Thursday, January 31, 2013

How To Get The Winning Scores In Print Competition and Judging

Good Morning Everybody,

I can’t believe it – PhotoPro Expo is right around the corner. That also explains my being MIA for the last several days.  Since PhotoPro Expo is about 30% bigger this year than last year’s event we’ve had to work extra hard and have been putting in 12 hour days for the past two weeks making all the final arrangements and aligning the last minute details.  BUT, it has all come together and is going to be a unbelievably exciting event!  NOW………….

How To Get The Winning Scores In Print Competition and Judging

[8---Cold-Hard-Steel4.jpg]That said, let me fill you in on one of our very exciting events: The PhotoPro Expo Print Competition and Judging.  I want you to enter – it’s “hands down” the best way to learn how to improve your photography. And, if you are a studio owner, it’s definitely the best way to improve your work for your clients!

Today I want to point you to a slew of resources so you can do your best at your next print competition.  First, the judges are looking for 12 main aspects of an image and basing their score on that criteria. 

The Twelve elements listed below are in accordance to their importance:

Impact, Technical Excellence, Creativity, Style, Composition, Presentation, Color Balance, Center of Interest, Lighting, Subject Matter, Technique, and Story Telling.

My good friend and Professional Photographers of America Print Jury Chairman, Dave Huntsman, has put together a wonderful 34 slide presentation covering each of the elements above in great detail.


You can view and download the PDF right here.  It is a “MUST READ” if you plan to excel in your next print competition.

Two More “MUST READS” For Photographers Wanting to Score BIG in Print Competition

Next let me point you towards two very informative posts about Print Competition.  The first, “Doing Print Competition Right” [link] helps you ramp it up notch and points out one of the easiest things you can do to your images that almost guarantee a  point or two increase in your score.

This second link, “Technique Tuesday: Print Competition; The Winners Please, Re-Broadcast, and More!” [link] will give you a guided tour through the entire process and a peak at some very beautiful images.  It even features a re-broadcast of the print competition we did last year – all very good information!  And finally………..

Webcast PComp2 -Tune In To The “LIVE” Webcast!

And if you don’t feel confident to enter, don’t forget to tune in to the “LIVE” webcast. IT’S FREE!!       REGISTER HERE!

Here are a few of the comments from our past “LIVE” studio audiences:

“Its was great. I started competing this year and it was so much fun…"  John V.

“I am learning SOOOO much.  Thank you!”  Cindy S.

“I enjoyed the presentations and the judges comments on the images.  Thanks for all the hard work for this wonderful learning opportunity.”  Chuck C.

“This is great!  I think I'm going to look into the master photographer classes on PPA.” Mary D.

“This is the first time I've experienced anything like this. GOOD to hear/learn what the judges look for.”John D.

“…Thank you…  Seeing the images and listening to the judges comments was invaluable and educational.” Jamie . G

“Judy and I really enjoyed the Webinar. We learned a great deal from reviewing the photos and then hearing the experts comments. We appreciated your hard work in support of photographers all over the globe.”  Judy and Chuck H.

Free Trade Show Pass For PhotoPro Expo 2013

Trade Show PassI know everybody is busy so if you can’t stay all three days, you can still come by for any one of the three individual days. Check the daily schedule right here then choose and register for your favorite day right here.

Just want to come by the Expo Trade Show?  You’ll still be able to attend the Expo Theater programming and have a blast at the Westcott Fantasy Model Shootout.  Hit this [link] or the image to the right, save the image, and print it out. It’s your FREE EXPO TRADESHOW PASS.  Just drop it off at the registration desk Saturday or Sunday to pick up your badge.

There you go folks – a fabulous “smorgasbord” and photographic opportunity of a lifetime right at your finger tips. I hope to see you there!!!


Front Page

YAY! I've got my first published image on the front page of the Paarl Post (the local newspaper of our town). It's a image I took in our front yard of the terrible mountain fires.

Here are a few more photographs I took of the fire.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Rock the River

If you have me on Facebook you would have noticed a lot of Rock the River images. Rock the River is a 5 day festival held near Paarl to celebrate the new year and I got a media pass to document the event. It was incredibly fun and a experience I'll never forget, I'm really excited for the next one to come. Here are a few favourite images of the festival, but be sure to check out Nadine Aucamp Photography on Facebook to see more images.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Candid Frame #171 - Dean West

Dean West, “one of the world’s best emerging photographers” (AFTER CAPTURE MAGAZINE), has a highly conceptual and thought-provoking style of contemporary portraiture. His body of work has been featured in top photography magazines, art galleries, and received numerous international awards.

Born in small-town rural Australia in 1983, Dean’s love for photography began in his high school’s darkroom- one of the largest darkrooms in the country at the time- and blossomed at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.   

After graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor of Photography with majors in visual culture and advertising, Dean formed a partnership, Berg+West, which won nationwide acclaim as a high-end photography and post-production studio. Through clients like the QLD Government and SONY, Dean quickly learned to transform stick figure sketches into intricate composited photographs with immense detail and clarity.  

In 2008, Dean was included in Saatchi & Saatchi’s collection of the world’s top 100 emerging photographers and went on to win Advertising Photographer of the Year at the International Aperture Awards. With success in advertising and a growing list of collectors- Dean decided to dedicate more of his time to the world of art. 

In the following years, his series ‘Fabricate’ received worldwide recognition from top photography competitions, including: the International Colour Awards, the Lucie Awards, the Loupe Awards, and in 2009, Dean was the winner of the IV International Arte Laguna Prize, Venice, Italy. This final award being the most prestigious for emerging artists with over 5,000 applicants gunning for the top prize in photography, sculpture and painting. Zoom Magazine quickly nominated Dean in the ‘New Talent’ issue of 2010 and the Magenta Foundation awarded Dean an emerging Photographer of Canada. 

You can discover more of Dean's work by visiting his website

Dean West recommend the work of Andreas Gursky.

You can also subscribe to the show via iTunes by clicking here.

Or you can directly download the MP3 file by clicking here.

Visit and subscribe to my YouTube Channel by clicking here.

To take advantage of the special offer on Adobe Lightroom 4 visit the link below or go to

And take advantage of the a 14-day free trial of Squarespace to create your own photo website and blog. Click below to get started. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Candid Frame #170 - Colby Brown

Colby Brown is a professional photographer, photo educator and author based out of Denver, Colorado. He specializes in landscape, travel and humanitarian photography. Throughout his work one can see that he combines his love of the natural world with his fascination of the world’s diverse cultures. Each of his photographs tells a story of life on this planet. 

While specializing in landscape and travel photography, Colby Brown, also does freelance photojournalism and donates his time to many Non Profit organizations while out in the field. He is a citizen of both the US and Canada, a certified PADI Master Diver and Wilderness First Responder.  He has worked as a photography instructor for National Geographic Student Expeditions and is currently focusing much of his time and energy on Humanitarian efforts around the globe. 

Colby’s latest book, Google+ for Photographers, is now available at nearly all major retailers and most independent book stores. It focuses on showing you not only the nuts and bolts of Google+, but how to use its features to build an online following and grow your photography business in this new age of digital personable interaction. You can discover more about Colby and his work by visiting his website and his site for The Giving Lens

Colby Brown recommends the work of Elia Locardi

You can also subscribe to the show via iTunes by clicking here.

Or you can directly download the MP3 file by clicking here.

Visit and subscribe to my YouTube Channel by clicking here.

To take advantage of the special offer on Adobe Lightroom 4 visit the link below or go to

And take advantage of the a 14-day free trial of Squarespace to create your own photo website and blog. Click below to get started. 

"Cinque Terre Wonders"

Cinque Terre
"Cinque Terre Wonders" ©David A. Ziser
Here is another image from our 2013 calendar that LaDawn designed from our trip in 2012. This is certainly one of my favorite images I captured during our European adventures last October.  We had just made the long three and a half hour hike across the mountains and as we descended the other side of the mountain we were presented with this stunning view of the tine town of Vernazza, Italy.
It was picture postcard perfect.  I made a few exposes as I stood there transfixed by the view.  We headed down to the little village, found a comfortable place at one of the local restaurants and just enjoyed a peaceful, relaxing rest of the afternoon enjoying the people, sun, and sea.... heavenly!
Camera specs: Canon 5D Mark III fitted with Canon 24-105mm IS lens at 45mm, F5.6 @ 1/400 second, ISO 800.  Enjoy!  -David

TOP 12 Posts for DigitalProTalk in 2012

Good Morning Everybody,
Imaging USA 2013I'm sitting in sunny Atlanta this morning – what a beautiful day. Actually the last couple of days have been absolutely wonderful. This beautiful day is having a little trouble brightening up the sad faces of the Atlanta Falcon’s fans after yesterday’s heartbreaking 4 point loss to San Francisco.  But hey, there’s always next year.  We keep wondering about the Cincinnati Bengals too ;~)
Yesterday I headed down to the World Congress Center for Imaging's USA's first day of convention trade show. I hear they had record crowds. Things sure looked busy to me.  I hope we experience record crowds at our Photo Pro Expo 2013 coming up in only 2 1/2 weeks [link]. I did a quick run through the trade show visiting with old friends, checking in with my vendor buddies and generally just having a great time catching up with everyone.
Today I'm heading to the trade show again but unfortunately, I won't get nearly as much time to spend on the floor. I've got a couple meetings I need to attend so I may plan on sticking around a few more hours tomorrow before driving back home. At first glance the show was full of activity there wasn't any one thing, new and exciting that really stood out for me. Maybe when I cruise the show again today something will catch my eye and I'll be sure to report it here first thing.
Update on PhotoPro Expo Hotel Room Availability
Hey gang, I want to let you know that the registrations are coming in hot and heavy for PhotoPro Expo 2013, in fact so hot and heavy, that the Marriott hotel is about sold out. They've given us twice the rooms as last year and we've already upped the original room count two times just in the last two weeks. So, I sure hope you're planning to come the PhotoPro Expo 2013, February 7 – 11 and if you are in need of a room (only$99) contact the Marriott [link]and make your reservation before they're completely sold out.
TOP 12 DigitalProTalk Posts for 2012
Top 12DPT posts 2012Well, I scoured the 2012 DigitalProTalk page view statistics to see the most popular posts. Some posts were literally off the charts with the number of reads.  My review of Tamron's 28-300mm VC was the clear winner.  Like I said in the post, it’s one of my favorite lenses – check it out in the first link below.  A lot of the top posts were related to gear but that’s to be expected.  If you missed any of the posts throughout the year, you can catch them in today’s post. I’m planning to also post the Top 12 Business Day Thursday posts and Top 12 Image of the Day posts in the near future – stay tuned.
Anyway, there's a lot of good reading here so I hope you'll sit back relax and enjoy.
Tamron 28-300mm2
1. Updated: Test Driving the New Tamron 28-300mm VC Lens; Is It the Best Wedding Lens Available? [link]

2. HIGH ISO Nirvana!!! Shooting at 25,400 ISO and Beyond!!! [link]

3. Canon 5D Mark III: Big Deal? Yes…a BIG DEAL! [link]

4. Images and Impressions of Canon’s 5D Mark 3 HDR Feature: and Easy GPS in Lightroom 4 [link]

5. My New Favorite Camera Gets The Shot Other Cameras Miss! [link

6. An Amateur Camera For Pro Use??? Never, Well Maybe [link]

7. Quick Hit Monday: My First Day With Canon 600EX-RT Speedlights–WOW! [link]

8. Quick Hit Monday: All The Latest News; Lots Of Inspiration: and Photoshop Freebies! [link]

Rome Photowalk pic9. What A Great Photo Walk We Had In Rome, Italy!!! [link]

10. DPT Update: Heading To The Most Beautiful Place On Earth! [link]

11. Photography At The Castle [link]

12. Lightroom 4 – A Few of My Favorite Things [link]

Hey gang, that's it for me today. I've got to get heading down to the convention center and see what's happening. I hope things are good in your part of the world, enjoy the read today, and I hope to see you on the trade show floor or in 2 1/2 weeks at Photo Pro Expo 2013.

All the best, David

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Anika & Gerrit Engaged

17 December 2012

Another couple that just made me go "aww" throughout the whole shoot. And how excited am I to be able to photograph their wedding in August (yaaay!)