Life.com is republishing Eugene Smith’s photo essay on the Country Doctor. I was a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant for humanistic photography the year I started Docuvitae. I have always been inspired by Eugene Smith’s work.
If you are familiar with the series, you’ll see some never before published images included here.
Click this link to see the series.
In case you didn’t get to see this last week, check out our latest Style Me Pretty feature http://www.stylemepretty.com/2011/10/21/italy-wedding-by-docuvitae-photography/. Shot by the fabulously talented Rebecca for Docuvitae. While you are at this, check out our new and improved website ! We just went live with it this week and it is making a BIG splash! Docuvitae thanks Peggy Wong from Blue Pool Road for all the hard work. Please leave us a comment letting us know what you think of our new site.
This was a beautiful wedding held at Vibiana, with elegant details and organic floral designs by Neil from Gilly Flowers.
Mindy Weiss did fantastic work with the event coordination. Loved working with them both. Sending a big thank you to Style me pretty!
It is a real treat for the senses! Enjoy.
“let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone”
Last week, National Kissing Day made a large splash and I stopped to think about what a gift Docuvitae is given that we get to tag along and document such important milestones in people’s lives. In light of that, we have gone through our archives and pulled some of our favorite kisses! Some are between friends, between family and between Brides and Grooms! I’m inspired to go find someone to kiss!
Picture Day in the Park now scheduled for November 13th, 2011 from 10am to 2pm at Douglas Park in Santa Monica, CA. Call the Pump Station in Santa Monica, CA, to schedule your session today! 310.998.1981
We just received the LOVELIEST note from our recent bride, Amy, and were so touched by her kind words. We felt the same about working with Amy and her husband, Chris.
“Oh my mind is just escaping me with all these thank yous to write, I had to send you guys something in advance of getting through my list to get you a proper letter in the mail.
Thank you does not seem appropriate for what you’ve done to document our wedding day. These photos are authentic and stunning and emotion-filled – I laughed and cried but mostly just could not speak when I looked at them. I was so overwhelmed with happiness.
Thank you for being in every nook and cranny of our wedding day and capturing the most precious moments. We will cherish these photos our entire lives and for generations after.
With love and thanks!”
Laura & Gennia photographed this beautiful Pasadena Museum of California Art wedding and below are a handful of the Artists’ favorite images from the day. Amy & Chris booked Docuvitae’s ‘Book the Studio’ package and added a second shooter to supplement coverage. We love the results! What do you think?
About a month ago, Docuvitae was invited to test Alien Skin Software’s new Exposure 3 plugin for Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. The newly-updated, revolutionary software will finally be available this week through Alien Skin or download a trial version here. Updates to the software include the ability to use Exposure directly through Adobe Lightroom, many added film and effects presets, greater ability to custom-refine any present, and greater speed and preview capabilities. This is a bit of a technical mouthful for our non-photographer readers. In a nutshell, this software update is SUPER cool and we were thrilled to offer our professional opinions to the manufacturer.
Exposure, released in 2006, transforms bland, digital images into rich photographs that mimic film negatives. It can mimic film types ranging from Kodak to Ilford to Fuji. It even offers long outdated film types like vintage Kodachrome slide film and vintage Polaroid film. For photographers like us who love the look of film but also shoot digitally, Exposure is an invaluable tool to give that extra “umph” to otherwise relatively lackluster digital images. It is in no way a replacement for film, however, as the process of shooting film itself tends to result in more considerate photos. And, film camera technology and mechanics are often far more resilient and reliable than digital cameras. My personal opinion is that film can capture the spirit of a person or place in a way no digital image can. Go ahead and challenge me on that, if you want; but I’d like to see some examples!
In testing the various beta versions of Exposure 3, and now using the final product, I have been pleasantly surprised with the new software. It’s ability to transform flat, digital images into dynamic, sumptuous photographs is even more powerful than before and, simply-put, pretty darn amazing (see below for some examples). The interface is easier to use, and without getting over-technical, one can get really nitty-gritty and personal about customizing the presets. Want to create an image with 2.4 size grain, reds desaturated -10 but an overall warming of 25%, a soft vignette with size 67 lumps, and blurred as if it was shot through a Diana lens?– go for it. The new vignetting options result in images very similar to those from vintage Holga film cameras and look far more natural than what Photoshop or Lightroom can create. Next time you see a “Holga” photo, you may have to question whether it’s just a digital image with an Exposure vignette. There are also new Cinema effects, Vintage and Low-Fi presets.
Just like any new-generation technology (ahem, the iphone), there is always room for improvement. One of the main features we were excited about was the ability to use Exposure 3 within Adobe Lightroom. In this new version of Exposure, this has proved to be an ‘almost’ convenience. Yes, Exposure 3 can be used without ever leaving Adobe Lightroom. Yes, a particular Exposure setting can be applied in a batch action over thousands of images with a few clicks of the mouse. Unfortunately, these new functions are not as fluid as I had hoped. In order to apply an Exposure setting to a RAW Mark II digital image, Lightroom must first make a duplicate copy of it, adding to our already-pretty-massive image database and thus increasing the need for more storage space. The batch action, especially with this file duplication, is S-L-O-W and thus needs to be run overnight. Before the plug-in, Photoshop could do nearly the same batch action overnight, so this really doesn’t prove to be a time saver the way Adobe Lightroom is on most other levels.
For our super-techie readers, one of my biggest criticisms is that Exposure settings must be immediately embedded in the file instead of being added to the metadata. This inhibits Adobe Lightroom from being able to “sync” Exposure settings to hundreds of other images (one of Adobe Lightroom’s major attractions), and therefore prevents the user from easily switching from one Exposure preset to another later on down the road. Having the ability to easily revert back to the original settings if necessary is a nice feature of Adobe Lightroom, so this is a bit of a let down. Luckily, the plug-in’s new interface makes testing different settings very quick and easy with fast and accurate previews so, if you test your options and have a specific vision from the get-go, this workflow hiccup won’t be too much of a problem. If nothing else, one can always make multiple versions of the same image file, but be sure to purchase extra digital storage space.
Despite some of the logistical frustrations, Exposure 3’s incredibly-improved ability to revamp digital images make this update a worthwhile investment for image makers who love film, but want to save on cost by shooting digitally.
Note: it doesn’t seem like Adobe will be making any changes within Lightroom to better accommodate the plug-in, unfortunately, but I can’t be sure.
And now for a little fun trivia about Alien Skin software:
Why the name Alien Skin?
The name of the company came about when creators George Browning and Jeff Butterworth’s developed a code for some artificial texturing (see samples below), which created results that resembled alien skin. Visit Alien Skin’s site here for more examples, where you can also easily download them and make a cool (or disgusting, depending on how you feel about it) computer desktop background. Check out the last image for my new background!
How do you feel about the new Exposure 3 plug-in for Adobe Lightroom? Anyone have any personal experiences or advice to share? Thinking about changing your desktop wallpaper?
Download the trial version of the software here– we highly recommend it.
All sample photos shown below taken by Laura Kleinhenz on assignment for the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in China, 2009.
Just came across this incredibly charming series of photos taken by Lisa from Angela and Tyson’s recent Palos Verdes wedding. Enjoy!
Some of my favorite shots from Greg and Jessica’s wedding were made by Rebecca at the classic Sunset Tower Hotel penthouse on the Sunset Strip, where Greg and his groomsmen get ready.
A little Gary Winnogrand-esque, I asked Rebecca what work she had been looking at recently. She automatically responded, “Just some 60s french cinematography stills.” I mentioned Gary Winnogrand, however, and her face brightened up. She was amazed I could see the resemblance. She had, in fact, thought of the New York street photographer at the time, as something about the hotel room and the everyone’s suits and mannerisms reminded her of his work.
It’s an example of what interesting shots Docuvitae photographers create with a rich knowledge and experience in fine art and photojournalism. I have a lot of fun seeing connections between our work and artists I admire, and I am always eager to see how my colleagues expand upon that which has already been done.
In mid-April, the Docuvitae team of Laura, Rebecca, and Juli documented Jessica and Greg’s wedding day. In no way was this wedding day typical, in no way was this wedding day predictable, and in no way was this wedding day short, but in EVERY way this wedding day was full of culture, tradition, love, family, and incredible romance and pure joy.
Starting at Jessica’s mother’s elegant home in Beverly Hills, CA, Jessica prepared for the day ahead with her family and bridal party. Meanwhile, Greg and his groomsmen got ready at the classic Sunset Tower Hotel’s penthouse suite. The couple continued with their respective bridesmaids and groomsmen to St. Stevens Serbian Orthodox Church in Alhambra, CA, where the ceremony and Serbian Orthodox wedding day traditions such as the Skup, Crowning and Dance of Isaiah took place. St. Steven’s is by far one of the most beautiful churches we have had the opportunity to photograph and learning about these unique traditions was a great treat.
After a quick portrait session with the newlyweds, the reception commenced at the historic Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles. Guests were entertained by a wide range of musical performances. In addition to the 7-piece jazz band and traditional Serbian musicians flown in for the occasion, a full gospel choir made use of the once-church’s high, vaulted ceilings, filling the room with powerful song. Guests had an incredible time posing in the Docuvitae Photobooth late into the evening and were treated with Jessica’s favorite Grilled Cheese Truck sandwiches for a late night snack. As the Docuvitae team departed, one could still hear music and laughter under the glowing tower of the Vibiana. All in all, a pretty extraordinary event, augmented completely by the warmth and love brought to the mix by Jessica and Greg’s wonderful family and friends.