Prints That Win: Misty Morning

Last November, photographers Kathryn and Gary Meek were vacationing in China, when one misty morning, they spied a junk boat moored to just a little wisp of a dock on the Yangtze River. Even though it was at rest, Kathryn Meek said she was struck by the serenity of the scene. She pulled out her camera and started shooting. One of the images she captured would later become “Misty Morning,” winner of the Sunset Print Award – Illustrative category in the PPA Southwest District.

“It is one of my favorite shots. The trip was a cool experience and I was able to get a really cool shot,” she says.

To properly convey the ethereal feeling of the scene for the print, she used LexJet Sunset Photo Metallic Paper. “It really made the image pop,” she said of the award-winning paper.

Getting a Consistent Look from Paper to Canvas

Professional photographers know the importance of creating a signature look with their photography and editing skills, but another way to create a look that clients remember is through the choice of paper and canvas used for the finished piece.

Portrait photographer Tom Milne, based in Fresno, Calif., started with LexJet Sunset Photo eSatin Paper 300g several years ago, thanks to its excellent reproduction, durability and weight, and ability to handle a good, dynamic range of colors. The eSatin is an ideal choice for single prints and framed portraits.

LexJet Welcomes National Sunset Print Award Winner Kari Douma

LexJet’s headquarters in Sarasota, Fla., welcomed 2015 National Sunset Print Award Winner, Kari Douma, to our offices and home town as part of her first place prize for her image, “Aged Gracefully.”

The Grandville, Mich., photographer posed with her husband, Vince, pictured in center above, with LexJet’s Tom Gruss and Rachel Gamberg.

Prints That Win: Hare Apparent

It’s not hard to tell where master photographer Kelly Schulze’s heart resides … she signs off email correspondence with a “Peace, Purrs, and Tail Wags,” and she owns Mountain Dog Photography in Monkton, Vermont. Yes, she loves all things furry or scaly, and has dedicated her business to capturing their personalities in portraits.

Case in point: Ivory, the albino rabbit she photographed at the Humane Society of Chittenden County, where she has volunteered her photography skills for several years. Ivory’s red eyes and bright pink skin were shot against a blue background, which Schulze says may have seemed “creepy” to some viewers. At a friend’s suggestion, she changed the image to black-and-white and suddenly had an award winner on her hands. She won the Sunset Print Award at the Vermont Professional Photographers competition for this image, titled Hare Apparent.

Prints That Win: WaterCourse

Steeno Jamie_WaterCourseYou may not think that an accounting, finance and human resources professional would be inclined to turn out gorgeous photography like the winning image, WaterCourse, pictured at left. But maybe you haven’t met photographer Jamie Steeno yet.

Green Bay, WI-based Steeno is the force behind this stunning image as well as other industry-recognized photography. In March, WaterCourse won the Sunset Print Award at the Wisconsin Professional Photographers Association‘s annual competition.

WaterCourse was taken as the sun was setting over the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, Steeno explains. It was taken with multiple exposures, and then six photos were stitched together to create the final effect.

Steeno says she’s been taking photos ever since her mom put a camera in her hand when she was about 7 years old. She played around with the craft for years, and “truly paid attention to it about two years ago,” she says, when she got involved with WPPA.

She’s been fine-tuning her photography by learning Photoshop as well as proper composition, exposure and color balance. Not surprisingly, the ambitious professional was asked to take the helm as director of WPPA this year, and she’s pursuing her masters of photography degree.

Steeno juggles her burgeoning photography career with her day job as a business manager for a manufacturing company that reaches 120 different countries. She also produces photography for the company’s website and advertising needs, she says.

Having her work judged in print competitions is a vital part of the education process. “It’s super important,” she says. “Everyone who participates in PPA should be involved in print competitions.”

Print to Win a Sunset Print Award at Photo Competitions across the U.S.

Sunset Print Award
Trophies for the 2014 National Sunset Print Award winners. For a shot at the Grand Prize you’ll need to enter one of the 2015 competitions presenting a Sunset Print Award.

With the Southwest PPA 2015 District Competition underway right now in San Marcos, Texas, this seemed a good time to remind all photographers and print makers about the 2015 Sunset Print Award.

The next competition where you could win a Sunset Print Award is the PhotoPro Expo 2015 Print Competition in Covington, Ky., Jan. 21 (print submissions for the competition are due on Jan. 19).

Every winner at one of the local, state and regional competitions where the Sunset Print Award is being presented picks up a beautiful crystal trophy, a lapel pin and a $250 gift certificate for Sunset inkjet media. Plus, all winners are automatically eligible to compete in the year-end National Sunset Print Award (the National prizes will be announced soon).

Other print competitions currently scheduled include:

  • Connecticut Professional Photographers Association, Feb. 6
  • Photo North East 2015 Image Competition, Feb. 8
  • Mad City Photo Jam, Wisconsin Professional Photographers, Feb. 19
  • Virginia Professional Photographers Association Print Competition, Feb. 20
  • PPA of Massachusetts 2015 Image Competition, Feb. 27
  • PPA Northeast District Competition, March 13
  • Vermont Professional Photographers Annual Print Competition, March 13
  • PP of Idaho Print Competition, March 14
  • PPA Northcentral District, March 20
  • PPA Western District Competition, March 26
  • PP of California Image Competition, March 26
  • PPA of PA Annual Photographic Competition & Print Exhibition, April 12
  • PPA Southeast District Competition, April 30
  • Southern Pro Xposure PP of Louisiana Print Competition, July 26

For all the details – including print submission deadlines, competition rules, and event info – go to now to make sure you’re ready to roll, enter, and potentially win. Entries do not need to be printed on Sunset media to qualify, but must be inkjet-printed.

Good luck, get involved and get recognized! Check with each competition to verify submission deadlines, judging dates, submission/entry rules and more.

And be sure to visit for more information about the Sunset Print Award, a full list of upcoming competitions, the Sunset product line, and more. If you have any questions, ask for a LexJet digital photography specialist at 800-453-9538.