Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday: Better Late Than Never Technique Tuesday: "All Boxed In"

Good Morning Everybody,

We had a great turn out in Des Moines last night and Omaha the night before - almost 400 photogs strong for both nights.  Last night's crowd was really excited and definitely looking for a good time. What an honor it was to receive a standing ovation at the end of the evening from the very warm Des Moines crowd. Thank you everybody! It's our first time to visit Des Moines but you can be sure we will be back!

Iowa Today we head over to Minneapolis and are looking forward to meeting  our biggest crowd ever - almost 300 photogs are already signed up for tonight - WOW!

You know one thing that strikes me as we crisscross the country is just how beautiful America is.  The fields of Nebraska and Iowa are alive with shades of yellow, tans, and greens.  The play of these colors on the rolling landscape is truly beautiful in an even so peaceful way.  I've grabbed a couple of shoots along the way and hope to share them with you yet this week.  Stay tuned.

OK gang, time to get on with today's post.  First, let me announce that my Hot Shots series is finally available! Yesterday was quite the "computer hassle" day but everything is back on track again and I think you'll enjoy today's tutorial. So let's get started - here we go...

My Hot Shots Image Reference Series Now Available!

Hot Shots -3a That’s right gang, hot off the presses.  Here is the lowdown. 

These portable 4x6 inch reference guides are small, durable, and jam-packed with instant information on how I created some of my most dramatic photographs. Just throw them in your camera bag for ready reference. Here is the link to all the info right here!

What could be easier than finding your favorite image in one of the Hot Shots guides, setting your camera, lens and flash to my settings, and shooting away?  

It is all right there for you: diagrams showing the lighting and camera positions along with all my camera settings: F-stops, shutter speeds, ISO's, lens selection, and flash settings along with the back story on each image. My Hot Shots Reference Guides are the quickest, easiest way to ramp up your creativity, expertise, and enthusiasm for portrait and wedding photography. You will love them!

TeleSummit Announcement Crashes Server

It's true.  On Monday I announced the huge Master Photographers Marketing TeleSummit that I'm involved in coming up in just two weeks - September 28 & 29.  It's a 16 hour marketing extravaganza - the largest educational event of its kind ever!  Yes, 16 hours of marketing tips and ideas from 16 of the top market savvy photographers in today’s market. And its FREE!  Here is the link to register.

ZISER - Banner A Anyway, it seems that all 16 of us announced the Marketing Summit at the same time on Monday.  The overwhelming response crashed the dedicated site server. WOW, what a response.

Anyway, things were back up and running in no time, so it you tried to register on Monday and didn't get through, no problem, you can register right here.  See ya' there.

Technique Tuesday; All Boxed In – A Tutorial On Composition

I decided to do a tutorial on composition today.  This is always a hot topic at my programs. I love to survey the lines, shapes, and forms that make up the aesthetics of the photograph - wedding or otherwise.

1024x768 - All Boxed In In today's tutorial I'll walk you through how I put an image together, not so much with Lightroom and Photoshop tweaks, but instead by looking  and understanding the compositional elements of the scene.

By understanding compositional dynamics, we get a better idea how to crop the image for its best presentation to the viewer.  In this tutorial I'll discuss how to frame up the image within the camera. I also want to take it a step further and discuss other elements within the scene, that when recognized within the composition, can add further interest to the final result.

I know all this may sound a bit complicated, but its not.  Just hit the PLAY button below and enjoy the show.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. We've got to hit the road.  It's about a 3 hour drive to Minneapolis and we've got lots and lots to do once we arrive.  Hope to see a lot of you there this evening. Please be sure to come on up and say HI.   -David


  1. Great stuff David. There's so much else good about that photo, but the framing made such a difference from beginning to end.

  2. Thank you for your wonderful and energetic presentation in Des Moines, IA. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. David,

    Just recently found your blog and I enjoy it quite a bit! Thank you for great insight and features like your technique Tuesday!

    One quick question: I had understood that using standard print sizes was the best way to crop photos, for ease of printing later, yet I see you free-form cropping. Does this cause difficulties when you create prints later? I'd love to be able to live outside the restrictive lines of standard print sizes!

    Actually, anyone who is able is welcome to answer!

    Thanks a bunch!

  4. Hi Dave, Thanks for coming to Omaha. We had a great time and learned a lot. And the BellaGraphica Lifecycles Collection I won is awesome. Thank you for being so generous with not only your knowledge but your door prizes from vendors.

    I do have a question that I didn't get to ask during the tour...what pole are you using to attach the off camera flash that your assistant holds during backlighting? It appeared to be very sturdy and easy to manipulate.


    Shawna Backemeyer

  5. Hi David,
    Great lesson on composition, I would have not thought about looking for an interior frame as well as exterior.
    Really appreciate the information.

  6. I would really like to know how you handle the cropping before hand without knowing what the print size will be. For example, this pic at 16x20 would have some cropping on the sides. How would you handle this?

    BTW, I love your blog. I just pre-ordered your book on Amazon, when is it shipping?

  7. Hey David, Love the Technique Tuesday videos.

    Just a note, about your ROT custom shape tool, and how you wished that you could see that all the time. I see you have CS2..I think. I would presume that the preference choices haven't changed much in CS3 which I have. but if you go to Preferences>Guides, Grids, Slices, and Count.

    In the Grid area set "Gridline every:" to 33.3 percent and "Subdivisions" to 1.
    Then color and style you can set to whatever you want... and presto a ROT grid that changes with the dimensions of the picture.

    Hope this helps

  8. With regard to the "anonymous" comment above...I was wondering the same thing about cropping the picture without regard to final print size. It is one of my biggest frustrations!
    Any tips you could give about this hurdle would be greatly appreciated! :)