Team Portraits at the NHL Winter Classic Printed on Metallic

Sunset Photo Metallic Paper

Arguably hockey’s biggest event, the NHL Winter Classic, was played at Michigan Stadium earlier in January. But the Winter Classic isn’t just about pro hockey. About 70 youth teams from all over converge on Ann Arbor for the event, and play at nearby Yost Ice Arena.

PDQ Photos, based in Wyandotte, Mich., specializes in making those youth teams look great. In addition to shooting action photos (more than 45,000!), PDQ Photos owner Dan Swint and his crack team also set up team photos while they were there.

This year, PDQ Photos photographed 38 teams, and printed them on-site with two Canon iPF6400 wide-format inkjet printers on LexJet Sunset Photo Metallic Paper. “We bought one a few weeks before and liked it so much we bought a second one right before the Winter Classic,” says Swint.

The action photos were also viewed by the teams on computer monitors set up outside each game and printed on-site.

“The team photos were shot against a green screen and then dropped on top of that background. Everything was done on location and delivered at the event,” explains Swint. “The prints were phenomenal. We had such good feedback from the hockey teams and our staff. When they see it come off the printer, and the way the Metallic paper pops, it puts it over the top. It’s a real new product for us and has done very well at all the tournaments, and not just the Winter Classic, but the smaller tournaments prior to the Winter Classic.”

Swint adds that the combination of the Canon printers with Sunset Photo Metallic Paper has been a real boon to tournament business, making it easier to sell the output on-site. “I can’t say for certain that the Metallic look has pushed it any further because it’s been really busy since we added these poster printers to our lineup. However, we feel, based on our presentation and the look of the product, that it has had an impact,” he says.

Printing for the Stars On-Site at the Surf Ballroom

Photographing ZZ Top in concert
ZZ Top photographed at the Surf Ballroom and Museum, Clear Lake, Iowa, by Craig Kienast, and printed on LexJet Sunset Photo eSatin Paper.

Craig Kienast, owner of IMAGES by Craig Kienast, Clear Lake, Iowa, has an enviable job. He gets called on by the Surf Ballroom and Museum to photograph A-list acts that stop at the venue in Clear Lake.

Photo prints for display cases
ZZ Top's display case in the museum portion of the Surf Ballroom and Museum.

It may be enviable, but it’s not easy. Security for the venue escorts Kienast on stage and inserts him into the front row. Craig gets as many shots as he can early in the show; basically, the first two or three songs.

Then, when he’s done, Kienast has to fight the crowd to get out of the front row and back to his setup where he works his magic. “People look at me like I’m crazy to leave the show so early,” explains Kienast

His magic is to bring the images he’s captured of the artists into Photoshop and then print and trim three images on-site for the artists to sign after the show. Two of the photos are auctioned off to support the museum portion of the Surf Ballroom and Museum and the other is hung on the museum’s wall.

“Sometimes with a group like ZZ Top it’s hard to get all of them together. In ZZ Top’s case I captured the bassist and guitarist together, then got some crazy cool shots of the drummer and merged the two images together in Photoshop,” explains Kienast.

Concert photography and printingKienast’s setup is a computer, an Epson Stylus Photo R2880 inkjet printer and a small trimmer. Kienast outputs 8x10s, 11x14s or a combination of the two. He has a template set up in Photoshop that includes the name of the venue, the date, the artist and his copyright information.

The images are processed, set in the template, printed on LexJet Sunset Photo eSatin Paper, trimmed and ready for signing. Kienast also shoots video interviews backstage and produces photographic art of the venue on LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas.

Concert photography and on-site printing“Usually the performer’s manager or publicist is there and they’re completely blown away that there will be images of the artist at the venue and hung on the wall. When we photographed Gary Busey the manager said no one does this; not even in Hollywood,” says Kienast.

Kienast’s photographic art, both from the show and the venue in general, can be found in the homes and offices of many of the acts that come through town and play at the Surf Ballroom. “It’s a real honor to have my artwork displayed by these A-list stars,” says Kienast.