Archive for October, 2007
July 21, 2007
Hollister Ranch, Santa Barbara
Featured Wedding Slideshow
Heather Wall and Andy Katsev met in San Luis Obispo while she was attending Cal Poly, and he was working as a realtor. The perfect pair it was, one woman’s search for housing for her final year at college, and another’s search for the perfect tenant to fill his listing. After she moved into the neighborhood, where the couple still resides today, they crossed paths many times. One day when Andy was strategically walking the dog passed her house, Heather made the first move and invited Andy over for salmon fish tacos. Andy, who was raised in the Midwest, never says no to home cooking and couldn’t resist the offer. From that evening on the couple was inseparable. After courting for six months, Andy surprised Heather and asked her to be his wife, on Valentine’s Day in romantic Cambria.
The wedding festivities were designed around the location, leaving no doubt that it had to take place at Hollister ranch, where the brides parents had just completed building their Mexican Hacienda style home, on100 acres of pristine Santa Barbara property. The event was so extraordinary because it not only celebrated love but also the, easier said than done, completion of Heather’s parents dream home. When it came time to planning, the natural beauty of this outdoor setting was enough on its own. With that in mind, the couple planned to a non-traditional wedding that took advantage of such an incredibly unique venue. They wanted their wedding day simply to be a festive party, where everyone would feel comfortable and get the most out of the amazing setting.
Heather’s personal style set the theme by wearing cowboy boots, as did the rest of the wedding party and most of the guests. At four o’clock in the afternoon the guest lounged on hay bails, and a handsome nine piece mariachi band played “El Niño Perdido” as the unrehearsed father walked his daughter down the isle. At this point the event came alive as guest whistled and screamed with joy, the groom and groomsmen removed their cowboy hats and bowed to the bride while the bridesmaids simultaneously curtsied. The couple chose to be married by a witty close friend that illustrated to guests the humor they both share.
The vibrant colored flowers and bright Mexican serapes lied across the tables in an enclosed courtyard for the reception. The wedding party entered the courtyard reception through an arched door with a bell over it. When it was time for the bride and groom to enter, Heather’s brother, along with a few delighted children, rang the bell several times by pulling on a long rope.
THE REAL THING:TRUMPING IMAGE MANIPULATION
We’ve all seen them: vignettes and faux hand-tints; cross-processed images that overwhelm the senses with an unreal look; a heavy-handed use of flairs, starbursts and diffusion effects; cheesy frames. They cry for attention, hijacking the image in the photographic equivalent of a velvet Elvis wall hanging.
Where is the value, the poignancy, and the essence in these photos?
Today’s digital post-processing tools can be a force for good in the right hands, but can create visual mayhem when used without the proper judgment or in lieu of an essentially good image to start with.
Wedding photojournalism is all about the image and how it captures the moment and emotions. Any manipulation in post-production should be undertaken very carefully, beyond the temptation to incorporate trendy effects at the expense of the visual and documentary essence that make an image great in the first place.
“It is disconcerting to see mediocre wedding photography made to appear ‘fantastic’ as a result of drastic image manipulation,” says San Francisco-based WPJA member Catherine Hall. “Ten years down the road when the novelty of the current special effects fade, the images will lose their impact and become passé.”
A QUESTION OF RESPONSIBILITY
Wedding photojournalists have an obligation to help clients understand what is good and what is going to last. Certain effects are going to impress some people, especially a bride and groom who may not be trained in photography. As an accomplished professional, you have a responsibility to give them something that will resonate years from now with true quality.
Hall points out that couples are spending thousands of dollars on albums that are intended to last a lifetime, and sadly, some of the results are very gimmicky. “Many photographers abuse special effects such as image tilts, altered edges, and opacity fades. There is a time and a place for such effects, but one has to be careful not to overuse trendy techniques that will date the album. The most exquisite albums I have seen and produced are very simple and focus on the images.”
“Theoretically, I could probably give my clients an album that is over-designed and full of special effects,” she explains, “and they would probably like it because they have faith in me and at the time it looks fantastic. But the scary thing is what happens in five or ten years, when the novelty of overworked images is a thing of the past? We have a social responsibility to keep away from trendy effects so that the brides aren’t just satisfied when they’re writing the checks, but satisfied for the rest of their lives.”
TRENDS AND TIMELESSNESS
Trends in image manipulation are not unlike trends with fashion or anything else— they’re always going to shift and change. It’s therefore much better just to keep your photos simple, elegant and about the imagery itself.
“There are always looks that are in vogue, whether cross-processing or something else,” notes Pulitzer
Awards Comments Off Thu 10.04.2007
INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS HONORS CATHERINE HALL FROM THE UNITED STATES at the 2ND ANNUAL PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERS CUP CONTESTAn audience of 11,050 photography fans logged on from 89 countries to join the proceedings and view stunning work from the world’s finest photographers.
The nominated images were selected by a who’s who Jury of the most celebrated professionals in art and photography from National Geographic, Musee de E’Lysee, Financial Times to The Art Newspaper and Fine Art Society in London. Jury members reviewed submitted works online over an eight week voting period before making their final selection.
Awards were presented in 21 categories to photographers of twenty-five nationalities."The Masters Cup celebrates photographers who operate at the highest levels of their craft," said the awards Creative Director, Basil O’Brien. "Catherine Hall’s Two Girls, Three Skates certainly represents color photography at its finest and we’re pleased to present her with a nomination.
"ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERS CUP The Photography Masters Cup promotes the finest contemporary photographers to the world’s leading art directors, agencies, editors, galleries, curators, publishers, and dealers of photographic art. A celebrated online event around the globe, the annual Winners & Nominee Presentation is webcast live in a dynamic show that honors the finest work with the highest achievements in color photography.