have each been awarded the coveted PPA Diamond Photographer of the Year Award.

For more information and to register for the workshop, go to or call 419-668-1293.