Don’t Miss the Free March Webinars

Don’t depend on luck to help you pick out a new printer! Instead, check out one of these free webinars to ensure you get the right equipment for your business. Our Canon expert will discuss the latest line of imagePROGRAF PRO-Series printers, and HP’s leading Latex specialist will cover the benefits of latex technology. Attend the webinar and receive additional savings with the purchase of a qualified printer. Space is limited, so sign up today.

HP Latex Webinar: Join us for a webinar on HP’s Latex printer technology on Tuesday, March 26, at 11 AM 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; or save $3,000 on an HP Latex 560 or HP Latex 570. SIGN UP NOW

Canon PRO-Series Webinar: Join us Wednesday, March 27, at 11 AM ET to learn about the features of the Canon PRO-Series printers and software, as well as print applications. Attendees will receive an additional 5% off their PRO-Series printer purchase. SIGN UP NOW

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

LexJet Plays a Full House at The UPS Store Convention in Vegas

L to R: Bill Weiser, Kevin Drelich, Dylan Borden, Matt Bailey and Vince Bejar with Canon’s Pete Wright

The UPS Stores held their biennial convention in Las Vegas in early July. The franchisees meet every other year to allow the nationwide locations to get together to network, receive updates from corporate, meet with vendors who work with the stores and, of course, fun.

The theme for 2018 was “The Motivation Celebration” and several LexJet representatives were on hand to help motivate the attendees to celebrate.  Bill Weiser, Dylan Borden, Kevin Drelich, Matthew Bailey and Vince Bejar – along with Canon’s Pete Wright – were at the conference to discuss the benefits of adding wide format printing to the services offered by the UPS Stores.

The LexJet booth was one of the highlights of the show, as everyone who stopped by was interested in learning more about wide format printing. “Many locations aren’t printing yet, but they are eager to learn,” Bejar said. “Every time a customer would come to the booth, they always said ‘we hear you’re the people we need to see [to learn about printing]’. We were glad to get them excited about new opportunities.”

The team had the chance to discuss products like LexJet TRIBUTE Satin Photo Paper 240g, LexJet Print-N-Stick Fabric, LexJet Sunset Reserve Gloss Canvas as well as many other diverse products with the attendees. As each person stopped by the booth and chatted with the LexJet reps, they received a raffle ticket for a chance to win a Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-4000.

Raffle winner John Appel of The UPS Store – 1277 congratulated by Vince Bejar

As the show came to a close, the energy around the LexJet booth became electric because it was time for the drawing. Out of over 400 raffle tickets, the lucky winner of the 44-inch printer was John Appel of The UPS Store – 1277 in Seattle, Wash.

With one extremely happy winner, open discussions about wide format printing and the introduction of unique products to the 1,800 attendees, the LexJet team was happy to play such an important part of the success of the conference and they are looking forward to the next one in 2020.

Guest Blog: One Thing Winning Images Have in Common

One of the most beneficial things a photographer can do as an artist is enter print competition. Not for the sake of winning awards, but to grow, learn and improve. If you look at some of the general rules that have been applied with success to images in print competition over the years, you can find some great composition and presentation lessons that make for better images.

By Pete Wright
By Pete Wright

Let’s look at using compositional cues to make sure you drive your audience to look at the part of the image that is the most important to relay the message you are trying to get across.

Compositionally the two most common placements of a subject in an image are based on the rule of thirds or bulls-eye. The rule of thirds, the most popular, would be like placing a tic-tac-toe game over your image, as shown above.

Guest Blog: Creating Versatile Images for Multiple Uses

When it comes to commercial applications, the creation of an image often takes place before a camera is even touched. From the standpoint of the person capturing the image, one of the most important factors, beyond the message, is how the image will be used.

petew
By Pete Wright

Whether you are on the front end of the process creating the concept for a campaign, in the middle capturing the images, or on the back end creating the finished work, it’s important to be clear on the overall vision of what the final presentation will be.

Many times, a company may decide they’ll be using an image that will cross many different media platforms: print (direct mail, pamphlets, magazine, billboards, etc.), social media or broadcast. Versatility is important for images like this. In other words, consider approaching an image so that it has a good amount of negative space for text and will work equally well if cropped vertically or horizontally.

Sunset Print Award Grand Prize Winner: Permanent Bond

Permanent Bond by Tammy Bevins

The judging panel for the first annual National Sunset Print Award described the First Place Grand Prize winner – Permanent Bond by Tammy Bevins – as “flawless,” “masterful” and “fully resolved.” The image depicts the bond her twin sons have had since before they were born.

In fact, there was little debate about the print, other than how perfect each element of the image – from composition to lighting – was absolutely spot-on.

Permanent Bond was one of 29 prints judged at LexJet headquarters in Sarasota, Fla., on Thursday, Nov. 13. All of the entries in the National Sunset Print Award competition won a Sunset Print Award at state and regional competitions across the U.S. in 2014.

Permanent Bond won the Sunset Print Award at the Professional Photographers of South Carolina (PPSC) competition, and was thus automatically eligible for the national competition.

Sunset Print Award
One of Tammy Bevin’s twins prepares to get into the water tank for the Sunset Print Award-winner, Permanent Bond.

“It took four minutes to photograph something, but it took me four years to come up with the idea,” says Bevins. “For several years I’ve been trying to come up with a concept to show the bond my twins have with each other and what it means to be a twin. It’s one of the most amazing experiences to have twins that look so much alike and have been best friends. Over the years I didn’t come up with something I was inspired to do until I came up with Permanent Bond. I wanted to position them like they were in the womb together, and I used rope to signify the umbilical cord.”

The shoot actually took more than four minutes as Bevins built a water tank in the back yard filled with a few inches of water and dry ice to create the fog effect. What you see is basically what Bevins captured; there was very little Photoshop work done to the image.

Bevins captured the image with a Canon 5D Mark II with a 24-70mm lens at 1/200, f/4.6, and 160 ISO. Master printer Jonathan Penney, Center Moriches, N.Y., printed the image on fine art paper.

Sunset Print Awards
The judges at the first annual National Sunset Print Awards evaluate Permanent Bond by Tammy Bevins. Photo by Billy Elkins.

“I used available light and a 2×3 soft box. I had the soft box on pretty low and wanted the light skimming across them and coming up from the top a bit,” explains Bevins.

Bevins runs Nuvo Images in Charleston, S.C., with her daughter and son-in-law, both of whom are award-winning photographers as well. Bevins has nine children – six girls and three boys – ranging in age from 13 to 29. The twins are the third and fourth out of the nine.

“I grew up in West Virginia, and everyone in my family were coal miners. I moved to South Carolina after I got married and was in the medical field. We started having children and I stayed home with the kids, which gave me some time to explore my creative side,” says Bevins. “About 13 years ago I started taking art classes in oil painting at the local museum and I absolutely loved it. My husband suggested I take photography classes, and it really exploded for me and fit my lifestyle. My first year in business was 2004 and I immediately joined PPA and PPSC, and shortly thereafter got interested in print competitions.”

The National Sunset Print Award judging panel - from left to right,  Carmen Schettino, Julie Hughes, Jessica Vogel, Tom Carabasi and Rich Newell - with their choice for First Place, Permanent Bond by Tammy Bevins. Congratulations, Tammy!
The National Sunset Print Award judging panel – from left to right, Carmen Schettino, Julie Hughes, Jessica Vogel, Tom Carabasi and Rich Newell – with their choice for First Place, Permanent Bond by Tammy Bevins. Congratulations, Tammy!

Bevins’ accomplishment at the National Sunset Print Awards is made all the more remarkable by the quality and variety of the images entered in the competition, from fine art photography to portraits and landscapes.

Julia Kelleher of Jewel Images in Bend, Ore., won second place for He Has Arrived. Click here to read the story behind Kelleher’s award-winning print that scored a 100 at the PPA Western District print competition.

Pete Wright won third for his retro image, Temptress, which won a Sunset Print Award at the PPA Southeast District competition. Click here to read the story behind this stunning image.

Congratulations to all the 2014 Sunset Print Award winners who made it to the National competition! Go to http://www.sunsetprint.com/previous-winners/ to see all the winners from 2014 and earlier years, and the stories behind the photography. While you’re there, look around to find out more about the 2015 competition and which competitions you can enter for a shot at a Sunset Print Award.

And, special thanks to our judges this year, who not only did a thorough and fair job, but gave everyone at LexJet a valuable education in what makes a print stand out at competition. This year’s judges were: Tom Carabasi of Ringling College of Art + Design; Julie Hughes, Abbey of London, Jensen Beach, Fla.; Rich Newell, Professional Photographers of America; Carmen Schettino, Carmen Schettino Photography, Sarasota; Jessica Vogel, Jessica Vogel Photography, Shelbyville, Ky.

Prints that Win: Temptress

Temptress by Pete Wright

Pete Wright’s photography is all about capturing and producing the tiniest details, from the initial setting all the way through to print. It was Wright’s attention to detail, in addition to his technical expertise, that made Temptress a Sunset Print Award winner at the recent PPA Southeast District competition.

Wright pulled out all the stops for this photo shoot, which he did for a clothier and a jeweler. Both clients gave him free reign to produce images that would make them shine. Wright chose to render the images in his signature style, Film Noir.

“I went to both of my clients and told them what era I was shooting, so they pulled out vintage clothing and jewelry. We had a hair and makeup artist come in and created the look we wanted for the models. Then I went on a hunt for a location and found a music studio that had created a speakeasy bar authentic to the era with the correct lighting and fixtures,” explains Wright. “My lighting style is different because I still shoot in the way they would have shot in the ’20s and ’30s. I don’t use any kind of modern soft boxes. Instead, I use modifiers like Fresnels, Snoots and Barn-Doors that are more appropriate to the era so that the lighting is very dramatic and the shadows very purposeful. And, when you have someone sitting for a photo, they know they can’t move and you pose them exactly the way you want them to so the light falls just right.”

Wright adds that he also rented vintage furniture and appointments, like a crystal decanter from the era, and had the hair and makeup artist and experts from the clothing and jewelry store on hand to make sure everything about the scene was perfectly in place so that he could concentrate on the lighting and capturing the image.

Wright shot the male and female models together and then separately. For Temptress, Wright directed the female model to sit in the chair, pick up the cigar and to “act like she owned the place.” He says it’s important to set the scene for the models so they exude the attitude needed to tell the story the image is meant to portray.

“A lot of the strength of the image was in how it was lit, the confidence in how she was posed and how she came across, and the research that went into finding the right location. As much as I like to take credit for my images, it was a team effort to make sure that all those little things you might overlook are taken care of so you don’t have to worry about it on the back end,” explains Wright. “It was so different than what people are used to seeing. Most of what the judges see at competition is rendered in color. When you don’t miss anything and every decision you make about the shot was thought out the judges notice that.”

Wright adds that the final touch is choosing the right paper to print on, and printing it with master photographer and printer Jeff Bowman. Wright used Sunset Photo eSatin Paper for the final print, and says the paper is especially crucial for his black-and-white prints as it renders true, deep, rich blacks that he can’t get elsewhere.

“Because we do so much black-and-white photography it’s so important for us to use a paper that shows the true black. I see a lot of prints where the blacks are not true black; they’re a little muddy and don’t have the depth and contrast,” says Wright. “Jeff Bowman introduced me to eSatin. I always noticed his images looked so great on that paper. We’ve been printing our competition images together on that paper for six or seven years, and we’ve always had great success. When an image is put under the lights and you use something with a high gloss, it becomes too reflective and almost milky under the lights. If you’re using an art matte paper, especially with black-and-white images, it can come off the printer looking great, but after a few hours, because the ink is still soaking into the fiber of the paper it looks more grey and muted. They’re great for a watercolor or pastel image, but not for the majority of my competition prints.”

Wright adds that another important differentiator for his competition work is that he and Bowman prints it themselves. The ability to control the output, and to re-do the print if necessary, is crucial to his success at competition, he says.

To find out more about the Sunset Print Awardcompetitions where the award is being presented, a portfolio of past winners, and the Sunset inkjet media product line, go to www.sunsetprint.com.