Prints That Win: Coming Home for the Holidays

Photographic craftsman Robert Howard has been taking pictures since he was 7 years old. The Lebanon, Pa., photographer grew up in a household where his dad avidly captured family moments on Super 8 film and his mom had a Polaroid, eventually transitioning to a Kodak camera. Even his grandfather taught him to use an old Kodak Brownie. For this Sunset Print Award-winning photographer, telling a story with pictures is in his DNA.

His first camera was a Polaroid, and at that time (during the 1970s), each image was about $.50 and there were only 10 images per pack of film. Howard says that his parents didn’t want him wasting money. “50 cents a sheet was expensive back then, so my parents taught me the value of knowing and preparing my shot, understanding the exposure,” he says. “Essentially, they taught me the value of getting the shot right the first time.”

Prints that Win: Evening Mist

Evening Mist by Cindy Strupp

One of the great things about photography is the Eureka! moment when all the pieces fall into place for the perfect scene. Modern digital photography allows us to manipulate and create that moment in the processing stage, but when it happens naturally, there’s something special about it.

Such was the case with Evening Mist by Cindy Strupp, owner of Revelation Photography in Carlisle, Pa. Strupp’s capture off the road in between the wedding ceremony and reception won a Sunset Print Award at the Professional Photographers of Pennsylvania competition, and was the competition’s highest-scoring print.

“It’s one of those images that get traction because you look at it and fall in love with it,” says Robert A. Howard, the event chairman and a former Sunset Print Award winner himself. “The jury chairman challenged the initial score and asked everyone to get up and take a closer look at it to see how pin-sharp it really was.”

The final print is pretty much the scene as captured by Strupp with just a bit of touch-up work to remove some annoying power lines, the bane of photographers far and wide, and to add a bit of texture with an OnOne Software plug-in.

“It was a typical wedding where you have half an hour at most to do outside pictures on the way to the reception. We were driving from the church to the reception, it started pouring rain, and I thought, ‘Oh great,’ but it stopped by the time we got to the outdoor location. I took one look at the creek with the fog rolling off of it and it was perfect,” recalls Strupp. “The fog stuck around for maybe five or ten minutes, but when I got to the rest of the wedding party it was gone. Those moments are so fleeting; when you get them, you get them.”