Friday, August 31, 2007

"Rhapsody In Blue"
David A. Ziser Photography

Friday -

Good Morning Everybody,

What a nice dinner LaDawn and I had with Bert Monroy last night. We took him to the "world famous" Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse. If you ever hit Cincy - this place is the place to go for "finger lickin' good" ribs - they sell more ribs than any restaurant in the world. Bert told us about a new project he is starting that is going to take him two years! to complete - and the technology to complete the huge project is not quite in place - whew! I'll let him tell you the whole story when he visits a city near you on the Photoshop CS3 Creativity Tour. Nice visit last night.

Speaking of visitors, I asked Mary Mannix, our regional Canon rep, if I could borrow her Canon EOS 1D Mark III and the WFT-E2A Wireless File Transmitter for my Pre-Con shoot at Photoshop World next week. She graciously agreed and headed on over to get me up to speed on the wireless system. I have to say, this was really easy to set up and it worked flawlessly - and it is super small. I really loved the "Live View" mode too. This is going to be a great teaching tool for me. Can't wait to give it a try. And, look closely now, what's that in my hands - you are right - the brand new Canon 40D. Huge viewfinder, highlight Tone Priority, and a bunch more features - can't wait to get my hands on one - I hear they are shipping in the next few weeks. I'll keep you posted. Thanks to Mary for all the help and the Canon 40D preview.

Well, how about we get on with some news.

Canon Mark III Review:
Speaking of the Canon Mark III, I just found a brand
new review over at Steve's Digicams. Click here for the link and review. This is a thorough review of the camera, so if you are thinking of making the jump, give it a read.

Podcast with Pete Turner:
Since I was a kid reading Popular Photography - I still read it by the way - I have always admired Pete Turner's work. He is the "Master of color photography." He talks about how he got started in photography and his early experiments with color. Along the way this legendary pioneer of color photography talks us through the creation of dozens of his “signature” photographs. Here is the podcast link. Enjoy.

Canon 580EX Replacement Foot with Sync Port:
I was checking on the comments posted to the Digital ProTalk blog and saw a note from Ryan Dlugosz. He is a freelance photographer and tech guru in Cincinnati, OH. Can you believe it right here in Cincy - we are almost neighbors. He has a great site, by the way - check it out here. Anyway, while reviewing his posts I saw this little piece of great news about the Canon 580Ex replacement foot. I've been been looking for something like this since I purchased my 580EX's. I always wanted to fire them remotely with my Quantum radio transmitters - finally a solution. If you are the least bit interested in this, check out - here is the info and link. Hey Ryan, thanks for the tip - great blog too.

Apple talking with Volkswagen over 'iCar':
I know what you are thinking - an iWhat? - yep, an iCar - a car with more Apple gadgets in it than any car in the world. Actually Bert mentioned this last night to me at dinner so I had to check it out when we got home. Click here for the link for the AppleInsider news story. What will they think of next?

Food for Thought:
MediaStorm has another great piece of photo-journalistic media that is worth a look - it's only about 10 minutes long. It's entitled "Two Years After Katrina - Finding a Way Home." The manner in which the images are combined the video and dialogue makes the a compelling documentary on a subject that has been to soon forgotten by many of us. The beautifully produced and thought provoking presentation can be found by clicking here.

Well, after my wedding shoot on Sunday (I'll post a few images next week), I packing my bags and heading to Photoshop World in Las Vegas. Hope to see you there. Have a wonderful labor-free Labor Day weekend everybody. --David

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Man of the Year"
David A. Ziser Photography

Thursday Highlights

Good Morning Everyone,

We are off and running towards a wonderful day today. Bert Monroy - legendary Photoshop guru - is heading into the Cincy area today. Bert's presenting the Photoshop CS3 Creativity Tour right here in good ol' Covington, KY tomorrow and I plan to be there. He hits town this evening - LaDawn and I are going to catch up with him for dinner - looking forward to it. I've got a few more "studio" things happening today, but not too heavy of a schedule. So on with the news...

Kenny Roger's Hits town too:
Well, actually Louisville, KY. I know what you are thinking - why is Ziser reporting on Kenny Rogers. Here's why - Does anybody remember the beautiful portrait photography book he published entitled Your Friends and Mine back in 1987 - I still have my copy. It's a collection of beautiful portraits that he shot with a 4x5 view camera - the work is awesome! The whole point is this - Kenny Rogers is quite an accomplished photographer. Check out his work here. I think you will enjoy it.

Attention Film Photographers!
What? Ziser's talking film - I thought this was a digital site. Well, it is, and that's why I'm reporting on what looks to be a really cool scanner from Epson. Here is the news item - "Epson Unveils Scanner Featuring 6400 DPI Resolution, Earth-Friendly LED Technology For Breakthrough Price Under $250." OK, it was the $250 price tag that caught my eye because we all know that photographers are .....? But in all seriousness, I have "tons" of really good images I shot on film over the many years in this business that I would love to have scanned. In fact all the "Images of the Day" for this week have been film images. This scanner looks like a lot of "bang for the buck." I'm going to check it out more thoroughly. I'll keep you posted. Here is the link for more info on the Epson Perfection V500 photo scanner.

Creating a Better a Logo:
I know I said this site is about digital photography, Photoshop, etc, but it also being more successful in your business. If I find something interesting that I think benefits our readers and the success of their business, you will find the post here. Anyway, many of us struggle with coming up with a good logo - not many of us are "logo experts". Well, here are 6 things a good company logo must have. Click here for the link. Enjoy.

Panorama Stock Photography:
Panoramas have always held a special interest for me. I'm looking forward to working with Photoshop CS3's new "Photomerge" feature to create a few myself. Mike Wong has a great write up on how to use it right here. Mike's going to be at Photoshop World next week in Las Vegas. Anyway, the point of the news item was to tell you all about this new photo stock site called World Panorama Stock. If you are interested in Panorama photography at all or just trying to get some ideas for shooting panoramas, check out the link here - some really nice stuff.

More Good Ideas?
All of us can use the proverbial "kick in the pants" when trying to refresh our "creativity" brain cells. You need to check out The FStop's online magazine site. Here is their intro - "The FSTOP is an online magazine featuring the work of top advertising, editorial, and fine art photographers. Published six times a year, each issue explores the work of four professionals. Articles combine an in-depth interview with a comprehensive behind-the-scenes deconstruction of the process of creating one powerful image from the photographer’s recent portfolio." It's the "scenes deconstruction" part that got me - they tell you how the image was made in detail. Click here for a the link to one of their recent articles featuring the work of Andreas Smetana, named "Advertising Photographer of the year in 2006 and 2007. Well done - highly recommended!

That's it for today, gang. See you tomorrow. --David

P.S. Don't forget to vote in the "Flash Card Poll" over in the right column - this poll closes today. Thanks, David

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"Sea Mist's Embrace"
David A. Ziser Photography

Wednesday - Turning Up the Heat - Part 1

Good Morning Everybody,

Hope everyone had a good one yesterday. Well, the heat is back in good ol' KY - yep, heading for the hundreds again. But hey, we had a great solar eclipse, the sun came up in the morning, and I had a great location shoot. About six people I talked with yesterday also happened to see the eclipse early yesterday morning. What's that Ben Franklin used to say - "Early to Bed, early to rise, make a man..." I digress - looks like another multi-post day today so - On with the news.

Blog Buzz!
Yesterday turned out to be a pretty darn good day for Digital ProTalk. I got an email from Jason Moore over at Soup Questions. Jason runs a blog that is a great resource for any photog out there wanting to keep up with the "latest and greatest". He has "hand picked" the best of the best photo blog sites in the whole blogsphere and provides links, updates, and blogger profiles on those sites. Be sure to put his blog on your "visit list". Good Stuff over there. Here is the link. By the way, I just checked out his site again, and he has a very nice profile about Digital Protalk posted - thanks a bunch, Jason.

Jason's also gave me a "heads up" on our mention over at
PhotoshopUserTV too. Mr. Scott Kelby - the Photoshop Super Ninja, extraordinaire - gave us a very nice compliment also. Check out Episode 96 right here. You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes. I love watching these episodes - they are always a "hoot" and jam packed with good Photoshop info. Thanks a bunch, guys.

Last week, I got a note from Matt Adcock over at FlashFlavor - it was Matt's story I featured a few weeks ago about the wedding photog who was almost literally blown away by a hurricane while he was photographing a wedding. You can read that story here. Anyway, he writes me telling me how much he likes my "Image of the Day" - "Somewhere in Time" which I featured last week, and asks if I could put together a story about the technique behind the image. You can catch all the background on this image right over here at FlashFlavor. Thanks Matt.
The images I am posting this week are all from film - dare I use that word, and all shot on a Hasselblad. They are still some of my favorites. I saw three comments from readers that people would like some more of the "behind the scenes" stories, so look for them to pop up now and then. On to Part two --

Wednesday - Turning Up the Heat - Part 2

Tutorial of the Week
That's right, today is "Tutorial of the Week" day. Next week it might be a on a different day though. So what are we talking about today? Wouldn't it be "cool" to sign your portrait and wedding images with one simple "mouse-click" in Photoshop. In years past, I used the gold pen - I was a "happy camper" as long as I didn't mess it up. Ahh! Then the digital age emerged upon us and things got a bit easier in that department. You can find the tutorial right after this post. See how easy it is. Enjoy!

Why I Blog- (Our you nuts?)
My buddies, staff, and LaDawn, my wife, all think I nuts for writing this blog everyday. But since I made the commitment - I'm going to keep it up. You know life offers a lot of really exciting opportunities out there and we just have to grab onto all we can. I find the "web thing" intriguing and interesting, especially for all the resources out there that help each of us build the success of our businesses and/or photography. That's why I started the blog. I've been cruising the net almost daily for years via Google Reader, and thought I could formalize the more interesting and salient stories right here, hopefully for the benefit of our readers. Hope you enjoy, tell friends, coworkers and come back often!

50 Strategies For Making Yourself Work
So how does anybody get things completed they want to get done? Read this article by Jerry Oltion. Here is the link. It's a great read for anyone motivated to obtain more out of life than just watching "Survivor" reruns. You know, we never know what we can do till we try. I am stepping off of the soapbox now.

That's it for today - see ya' tomorrow. --David

Easy John Henry - Photoshop Tutorial

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"Winter Wonderland"
David A. Ziser Photography

Tuesday - The Hot News Today

Good Morning Moonshine,

Hold on one minute gang - I not talking that Kentucky backwoods concoction - I'm talking Lunar eclipse. That's right, right here this morning about 5:30 A. M. I was up about 5 A. M. this morning to check on a few things for a shoot today, and LaDawn clicked on the TV. There it was, the announcement that we were at the beginning of a total lunar eclipse right outside our front door. I grabbed my Canon 30D and 70-300mm D/O IS lens - this gave me a 480mm optic with which to shoot the moon (with the camera-of course). Check out the images.

Now I did a Google search before I posted these images and there were none posted yet, so you, dear readers, are bearing witness to the first images posted on the Internet of the Lunar Eclipse of August 28, 2007. Pretty cool stuff for a guy who loved astronomy in the second grade. I wonder if "Google Sky" will call today?

Anyway, on with some more news and tips ---

Fireworks Photography:
OK - Labor Day is right around the corner, and in this part of the woods, that means Cincinnati, Ohio's largest fireworks display of the year. WEBN and Cincinnati Bell team up to bring this "monster" fireworks display to the city every year. Over 500,000 people - about 1/3 of the metro population - turns out to see this event. You can see last year's entire show right here. So how do you shoot fireworks? I caught the article over at F1.0's site which gives a great little tutorial on the technique. Hey, if they are doing fireworks in your part of the world - grab the camera. Click right here for the article.

Balloon Cam:
A few weeks ago, I posted a story about this fellow that did kite photography - really nice images. You can revisit the post right here. But this "balloon cam", better known as SABLE - 3, really sets a much higher standard for alternate aerial photography. Check out this article and images (at 117,597 feet) and the technique right here. The page takes a while to load, but the images are stunning!

Cory Barker's Scatter Brush:
I ran across the video tutorial a few weeks ago over at the PlanetPhotoshop site. Cory Barker, the "Laddie" on Photoshop TV, keeps this site fresh and full of good info. His "Scatter Brush" technique featured in this video is more that just producing a cool result. It's also a great tutorial on how to use custom brushes in Photoshop. Click here to watch the video. It fascinating just to see how he moves through the steps - well worth the visit.

That's it for today everyone - been up too early today - got to catch a few ZZZZZ's before my shoot. See ya' tomorrow --David

Monday, August 27, 2007

"On Top of the World"
David A. Ziser Photography

Monday Morning Wake Up Call

Good Morning World,

Boy, that's kind of how I feel this morning. I just checked the stats on the site and - drum roll please - Digital ProTalk is being read in 69 countries (or territories) in 35 languages around the world!

Canon and Nikon Follow-up:
This is going to be less of a "News" day and more of an "Info" day. The dust has yet to settle on all Canon's and Nikon's news last week. If you've been on safari in Kenya, hiking the outback in Australia, or stranded on a remote desert island all last week, you can check out all the news over at dpreview or Rob Galbraith sites. Both sites have posted follow up stories and images to the announcements.

Adobe Lightroom Tip:
I'm kind of new to Adobe's Lightroom (intro and feature set here) but I am always looking for good info on how to get the most out of it. We are currently investigating how to best incorporate it into my wedding/portrait business. More to follow here in future posts. But in the mean time, here is a nice little video tutorial on how to get the best black and white conversions out of Lightroom using the Auto-Adjust Grayscale button in conjunction with the White Balance sliders. The video takes a few minutes to download, but worth the wait. Click here for video link.

Developing Greatness: The Origins of American Photography:
If you are a photographer and live close to Kansas City - like within 250 miles, then head over to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and check out this exhibit running from June 9 through December 30. Here is an excerpt... "A groundbreaking exploration of the first generation of American photography. The exhibition presents classic works from this pivotal era, as well as many newly discovered images that have never before been exhibited or published. " The exhibit is featuring Daguerreotypes and paper prints. Here is the link to the Museum's site. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on their links to get a sampling of the images - fascinating!

So What's a Pixel Look Like?
That has been a burning question in my mind ever since I went "digital" in 2000. Well, you can say you saw it here first - unless you saw it somewhere else first. Click here and behold a Pixel. My life is now complete.

News Alert - Keywording Scam:
I receive the Professional Photographers of America's e-newsletter and caught a very interesting article in it. They were discussing a new scam on how some studios are using "keywording" to drive google searches to the sites. Some photographers will add a competitor’s studio name to their own website in order to appear when a search is done for that competitor. This way it is possible that a competitor will also appear on a list of search results even if your studio name was the one searched. Just a "heads up. You can sign up for the PPA e-newsletter here.

Pretty Cool Video:
I have always been fascinated by "time-lapse" photography - you know, one picture taken every minute or so. Maybe it goes back to those good old days watching Walt Disney World on TV when I was a kid. Every now and then, they would show the flowers opening , the sun setting, etc. Anyway, I just came across the "time-lapse" video where the photographer made it with his Canon 20D camera. Check out the separate post following this one to view the video - pretty cool.

That's about it for today - have a great Monday. --David

Time Lapse Photography - Video

Here is the video - Enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2007

"Somewhere in Time"
David A. Ziser Photography

Friday - Good Things Happening - 3 of 3

More News and Resources:

Cool Scanning Service:
I was just reviewing some older posts - being sure I didn't miss anything - and came across this interesting post on Scott Kelby's site. He mentioned the nifty service that would take all those negatives still in the shoebox and scan them into high res images for about $.19. I checked out the site right here at ScanCafe, and I think they've got something there. As a Hasselbald shooter for years , my negs are a bit bigger, so I wish they offered the service for the "medium format" shooters of years past. Anybody got and suggestions in that department?

Gobs of Photoshop Tutorials:
I thank John Sullivan, one of our readers, for this great link. If you want months of Photoshop tutorial pleasure, then just head over to - here is the link. They have over 450 tutorials for viewing. They are all over the board too, but many are pretty darn good. One I enjoyed was by the doctor himself - Russel Brown. If you have never seen a program by Mr. Brown they are both extremely informative and "belly laughing" funny. Here is a link to his tutorial entitled - Healing Brush tool, and Vanishing Point. This one takes a bit of time to load, but it is worth the wait. Here is another example. It's by the folks over at and covers how to set up some important user preferences in Photoshop. Here is the video link. This tutorial is actually the second of two parts, but had the best info in it. Enjoy! Great rainy day surfing.

Freebie of the Day: Buffer Zone
BufferZone Security Pro lets you download files from any website, run any program, and open any email attachment with complete safety. BufferZone’s virtualization technology creates an isolated zone on your PC, which separates your operating system and confidential data from unknown programs, downloads and files. Here is the link - looks interesting to me.

High Speed Photography:
I have always been a fan of high speed photography. I was always originally turned on to these images when I saw some of the images created by Harold Edgerton back in my collage days. Click here to see some of those images. Anyway, I found this very interesting post that I thought you might enjoy. Here is the link.

That's it for today. Have a great weekend - see you Monday. --David

Friday - Good Things Happening - 2 of 3

Next, I visited the the location of my wedding next week. Adath Israel synagogue has just gone through some MAJOR renovation and it's looks beautiful. Click here to see some interior views. You will have to wait till the week after next to see the wedding pics.

Then it was back home to catch up with my friend Janice Wendt from Nik Software who was planning to give LaDawn and I the "full tilt boogie" tutorial on all Nik's latest offering. After I caught my breath, we set up a projector so we could watch Janice's demos on the big screen.

The first amazing software she showed was Capture NX. Nik Software developed the U-Point technology and now licenses it to other companies - currently Nikon is one of those companies. The Nik Software U-Point magic was evident in Capture NX. This software lets you easily make local adjustments to any part of the image without affecting other parts of the image. Words do not describe how cool this was. I've downloaded a trial of the software and will give you a peek hopefully next week. In the mean time check out the Capture NX web site here for some brief demos. Can't wait to see what Nik has in store for this technology in the future - stayed tuned.

She also showed us Dfine 2.0, Nik's latest "noise reduction" software. Most of you know I have been a big fan of Noise Ninja since it's beta. So I wanted to see how Dfine 2.0 - just released about a month ago - would compare. Janice's demo was impressive You can get more info and download a 15 day demo right here.

Niks' Color Efex Pro 2.0 and Nik Sharpener Pro 2.0 show some impressive possibilities too. Check out this page right here for demos on all Nik's products. Kind of fun to watch.

After 3 hours plus of Janice's gracious demonstrations, we headed out to dinner. It was a terrific day. On to Part 3 of today's posts.

Friday - Good Things Happening - 1 of 3

Good Morning Everybody,

Still hot as heck here in Cincy - over 100 degrees again yesterday, no rain for weeks, everybody's grass is brown. But the sky is blue, the air is clear, and I have the weekend off - time for a little R&R. I'm breaking this news day into a couple of posts because of all the info today. Anyway, on with the news and features.

Jones Shoot:
I arrived about 10:00 a.m., set up the gear and we were ready to go by 11:00a.m. These guys do great work at Jones and I have the honor of working with many of their designers at the various wedding and Bar Mitzvah functions I photograph - but I digress. The whole set up looks pretty complicated, but is not really. Check out the image and let me walk you through it.

Main Light Source is fairly obvious. The background Light is set up to illuminate the white seamless paper, but because of its proximity to the object being photographed, I had to "gobo" or block the "light spill" onto the flowers being photographed. There is also an Accent Light ( hidden by the "gobo" unbrella) that skimmed light across the flowers from the back. The Accent Light just "kisses" the flowers with light and adds that added touch of "garlic" accent to the image.

The Canon 5D is tethered to my computer. I was running Canon's Photo Professional software. This let me take the photograph which transmitted quickly to the computer, popped all the RGB histogram info, and let me quickly fine tune exposure - white balance had previously been set. I was shooting JPEGs by the way - please no "religious jpeg vs. raw" debate here ;-)

Here is my position and the finished image. Notice the "gobo" umbrella is only blocking the Background Light from spilling to much light onto the flowers, yet it still supplies a nice amount of "Fill Light" to the scene.
I photographed about 15 items for Jones and we were wrapped about 12:30 p.m. I burned them a disc of the favs and I was on my way by 1:00 p. m. On to the second post. I'll share in a future post what a great marketing tool this can be for your studio.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"The Dance of a Lifetime"
David A. Ziser Photography

Thursday - Another HOT News day in Cincy!

Good Morning Everybody,

Boy, we are dyin' here in Cincy. The temperature hit 100 degrees yesterday and it looks like another hot one today. But, not a problem, the calendar looks like a good day. I'm off in about an hour to shoot the Fall season flowers for Jones the Florist. They are one of the biggest and best in the city. It's always a fun shoot and the floral aromas are wonderful throughout the building.

Next I meet with one of my favorite clients to discuss the family's upcoming wedding in two weeks. I'll post a few pics from the job - it should be beautiful. And then later today, my buddy, Janice Wendt, from Nik Software is stopping by on her way to the Florida Professional Photographers Association annual convention - nice images on their home page, by the way. I'm getting a long lesson on Nik's latest software releases. Check out Nik Software's catalogue to see what their products do right here - you will love the images.

On with the NEWS:

It Only Gets Better, Faster, and Cheaper.
After all Canon's announcement on Tuesday, Nikon came charging out of the gates today with a long and impressive lists of new products including the Nikon D3 and the Nikon D300. Am I reading this right - full frame sensor (finally) and ISO 25,600! Check out all the specs on the new Nikon gear right here.

How Many Gigs?
Just read that Toshiba is introducing a 32 Gig SDHC flash card by January. A couple of these cards filled with images would give the whole "workflow" paradigm a whole new meaning. Read more here.

Food for Thought:
"...Is the “easy availability” of digital photography & the Internet destroying our collective appreciation for the true art in the medium? Have we been so overexposed to supersaturated, supersharp, over-digitalized photos that we have lost the appreciation for other artistic aesthetics in photography? ... " Read the whole article over at F1.0's site right here. Read the comments too. Very thought provoking.

Cool Software:
I came across two pretty cool pieces of software yesterday. Today, let me tell you about iWatermark. For all digital camera owners posting to the web or sending images via email, this is a great little piece of software the gives you the protection and recognition for your digital images and artwork. iWatermark makes it really easy to "digital" sign your images 1 or 1000 images at a time. Check it out here.

Obi Wan Kenobi Had it First:
When I first read this, I could only think of that first Star Wars movie - can you believe it - almost 30 years ago. Anyway, Japan's Hitachi, Ltd. has developed a lightweight 3D display that can potentially be adapted for mobile devices such as telephones. Looks just like Princess Leah to me. It's a fun look at some potentially cool technologies. Give it a read here.

That's it for today, folks, got to pack the gear, and head for work. See ya tomorrow, --David

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Enterprising Couple"
David A. Ziser Photography

Wednesday News and Notes

Hi Everyone,

WOW! Great News - When I hit the keyboard this morning, to check my email - there it was. The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce just named David A. Ziser Photography/Photographic Resources, Inc. one of the "Emerging 30" businesses in the area. It was a very nice surprise. A lot of the credit goes to my great team - Susan, Sharon, Gayle, and Nicholas, and my wonderful wife, LaDawn.

On with the News.

Canon One More Time:
I spent half the morning on line checking out the specs of the new Canon 40D. Man, that's looking like my next camera. Here are a few of the important features that "speak" to me.
  1. Full Viewfinder "Blinkies" finally! Now I can really see which highlights are "blowing out" and fix it before I take the shot. I always hated the fact that the "blinkies" only showed up on that teeny little 1/4 screen thumbnail in "Play Mode". Nikon has had "full screen highlight warning" all the time - glad to see Canon now on board too.
  2. Highlight Tone Priority - Read "... JPEG shooters Rejoice!!!" This is a wonderful custom feature that I reported in my Digital Newsletter #12. I have reprinted it in the post that follows this one, so give it a read.
  3. A Kelvin setting that now goes down to 2500K. The 20D and 30D only went down to 2800K. 2800K was good for "ceremony"shots in the church, but for "available light" images at the reception, it just was not quite enough - glad to see the new lower Kelvin number.

Those are the main "ticklers" for me - there is lots to like about the new camera. Canon D40 info right here.

Really Unusual Camera:
It's a "Scanner Camera" made out of and inexpensive desktop scanner and a view camera. The inventor is Mike Golembewski. You have got to see it to believe it. He is producing 115Meg files with his current camera. He has a whole site dedicated to the design of the camera, his current camera, and lots of images - very fascinating. Check it out here.

Hot! Geek News - Google Earth Heads for Space:
Now I might be one of about 3 people in the world that think this is really "cool" but, I couldn't resist telling you about it today. When I was a kid - like in the 2nd grade - my hobby was astronomy. I wrote to the major observatories around the country and asked for any free stuff they could send - my allowance wouldn't allow me to purchase much material. I even did a special astronomy report to my class. I bet my buddy I would beat him to the moon - that bet is still on by the way.

Anyway, here is the hot news - Google Earth is now going to be Google Space too. Here is an excerpt, "... The new feature in Google Earth called Sky promises to bring the world of astronomy to viewers without the need of a telescope. Launched today, the new tool is claimed to enable users to view and navigate through 100 million individual stars and 200 million galaxies using high resolution imaging and overlays." Check it out here.

Now Maybe News From Nikon!
I just saw this minutes ago. We just finish hearing all the hot new announcements from Canon, and now there may be a slew of announcements by Nikon coming real soon. Nikon may be announcing their new D3 - full frame camera and D300 - both with 6400 ISO's too. Here is the link.

That's about it for today. I've got to tell the staff the good news. Have a great one! --David

Highlight Tone Priority Setting in Canon's New Mark III

What was the highlight of the Spring Master Class - shooting with the new Canon Mark III. I invited Mary Mannix, our regional Canon representative to come by and show the class some of the new Canon "goodies." The Mark III "right off the presses" was a big hit with the class.

The hottest new feature - not even discussed much on the Internet photo sites yet - is the "Highlight tone priority" feature. What's that you say - only the best thing since "P for Professional" for us JPEG wedding shooters. Here is the scoop - under C.FnII:3 of your custom functions - set to "Enable" Highlight tone priority.

You have now extended the dynamic range of your JPEGS - read this as meaning less chance of "blowing out the whites." Check out the before and after images here. The left image is about a stop overexposed, but by enabling Highlight tone priority, the resulting image on the right was saved!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Sunset Serenade"
David A. Ziser Photography

Tuesday's Notes, News, and Tips

Good Morning Sunshine! - I used to wake my kids for school with that phrase when they were younger - boy, they hated it. Anyway, good things happenin' today. I am putting finishing touches on the "Digital Newsletter" today. It should email tomorrow - be sure you are signed up if you want to receive it - good stuff here. Here we go.

Canon Makes it Official
Yep, new cameras - Canon 1Ds Mark III, 21MP - whew! and Canon 40D, 10.1 MP, and a slew of others as well. I even like the new ELPH 950 - 12.1 MP, IS - looks sweet. I've been an ELPH shooter for years and love it for its compactness and quality. Get all the Canon News announcements right here.

And You Think You Got Problems
As a wedding shooter, we occasionally have some small, some large issues pop up in the course of the day - but a hurricane. I caught this story over at the Strobist blog and it "blew me away." (sorry) Seems our photog heard about my "Pole Cam" to get those over the head pics too.
Give it a quick read - fascinating.

Lighting Tutorials
There is more good education "stuff" on the Internet, and it's all free. PhotoFlex - the lighting gear manufacturer - has a whole slew of lighting tutorials right here - some really good lessons. Off to school we go.

Clean Out the Cobwebs
Sometimes we all need a little help getting our creative juices going. One of my favorite sites - Luminous Landscape, had a great article on creativity. It's a little long, but great info and a lot of food for thought. Read it slowly and thoughtfully - right here.

Now a little Fun
Check out this site - - and watch some of the Panorama shows. The software takes your stitched panos and converts them into a flash show which you can easily post to your website. This whole thing sort of appealed to my "geek" side. I'm still trying to figure out what I'll do with it, but I did download the free trial.

Quick Photoshop Tip
Here is a TIP directly from Planet Photoshop.
..."Generally, when you apply a transformation to an object (scaling, rotating, distorting, perspective), you apply that transformation to the object itself. However, here’s a cool tip if you want to apply a transformation (using Free Transform) on a duplicate of your object, rather than on the original: Press Command-Option-T (PC: Control-Alt-T), then use the Free Transform tool as you usually would. You’ll notice that as you begin to transform, the original object remains untouched, and a copy is transformed instead. "...
Check out all their other tips right here.

Option #2
Last week I told you about a nifty piece of software that could recover data from your scratched CD's and DVD's - don't want to spend the $29 - watch the following post for an alternate solution. - Enjoy!

Who Would Have Believed It?

Hey, If it works...

How To Remove CD Scratches With A Banana - video powered by Metacafe

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Wind Dancers"
David A. Ziser Photography

Monday - Off to Another Great Week

What a Week!
I'll say what a Week - Last week Digital ProTalk had visitors from 55 countries viewing it in 22 languages. Not bad for the first real week out of the gates. I'm thrilled our readers are enjoying the site so much. This week promises to be just as info-packed (and maybe more.) Check back everyday for the latest, greatest, interesting news, photography and Photoshop and Lightroom tips and techniques. By the way, I'll post wedding images this week - Enjoy! Let's get right to it with some news.

Canon 1Ds Mark III and Canon 40D - the Word is Out!
Yep, That's the news I got. Amazon apparently had BOTH cameras listed on their web site - albeit, before the Canon official announcement - but have since pulled down the pages. No problem - you can still see all the specs and a lot more info by just clicking here.

Great Lighting Lesson by the Master:
I first met Monte Zucker - an icon in our profession - in 1979. Monte and I were friends for over 25 years until his passing earlier this year. He was probably one of the finest teachers on classical lighting on the planet. I was bouncing around the Internet this past weekend - yes, I had a little time off - I found this great article by Monte on lighting. Enjoy it by clicking here.

While We Are on the Subject of Photography
One of my hobbies is macro photography. I picked up Canon's 100mm F2.8 macro lens earlier this year and love it. With macro photography, you have two choices, 1- keep everything in crystal clear sharp focus with a really teeny F-stop or, 2 - go for that shallow depth of field only keeping the subject or part of the subject in sharp focus by using a larger F-stop. I could go on and on here but check out this article on the macro photography by clicking here. I have one suggestion for Canon though - make the macro lenses "image stabilized." Nikon was the first with such a lens with their Nikon 105mm F2.8 VR macro lens. Are you listening Canon?

I Never Knew that Before
Okay, you might think this tip is kind of weak, but I got this email last week that echoed my exact dilemma when I was fairly new to Photoshop. It went like this.

...."I have had a weirdness in all the versions of PS that I wonder if you ever had and if so how you overcame it. During a session the cursor changes to precise and in order to get it to show brush size you have to go to the Cursors menu and change it to "precise" to get PS to show the brush size. No clue why it does that and closing and reopening PS doesn't resolve it. You have to reboot the PC to return it to normal."...

Drum roll please - The CAPS LOCK key was inadvertently turned on - just hit it again to get the brush again. When I first learned that - it was like finally understanding the "Theory of Relativity." (Just click here for more info on the ToR - sorry, couldn't resist.)

One Last Thing - A "Cool" Little Gadget:
This should appeal to all geek freaks - yep, count me in - it's called a Gisteq PhotoTrackr. What's that you say. It's a fairly inexpensive way to get all your images loaded up with GPS data. PhotoTrakr and it's software lets you "geo-tag" your images with the GPS info. Then image hosting sites that are geo-tag enabled can let you, your friends, family, and even total strangers know where your images were taken. Click here for all the info. Now, how many of you thought that was the "coolest" tip you heard today?

Well, I'm off - got to get to work. I'm updating a few of my presentations for Photoshop World coming up the first week of September - hope to see you there. Have a great Monday everybody - see you tomorrow. --David

Friday, August 17, 2007

Lavender Fields - Sault, France
David A. Ziser Photography

Friday News Hits

Hi Everyone,
There is lots of good stuff posted today. Don't forget to check out the promised Photoshop tutorial just posted - it follows this post. Enjoy!

Mastering B&W Photography:
There was this great interview on Inside Digital Photo with Amadou Diallo, Photographer and Author of “Mastering Digital Black and White Photography”. I think this guy knows his stuff - nice insights and good information. Heck, I headed to and bought his book. Listen to the interview here.

Unbelievable Message, Unbelievable Photography:
I stumbled on Media Storm several months ago. It's a site that features stories from photojournalists from around the country. This doesn't sound like a big idea till you see how the stories are features on the site. This story about the Ivory poachers in Africa will give you "goose bumps" as you watch it. The photography is breathtaking and the story is compelling. Just hit the link above, sit back, enjoy, and think.

Newsletter - One More Time:
I am in the process of putting the finishing touches on our next Newsletter which is planned to go out next week. It is shaping up to be one of the best. Content will include - as usual - a "cool" Photoshop tutorial, great lighting lesson, strong marketing idea, and some very interesting - and maybe a bit funny - news items. Anyway, don't forget to sign up right here on on this page so you don't miss it. Hey, if you don't like it, you can always opt back out. But, I don't think you will want too.

Today's Freebie:
I thought this little "screen grab" utility from TNT Screen Capture looked interesting. I do a lot of screen capture for my seminars and workshops. We also use "screen capture" for some of studio materials. You might want to give it a try. Click here for the link. Heck - it's free, at least for today.

That's it for today. Have a great weekend - see you Monday!

Photoshop Tutorial - Stretching the Background

Here is the Photoshop Tutorial featured in the Newsletter #13 - Enjoy. To sign up for our monthly newsletter, just click here. Past issues can be found here. Thanks, David

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sunflowers - Carpentras, France
David A. Ziser Photography

Thursday's News and Tips

Image of the Day:
Hope everyone is enjoying the image of the day. I promise to run some wedding images next week, but I'm still on that France high from last week's wonderful vacation to Paris and the South of France.

August Newsletter Going Out Soon:
Don't miss out on a terrific tutorial in this month's newsletter due out soon. Just click here or hit the "Sign Up" button here on this page. It's been said that it "kicks butt" by some very respected people in the business.

Looking for More Business:
We are all trying to increase business, raise our community profile, or just plain trying to get more people to notice us. I found this article that gives some good pointers on doing just that. Give it a read right here.

Back Ups - News, or Bad News:
Hey, we all know it - the fear of the hard drive crash. Here at the studio, e have everything backed up about 17 times - not really, but one on-site hard copy back up and one off-site hard copy back up. On top of that, we maintain redundant copies on our network too. Can't be too safe if you ask me. Click here for a very good read on back up strategies and technologies.

Bad Teeth, Shiny Face - Check this out:
LaDawn and I had the privilege of meeting the Image Trends folks at both WPPI and the PPA conventions this year. The Professor, the person who invents some of these very interesting Photoshop time saving plug-ins for wedding/portrait photographers, is a fascinating gentleman to meet. Check out their latest "cool" inventions for "teeth whitening and "facial shine reduction."

Update for Tomorrow: ( Sounds futuristic, doesn't it?)
Look for one of the past newsletter tutorials to go back on line tomorrow.

Well, it's back to work here - enjoy the day. -David

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

David A. Ziser Photography

Wednesday News and Tips

Great Shoot Yesterday
This image was from a "Senior Session" I photographed yesterday. The heat settled down here in Cincinnati, so the weather perfect for the shoot although I was wishing for a bit more shade. I used a Canon 30D fitted with a 70-200mm F2.8 IS lens. I made the expose at F4 to reduce depth of field to throw the background way out of focus. Shutter speed was set to 1/320sec. (I know native sync speed is 1/250 sec.) See the technique explained in my past newsletter #11 - here. All this at ISO 100. Off camera flash - Quantum T5d -was fired with my Quantum Freewire radio control. The flash supplied the main exposure giving me my much loved "loop light" pattern on the subject, and the ambient supplied the fill. Check out this link for a great explanation of "Loop Lighting."

By the way, if you want to sign up for our monthly newsletter - just click here.

Back to the Future
Anyone still remember the old Polaroid cameras (I sure do, I just had a birthday yesterday) - you know, the picture in a minute. Well, here is a new twist on an old idea. It seems a company - Zink Zero Ink- click here for info, is introducing a camera that will do just that later this year. As the photo world turns - always something interesting.

Changing Hair Color
I just found this short 5 minute tutorial on how to change hair color. The tutorial style is a bit different - no spoken words, just text, music, and mousing - but worth a peek. I did have the music set fairly low though. Click here to watch the video.

Another Freebie
I just ran across this new freebie and downloaded it - remember, you have to download and install today for the software to be no charge. Software to recover data from scratched discs seemed to be a useful utility, so I thought it was worth a look. Click here for the link.

That's it for today. Check out Suzette Allen's "Cloud Brushes" demo too and don't forget to check out the news items on the right.

Have a great one. --David

Suzette' Allen's Cloud Brush Demo

Suzette and I have been friends for a number of years. In addition to being a great photographer, she is also an extremely talented Photoshop instructor. While reading one of Will Crocket's SmartShooter newsletters - very informative, by the way - her "Cloud Brush" tutorial was featured. The "Cloud" brushes are very clever and lend a nice look to a cloudless sky, but her tutorial also has some good insights into how to use "Channels" and creative, quick "Masking" as well. For more info on Suzette's educational materials and seminars click here.

Enjoy the video. --David

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Image of the Day

Effel Tower
David A. Ziser Photography

Tuesday's Notes

Readers have really liked the video tutorials I have been including the the monthly newsletters. I just stated using Viddler to host the videos. The reason I like Viddler is that they are the only site I know of that, in addition to all the other file formats, lets me upload much smaller Flash - FLV files, and up to 500megs! This makes for quick uploads that are great quality. They also make it very easy to post to a blog - the bottom line - look for some of the tutorials to start popping up here real soon.

Here is a site that I check now and then. It's They do some informative lens reviews from all the manufacturers. You might want to check it out before your next purchase.

Scott Kelby and Terry White both have nice blogs - take a peek. They are both very big on the new iPhone too - in fact, they wrote the book on it. Anyway, Scott had a funny link to a video showing a customer getting their first AT&T bill - worth a giggle. Click here so watch the video.

Don't forget to check out the ever changing news stories on the right side of this page too. That's it for now - Have a good one. --David

Monday, August 13, 2007

Image of the Day

The Lourve - Paris
David A. Ziser Photography

Ready to Go - Monday Mornings Musings

LaDawn and I just returned from France on Friday, got de-jet lagged, and are ready to go hoping to make this one of your favorite sites to visit. Check out the images from our trip - there is slide show associated with most of the posts, so give the page a minute or two to load. - Enjoy!

First a little news. A lot of people have been wondering when Canon might be releasing the new "Canon 40D". Check out Bob Atkins site for some tantalizing info on Canon's new baby. A quick "Google" search will hook you up with some more info.

I always talk about "The Difference Making the Difference" in your photography. But this may be going a bit far. Wedding Photographer, Mike Larson, literally throws his camera in the air with shutter button depressed to come out with some fascinating images. Check out the video here to see what I'm talking about. I think the comments following the video are interesting too. For me, I still like my "Pole Cam."

I just saw a report that digital camera sales are up 27%, but here is the real kicker - digital SLR's are up 75% over last year. You can get the whole story here at DPreview. How about this - National Geographic as just published a book entitled - The Camera Phone Book - How to Shoot Like a Pro. Anyway, just a little food for thought. It just means we have to continue to innovate our style, educate our clients, and excel at our photography - yep, it's still "The Difference That Makes the Difference."

And now something for free. If you have the new iPhone - I don't by the way - this nifty little program may be just for you. It's called iPhone Slideshow and you can get it free today only by clicking here.

That's it for now, see you soon. -David