Misunderstandings sometimes pay off. David Hyttsten, owner of David’s Photography in Monticello, Minn., thought that he needed to print on LexJet Sunset inkjet media to be eligible for the Sunset Print Award at the recent Northern Light PPA print competition.
So, he picked up a box of Sunset Photo Metallic Paper and entered what would become the Sunset Print Award winner at the competition, a family portrait entitled Narnia. As it turns out, the only requirement for Sunset Print Award eligibility is that the image is inkjet-printed.
For his “mistake,” Hyttsen received a bonus prize of an iPad Mini, in addition to a Sunset Print Award trophy, pin and gift certificate. Plus, Hyttsten says the Metallic paper likely gave the image a boost at competition.
“That is a rockin’ paper. When I tried it I thought, ‘Holy cow; I need this stuff for the studio.’ I’m absolutely impressed with the paper,” says Hyttsten. “It works great for competition, but more than that, I really think it makes a beautiful, saleable image that you can get a good price for.”
Of course the real key to winning the Sunset Print Award is to capture, print and enter an image that brings the judges back for a second look.
“I was surprised to win the Sunset Print Award. When you get to that level of competition there are a lot of good prints. It’s very common for me to think I have good stuff, but when I go in there I’m pretty humbled when I see everyone else’s work,” says Hyttsten.
Shot on a winter’s day in Minnesota when frost blanketed everything in a surreal coating of white, Hyttsten took advantage of the opportunity it presented and picked the perfect spot in a field of native prairie grass on a farm in central Minnesota.
“The frost is so white on a morning like that; it overcomes everything. Makes you want to move to Minnesota, doesn’t it? We get a few of those days here and when we do I have people I call to see if they’re interested in getting pictures taken,” explains Hyttsten. “Generally, I shoot pretty close to wide open; as much as I can get away with, and I did some dodging and burning to tweak and even out the exposure. There’s a lot of emotion in it, so that may have been part of what appealed to the judges.”