Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Cathedral Rock"
© David A. Ziser
This image was created while on a trip to Sedona Arizona about a year ago. I'm intrigued by the perspective of really wide angle lenses and was using a Sigma 12-24mm lens on my canon 5D. This is the widest rectilinear corrected lens/camera combination available. It produces some unusual and beautiful results. I really like how the foreground was exaggerated emphasizing the water's blue color and complimenting the beautiful blue sky. Specs; Canon 5D with 12-24mm Sigma lens at 12mm - F10 @ 1/60 second at ISO 400.

Enjoy! --David

Short and Sweet Wednesday

Good Morning Everybody,
I'm going to keep it short and sweet today. I missed the newsletter yesterday, but today for sure at 3 PM EST. You can always add your email to the newsletter list over at Here is the link. We are gearing up for 4 more events over the next three weeks so things are starting to rev up around here again. So how about some short and sweet news for the day....

Wi-Fi For the Masses

I just came across this article over at Technology Review about a new company by the name of Eye-Fi. They are releasing a two-gigabyte secure-digital (SD) memory card that can wirelessly send photos to a computer - PC, MAC - or to a photo-sharing website. And, it will do it all automatically. Wow! Now I don't have to buy that $800 wireless transmitter for my digital camera. This card is priced at $99 for the 2-gig model and is available today according to the article. Hey, I thought it was a fascinating story - you can get all the info right here.

Great Tutorial on Traditional Portrait Lighting

Over at Professional Photography 101, there is an excellent tutorial that covers all the basics on lighting the traditional portrait - read business portrait, wedding portrait, senior portrait, etc. All the basics lighting concepts are covered from the main, fill, and background lights. Here is the link to the Portrait tutorial right here. Check out the entire website right here - lots of good info to follow-up one - enjoy the browse.

Matt Spices Up Some Proof Sheets

Our buddy, Matt Kloskowski, over at Photoshop Killer Tips, has a nice little article on how to enhance the proof sheet output from Adobe's Lightroom. The article includes his past video on the subject and his two presentations which you download for yourself. Here is the link to the article, video, and preset downloads right here. Thanks, Matt for the tip and the presets.

My Favorite Photographer has a New Book Out

Ansel Adams has always been one of my "hero" photographers. I catch any show I can about the man and his photography - most recently in NYC I was able to catch a display a few months ago. The Online Photographer has a great piece on Little, Brown's new publication of Adams work entitled Ansel Adams - 400 photographs. You can read their review here. I read it, loved it, and headed over to Amazon and bought the book. Here is the Amazon link to the Adams book right here.

That's it for today, gang I've got to run - client appointment in 60 minutes. See ya' tomorrow. -- David

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Monet's Autumn"
© David A. Ziser

I made this image during our walk through the woods this past weekend. The trail begins with the path meandering along the side of a small turtle pond. The sun was fairly high in the sky yet coming in at such a direction that it created wonderful highlights and shadows on the foliage.
My favorite view was the reflection of the surrounding foliage on the pond surface just after a slight breeze sent ripples over the surface ever so slightly. I cropped only to the reflection and made the image. Camera specs are unimportant here I believe.
I flipped the image in Photoshop 180 degrees and added a bit of saturation. I finessed the textures throughout the scene and adjusted localized densities till I was pleased with the result. I still wanted more of a "brush" texture so I added quite a bit of sharpening to the scene till I achieved the finished result. The finished image captures my feeling of that Sunday - just as I remember it. Enjoy! --David

Technique Tuesday

Good Morning Everybody,
We are off and running today with lots of good stuff on this Technique Tuesday. LaDawn and I had a wonderful fall walk this past Sunday at the Cincinnati Nature Center. Everybody around here has been complaining that we were not going to get a colorful Fall because of our summer draught, but, you know, somehow it always works out. The colors were beautiful, the air was brisk, the smells were delightful, and the 6 mile walk was gorgeous. But I digress, check out the article below. Anyway, how about - on with the show....

Let's Get Up Close and Personal

Brand new ideas and hoping for some very cool results - that's what the plan was earlier Sunday morning. I asked LaDawn if she would like to head out to the Cincinnati Nature Center after church services this past Sunday, just for some fun shooting. Walking thru the center is one of our favorite things to do so she was all for it. I did have my own agenda in mind though. I wanted to explore macro photography, but with a twist. I wanted to use my brand new Canon 580EX II flash to illuminate the subject bringing a direction of light from any direction I chose. That way, I could create a nice direction of light at a very close range and kind of be my own self contained macro photography studio.

Here is the setup: I was using a Canon 40D fitted with 100mm F2.8 macro lens with a 580EX flash attached. The 580Ex served two purposes - first, it would have the Quantum Freewire transmitter attached to it - the Freewire was hardwired into the camera's sync terminal; and, secondly, it would supply any fill light I thought necessary. Myself or LaDawn would hold the 580EX II with the Freewire receiver attached to it at the appropriate angle for experimenting and finding the best direction of illumination.

My whole idea for the shoot was to experiment more with the new off camera flash features of the 580EX II. The first thing I did was set up the flash so that it would not automatically shut down and then secondly, I wanted it to fire in Manual mode triggered by the Freewire. I wanted manual mode so I could control the density on the scene by varying it's distance to the subject. You can see how I set up the flash in a previous post - Best Little Light in the World right here. I know what you are thinking, Ziser has taken this $460 high tech flash and turned it into a simple manual (yet very portable) flash - yep, that's what I did. I dialed the power down to about 1/8 power. At this setting and at the distances I was working the flash, I would be using very small apertures since maximum depth of field was one of my prerequisites as well.

As you can see throughout this article, I was getting my desired result - granted some were better than others, but the exercise was still fun. I found that if I was working close to the subject, I preferred the wide angle diffuser over the flash head because at the close working distances, it created a much softer light. Removing the wide angle diffuser and setting the flash to 80mm zoom gave a different result - this set up actually created a spot light effect on the scene localizing the lighting effect for maximum viewer's attention. You can see that effect in some of the images accompanying this article. The remote flash gives the images a special quality that makes much of the subject matter pop off the page as it stands isolated, many times isolated from the background.

I've populated the article with several of the images taken this past Sunday along with the setup shots for your reference. You can click on the images for a larger view to see the equipment set up. A slide show follows of some of my favorite images from the Sunday nature shoot. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

As a postscript to this whole post, let me say that pointing your camera at something different than what you normally point your camera at - for me it's normally people - especially brides and grooms - helps get those creative brain juices flowing and is quite a kick. Enjoy, --David

Rainbow Removal or How to Get Rid of the Moire Pattern

Moire Pattern
Originally uploaded by maskinner

It doesn't happen often, but when it does it an be a big pain. Here is a nice tutorial over at our fellow blogger - the Photo-Smith - on how to get rid of those naggy moire' pattens we sometimes see in men's patterned jackets, ties, satin dresses and the like.

He gives the tutorial a nice walk through with a thorough explanation. Mr. Smith has I nice site with some really good info - I recommend checking it out. Here is the link to Photoshop Moire removal tutorial.

Funny Wedding Pics

During a weekend surf cruise, I found a posting with some really funny wedding pics. For our wedding photog readers out there, these are a good giggle. Check out the funny wedding pics right here.

OK - wedding shooters - unite - post some of your funniest shots over on our Flickr group - with the bride's permission, of course. Here is the Flickr link right here.

Secrets to Losing the Sale

The man with a message - Jeff Gitomer - man, I get his emails every week and even when I don't have time to read them, I'm usually glad when I go back to them. So after reading this morning's email from Jeff, I thought I would share it with you as part of out Technique Tuesday - heck, good sales technique is always good for the bottom line.

Anyway, give the article a read if you need a little brushing up on your sales technique - and we all do. Jeff's site is full of good free info on the subject. His books are a great read, too. Here is the link to Why You Lost the Sale. Hey gang, it's getting late for me so I've got to run. Hope you enjoyed Technique Tuesday - if you have some ideas we should discuss, just let me know in the "comments" section. See everybody tomorrow, have a good one. --David

Monday, October 29, 2007

"City Shapes"
© David A. Ziser

I made this image during a recent trip to New York. We were visiting the wonderful Richard Serra exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. We stepped out into the garden area of the museum where a few more of Mr. Serra's metal sculptures were displayed. As I surveyed the fascinating form of the structure, I was immediately taken by how their soft curves contrasted with the rectangular city shapes serving as their background. The technical information is as follows: Canon 30D fitted with 17 - 85mm IS lens at 30mm, F11 @ 1/200 second at ISO 1000. I manipulated the tonalities and corrected the perspective in Photoshop CS3 to create the final result. Enjoy! --David

Good Morning Monday

Sun Rise
Originally uploaded by maco

Hey Everybody, a great good morning to you all,

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend - I know I did ! We had the weekend off and just took it easy. The next 4 weekends are booked up though with weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. I'll post some images as these events roll around. Anyway, I think we have some good info for our readers today. So let's get on with the program...

Freelancer Sells 500,000 Photos on iStockphoto!!!

So you don't think you can make real money with your camera. Check out this story about Lise Gagne. Ms. Gagne is a freelancer who has managed to sell - get this - 599,187 photographs (as of this writing) on iStock Photo!!! Folks, that's a big number, and even if the cut is only 25-50% of cost of the download. That's a lot of cash in the bank.

So why is Lise so successful at this - check out her iStock images right here - they on totally on mark for marketing and ad types. And most importantly she has discovered a need and she is shooting for this niche. Here is a must read interview with Ms. Gange right here for anyone serious about the micro-stock photography field. I guess my vacation pics won't get that kind of return. Here is Lise Gagne's story right here.

So I got curious, how much do the micro-stock agencies pay? Glad you asked - here is the link to most of the micro-stock agencies out there and their pay rates.

OK, I know this post is running a bit long, but I found one more article right here on "How to Earn $300/day in Micro-stock Photography". I'm ready to quit the business of wedding photography start my micro-stock career ;~)

It's Not About Making Money, It's About HOW to Make Money

"Pictures without a plan" will never lead to a successful business. Our fellow bloggers over at Pixelated Image are doing a whole series of articles on self promotion. I'll tell you, everybody always wants to learn how to create beautiful photography and also how to learn all the Photoshop info. But if you are in the business of photography - and remember it is a business, this is the exact kind of information needed to sink into our brains and help us along the road to success. Give the third article on self promotion a read right here. Good stuff.

What, I'm Not in the Top 10?

Thanks to Jeff Revell for the note on his site about including my name among the top 10 wedding photographers in the world listed over at the Pop Photo blog. I can handle the fact that I'm not included - I figure I must be #11 and the list that only went to 10 ;~)

All joking aside, it is a terrific list composed by my buddy, Tony Corbell. Here is the link to the list right here. More importantly, here is the link to Jeff's site - nice info and very nice photography. Thanks again, Jeff, for the nod.

Photo Plus Expo Report

I didn't get a chance to attend Photo Plus this year because of our big job in Key Largo, but I do like attending this show. For the rest of you that missed it too, here is the show report right here from our friends over at the Digital Photography Show. That's it for today Gang. I've got an early appointment and have to run. Have a good one - I'll see you tomorrow for Technique Tuesday. --David

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Magnificent Beauty"
© David A. Ziser
This image was made in one of the most beautiful sanctuaries here in the greater Cincinnati area - St. Mary's Basilica of the Assumption. The location itself is breathtaking, but with the bride in the setting the composition "sings". I illuminated the bride with the off camera Quantum flash shooting through an umbrella to soften the light. The camera's shutter speed was adjusted to balance the ambient with the flash in the flash's favor. This helped with the bride really standing out from the surroundings in the overall image. Canon 1D Mark III with 16-35mm lens at F5.6 @ 1/60 second at ISO 800.
Enjoy! --David

Friday, Not Even a Slow day, But a Day Off

Good Morning Everybody,
Today is our first day off in what feels like a very long while. Usually on my day off I try to be out the door, or off the computer, by around 4:00 pm - but not today, I'm going to hit the outdoors early and enjoy this refreshing fall temperature and beautiful sunshine:~) So on with some very gooood stuff...

Some quick Bullet Points:

  • Registration now open for my Digital Master Class. Here is the link.

  • Cast your vote in the Digital vs. Film Poll - only a few days left.

  • Sign up for my Digital News letter coming out next week. Here is the link. Add your email and hit "Go." (No, I don't sell the list -EVER!)

  • Check out for sure the piece: Evidence of My Existence - Amazing

  • Check our the B&W Coffee Lab - a pretty good "giggle" - but it's true :~)
Read on and enjoy! Have a great weekend everybody! --David

Utterly Fascinating Photojournalist Story and Magnificent Photography

Media Storm is one of my favorite sites for inspiration and for just thoroughly enjoying beautiful photography and evocative storytelling. "Evidence of My Existence" is one of the bests - it's absolutely wonderful photography along with a great story from the memoirs of Jim Lo Scalzo, a former US News & World Report photojournalist. Here is the link to "Evidence of My Existence." You can also purchase Jim's book by the same title right here.

Caffeinated or Decaffeinated

Maybe French Roast would help the shadows. OK, I might be changing my mantra to: "Maybe friends should let friends shoot film, now and then" just so they can give this a try. OK, here is the deal - over at the Photo Utopia, you can find a film developing process for processing your film in coffee - you heard me right. I didn't believe it myself, but the article gives all the info on exactly how to do it. Here is the link that shows you exactly how to set up your very own "Coffee Lab". I have to say, the results are quite interesting. With this weekend off - I'm so tempted... (Please no comments about Ziser not having a real life.)

Follow Up To HDR Article

I was cruising the blogsphere - told you it was a slow day yesterday - and of course I had to stop by our buddy, Scott Kelby's blog just to get caught up with his posts. As I was reading through all the articles I'd missed these last two weeks, there it was, another reference to HDR photography. Scott mentioned a very handy piece of software called PhotoMatrix Pro for helping pull off the HDR result with a lot less effort. Here is the link to Scott's HDR article and software recommendation right here.

A Trip Over to Matt's Place

Lots of great wedding images over at Matt Adcock's blog - FlashFlavor. I like to visit Matt's blog just to see what he's up too, and he is always up to something. Not only does he produce some great wedding images, he is a very good technician too. In addition to showing some really great images, he also takes the time to explain how he puts it all together. Good info - take the invite to see what's happening at Matt's place right here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Caribbean Breezes"
© David A. Ziser

The is one of the images I made last week while we were in Key Largo. We were just wrapping the rehearsal "walk through" when the sun just touched the horizon line. I waited a few more moments till the sun set about 1/2 way below the horizon. I chose to crop into the palm trees to better visually balance the image and as a way to keep the viewer's eye directed to the center part of the image where the sun was positioned. The sunset, colors, and composition all came together for a beautiful image. Canon 40D with 70 - 300mm lens at 180mm - F 10 @ 1/640 second at ISO 800. Enjoy! --David

A Very Slow Thursday

Good Morning Everybody,

Well, we made it back to Cincy safe and sound about 3:30 P.M. yesterday afternoon. But the day wasn't over yet - we had a special cocktail reception to attend at 5:30 P.M. so we had to make a quick change hop in the car and head down to the party - more to follow on that.

After the cocktail reception, I was anxious to see what some of the wedding images looked like, so I started downloading over 24 gigs of cards - and I'm a JPEG shooter. That translates into almost 16,000 images from the wedding celebration activities!!! I gave them a quick peek this morning and I was really pleased with the results. Anyway, on with the news, tips, and tricks of the day....

A Very Nice Honor Last Night

Thirty business owners were honored last night at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce "Emerging 30" celebration. I was voted as one of those honorees - it was quite a thrill. The honor goes to 30 of the fastest growing business owners in Northern Kentucky. All the info on the "Emerging 30" can be found right here.

What made the evening special was that just about my whole staff was there for the celebration. Seated from left to right are Susan, my recently retired studio manager; Shelly, my studio manager before Susan, and now part time studio assistant; Nicholas, my main wedding assistant (and part of the Florida wedding crew); Gayle, the studio's album design and color management expert; and Sharon, "best little bookkeeper in the world". That's LaDawn and I standing behind the team. Heck, they are the ones that help make it possible, so three cheers for them too. Thanks again Ziser Team!!!

So Who is the BIG Winner?

The envelope, please - drum roll..... - and the winner is... well, I'm awarding the prize to two of our readers. Ruben Eddie Sanchez was first with 2 of the three correct answers. His answer: "Either "Caps Lock" is ON or your "Layer Styles" is still selected/highlighted in blue."

Chris Joyce was the first with the rest of the answer - "Your cursor is still in blend mode drop down click in area. Press "esc" to continue with brush sizing." So Congrats to our winners!

Please send your contact info to and we will get the Digital WakeUp Call 2 DVD sets out right away. Thanks to everyone who participated and remember to hit "esc" to keep those bracket keys working.

Gum Bichromate Print Process Revisited

I just got a note from Master Gum Bichromate print maker, Jim Larimer. If you recall, he was the photographer making those beautiful gum bichromate prints that I blogged a few weeks ago. You can re-read my post about Jim's images and work on the Gum Bichromate printing process right here. By the way, the image here our the hands of our buddy and fellow blogger, Jason Moore, over at Jason Moore Photography.

In his note, he was querying the possibility about doing it for other wedding photographers wanting to offer a unique and timeless add-on to their regular wedding coverages. He was asking about possible wholesale price points. I think there are real niche market possibilities here. What do you all think? Please leave your comments here and we can see where this will lead. Thanks gang, in advance, for your feedback.

Freebie of the Day

Today, our buddies over at Give-A-Way-of-the-Day are featuring a piece of software called Comfort Keys. Here is their description of the software: "Stop typing the same text over and over again! Now you don’t need to go through numerous menus to find the necessary program or web page. With this new generation hotkey manager you can leave your mouse alone and configure hotkeys for all of your actions - just like real pro’s do." Check out Comfort Keys right here.

But if you want a real freebie that's free all the time and it does pretty much the same thing, you can download the HotKeyz software right here. I love this little utility for some of the things we do around here, and it's totally freeware.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"An Evening Kiss"
© David A. Ziser
This is one of the last photographs we took last night on the beach. The sun had long disappeared below the horizon, but for me, that's when the show really begins. We were losing the light, but a higher ISO and slower shutter speed worked just fine. I love the color, sky, feeling between the couple, and dramatic lighting. Canon 40D with 10-22mm lens at 10mm, F4.5 @ 1/50 second at ISO 800. Enjoy! --David

Wednesday - Finally heading home

Good Morning Everybody,

Yep, today is the day we finally head home after our whirlwind travels through Florida - PhotoshopUserTV, Layers TV, a fabulous 4 day wedding celebration, a great visit with my daughter, Elizabeth, 2 beach photographic sessions - Whew!

Yep, we had one more shoot on the beach last evening with our friends, RC and Jenn - very cool clouds last evening. And, we had our fourth dinner at the best restaurant in town - City Fish Seafood Grill (yum.) We hop on the plane today about 12:15 and land about 3:00 p.m. - an easy trip further improved by an unexpected upgrade to "first class" - Ahhh!!!!

Our Digital vs. Film Poll is about to end, so please lend your voice - check it out at the top right side of this page. Also, just announced - a new contest - be sure to read the last post today for the info - you could win BIG!!! :~) OK, let's see what's happening today.....

Best Deals in the World!!!

Our friends over at 1001 Noisy Cameras are testing a new feature that tries to find the best daily camera, software, and equipment deals happening on the net. Hey, we all want a good deal - check out their new feature and you may save $100's, $1000, $1,000,000 of dollars! Besides, they've got a really cool site anyway, so after bargain hunting, give them a read. Here is the link to 1001 Noisy Cameras' Bargain Central.

Film Is Not Dead - It Just Smells Funny

OK--- for a while now, I've been joking -
"Friends Don't Let Friends Shoot Film", but you have to check out this site. My article title, Film is not dead - it just smells funny is their site heading. Here is how they bill themselves, "A place for photographers who are NOT using a digital camera - 35mm, 6x6, Polaroid, pinhole, holga, color or black and white, whatever, as long it is not digitally shot." I checked it out and there is some beautiful photography throughout their site. Take a whiff and give a sniff to their site right here.

HDR Photography - and Moose

That means High Dynamic Range Photography. Wikipedia has a great article on the topic right here. While were having dinner at City Fish restaurant two evenings ago, our chef, Nick came by and we started talking about photography for his apartment. Anyway, RC just happens to have his laptop in the car, so he brings it in to show Nick some of Moose Peterson's landscape images. Yep, we ran into Moose and his wife while hanging out at the NAPP studios the last two days. What blew me away were Moose's HDR images - they were like way cool!!! I checked out his site to see if I could find the images to share with our readers. I didn't have any luck, but Moose's site is still a treasure trove of photographic information. You can check out Moose's site right here.
Now back to HDR images - to see how stunning some of the images can be, check out this Flickr group - heck, there are over 15,000 photogs who have posted over 85,000 images - take the inspirational side trip to HDR images right here. The accompanying article image was made by Michael Grindstaff of Sacramento, CA. Beautiful!!

Your Chance to Win Big !!!

So what happened when your brushes, clone tool, etc. don't re-size when you use the left-right bracket shortcut in Photoshop? The first person that posts the correct answer will win my 4 1/2 hour 2-DVD extended edition Digital WakeUp Call DVD set. Put on your thinking cap and get "noodling'."

Hey gang, I've got a plane to catch - have a good one. See you tomorrow. --David

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"A Walk On the Beach"
© David A. Ziser

I made this photograph yesterday of our friends, Lisa and Dave, just as the sun was setting at Honeymoon Beach in Tampa, Florida. The setting sun and the clouds were combining for a magnificent sunset, but I wanted to deepen the sky even more in the background. I had my assistant, LaDawn, pop in a little light from my Quantum flash to create a nice direction of light on Lisa and Dave. This enhanced the image while still maintaining it's believeability and beauty. Enjoy! --David

Technique Tuesday - 10.23.07

Good Morning Everybody, (really good afternoon)
It's Technique Tuesday again and we got lots of stuff to get though today. Lighting, lighting, and more lighting! I had a few comments on how I set up the Canon 580 EX 2 flash for my wedding shoot last week, so that's our main topic today. Here is the link to last week's post right here. Even the "Image of the Day" has some good pointers. Soooo, on with the show....

Best Little Light in the World

Right before we left for the Florida trip, I picked a Canon 580 EX II flash - not an inexpensive "little puppy." I had been a fan of the 580 EX, but some of the new features of the 580EX II really intrigued me - like a real sync cable connection. I particularly liked how I could set the 580EX II's custom functions with the 40D camera too - very cool!

That's the background - here how I did it. Look at the set up again - here is the link right here. That's the 580EX II attached to the stand with the umbrella. I picked up a little shoe mount which holds the flash and attaches nicely with my adapter to the light stand. Check out the close up of the assembly.
Before I attached the flash to the stand, I set up some flash custom functions via the 40D. This is easily done by scrolling to "Flash Control" -> "External flash C.Fn. setting -> "3.External Metering: Manual" - see Diagrams.
Next, disable the auto "Power Off" function C.Fn. 1 - here is the screen grab.
Now you are almost good to go. Next I switched off the 580EX II and removed it from the 40D. I then attach it to the bracket assembly, and attach the radio receiver with Velcro to the top of the 580 flash - I prefer the Quantum FreeWire system. The next step is to drop the wide angle diffuser over the flash to spread the light path even wider for a nice broad light through the umbrella. Look at the next diagram and you can see how the light is spread out evenly across the umbrella with that little diffuser. I planned to shoot at ISO 400, so after testing, I settled on 1/4 power manual on the 590EX II flash. The back light was supplied by my Quantum T5d flash also triggered by the FreeWire radio. I just adjusted it to an output that just illuminated the background slightly - 1/64th power. For a higher key effect, I "goosed" the power to 1/32 or 1/16th power. That was about it.

The setup was easy lightweight, portable, fast, and reliable. This is getting a bit lengthy, so I'll get to a Part II with examples in the near future. But you have the mechanics to get you started.

Update On F-stops and Shutter Speeds

While hanging out in Florida, we stopped over at NAPP headquarters and I did a quick segment on last week. The episode just aired yesterday, and already I got a few emails about F-stops and Shutter Speeds. So, let me add a point of clarification to the set up. My F-stop is always F 5.6 with the Quantum flash at 1/2 power.

Since the back-lighting effect is dependant on the intensity of the ambient light, I set my shutter speed at about 2 stops less than the ambient light. Said a different way, if the church exposed correctly at F5.6 @ 1/8 second (at ISO 800), I would adjust the shutter speed up to 1/30 second thereby under exposing the church by 2 stops so that the back-lighting effect would be easily apparent. This may vary a bit depending on background tonality, illumination, stain glass windows, etc. I just check the LCD screen and make adjustments till I get the desired result - pretty simply.

By the way, my segment went a bit long, so you can download the Bonus Segment right here. Remember too, that the episodes are posted for one week on PhotoshopUserTv and then move over to iTunes where you can download them at no charge.

Nice mention at WeeklyPhotoTips

Scott, a fellow blogger, gave me a nice mention over at his blog WeeklyPhotoTips. His site has some cool articles that go into quite a bit of detail about each of his topics. Each article is well linked so you can delve into as deeply as you want. Check out WeeklyPhotoTips right here.

As I was cruising his site, I found a fascinating interview with the legendary natural light photographer, Vincent Versace. It's a great read. Here is the Vincent Versace link right here. Hey Scott, thanks for the nice article and the great site.

Layer Cake Lighting on Layers TV

LaDawn just got back to the hotel after filming a fun episode for Layers TV. You should be able to view it next Wednesday. It is the complete, well documented lighting tutorial on how to get directional lighting with a "pop up on-camera" flash. This tutorial, once aired, is not for the faint of heart (nor does it have much practical application) but, I think you will get a kick out of it. We wrapped my segment with a very cool Photoshop tip that can only be found on Layers TV. Anyway, tune in and let me know what you think.

That's it for today gang, hope to see you tomorrow. -- David

Monday, October 22, 2007

"Wonderful Moments"
© David A. Ziser

Typically when I take the back-lit dance photograph, I center the bride and groom in the image for the dramatic effect. In this image, the beautiful wedding cake was on the dance floor too, so I included it in the composition within the image frame. I think it adds a lot of interest to the final image as it emphasizes the "wedding dance" with it's presence in the composition. Canon 40D, 17 - 85mm lens at F5.6 @ 1/80 second at ISO 800. Back-light supplied by Quantum T5d at 1/2 power. Enjoy! --David

Monday Morning - And Still Alive

Good Morning Everybody,
WOW! What an incredible weekend - hope everyone had a great weekend too. After my quick post on Friday, I fully expected to get back to the keyboard and finish up the post - It simply was not meant to be. The schedule for the wedding weekend coverage kept changing and 9:22 a.m. was the last I was to see of the blog posts till this morning.

I don't want this post to be an "Entertainment Tonight" sounding post, but let me just cover a few of the highlights.

What and incredible beautiful and gigantically wonderful event we had the honor of photographing. Thursday was the Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner. Friday we were off and running at 9:30 a.m. with a deep sea fishing excursion for the guys and a wonderful Bridal Luncheon for the ladies. Later in the day we photographed over 100 couples Friday as they arrived for the Welcome Party. The Miami Sound Machine - the band for the evening - was terrific - high energy and great sound. Fireworks over the ocean were incredible and help conclude the evening. After a little after-midnight Photoshop session, we delivered the prints by 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

Saturday started with a 7 a.m. wake-up call as the morning festivities started at 8 a.m. with a golf outing for and awards ceremony and luncheon. We were back on for wedding activities at 2:30 p.m. and things were non stop till 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning. After the beautiful ocean-side ceremony and cocktail hour, I have to say one of the evening's highlights was the special after party performance of Huey Louis and the News - man, are those guys gooood!!

I had myself and staff, LaDawn, Nicholas and Eric covering all aspects of this wonderful event. Thousands and thousands of images. After we got back to the room, I selected about 18 images from the wedding that we printed and mounted into three small 4x6 souvenir albums for the bride and groom, the bride's mom and dad, and the groom's mom and dad that we delivered to everyone at the Sunday brunch. Tears and hugs--everyone was thrilled!!

Anyway we wrapped the ocean side Brunch 1:30 p.m. Sunday, packed the car, drove 5 hours up to Daytona Beach, and had a wonderful dinner with my daughter, Elizabeth, and her friend Anthony. So that's the quick wrap up of the last 4 days. I'm off this weekend, so I can let this "tired ol' body" recoup till things pick up again in November. So how about some scintillating news tips for the day...

Great Lightroom Resource Info

O'Reilly Digital Media has some really good tips and techniques over at their site, Inside Lightroom. There are a whole slew of topics and resources listed. I'm heading back over there later this week to check more of them out for myself. Take the trip over to Inside Lightroom right here and enjoy the visit.

Layers TV with RC and Corey

We are heading back to Tampa today and may be appearing on Layers TV. If you've not had the opportunity to check out this fun, interesting not to mention very informative on-line weekly tutorials with Cory and RC -- you're really missing out. I'll let you know as soon as things firm up and if we get an opportunity to share some shortcuts. If we can make it happen, I promise a couple of really cool Photoshop tips. Stay tuned.

Hot and Free CS3 Tutorials

I just caught this piece of news over at Imaging Insider. They mentioned that just posted free CS3 tutorials. They are looking good to me - so much info, so much more to learn, so little time.... Here is the link to the Tutorials right here. So get started!!

100 Photo Tips In 100 Days

Adorama Camera has an interesting series going on right now. It's called 100 in 100. These are not just quick useless photographic tips. There is quite a bit of content included in this series. They are up to #43 as of today. A good read. Here is the link to their 100 tips.

The Best of the Best

Our friends over at have two "First Impression" articles on the two top of the line cameras from Canon and Nikon. Anybody reading Luminous-Landscape knows there articles are goods hands on, anti fluff pieces of information. So whether you are a Nikon or Canon "hottie", check out their articles. Here is the Canon 1Ds Mark III link here. And, here is the Nikon D3 link right here.

That's it for today, gang. Got to get back to the real world, check my emails, and head to Tampa. See you tomorrow for Technique Tuesday. Adios, --David

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday - The Rest of the Beginning

Good Morning Gang,
Well, we got our first 11 hours of the shoot in yesterday wrapping about 11:30 p.m. and are due to be on site about 9:45 a.m. this morning. I tried my new Canon 580EX II flash as a main light through and umbrella for our bridal portraits and the results were gorgeous.
I used my Quantum T5d as a background light and ranged it's intensity from a soft accent light up to a good "blast" to push the background very bright for an almost high key effect. I can't show the the pics right now, but here is the set up. I'll plan a full report next week. Anyway, we are off for the Marina. I'll follow follow up with the rest of the post later today. See ya' in a bit. --David

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"A Moment in Time"
© David A. Ziser

I made this image a few years ago, but it still remains a favorite as I really enjoy the feelings in it. The photograph captures the bride and groom just as they begin their first bridal dance as husband and wife. The dance floor was illuminated with special lighting features and I wanted to capture the couple as they moved through the unique design and illumination. The camera was a Fuji S2, lens was a Nikon Fisheye F2.8 @ 1/30 second at ISO 1600. Enjoy! --David