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View Full Version : Opinions on WHCC for comp prints?



Mark_Levesque
03-27-2006, 04:42 PM
I'm about to enter my first print competition, and have seen the output from one of the local labs (extremely fine, IMO). As a miserly yankee, I'm keen to avoid overspending, but as one who is quality-driven, I'm not about to sacrifice my chances for a merit to save a few $.

The bottom line is that the labs most of the other people seem to use charge $50-65 for a comp print. That includes density adjustments, the print, mounting and lacquering. WHCC charges $25 for a mounted comp print, but I'm not certain they make the density adjustments for you. They also are using a glossy paper that they claim does not require lacquering.

Has anyone used WHCC for competition prints? Did you have to do the density adjustments yourself? How did you like the quality?

D._Craig_Flory
03-27-2006, 09:05 PM
Hi Mark;

Number one ... for that price, I'd guess they are using ordinary cardboard mountboard. You should pay for black-core Gator-Foam mounting. And definitely get high gloss spray !!! You do NOT want any chance of the panel seeing fingerprints. One thing I do is order an 8X10 OR 10X8 of each image first. Then I look at each under judging light intensity. If they look good I then order competition size mounted on black core gator foam. I have all totally ready in Photoshop before I send them.

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP
floryphotog@mindspring.com

Mary_Jane_Smith
03-28-2006, 03:20 AM
I do know that Vicki Taufer uses that lab and she has won a lot of merits for her prints...So I am sure they know what they are doing...you could check her web site out and maybe email her to ask her what she thinks of her lab...her stuff is awesome! vgallery.net

Mary_Jane_Smith
03-28-2006, 03:21 AM
Sorry I forgot to sing my name...I heard it is a rule here....Mary Jane Smith
(whcc lab reply)

Mary_Jane_Smith
03-28-2006, 03:22 AM
I better stop talking...sign my name....not sing my name....

Buddy_Stewart
03-28-2006, 02:43 PM
D. Craig wrote "You should pay for black-core Gator-Foam mounting". IMO this type of mounting is not necessary. I have approx. 90 print merits and have never mounted an image this way. If the image is a medium or darker one you will have to "dress" the image with a black marker by darkening the sides to complete the presentation. A black marker is considerably less than one of these mounts and will last for several "dressings".
Buddy Stewart, PEC vice-chairman

Mark_Levesque
03-28-2006, 04:39 PM
Hi Mark;

Number one ... for that price, I'd guess they are using ordinary cardboard mountboard. You should pay for black-core Gator-Foam mounting. And definitely get high gloss spray !!! You do NOT want any chance of the panel seeing fingerprints. One thing I do is order an 8X10 OR 10X8 of each image first. Then I look at each under judging light intensity. If they look good I then order competition size mounted on black core gator foam. I have all totally ready in Photoshop before I send them.

They say "All competition prints are printed on Kodak Professional Glossy or Metallic paper, which negates the need to add a high gloss spray or laminate to your images. We will mount your prints on black or white competition thickness foamboard." Does anyone know if this is the sort of foambard that is easily dimpled with finger pressure?

How do you adjust for density? Do you send them several 8x10s at differing densities and choose the one you like best to be rendered as a comp print? What do you use for your proofing light source?

Oh, and does anyone print full bleed for competitions, or are they pretty much all step mounted?

Catherine_Reese
03-29-2006, 07:35 AM
I have used WHCC for everything including the comp prints & so do many of my Master friends (one is even a PPA Juror), you turn the image in the way you want it, color artwork ect, they turn out a very beautiful image, like the ones that used to cost me $100, or more to enter comp. I strongly recomend them for all there services, prices, service, you actually speak to a human when you call, really, no phone mail hell... they do cards, book marks, all the diff types of prints & finishing services, & in 2 years I have recieve 2 things that needed redoing, they did it so fast it was at my door correct in a couple of days, no questions asked, they are fast too! Best Lab I have ever worked with! Go for it, tell them Catherine Reese (one of thier fan club members ha ha) sent ya!!

D._Craig_Flory
03-29-2006, 09:48 PM
Hi group;

I called WHCC this afternoon. Two answers will keep me from trying them for competition prints ... #1 No gator-foam mounting ... especially no black-core gator foam.(they tried to push cardboard mount board, which bows) #2 No high-gloss spray available. I do all my own spraying but still like it available if I don't want to do it some year. Contrary to what has been said ... glossy paper shows finger prints BIG TIME.
I don't necessarily need high gloss spray but lustre would take down the gloss surface which would be counter-productive. So, like thousands of others, I spray with high gloss lacquer. I will keep checking back to see if they added gator foam and also high gloss spray. My prints are all done for this year so I'm just looking ahead to possiblities for 2007 prints.

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP
floryphotog@mindspring.com

Linda_Gregory
04-06-2006, 01:53 PM
We mount on gatorfoam but do NOT do so for our Heart of America (four state convention) because the standards they require are a thinner mount. We order special artboard for this and use either the high gloss laquer spray or a gloss laminate.

The laminate has been very popular in the last few years as it's very high gloss and FASTER than the many coats of spray complete with drying times.

Why is it, we all know when the conventions are, when the deadlines are yet we're working up to the last minute to get the prints done? (myself included!!!)

Just entered my first convention prints, got them back yesterday. Woo hoo! Two merited and the other two got Honorable Mention.

D._Craig_Flory
04-06-2006, 05:21 PM
Hi Linda;

I'm puzzled since regionals have the same print rules as states and PPA ... between a minimum of 1/8th and a maximum of 3/8th inch thickness. Since Gator-Foam is 3/16th it's right in the middle. That is the reason I would not mount on Sintra since it's right at the bare minimum. But Gator-Foam has no problems, unless someone orders ½".

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP
floryphotog@mindspring.com

Linda_Gregory
04-06-2006, 09:24 PM
The rules from HOA state 'no gatorfoam' please use artboard.

D._Craig_Flory
04-06-2006, 10:14 PM
Hi Linda;

My state of Pa. is part of Mid-East Regional. The only banned mount is masonite. The rules state that the mount material must be between 1/8th" & 3/8th " and no masonite. So I'm glad I'm not in your regional. Since PPA also allows gator-foam, if I got a merit in regional I can send the print on to national.

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP
floryphotog@mindspring.com

D._Craig_Flory
04-07-2006, 04:29 PM
Hi Linda;

I checked the mount rules for Heart of America and I think you read into them something that was not there. The rules state that the image must be permanently mounted on standard mount board material. And like all other competitions it states that masonite, glass, stretcher or conventional frames are not allowed. I'm attaching that section for you. So now you know that next year you can enter images mounted on gator-foam. Regular cardboard mount board bows way too much. Sincerely;

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP
floryphotog@mindspring.com

D._Craig_Flory
04-07-2006, 05:04 PM
For the group;

I checked with the executive director of the Heart of America regional and he agrees with me gator-foam is just fine for mounting. His reply is below.

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP
floryphotog@mindspring.com

Good Day Sir:
I have checked the rules as posted on the PPA website and the statement about mounting is exactly the same. As you are probably aware, the final draft of the rules must be approved by PPA/PEC prior to printing. I think as you that this person is reading between the lines when there is nothing to read. I have copied this email to our affiliate print chair, Debbie Kertz, debbie@ehlmann.com If you wish any futher clarification, I would suggest that you contact Debbie directly as she handles all phases of the affiliated competation. If you provide the name or email of the person who is confused, I am sure that Debbie would be will to contact her directly by phone or emal.
Thanks for passing this on
Stephen Harvey
HOA Executive Director.

Linda_Gregory
04-07-2006, 06:02 PM
Thank you for your clarification!

As a lab, we read mount board to be as artboard, not gatorfoam or masonite so we rejected using gatorfoam. I know, picky picky but we'd be devastated if we were to mount a customer's print on a surface that wasn't approved and they were rejected because of us!

One other concern we had for gatorfoam is the rough corners which could easily damage other prints with handling. Our customers are happy so we are, too but now a new option is available and that's great!

Thanks again!

Linda Gregory