Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Photographer #369: John Chervinsky

John Chervinsky, 1961, USA, is a self-taught photographer and an engineer working in the field of applied physics. The photographs of his series An Experiment in Perspective are a combination of chalk markings and real objects. Together they create open-ended images that appear to be science demonstrations or physics experiments. The images are not scientifically factual but are reflective of the ongoing philosophical debates and raise questions that have no easy answers. His series Studio Physics is an investigation into the nature of time, light, space and gravity. He composes a still life from which he crops one part of the image that gets send to a painting factory in China. Once the oil painting of the cropped section made by an anonymous artist returns he reinserts the painting into the original setup and photographs it again. John has exhibited his work across the USA. The following images come from the series An Experiment in Perspective, Studio Physics and Landscapes and Portraits.


"An Easy Afternoon In The Park"

Easy Afternoon in the Park

"An Easy Afternoon In The Park"
© David A. Ziser

After this week’s Technique Tuesday, I thought I’d revisit this image which was taken as part of a lesson on how to find and see the light. Too many people just shoot away without any regard to trying to sculpt the scene with a BEAUTIFUL direction of light. This was the perfect location to do just that.

The light was flooding in from the open sky to my left and the arbor the couple was sitting under blocked the overhead light. This created a beautiful direction of light in which to place my couple. I asked them to turn their heads slightly into the direction of light in order to open up the shadows on the "camera side" of their faces. Look how much more flattering the lighting is on the couple - it slims them and trims them sculpturing their facial features beautifully.

I was also attentive as to how I brought them together to create a relaxed, casual and believable triangular composition. The last tweak was positioning their faces in the top left quadrant of the viewfinder which completed my composition. Sure, we take about 4000 images on the wedding day striving to capture all the fun, spontaneity, excitement and emotion of the day, but I still sneak a few of these types  of (posed) images into the wedding celebration coverage too. Our clients can easily see and truly appreciate the difference.

Camera specs; Canon 40D fitted with 24-105 IS lens at 35mm, F 5.0 @ 1/60 second, ISO 250. Enjoy! -David

You’ve Got To Come Back With The Shot: Speckled Lighting On The Gowns & New Class Announced

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Again it’s another super busy day.  We are putting finishing touches on our upcoming Napa Experience Private Workshop – only 3 seats available - and as were working on that a few more teaching opportunities popped up on the West Coast.  We are now in the process of putting together a short three city tour in California.  We are still working out the details so I’ll give you an update in a few days.

David Ziser @ Dave Cross Workshops October 17, 2011

DAve Cross WorkshopsI’ve neglected to mention David Cross Workshops has just announced my class on his website too. This is a very limited class so check it out – it will be a fun day including an on-location shoot in Oldsmar, Florida. You can get all the info right here.

OK, time to get on with today’s post.  Here we go.

Bright Sun & Speckled Lighting On The Wedding Gowns and Bridesmaids Dresses

Another challenging lighting situation is when we find ourselves working in a park and there isn't much shade available in which to pose the bride and groom, families, or wedding party. The background may be interesting, but the lighting is all wrong. I always have to laugh a little when I think of how many photographers believe that their flashes with just blast away those “speckles”. It may reduce the contrast from lights to darks but the added flash will NEVER make the “speckles” go away. The fact of the matter is that no amount of light is going to make the “speckles” go away.

I’ve mentioned many times that whenever I'm outdoors shooting I always backlight the subjects. That means I’ll never see those nasty “speckles”. They’re on the back of the subjects so thus I’ve eliminated the “speckle” problem. Take a look at the next image – Figure 1.

Figure 6 McCaan - 1031-DZ_McCaanW09

I was working in Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio in one of the small urban parks. The light was filtering through the trees as you can see with the lighting “speckles” on the ground everywhere but not on my bride.

In backlighting the subjects I create a nice accent light on the bride in the photographs leaving her face in soft shadows. Now some photographers may be happy with the flat lighting on the subject’s faces, but not me. I need to add dimensional lighting to the subjects. This is easily done with my off-camera flash. I use a Quantum T5D; it’s a 150 watt/second flash which gives me adequate power when working outdoors.

When using off-camera flash outdoors, it becomes a challenge because you're limited to the fastest sync speed of your camera. The fastest sync speed for most of our digital SLR cameras hovers around 1/250th of a second. So, if we are locked into 1/250 second that means the aperture may be quite small in the brighter outdoor light and that will limit the flash to subject distance of our off-camera flash. We may need to find a more shadowed area in which to work so we can use a larger aperture.

When shooting outdoors I first reduce the ISO to a minimum of ISO 200. Next I'll consider “cheating the sync”. “Cheating the sync” means using the shutter speed faster than the native sync speed of your camera. When shooting the Canon 70, I can easily get by with the flash sync speed of 1/320 of a second. You may be asking how I'm able to achieve that. The easy answer is that the shutter curtains only reveal the top two thirds of the CMOS sensor at 1/320th of a second. That means that the bottom third will not receive any flash illumination. That's not a bad thing because it gives me a built-in vignette on my photographs which can be quite pleasing. You still need to remember to not place an important part of the image, the subjects face for example, in the non-flash illuminated area.

OK, follow along with me. My ISO is set to 200. My faster shutter speed is set at 1/320 of a second. My aperture generally will fall in at about F8.0. At F8.0 I still have a reasonable working distance of the flash to my subjects and can still get enough light on them to create the dimensional look that I desire.

My goal is to use my off-camera flash to create what is called a loop lighting pattern on the subjects’ faces. An easier way to tell you how to set up your off-camera flash to obtain the loop lighting pattern is this; Just have your assistant rotate around the subject(s) until they can no longer see the camera side of the nose – the side of the nose I see, but can still see plenty of the “camera side of the cheek”. That will create highlights next the shadows and give a dimensional look in your photographs. See Figure 2.

Figure 2

DAZNOTE: The key thing for your assistant to understand when photographing groups is that as he/she rotates around the subjects they must be sure NOT to throw nasty shadows of one person onto another person. Ideally, your groups must be posed no more than two people deep and your assistant needs to be able to see 100% of all the faces, not partial views, but full views. That being said you should have no problem creating a nice dimensional look on your group when shooting outdoors.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today. I’ve got to jump a webcast with one of our industry friends.  We’re going to be hearing about some brand new cool software introductions – it should be fun.  As soon and I can tell you about it, you’ll hear it first right here at DigitalProTalk.

Plan to join me tomorrow for another business building episode of Business Day Thursday: Innovate Or Die!

I hope to see you then,  David

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Photographer #368: Greg Manis

Greg Manis, 1975, is an American photographer who studied at the Savannah College of Art & Design. After completing his studies he moved to New York City to assist top photographers as Tom Munro and others. Although often named a "fashion" photographer, he considers himself to be a fine art photographer. He takes portraits of the girls that remind him of his childhood while growing up in a trailer park in Northwest Georgia with his family. His interest lies in the sexy, tough girls he was once afraid to approach yet longed to be with. His work is raw, playful, edgy and gives the viewer a glimpse into Manis' life. Greg has worked for clients as Nike and appeared in V Magazine and Inked to name a few. The following images come from his portfolios Sex, Drugs and Rock N' Roll.


"Rockin' On"

Rockin' On

"Rockin' On"
© David A. Ziser

This image still remains on of my favorite wedding reception candid images. I just love the feeling in the photograph. I made this image late into the reception evening. The band was hot, the crowd was fired up, and the bride was lovin' the music.

The band had just started playing her favorite song and she was “one” with the music. The low angle, lighting decor, wide angle lens, and motion of the bride made for a very cool action candid. I was very nearly on the floor for the shot.

Lighting is strictly the available light at the wedding reception – no extra lights added at all.

Camera specs: Canon 5D fitted with Sigma's 12-24mm lens at 12mm, F5.0 gave me plenty of depth of field at that focal length, 1/40 second, ISO 1600. Enjoy! -David

Technique Tuesday: My New Rocket Box; & 3 Secrets To Better Outdoor Portraits

Good Morning Everybody,

Rocket BoxFinally…. I am pretty much up and running on my brand new “rocket box” computer!  Fastest Core I7 chip, 125 gig flash boot drive, 16 gigs of fast memory, fast video card w/1gig memory, 2 DVD burners (1 is Blu-Ray), 8T of storage – (4 2T drives), Firewire, USB 2 & 3 outputs, 3 video outputs, with room to add more! I’m cookin’ now!

The fact of the matter was that it was time to upgrade.  Bigger files, shooting RAW, more complex programs – all the perfect storm crying out for more powerful machines.  We’re also installing 2 more machines for LaDawn and Jennifer with nearly the same specs. Finally I hope we’re all happy, (Do you hear me ladies?) computer campers at my studio ;~)

You know, you never know how much your productivity is suffering till you pull an upgrade like this.  It seemed all we did was wait, reboot, and wait some more with the older computers.  I know some of our MAC diva readers are going to leave me a note or two on this but regardless of the system you chose, they’re all pretty hot right now.

My buddy Denis Reggie, a PC person for years. just completely switched to MAC and is loving it.  Hey, what ever floats your boat.  I’m kind of a geek type and love tinkering with the computer innards so I’m pleased as punch with the system I’m now using – it FLYS!

OK gang, time to get on with today’s brand new Technique Tuesday – here we go.

3 Secrets To Better Outdoor Photography

When I was first getting started in photography, I attended about every seminar, class, workshop that I could afford.  I used to joke that I spent as much money on my photographic education as I did my college education – and I STLL attend several workshops and many classes each year.  It’s really the only way to grow in this profession and besides you’re never too old to stop learning.

Anyway, in those early years I really struggled in getting decent outdoor photographs.  The light just never seemed to be falling on the subject’s face just right.  Sometimes I pocketed the eye sockets, other times I seemed to split light the face way to much.

Over the years though, I finally got a handle on the technique and eventually was able to produce consistently, good looking portraits. In this tutorial I share with you 3 secrets I learned over the years in obtaining these outdoors portraits with natural light.  Those three secrets center around good backgrounds, contrast control, and getting light into the subject's eyes.

Why not hit the PLAY button and enjoy the show. -David


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  This afternoon we’re off to a big shoot for one of my client’s whose daughter is celebrating a Bat Mitzvah in a few weeks.  The theme of the Saturday evening party is fashion.  So I’m photographing my cute little model then making up 8 – 4 foot x 8foot banners to be suspended from the ceiling as part of the party/reception room décor.  We’ve done this previously on other Mitzvahs, it involves a lot of time and work to get them designed and printed, but they are really cool to see.  I’ll keep you posted as how the banners’ design and production are coming together.

How about I plan to see everyone again tomorrow for another episode of “You Still Have To Come Back With The Shot!”.  Hope to see you then.

Adios, David

Monday, August 29, 2011

Photographer #367: Catherine Larré

Catherine Larré, 1964, France, is a fine art photographer who studied at the Royal College of Art in London. She uses unique lighting techniques to achieve her dream-like images that often take us back to our childhood memories. With bold choices she mostly frames her subjects in odd ways and awkward positions making the viewer wonder and reflect on what he/she is looking at. The photographs of Larré contain a certain serenity. They are mysterious, silent and fragile moments in time. This is also visible in her landscape and animal photography that tend to become supernatural reflections of a thought-out reality. The following images come from three untitled series within her portfolio.


"Fountain Dancer"

Fountain Dancer-8162

"Fountain Dancer"
©David A. Ziser

This is an image I made recently while shooting my latest series of Kelby Training videos.  You may even recognize Hope, my model.  She is a favorite among the Kelby Training group.  Why, because she is great to work with and as nice as can be.

Anyway, we were wrapping our shoot at Hixson Park in downtown Tampa, FL which happened to be be about the hottest day of the year – the water spray felt so refreshing – aaahhhh!

The challenge for me was to eliminate all the urbanism for the image – we were in downtown Tampa so I had to deal with all the buildings of the urban landscape.  When the fountains fired and rose to their peak, I thought I could use a long lens to compress the background to see only the fountain spray.  The longer lens worked it’s magic on the composition.

Next I had to get a directional light on her to add dimension to her face.  The bright ambient light meant working close to our model and a full power setting on the flash – I needed as much light as possible to overcome that bright ambient light.

I was nearly there – I underexposed the ambient setting my exposure for the flash and then I had it – a nice loop lighting on Hope’s beautiful face, bright colors in front of a great background, fabulous expression, a gorgeous girl, shazam… a very cool image!

Camera specs: Canon 7D fitted with 70-300mm IS lens at 135mm, F11 @ 1/160 second, ISO 200.  Enjoy!  -David

Quick Hit Monday: FREE Webcast Announced: Only 3 Days To Save; Time Lapse Photography: Amazing Zooms: & More!

Good Morning Everybody,

Hope everyone had a great weekend – I know the east coast was awash with Hurricane Irene so I hope all of you made it through safe and sound and are high and dry for the rest of the week.

PSW Las VegasI can’t believe it – only one  week till Photoshop World.  Yep, we head to Las Vegas on Sunday morning. I’m   kicking off with my sold out Pre-Con wedding shoot on Tuesday, two more programs on Wednesday and Thursday and something like 5-6 booth appearances – it’s going to be one busy week.  But, you know, it’s still one of the most fun, while gaining AWESOME information, conventions we attend.  I sure hope you’ll come up and say “HI” if you are in the neighborhood.

Hey gang, I’ve got a couple of cools things to announce today so why don’t we get started.

FREE Webcast Coming Up: Social Media Marketing – Do It Or Die!

Register Now LRI’ll tell you, last month at our PhotoPro Summer School, I asked A.J. Wood to fly in and be one of my presenters – his topic, Social Media Marketing.  All the speakers got “RAVE” reviews but A.J. really hit it out of the park – people LOVED his program and the wealth of knowledge he shared!

I just talked to A.J. last week and asked him if he could reprise his fabulous program again for our DigitalProTalk readers and all members of PhotoPro Network.  He gladly obliged. Program Synopsis below:

Social Media Marketing – Do It Or Die!

When: September 22, 2011

Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT; 12:00 p.m. Pacific

AJ Wood PicA.J. has built a business as a consultant on Social Media marketing.  Like it or not – you’ve got to get up to speed on social media marketing or you will be left in the dust by the competition.  Those who do it best have transformed their businesses and “smoked” the competition.

Social-Media MarketingA.J. will point you towards the best strategies and clever shortcuts used by the social media experts.  He’ll show you how it can work for you and probably much more easily than you imagined.  If you want to grow your business in the 21th century, this is an essential program to see.

You don’t want to miss A.J.’s encore performance! 


Only Three Days Left To Save 50% On PhotoPro Expo 2012!

That’s right folks, only three days left to sign up for the photographic experience of a lifetime - PhotoPro Expo 2012 at 1/2 price, only $139! Prices go up to $279 after August 31, 2012. Next February 3,4,5 you’ll be able to hear the absolute best speakers in our industry speak on all things photography.

  • Scott Kelby: Photoshop/Lightroom
  • Jerry Ghionis: World Class Wedding Photography
  • Vincent LaForet: Pulitzer Prize winning photography & video
  • Joel Grimes: Illustrative portraiture
  • Sarah Petty: Marketing Mastery
  • Skip Cohen: Inspiration
  • Kirk Voclain: Fabulous High School Senior photography
  • Syl Arena: Speedlighting Master
  • Lindsay Adler: Fashion
  • Janice Wendt: Digital Fine Art
  • Plus more super stars to be named!

PhotoPro Expo no pics

Fly, Drive, Run – just get there anyway you can! We have about 100 already registered from 12 states around the country! Plus 40% of the trade show already sold out six months ahead of time!  Folks, this will be one of the biggest photographic events of 2012! Don’t miss it!

Check Out All Info & Register Right Here!

A Few Quick Hits For You

From Visualization To Digital Darkroom. 4 Tips For Better Photos By Gavin Seim: [link]

Gavin 1Fellow blogging buddy and great photographer Gavin Seim has a wonderful article and some amazing photographs – a very good read.

This Will Amaze Your Eyes!

Sometime over the weekend I was cruising the net and stumbled upon this link to  I have to tell you, it is a fascinating site to visit.  Let me give you an idea.  Look at the image below – a lot of people in a big crowd, right.

Gigapixel pic

Well, over at Gigapixel what you see is not what you get!  What’s really fun is that these images are GIGABITS BIG and contain tons in information which means you can zoom into the image. Now look at the second image.  I did a quick screen grab of just a small part of the image – way cool. 

GigaPixel2Hey, got a few minutes for a little fun, check out some more of their images right here.

A Complete Guide to Time Lapse Photography

Time lapse photography has always fascinated me and I think this is a great article on the subject with some nice Time Lapse videos included like the one below. Give it a read right here.

How Many Fingers To Hold A Mouse? 

Photoshop disastersAnd while we’re having a little fun today let me point you to one more link – 20 Worst Photoshop Disasters Of 2010 - that hopefully will bring you another Monday Morning giggle ;~) Smashing Hub is a great website with more information than you could consume in a year.  This recent post is one of my favorites – enjoy.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  We’ve got a lot of things to get completed this week with Photoshop World right around the corner. Have a great rest of the day and I’ll see you tomorrow for Technique Tuesday.

See ya’ then,  David

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Photographer #366: Corinne Rozotte

Corinne Rozotte, 1969, France, is a sociologist and experimental / engaged photographer who works and lives in Paris. Her personal work revolves around the themes of confinement, industrialisation, ageing and environment. She created poetic bodies of work dealing with Alzheimers disease and the subject of obesity. In these projects she combines photography with texts. In Eyes Bigger Than Stomach the french texts clearly take the viewer into a world seen from an obese persons point of view. In her series Contre-Nature she combined a kind of human micro-society with a micro-society of animals. The double exposed images show pigs and hens in their usual environment, being an industrialized setting for a quick and cheap way to feed people. She then photographed the northern suburbs of Paris, an area filled with low income housing blocks and a population pushed into the background of our society. The two images combined create a new reality, making a clear symbolic statement on todays inhumane situation of both human and animal conditions. The following images come from the series Des Yeux Plus Grands que le Ventre (Eyes Bigger Than Stomach), Contre-Nature and Fractures of the Visible.


Friday, August 26, 2011

“Elegance In White”

Berke after

"Elegance In White"
© David A. Ziser

This is one of my favorite wedding images I’ve made in recent years - simple, classic, elegant.  The lighting on her face was simply the light pouring in the open front door of her parent’s home. Oh, should I mention That I photographed her mom and dad’s wedding too – yes, really - at the very beginning of my photographic career.  It’s kind of cool to get a call from a past bride asking you to photograph her daughter’s wedding.  You think, “Where have all the years gone!?” 

Anyway, it’s quite the honor to receive such a call.  I sure hope that with the huge influx of photographers in the market these days, that a few get to experience the wonderful feelings and emotions of such a moment.  Anyway, I digress ;~)

This image was captured shortly after I had arrived at the bride’s home.  She and her girls were just finishing up getting ready.  I was looking for a suitable background for the portrait of this beautiful young lady.  Finally I went to Plan B – I decided to use the wall in the entrance foyer behind her.  Only one problem, it was a dark shade of gold!

I had the easy solution – make it white. How? You say.  With my Quantum flash blasting (just the right amount) of light on the background to overexpose the wall from gold to white.  That pretty well made the shot.  I had gorgeous lighting on her face from the natural light pouring in from the door – the white background nailed it giving me this beautiful bridal portrait.

Camera specs: Canon 40 D fitted with 24-105mm IS lens at 65mm, F5.6@ 1/80 second, ISO 500.  Enjoy!  -David

p.s.  This is one of the first images featured in my book, Captured By the Light [link]. In one of the later chapters, I show you in detail how I pulled off this image. -David

A Huge Success! Digital Design, Now Easier Than Ever: Re-Broadcast

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Big Crowd WOW!  We hit it out of the park yesterday with our Digital Design webcast.  We had nearly 1100 registers and had viewers from 26 countries around the world tuned in!  Here is just a quick sampling: Australia, Panama, Brazil, Trinidad, Romania, Portugal, Japan, New Zealand, Israel, Italy, Hungary, and China just to name about half of the countries represented – unbelievable!

Praise For Our Digital Design Webcast!

From the “LIVE” comments, and those tweeted and emailed it’s sure seemed everyone was blown away by yesterday’s webcast!

“Fantastic webinar!”  Twitter

“This software is incredible!”…Twitter

“Fabulous session”…Twitter

And a few more from the webcast,  “Wow! Amazing!” from Virginia, “Thank You, Wonderful webcast!” from Israel, “Woohoo Thank You” from Ohio, and “Thanks to all at” from Australia.

My personal thanks also to Michael Sheasby, LaDawn, Jennifer, and Damien for being part of our fantastic event!  But mostly my thanks to all of you who turned in for the broadcast – Thank You!

Horns And The Winners Are…

At every webcast, we always give away about $1,000 worth of door prizes.  Yesterday was no exception. Are winners were…

The Summer Success Collection [link]: Lars Anderson from Denmark.

My Captured by the Light Book [link]: Linda Fox from Alaska and Sandy Ashley from Alabama.

Devine Design Collection [link]: Marla Glassman from Ohio.

LumaPix:FotoFusion Extreme [link]: Frederick Gary from New York.

Watch It One More Time! Or Many More Times!

Lumapix on MAC This hugely popular webcast featured the new release of LumaPix for the MAC. Now MAC users can enjoy the same easy, fast, digital design that PC users have enjoyed for years.

Anyway, I know there were lots of folks a little disappointed that they couldn’t attend yesterday’s “LIVE” webcast so today I’m offering you the second best option – an opportunity to view the webcast in it’s entirety and for those that want to review the presentation again….here you go!

Michael "razzle-dazzled" the audience with his thorough knowledge of the interface throughout his MAC demo - hey, he invented it, right - he should be the best!

LaDawn showed the "sensitive" side of the Lumapix showcasing how she uses her Divine Designs to create beautiful projects that any client would love. 

I wrapped with a quick lesson on the profit building potential of LumaPix showing features mostly overlooked by most LumaPix users. These features open up a vast opportunity to market your photography more effectively than ever!

I hope that if you missed yesterday's program, that you’ll hit the PLAY button and enjoy the show.  If you heard the program yesterday, then hit the PLAY button again and catch what you missed ;~)


How To Get The Lowest Prices Ever On Lumapix: MOST IMPORTANT!

Near the end of the the presentation around 1:56:00 into the webcast, I tell you how to purchase LumaPix for only $99 - it's a $300 program.  Scrub the PLAY slider ahead and don't miss seeing how you can pick up LumaPix at the lowest prices ever.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  The length of these webcasts make it a pretty time consuming process to get it posted the next day, but I really wanted to have it ready for weekend viewing.

Be cool, dry, and safe in what ever part of the world you’re in and I’ll plan to see you again next Monday.

Have a great weekend everybody.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Photographer #365: Ana Casas Broda

Ana Casas Broda, 1965, Spain, has been living in Mexico since she was eight years old. Her long-term projects are intense and personal. Her latest body of work is Kinderwunsch, a complex and personal set of images dealing with maternity. She spent five years submitting herself to fertility treatments before she got her first son. When she entered the same process a second time she decided to capture the entire process, the treatments, the pregnancy, birth, bodily contact, affection, feeding and other aspects of the experience. As the project progressed, it has become more complex. With her sons she carries out actions that derive from the childrens minds or from her fantasies. In 2000 she released the book Album, a photographic project that is built on the relationship between her grandmother and herself. It includes images from her childhood to photographs of the last years of her grandmother. The book deals with themes as memory, cultural and personal inheritance as a way to explore identity. The following images come from the series Kinderwunsch, Diet Journals and Album.


"Colors Of China"

Colors Of China

"Colors Of China"
© David A. Ziser

I have always loved this image but I don’t think I have ever blogged it before.  It was made at a wedding I did several years ago.  I remember the wedding too well because a few of my Signature images came from that wedding.  I’m looking at one hanging in my studio right now.

Part of the wedding was conducted in the beautiful traditional colors of the bride’s heritage. I just love the rich, bright  colors.  As the girls were waiting, I quickly grabbed this shot with no flash – just the available light at the moment.

I think it’s the color harmony I like the best – all the reds, golds, and oranges singing together.  I also like the three color geometrics – 2 red quarter arches “falling” into the full circle of orange color.  This is also one of the rare times I’ve tilted my camera to compose a photograph, but I like how it works here.

This type of image is perfect as a background image in wedding album design or stands equally well on it’s own. I still enjoy viewing it.

Camera specs: Nikon D1x fitted with a 50mm lens, F2.8 @ 1/60 second, ISO 400.  Enjoy!  -David

Digital Design Webcast Today At 3:00 p.m.

Good Afternoon Everybody,

We have everything ready to go for this afternoon’s Digital Design webcast with our special guest, Michael Sheasby – President and Co-founder of LumaPix.  I’ll open the doors about 2:30 p.m. EST. Michael and I did a quick run through on Tuesday so all should be good to go today.  Remember, there is no charge to attend the program.  You can probably still get in the webcast room even though we are near capacity.

Lumapix on MAC

The highlight of the show is that LumaPix:FotoFusion now works on a MAC, a feature clamored for the last few years.  Well “clamor no more”  - Michael will be doing his entire demo on a MAC.

I’m really looking forward to this webcast.  I’ll begin discussing a bit of LumaPix’s history and how they revolutionized album design around 2003.  That’s when we jumped on board and life has never been the same – because we got our lives back!

LumaPixFastandFurious72dpi Michael will follow-up with some “razzle-dazzle” demos and be answering  questions along the way.  Damien Tepe will be my wing-man again on this webcast monitoring questions from our studio audience.  I’ll be following questions on Twitter.  Remember, just tweet your questions to @digitalprotalk and include #lumapixdesign.  Michael and I will answer as best we can during the webcast time period.

LaDawn will take over for a short while demo-ing how we set up our own “Divine Designs” using various resources like her “Swirls and Twirls” to really give our projects a unique look.

Digital Design Webcast  Horo Logo2 I’ll wrap with some pretty cool ways to have LumaPix:FotoFusion boost you profits, too, and who doesn’t want to do that.

Wait, there’s more!!! ;~) We’ll also be giving away about $1000 in door prizes during the webcast and winners must be present to win.  Prizes will include a full version of LumaPix:FotoFusion Extreme ($299 value) [link], my Summer Success Collection ($600 value) [link], Divine Design Collection ($150 value) [link], and a copy of my Captured By The Light book ($54 value) [link].

During the program and for the next few days, we’ve lowered ALL our Lumapix product bundles down to TOUR pricing in honor of the MAC version being released.  These are quite simply the lowest of the year!  You can check out the specials right here for the PC and here for the MAC.

In case you’re not able to attend the webcast in person you can still catch it on the re-broadcast.  You’ll miss out on the door prizes but you still get a chance to get all the good information.  I’ll try my best to get the re-broadcast up as soon as possible.

Anyway gang, that’s it for me today.  I’ve got to get to make-up and wardrobe so I look good for today’s broadcast ;~) Hope to see you there!

Until tomorrow,

Adios, David

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Photographer #364: Christy Lee Rogers

Christy Lee Rogers, 1972, USA, is a self-taught photographer from Hawaii who lives and works in Los Angeles and Kailua, Hawaii. Throughout the years she has specialized and perfected her technique of photographing in water. The water, in which light travels slower thus creating a higher optical density, is used to produce dream-like illusions. It intensifies colors and blurs the subjects creating painter-like images. The color photographs are achieved without digital manipulation and remind us of Baroque paintings. The floating female bodies and clothing bend and distort due to this technique. She uses Chiaroscuro, a term that dates from the Renaissance period describing the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, to capture the female form in an abyss of boundless space. In 2008 she released her book Siren and has exhibited her work extensively throughout the United States. The following images come from the series Odyssey, Siren and Inversion.


"Breakfast At Tiffany's"

Breakfast At Tiffany's

"Breakfast At Tiffany's"
© David A. Ziser

This was just a quick “grab shot” at a beautiful wedding I did a few years ago.  We were returning from Fountain Square, a very popular place for capturing wedding photographs especially for weddings taking place at various downtown Cincinnati hotels. 

As we were walking back to the hotel the bride asked me to grab a quick photograph of her in front of Cincy’s finest jewelry story.  I gladly obliged.  The weather was just a bit gray with offered the soft lighting I wanted.  But, you know me – I always want to add a little dimension to my images and do that with off camera flash.

The problem – look at the curved front door of Tiffany’s.  Everywhere I tried to position the flash gave me a horrendous blasting reflection back into the camera.  I quickly switched to Plan B – shoot it straight available light.

The image was OK but not great in color, but making it B&W and increasing the mid-tone tonalities gave me the image I wanted and a wall portrait the bride loved.

Camera specs: Canon 40D fitted with Sigma 12-24mm lens at 18mm, F5.6 @ 1/400 second, ISO 500.  Enjoy!  -David

You Still Have To Come Back With The Shot! - Super Dim Receptions

Good Afternoon Everybody,

ParkingMeter - CCard It’s official, Cincinnati has moved fully into the 21th century.  I navigated my car into the parking space, checked the change in my pocket for the meter but then quickly discovered I didn’t need change – THE PARKING METER TOOK CREDIT CARDS!!!   Yep, that’s the meter.

I thought that was so cool till I discovered it cost $2.00 to park for one hour – up about $1.50 when it was just a coin meter – progress, right ;~)

To busy again today – I’ve been up and at the computer since 5 a.m. had a vendor meeting with a client whose daughter’s Bat Mitzvah were photographing in three weeks, and picked up my brand new computer. And, I’m looking at the clock and it’s 3:45 p.m. so here we go.

Today I’m continuing my series I began several weeks ago entitled, You Still Have To Come Back With The Shot!” Last week we talked about super dim wedding venues – this week it’s about really dark reception venues.  Here we go…

OK, Where’s the Floor Shooting Super Dim Receptions

Way Colorful Setting

I want to talk about one more extremely challenging lighting condition. We recently arrived at the reception venue (we’re shooting in the same place in three weeks) and walked into the main ballroom and we were all blown away by the extraordinary decor - See Figure 1 below. The theme was Willy Wonka and the reception was beautifully and brilliantly colorful. But, it was going to be the table centerpieces that were going to be an issue for some of the photography.

Room Fig 1

Way Dark Shooting

Even though there was colorful lighting throughout the room, most of that light was blocked from those guests sitting tableside - See Figure 2 below. You're asking, "What difference does that make - just use your flash." The problem for me was that I like to take several photographs at the receptions, whether it be weddings or Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, capturing the faces and expressions of the guests with just the available light.

Room Fig 2

Here is my challenge. The DJ had just begun to play a slideshow presentation showing images of the guest of honor growing up, as a baby, his toddler years, being with his sisters, parents and grandparents…. and so forth. All the guests’ eyes were fixed to the large projection screen.

As I said earlier, I love to capture the guests’ sometimes joyful, sometimes reflective expressions as they watch the presentation. Granted, light is quite low during these slide shows, but it was even more challenging this particular evening with the very large centerpieces blocking the over-head light.

Kicking In The HIGH ISO Afterburners

My lens of choice for these images is my Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS lens. I was shooting my Canon 5D Mark II and knew it was good for ISO 6400 shots. This situation called for me to juice that ISO all the way up to ISO 12,800 if I was going to capture any emotional expressions of family and friends. I cranked it up to ISO 12,800 and began shooting away.

I understood the possibility I most likely would be introducing noise into my photographs. I also knew that none of these images were going to be wall portraits; at best maybe a 5x7, 8x10 or 10x10 sized print in their albums. Considering that, I felt comfortable in the fact that I could use my Nik noise reduction software to reduce/remove the noise and still achieve an acceptable/salable photograph for my clients.

As I was photographing expressions of the audience watching the show, the young boy's mom spotted me with the camera and quickly had her son and his friend look towards the camera beckoning me to take their photograph. There was simply no time to grab a flash – I had to quickly take the photograph of them or miss the moment. I knew I was going to have to pull it off not with the camera but with the computer.

I was shooting at some fairly slow shutter speeds hand-held and may encounter a little camera shake so I took several exposures to cover my bases. As it turned out, I captured a great image of all three of them. Processing it thru Lightroom 3, I was easily able to make the necessary exposure/color balance adjustments. A little finishing it up in NIK’s DFINE 2.0 noise reducing software and I had a great image of all three people smiling back at the camera. Take a look at the next image – Figure 3.  It’s a winner!

Figure 12 - 3175-DZ_Cohen,Will B10-Edit

This solution was simply not only the result of understanding light but a combination of lighting the scene, exposing the scene, and knowing what you want to do with the software tools available.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  I’m whipped and it’s still early.

I hope see a lot of you at our webcast tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. It will be one rockin’ show. 

Till then,  -David

Andrea Bester

I had the opportunity to photograph an old friend of mine. The weather was perfect and we were lucky enough to travel to a variety of places. Enjoy*
{More images can be seen on my Facebook page}