Tuesday, November 08, 2011

"Beautiful Lines"

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"Beautiful Lines"
© David A. Ziser

This is one of my favorite images from my Napa workshop two weeks ago.  We were working the grounds of Beringer’s Winery and  there were some fabulous locations in which to work.  This location, at first glance, looked like nothing more than the regular walkway to get to another part of the winery.  But, looking through the lens, the location came alive with these striking compositional elements. 

Look at how I positioned our model so that all the railings would lead the viewer right to her. The tighter crop works best in this instance.  To see more of her legs and the sidewalk would have detracted from the contemporary composition.

Lighting was easy – my Quantum flash through my Zumbrella – coming in from camera left at 1/4 power created the nice dimensional lighting on her face.  Be sure to watch the Rembrandt Lighting tutorial that follows.

I like the color pallet of this image too.  The dark, monochromatic tones of this location work perfectly with the black dress the model is wearing. The location, lines, lighting, and dark tones all combine to make a beautiful portrait of this beautiful young lady.

Camera specs: canon 7D fitted with 18-200mm IS lens at 178mm, F5.6 @ 1/120 second, ISO 200.  Enjoy!  -David


  1. Another beautiful image David, I really enjoyed your Rembrandt Lives tutorial and am looking forward to part 2.

    I really owe you and the Kelby crew a debt of gratitude. About 4 years ago I was in a job I couldn't stand anymore and wanted to turn my hobby into a career. I took a contract job at prominent University for some photo's they wanted to put in an amphitheater, I thought I was in over my head and was scared witless.

    I came across the Kelby crew and my photoshop skills begin to multiply and I felt more confident, I figured if I couldn't take the perfect picture I could fix it in PS. Then I caught an episode of PSUTV and was introduced to you and your blog. And that's when my photography skills and confidence begin to grow.

    I ended up nailing the job and sold 9 images and it was very profitable, these 4 feet by 6 feet photo's hang in the University's amphitheater, my 4 year old son, at the time, is on one of them, the photos are beautiful.

    What makes this story so wonderful and can bring a tear to my eye if I think about too long is I can visit them as often as I like. I told them if they ever needed a photographer to give me a call, I followed up with an email nearly every month. Well, it took a year but they finally called, my title now is Multimedia Specialist or photographer/videographer and I've never been happier.

    I received a lot of specialized hands on training from the person I was replacing, 2 years in fact, he has now gone on to our Dental school. He in fact also learned from you, we both attended one or your seminars in Ontario, CA., before I started working there. Many times when we would do portraits we would say let's light it or shoot it how Ziser would and they would come out beautifully.

    So, David I just really want to thank you for your daily blog, I know it must be a lot of work, but it has help me immensely. I often refer photographer's and photo enthusiasts to it.

    Keep up the great work,


  2. Very nice composition! Thank you for sharing.