Saturday, May 05, 2012

Texas School 2012 Wrap Up - A Wonderful Week of Learning, Great Fun, and Exhaustion!

Hi Everybody,

We just wrapped a wonderful week with a great class at Texas School in Dallas, TX.  I started this post on the plane heading back to Cincinnati, OH. and I’m trying to stay awake as I write it. If you ever have the opportunity to attend Texas School - it is one long super packed week of learning and fun. But, boy are the instructors and staff exhausted at the end of the week.  The students get to go back to their rooms and sleep after all the parties and evening activities.  The instructors, on the other hand, head back to their room and for many of us we are editing images and preparing for the next class.  I want to be a student next year:~)

Ziser Texas sch

Hey don't get me wrong, like Don Dickson the director of Texas School says, "You can all sleep next week." Which, I’m sure is his plan too.  Don is definitely the hardest working guy at the school and gets even less sleep that we instructors do.  All I can say – it’s one GREAT time!  Next year Texas School is scheduled from April 28 - May3, 2013. Class sign-up starts on January 3, 2013 11:00 p.m. sharp. Mark your calendars NOW so you can enjoy this fabulous week. The hottest classes go fast so check out their website next year,

I'll tell you, one of the surprises was "who was taking who" this week.  Julianne Kost, Adobe’s resident Photoshop and Lightroom guru was at Texas School and gave a wonderfully informative all day program on Saturday to start off the week.  But for the rest of the week, she was there as a student studying with Richard Sturtevant, a true master of digital art – be sure to check out Richard’s website right here – AMAZING intro page.  You've got to check out his website right here - amazing!

Dave Cross, one of the Photoshop Guys was also there.  It was good to catch up with Dave even though the visit was brief. The talent line-up is always diversified and always top notch.  I think Julianne made a good case for some of us instructors to come back as students.  Why not? Everyone can always learn something from the instructors at Texas School.

DAZ and LD Boxers and BootsieParties happen most every night.  I took the opportunity to shoot a few shots at the big Boots and Boxers party Tuesday evening.  Yep, you had to come dressed up just as the theme implied.  It was a hoot.  Many of us instructors were all trying to figure out how to side step the Boxer theme.  I sure didn't want to come to a party in my boxer shorts, and I don't even own boots!

My creative solution was to come as a prize fighter - a boxer- and LaDawn was to be the "ring girl".  Her name- Bootsie! OK, I’ve been debating posting this picture all week and LaDawn said a resounding NO! – but I’m doing it anyway.  It took her a few glasses of wine to find the courage to even wear that tee-shirt. Hey, life is short – enjoy it! dz. 

During the party, I grabbed my camera and ran it through its Hi ISO paces to see how the experience shooting with the Tamron 28-300mm VC lens totally using only available light would be.

The reality was that, even shooting at ISO 25,800 the light was too dim to stop all the action at 1/50 - 1/80 second.  For the slower moving moments of the evening it did just fine and the Tamron's image stabilization worked really well.

Band B 1

DAZNOTE: I've been shooting a lot of available light images at my events lately and slowly developing some ideas on how to use the high ISO characteristics of these new cameras to get the best results for wedding and event photography.  Stay tuned that's going to be a pretty lengthy post in the not to distant future.

Band B2

BTW, that’s my good friend Tony Corbel on the left with a skit on Michael Jackson – Thru the years.. Tony is one of the top instructors on lighting anywhere and he really enjoys a good time ;~)

Friday's festivities began at 8:30a.m. with an all school meeting.  This 2 hour session is always a hoot.  The video class spends the week filming activities and highlights of the week. They add a little zaniness and a lot of creativity to the edit, and present it to the entire school of students, instructors and staff.  It was tears-to-your-eyes funny.

Part of the Friday morning activities included giving away over $20,000 in door prizes!!! You heard me right - $20,000!!! Our class hadn't won anything all week, but then Neville was called, one of students in my class and our entire class was super excited for him to win Tamron's brand new 24-70mm image stabilized lens. This just happens to be the only lens on the market in that focal length that is stabilized. CONGRATS and big smiles from ear to ear for Neville and Anu and Ed also door prize winners.

The morning wrapped with a special appearance by Aaron Johnson, the genius behind the What The Duck photo-centric comic strip.  I had a chance to hang with Aaron the night before at yet another party, and he struck me as a genuine nice guy, as well as, a very busy guy.  

What te Duck

DAZ with AaronOn the right the photo shows, from left to right, my buddy Ralph Romaguera – incoming president of PPA; Don Dickson – Texas School Director and past president of PPA; Aaron Johnson – What The Duck creator; and myself.

Aaron' s real profession is animation, graphic arts, with a little photography thrown in for good measure.  He was  heading back to Wisconsin today to run in a big race this weekend.  Then on Sunday he is scheduled to work in a sound studio for four hours recording an album. Yep, he's a musician too – jazz bass.  And I think I'm busy. Next to Aaron, I feel like a real slacker ;~)

Let me wrap today's post with a short video of some of my favorite images together with a few others I took throughout the week.  I hope you enjoy them.  



That's it for me his week gang.  We've got an easy weekend and plan to enjoy the time off.  So I hope you too have a great weekend and I'll see you next week,  David


  1. A great week! Thanks David and LaDawn.

  2. David and LaDawn, your class at Texas School may very well have been the best I have ever attended. I truly appreciate your willingness to be completely transparent with your experience and knowledge. If only we could clone good folks like you two; but as it is I can "own" a part of "Ziser-ology" in my own work now and that is an honor I will cherish always. Thank again and GOD bless you both!

  3. Sorry I missed you while you were in town. Sounds like another great event this year.