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Life Before Photoshop: Kanapali Beach Hotel

Ad #1 Beach activities

Ad #1 Beach activities

I often wonder what it would have been like if I had access to the products that are now being made by Adobe, instead of in the way back when Adobe was a type of house in the southwest part of the US.

Would I not care as much about getting things right in the camera since I didn’t have to? Would there be less stress about making sure my exposure was within 1/3 of a stop of what the art director or designer wanted? Especially since he couldn’t fix it either.

I’m not just talking about exposures, but what went on inside the edges of the frame; props for one thing. If it wasn’t convenient or if there was a size constraint, or logistics or timing made it impossible, you could always add them later.

What if you were shooting a group of people and in each exposure there was always one person that wasn’t smiling, or looking away, or in the middle of a blink and you couldn’t do anything about it; which is why you shot so many rolls of film. Now you can just mix and match and wind up with everyone looking just right; or even add a guy because he was not available add the time of the shoot.

Ad #2 Meeting rooms

Ad #2 Meeting rooms

Well, between you me and the lamppost, I wouldn’t trade those times for the world.  I’m glad to be a product of the film (stone age) era, and now being able to use Adobe as I see fit; to enhance, but not fix and to improve on but not rely.

In the digital world, I see way too often someone in my online class with the BPSOP or in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” Workshops I conduct around our planet telling me or referring to the notion to not worry about it because…”I can fix it later”.

I always love this category because I can show my fellow photographers that you can actually create before clicking the shutter, and resolve any problems with thought and imagination.

In this campaign I did for the Kanapali Beach hotel, I was to use a certain species of butterfly in three completely situations. This was a big part of their branding and it was everywhere, including a tiled butterfly at the bottoms of their many pools.

Ad #2 Fine dining

Ad #2 Fine dining

My producer found an Entomologist on the Island that would find me six butterflies of the specific species the hotel wanted; so I could have extras in case any were damaged and rendered un-usuable. As luck would have it, he also was looking for this particular variety. They were not cheap, and he was not willing to negotiate with us (since we were in advertising) so the price was five hundred apiece.

Since the set-up time for each ad took most of a day, we spent three days shooting three ad, and wound up using four butterflies. While it was a fun and challenging project, looking back I would not have minded some post-production help. Unfortunately each image shown here was shot on one piece of film, and one exposure.

Visit my workshop at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

The Los Angeles Center for photography has invited me to come out and conduct a three day intensive workshop over the August 18th weekend. I’ll be making a presentation of my work on Thursday July 14th and the public is invited. The full description can be see at the top of this blog, with a link to the site. I hope to spend the weekend with all of you.

I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

Keep sending me photos and questions to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.


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