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The founding of ZaZa Gallery is a story that began in 1998 when Hugh and Senta met, but really, it goes back a little farther as described below.

Senta discovered her passion for photography when in high school while taking a course in the study of black and white film photography and there began to develop her craft. While attending school she also began working for the prestigious wedding photography company, Sylvia's Photography, based in Sonoma County. Over the next two years, Senta expanded her understanding of the various aspects of photography while working for Sylvia. Following their marriage in 2000, Senta Parker Photography was born and an interest in developing their own photographic style was under way.

While Senta kept busy with wedding photography, Hugh established a company called Eclectic Oils that specialized in the distribution of oil paintings. He became adept at helping people choose just the right hand painted oil to decorate a particular living space. This experience afforded him an opportunity to become familiar with artistic compositions and to develop an eye for color management. It also gave him a first-hand understanding of the type of art the greater number of people were desiring.

Senta enjoys wedding photography very much, in addition to wedding photography she began to expand into the creative freedoms that come with landscape photoraphy. She relished the beauty and serenity that comes with landscape photography and as she began to explore this avenue of photography she began to feel a new and different sense of creative fulfillment.

Transformations were abounding. As Senta was gaining control of her creative goals, Hugh's long range view was becoming ever clearer. Although he had gained a measure of experience from his art company, future growth appeared very limited do to the issue of supply and demand. It was at this frustrating juncture when they began to conceptualize a new company that would meld their two different, but complementary businesses into one harmonious and well-balanced entity. Photography on canvas. What a novel idea!

By way of technique, Senta and Hugh's photographic style started to take on a painting- like quality. At first glance, many have thought that their art pieces were, in fact, oil paintings and have assumed that it must be due to their being printed onto canvas. While this most definitely adds to the effect, it is their belief that their photographic style; that of capturing light values for the foreground, middle ground, and background, that is the element that makes the largest contribution.

Image is King!

Ansel Adams created the famous"zone system" and by which through this complex system he was able to control exposure and development. He felt that if you could creatively visualize the tonal contrast of an image, that you could create an effect that matched your visualization using his "zone system." To learn more about Ansel Adams process please click on " Zone System"

So then with appreciation for Ansel Adams we will continue to bring to fruition our creative visualizations.

A Few Important Post Scripts:

Both Hugh and Senta were raised in Sonoma Valley with some punctuations to other locations during their childhoods.

Senta was transplanted to Berkeley for some of her early childhood and developed her appreciation for art in a community that supported the arts. It is in her blood line though. Her family on both sides encouraged artistic development. Designers proliferate in both family lines.

Senta is sixth generation Sonoman through her mother. The Bruning family came to California in 1849 and resettled to Sonoma in 1870 from the Gold towns of the Sierras. The family operated a resort and cultivated grapes to supply the local wineries in the Valley. Her great grandmother, Edith Bruning, was the teacher at Enterprise School above Glen Ellen. When she retired at the closing of the one room schoolhouse she made her living as an oil painter, documenting the natural flora of California. Her paintings are still sought after by collectors and occasionally come up for auction.

Hugh has lived in Idaho for some of his formative years growing up to enjoy fishing and the rural beauty of horse ranches, mountain streams and cultivated gardens.

Hugh’s technical skills with computer processing and web creation have added a fascinating twist to their photo-collaboration. Perhaps aided by his patient persistence developed from his skill and love of fishing he is constantly striving for unique expression and composition through the expanding media of digital photography. He has quickly surfaced to the top as an expert of the computer “darkroom” spearheading an instructional web sight for professional photographers.

Together they are an integral part of the fabric of new Sonoma.

The quintessential expression of the love of the land.

Hugh Parker