Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday: Quick Hit Wednesday: Too Much Blogging?; New Training Session on Kelby Training; Inexpensive DYI Flash Gels; and Tom Hogarty Over At Photo

Hi Everybody,
I'm going to shift gears just a bit for today. I've been doing a series on the analysis of the wedding shoot, and had one lined up for today. As I look back over the last several weeks of posts, there is one heck of a bunch of content here. I sometimes wonder if there's too much content on I received comments from some of our readers, and even e-mails from some of my fellow bloggers that there was just way too much content to keep up with over here at DigitalProTalk.

I find, with my own blogging schedule, I have difficulty myself in keeping up with many of my fellow bloggers whose blogs I thoroughly enjoy reading. The fact that I'm with writing a book on wedding photography scheduled to be released early next year is also a substantial investment in time, plus, I have my regular photography business to run.

There is also one other factor in play and that is probably one of the biggest factors that has been consuming quite a bit of my time lately. Kicking off, right after Photoshop World in Boston in 2009 will be my brand-new lecture tour entitled, "Digital Wake-Up call -- A New Dawn."

This will be a 58 city lecture tour dedicated to: On camera and off-camera flash lighting, advanced camera technique, software magic bullets that we can use in our own production, and discussion of many opportunities in which we can add to the bottom line in our own photography business.

It's an ambitious undertaking and will be substantially different from the tour material presented in my 2006 tour. We are hammering out the details over the next few weeks. I'm really stoked about this and I can't wait for all of you to see it. I’ll definitely keep you posted.

Anyway, back to my blogging frequency -- I'm considering reducing the number of posts each week. I would love to hear your comments on this point. I've made a personal commitment to to being one of the best, most content rich photo blogs available -- and still maintain this commitment.

But, is there too much content to keep up with? Is there too much content that just gets missed because of the daily frequency of these posts? I would appreciate hearing your feedback in the comments section below. Hey everybody, thanks in advance for your input.

Now, don't think that means I'm not going to leave you with a few jewels for today. Please read on...

Flash Gels Nice And easy (and cheap)
Alberto Freire, one of our DigitalProTalk readers, saw my article, "I'm "Jellin" with My Zoom Flash", and posted a nice piece over at his blog,, featuring a DYI guide for making your own flash gels very economically for your on-camera flashes. It's a great article, well written, well documented and worth the read. You can check it out right here. Thanks Alberto.

My New Video Live Over At Kelby Training
Yep, it's true -- my new 30-lesson video is now live over Kelby Training. I would call this video one of the more important videos I've recorded to date. Many times I've called the content that I've covered in this video the foundation to beautiful, flattering, well lit images. The content is strictly portrait oriented even though you'll see brides and grooms as my models. If you want a solid peak into my lighting techniques this, video is a must view.
After setting up the basic rules for lighting and posing, I move through about a gazillion situations where I apply what I cover in the first section of this video session. If you're not a member of Kelby Training, you are missing the boat on the best training available on the Internet. It doesn't break the bank, so check it out. Here is the link.

Tom Hogarty Over At PhotoNetCast
I mentioned last week that my blogging buddies over at were having Tom Hogarty, the Lightroom product manager over at Adobe, appear as their guest. I'm still deeply regretting for not being able to be part of the show. Well, maybe I wasn't able to be there while Tom was being interviewed, but I get a chance to listen to the interview and its well worth the visit. Head on over to -- here is the link -- and give a listen. Did I say they are giving away a free copy of Lightroom - give a listen to find out how to win. Again, it’s worth the visit.

More Zoom That You Need???
Many of you know that I'm a big fan of wide range wide-angle to telephoto zoom lenses. I've been a pretty happy camper with my Canon 18-200mm IS lens I picked up a few weeks ago. It is the best walk around (vacation) lens that I found.

Well, that said there is another lens in that same genre that has piqued my curiosity again. It’s Tamron's new 18-270 mm IS lens. I heard about the lens last summer and have been trying to get my hands on it ever sense. In the meantime I found two really good reviews on the lens. If you're a wide-angle-telephoto zoom lens junkie like me, you owe it to yourself to give these two articles a read. The first link comes to us via the heads up from our uber-blogging buddies over at 1001 Noisy Cameras. Here is the link. also has a great in-depth review of the lens. You can check out their review right here.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. Don't worry, I'm not going into hibernation on the blog so, plan to tune in tomorrow for another Business Day Thursday episode entitled, "A Two Buck Chuck Studio Promotion - Advertising Outside The Box". So until then, I'll see everybody tomorrow. -- David

PS. By the way, don’t despair. Next week I'll have another addition of the Analysis of a Wedding Shoot- the Altar Return Group Photographs.


  1. Visiting your blog is a daily priority for me. Thank-you for the instruction, current info, and insightful reflections. Please continue if possible. Thanks!

  2. David,

    Personally I like the content the way it is. I certainly understand that this commitment eats a lot of time though; so the decision you must weigh is whether it is cutting into your other professional, or more importantly, your personal and family time.

    Selfish me, I get disappointed when the weekend rolls around and you don't have a post!

    Thanks for your efforts and I will be reading no matter the posting frequency.

  3. I absolutely agree with csemke.
    He nailed it briliantly.
    Thanks for your generosity. and your ability to demystify topics such as lighting and posing. I also really enjoy your wonderful tutorials at
    Thanks again.
    Michael (Copenhagen)

  4. I think the frequency is just fine if you can keep up with it. New content will always keep people coming back! I use Google Reader to manage my rss feeds, so if I can't read a particular post one day, I just come back to it another day without forgetting where I left off reading.

  5. Don't burn yourself out! If you feel the need to reduce the number of posts, I'd rather see the quantity of posts reduced than the quality. Thanks for all the tips.

    Can we get a little insight on group formals.?

  6. Hey Dave I have to agree with the others here, this is a priority for my daily routine!! I love the content the way it is, but I do understand you have a life and business to run too. Hey if you cut back you can seceretly email me the other days and not tell anybody!! I appreciate all the knowledge you share and what ever you decide will be fine with me as I am sure it will be with others.

    Thanks again,

    Eric Cameron

  7. I have been reading your blog everyday for a few months now. While I love the content, I completely understand if you feel the need to cut back. Quality is much more important than quantity! Posting 3 or 4 days a week in my opinion would be completely acceptable. Looking forward to the helpful info you will be posting going forward.

    Thanks for providing this wonderful resource!!

  8. Dave, love your stuff but I even have a hard time keeping up with it all and I only have to read it. I am regularly shocked by how much you put out each week. If you decide to slow down a bit I am sure we will all understand. Another idea is one you could borrow from Scott Kelby and maybe have guest posters from the wedding photography field who would be happy to contribute to this very large community you have built. Might help take the pressure of your feeling the need to post each day. Thanks for everything.

  9. Hi David!
    Actually as late as this morning I found my self sitting in front of the computer wondering how you can manage to create so many posts each day?

    You have a great and interesting blog with a lot of information. I would not have a problem if you didn't post as often as now because sometimes it is hard to keep up the reading. I need to do my day-time job also ;-)

    Somebody wrote it very clear: Quality over Quantity

    My thoughts from a could rainy Sweden

  10. I don't see a problem with your current posting frequency... I skim through my RSS reader and mark the longer articles to read later.... I enjoy your mixture of photos as well as the meatier discussions like your current wedding series.

    Keep it up... but most importantly find a schedule that works for you, and don't get burned out based on a expectation of X posts per day or week. Thanks for your site... it's a great resource

  11. Hi David~

    If you post less frequently, I'll still read you religiously. I've got you through the feeder, so I always know when you've got a new post.

    On a slightly different note: no offense, but.... your videos should probably be a little shorter. 10-20 minutes each can really become a commitment.

  12. Dave,
    I'm enjoying your latest Kelby training video. Would you share the brand of the little slave flash you used on the table behind the bride. I tried B&H but couldn't find anything like it.


  13. Mr. Ziser,
    Your blog is the first and often the only blog I have time to visit. I don't know how you do it but I certainly hope you continue.
    Your efforts are very helpful and very much appreciated.

  14. Hi Mr. Ziser,

    I visit your blog daily and find the depth and richness of the content fantastic. It's one of the very few blogs I visit daily because there is always something new, worthwhile and engaging.

    I very much appreciate all the great ideas, guidance and suggestions on how to be a better photographer.


  15. I find your blog one of the best on the web, and I visit it daily. Please maintain the content coming at the same rate if you can.

  16. David

    Too much info? Man, I don't know. Honestly, I think if I devoted an hour a day to your site, not to mention your content at, I would improve by leaps and bounds. I actually have been trying to do something such as that.

    The great thing about what you do is that you focus so hard on the business side, and you work with the equipment that is so much more accessible to the rest of us. When I see what you do with a 40D, a 18-200mm lens, and a flashlight, I am so much more encouraged because you get great stuff with the same gear I shoot.

    Don't change a thing, unless you need to for your health and sanity (or for LaDawn's!).

  17. So it's the new 5D, isn't it? Can you forget the book deal and keep blogging? Or close the studio? I love your teaching style and am greatful for the knowledge that you share. If I ever miss a post I catch up the next evening but you have got to have an overwhelming workload, I am sure.

    Brian Fletcher

  18. David,

    I use an RSS reader which gives me a quick view of a number of blogs - so I don't find that having too much content is a problem for me to manage. I just click on the posts that interest me. If you are thinking of cutting down for personal reasons as opposed to reader reasons then as an fyi I get most from Technique Tuesday, Inspiration Friday and the podcasts.
    Having said that your entire blog is brilliant - certainly one of the best out there for photographers. Thank you for sharing your knowledge so readily.

  19. David:

    The time the your blog requires is clearly defined by the popularity of the content. I would encourage you to cut back the volume you include but keep a daily post.

    I know that there are only two or three places that I read regularly because I KNOW the content will be there. Reducing your regularity will reduce your readership in direct proportion.

    I really appreciate all of your work and understand that to coordinate priorities something has to be second. Thanks for everything that you do.

  20. David keep up the good work. I'm always amazing by how much content you post. I think we would live it you cut back a little.

    By the way Tom Hogerty should be on the Pro Photo Show soon (probably next month) We'd always be honored to have you join us to talk shop.


  21. David:

    This is a phenomenal blog that I look forward to reading every day. I so appreciate your contribution to the photography community. Whatever you feel that you are able to do is absolutely appreciated. I look forward to your new book and hope to see you in your Spring Master Class.

    Tim Chaney
    Troy, VA

  22. I am reading your blog every evening. It is so interesting to see yout pic of the day an reading your new post after that. The technique tuesday is great.
    Please continue this frequency if this is possible.
    thanx for all this from good old germany.

  23. Dave,
    Your blog has quickly become one of my favorites and I look forward to it everyday. Your information is practical and insightful. I find I get more out of it than some of the other blogs I read on a daily basis. If you can keep the pace please do. Your post on using
    non-L lenses was inspirational to us poorer photographers.

  24. Hi, David.

    I mostly agree with the previous posters and would not feel disappointed if your posted "only" 3-4 articles a week, even less if you keep up with the quality you get us used to.
    I also keep track of all posts with a RSS reader, but sometimes I feel myself lacking enough time to properly accommodate all the knowledge you pass on. But, like someone previously said, this should be part of the "seriously" amateur photographer, taking at least one hour a day to learn!
    I have a big backlog of unseen videos, though, essentially because they are a bit long and have so much useful information.
    I cannot imagine the time you put on making the videos and all the other posts. I cannot thank you enough but to wait for your visit to Portugal. :)
    BTW, I just signed on Kelby Training because of your videos. Lovin' them so far.

    Best regards and make the right call. Take care!

  25. My vote goes to keeping things as they are now with 5 day a week blogs.

    Everyday after coming from work I look forward to reading what is the Ziser up to.

    That said, I would only encourage you to blog less if you need the tome away from the blog.

    I would recommend a poll.

    Many of us appreciate every single post you put out there.

    Take care.

  26. Hi,
    Congrats on your blog.You're one of the few pros who tells it like it is with no grandstanding.I wish all pro's would do the same.Shame on them. About cutting back,if you must ask the question then you already know the answer.Maybe cut back from 5 days to 3 and when the book is finished,re-evaluate. I'll miss the blogs.Happy holidays.Mike

  27. I wonder how you can keep up with all your daily chores. I enjoy your postings and have learned a lot about posing and lighting.

    It seems you deserve some free time during the day to charge up your battery.

    Keep up your good blogging.Thanks!!

  28. so... my first shot to be published on the protalk blog...

    The right hand part of that image about the gels? That is a shot I took a while ago when I sold these because I only could get the gels in very big sheets. Not so nice of this guy to rip an image and don't give credits... I don't mind he uses it, really, just ask.



  29. Ok, this is my first comment on the protalk blog too ...

    Indeed, I visit this page on daily basis and I like its content and the frequency in which it appears so much.

    I really admire David for his enthusiasm and the time spent on the posts and the videos. Thank you so much for all this!

    I very much hope that this page will continue bringing new ideas as often as possible, it is a great help and I learnt so much by reading the posts and seeing the great examples.

    David, thank you very much for your effort,

  30. Hi David,
    I read your blog religiously because of the depth and breath of the material you present in your blog. You have a knack at explaing complex material in a easy to understand manner with numerous examples.

    I realize that your time and energy is valuable and like all of us is also also limited. Selfishly I would like to see you continue at the same level of presentation, realisticly I do not see how you can do all you do and maintain the high level of performane I feel you expect from yourself.

    At what level of blogging you finally decide I will continue to visit your site. Not only do I visit your site but also the sites that you recommend and have found these recommendation valuable. Good luck at what ever level of blogging you decide.

    Your generiousity at willingly sharing what you know with others is refreshing. What I learned in your Master Class is always being reinforced in your blog plus many additional gems.

    Happy Holidays to you and all your loveones.


  31. Too Much! I'm obligated to read it and I have a real hard time "reading" it. I have to pick out what is most important to me at the time.

  32. David,
    You have been very generous with your time and knowledge. Creating the blogs and the video tutorials must be very time consuming. Go ahead and cut back. I will be very greatful for any instruction that you pass along.

  33. David, I waited to write this because I had mixed emotions. I always get a kick out of reading your stuff each day because I find it to be the most educational overall because of the diversity of topics you do. On the other hand, I always wonder how you do it! I can't imagine how long your day is with all the work you do. I vote to leave as is but would understand if you cut back a bit. THANKS so much for all you taught me so far.

  34. David, having attended your spring 2008 Digital Master Class, I have a pretty good idea how hard you work each day. Not only did you put on a nearly forty hour course, you hosted the class at your house twice and still blogged daily. You and your crew are a machine. I think if most of the above posters realized how hard you work daily, none of them would have a problem with you cutting back your blog. I might suggest that smaller daily post might be the way to go for those that need there Ziser fix everyday. Happy Holidays to you, LaDawn and your staff.

  35. David,
    You are and inspiration to those of us not only in photography, but also in the blogosphere. This January I will have been doing a daily blog for a year now and I fully understand you commitment in time, energy, research, and especially keyboarding.

    For those of us who read a number of blogs every day, might I suggest that rather than reducing the days, that you might reduce the content of each day or spread a series over a number of days. You have done this in the past with some really deep subject matter.

    Maybe it's that child/time thing. It's not the quality of time more than the quantity or in this case frequency.

    I always look forward to what you have to say. To the point that DPT is the last on my blog list. This is so I can spend quality time and not feel I have to rush through the post to get to the others.

    Keep up the awesome work brother blogger!

  36. Your blog is one of the first things I bring up in the morning...sit down with my coffee and bring up your site. I really appreciate all of the work you do for us. I can understand the time commitment is tough but like so many others, selfishly, I hope you continue on with a daily blog...


  37. Mr. Ziser,

    Who wouldn't want more and more of your free advice? It's tough not to say "gimme, gimme, gimme; I want more, more, more," but the reality is, you're a very successful, busy professional, and you have to manage your time.

    Yes, please do continue sharing as much as you're capable of. The only advice I can share is that if I were in your position, my work priorities would be to help myself before I help others, becuase if I don't help myself, I won't be in a position to help others.

    Merry Christmas,
    - Arved

  38. You've got a great blog David. I also back the "quality over quantity" argument. I try and blog twice per week, and obviously don't possess the expertise that you have, but just trying to keep to that schedule together with all the other demands on my time is difficult enough. I don't know how you manage it.

  39. David,

    Just watched the latest video of your Kelby Training series. Can you please let us know what was the small optical sensor background light you used to light up your bride and the blue background? I couldn't find it on B&H site...Thanks, Rick

  40. Hi David,

    As we discussed before, I have no idea how you manage to get so much information up and still have time for your "real" job. You're an inspiration.
    I don't think you'll loose readers by cutting back. The quality you provide will keep everyone coming back.
    And as we talked before, you missed Tom, but I'm counting on you for the Photoshop rep interview. I'll keep you posted on this.
    And thank you so much for the plug on PhotoNetCast.