Prints that Win: William

Cat Photograph

You don’t have to be a cat lover to enjoy this portrait of William the cat by Sherie Dowsett. This striking close-up of William won the LexJet Sunset Award for Outstanding Print & Presentation at the Plymouth Center for the Arts competition in February.

Take any random group of people – say, print competition judges – and you’re sure to have a mix of cat lovers and those who are, at best, ambivalent about them. The recognition of this cat capture as an award-winner has less to do with the subject and much more about how the capture brings out the subject’s character.

When asked if she was surprised by the award, Dowsett replied: “Yes, absolutely. You’re always surprised, right? But I spent a lot of time thinking of the presentation. I used a rustic frame in an attempt to bring out that wild cat feel. I have a local framer I work with closely and we spent a lot of time discussing how to frame it. It captures a lot of attention, and not just cat lovers.”

The key to this capture, like most captures, is the lighting. Taken indoors on a winter day with the sun low on the horizon the interplay of shadow and light creates a depth that brings out William’s dual nature as he looks out the window.

“I was playing with this macro lens and was very close to William. He’s so used to me taking shots of him that he completely ignores me,” Dowsett recalls. “I love this shot because you can see the wild cat in this image and the softer side of him; it just depends on how you look at it. I see it differently than other people might because I know what he’s like as a cat. He’s always faithfully at my side looking for attention, never catches anything and can only clumsily climb trees, but someone else may just see his wild side.”

Dowsett is a part-time photographer who lives in Amherst, N.H. A native of England, she moved from the Midwest a few years ago to take advantage of the great outdoors that surround her home in Amherst. Since most of her photography is nature-focused using only natural light, it was the perfect fit.

For more information about Dowsett’s photography, go to:

Prints that Win: Something Old, Something New

Award winning photographyIt’s rare to find someone from the next generation of photographers who prefers to shoot film over digital. This year’s LexJet Sunset Award winner for Best Quality Print and Presentation at the Plymouth Center for the Arts competition and exhibition, The Fine Art of Photography, is more than just a throwback to traditional photography.

Elizabeth Ellenwood enjoys the interaction of the historical and the modern in both her photography process and in the subjects of her photography. Her winning print of Boston architecture exemplifies this seeming contradiction.

“The image is from a series I started for my senior thesis at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. I started photographing Boston architecture because I enjoy the combination of historical and modern architecture that overlays each other,” says Ellenwood. “I photograph with a Tachihara Field Camera, which renders everything in the viewfinder upside down and in reverse. It’s great to work with architecture from an almost abstract point of view. I’m a film person at heart; it’s what interested me in photography in the first place and it still holds true for me.”

Ellenwood scanned the color negative, printed it on the school’s Epson 9800 on Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper, then matted and framed it herself. Like the image itself, it was a unique blend of history and modernity using analog and digital tools.

Photographing Boston architectureEllenwood was introduced to the Plymouth Center for the Arts exhibition by another Sunset Award winner, Neal Rantoul. A year after Rantoul won the award, Ellenwood took one home.

“When I moved to Boston I started to get involved in the local photography community and met Neal, who became a mentor to me and was very inspiring. He sent me an email about the Plymouth show and encouraged me to enter. It was exciting for me because this photographer I really admire won the same award the year before,” says Ellenwood.

Cash, Prizes and the LexJet Sunset Award at the Fine Art of Photography Exhibition

Photography competition in MassachusettsAt the Plymouth Guild’s second annual Fine Art of Photography Regional Juried Photography Exposition in Plymouth, Mass., more than $1,500 in cash and prizes will be awarded to photo artists whose work is chosen for Best in Show ($500), Best Color ($250), Best B&W ($250), Achievement in Color ($100) and Achievement in B&W ($100), along with five honorable mention ribbons and Special Sponsor Awards.

In addition, LexJet will award its Sunset Award for the Best Quality in Print and Presentation image entered in the exhibition. The winner of the award will also receive a $200 gift certificate that can be used to purchase any of the exceptional photo papers, art papers and canvases included in LexJet’s Sunset portfolio of inkjet materials for professional photographic printing and fine-art reproduction.

To qualify, the entries must be digitally printed and meet Plymouths Guild’s submission requirements. Submission of digital images with completed entry forms and fees must be received by Feb. 29 and accepted work delivered, framed and ready for hanging March 25-26. Artists will be notified on March 16 and selected work must be delivered, framed and ready for hanging March 27-28. The opening reception is April 1 and the exhibition closes on April 30.

On Thursday, April 12, from 7-9 p.m., the Plymouth Center for the Arts and Canon USA’s Explorers of Light present photographer and author Stephen Johnson, who will give a lecture on digital photography.

Further details can be found at: For more information about the LexJet Sunset Award, contact Tom Gruss at LexJet, 800-453-9538.

Coveted Sunset Award to be Presented at Eight Upcoming Photo Competitions

LexJet is proud to honor and promote excellence in professional photography with its Sunset Award for outstanding photography and inkjet print reproduction at eight annual print competitions held by affiliates of the Professional Photographers of America and other regional professional organizations.

Photography competition awardThis year all five PPA Districts will include the Sunset award in their competitions. The Sunset Award winning image category is selected by the presenting organization (see specific categories below), and the winner is selected by the respective print-competition judging panel.

In addition to the beautiful Sunset Award trophy, the winner will receive a $100 gift certificate that can be used to purchase any of the products included in LexJet’s Sunset portfolio of inkjet materials for professional photographic printing and fine art reproduction.

An additional $300 gift certificate will be presented if the winning photographer purchased materials from LexJet in 2010-11 or used LexJet Sunset media to create the award-winning print. The following print competitions held in conjunction with the hosting organization’s annual conference will be awarding the 2011 LexJet Sunset Award…

PPA District Photographic Competitions:

Other regional competitions:

  • Plymouth Center for the Arts, Fine Art of Photography Regional Juried Photography Exhibition: Exhibition is April 1-30 at the Plymouth Center for the Arts, Plymouth, Mass. The Sunset Award will be presented to the winner of the Best Quality Print & Presentation category.
  • PhotoNorthEast: March 26-29, Woodcliff Lake Hilton, Woodcliff Lake, N.J. The Sunset Award will be presented to the winner of the Best Electronic Imaging category.
  • PPA of PA: April 3-5, Days Inn Penn State, State College, Pa. The Sunset Award will be presented to the winner of the Best Quality Print and Presentation category.