Monday, November 30, 2009


3976a_France Z07

©David A. Ziser

When I started the DPT blog almost 2 1/2 years ago, I was posting the daily images without any back story or EXIF data.  That quickly changed and I think our readers really enjoy the “rest of the story.”  That’s why I’ve decided to re-visit these images occasionally – filling in the “blanks”, so to speak.  Today’s image was made while we were in the south of France about 3 years ago.  Wow!  What a trip.  We caught the sunflowers and the heather at their peak and captured some great images.  This is one of my favorites from the trip.  We were driving through the countryside near Carpentras, France and passed this wonderfully enchanting field of sunflowers.  To see this many sunflowers in a field this large was remarkable.  This is a simple shot where the subject matter is doing all the work – that is, looking good for the camera.  I picked up just a bit of the sky to contrast with the the yellow tones of the sunflowers.  Camera specs;  Canon 5D fitted with 24-105mm IS lens at 70mm, F11 @ 1/160 second, ISO 800.  Enjoy!  -David

Quick Hit Monday: Zumbrella Makes Scott Kelby’s Gift Guide List; Canon 1D Mark IV – Your Next Wedding Camera; A Cool Digital Frame; And Much More!

Good Morning Everybody,

Cabo 1 Last week Hawaii, this week Cabo San Lucas – Ahhh! are my pixels happy today!  After our 60 city tour the R&R is a welcome break.

We are spending the week with our friends, Kent and Sarah Smith, whom I have mentioned several times on this blog so I’ll be reporting from Cabo all week – and yes, I’ll try to get the posts up in a timely manner and hopefully with a little Cabo color tossed in for good measure.

Bills - iStock_000005549136XSmall Before we get to today’s news, I have to tell you about my $4500/mo. phone bill – YIKES!!! At least it was almost YIKES.  I’ve heard these horror stories about people using their iPhone while traveling internationally and receiving  horrendous bills after they returned.

I decided to do a little checking before we left and boy, am I glad I did.  Based on my current usage here in the states, my international costs would have been $4,500/mo – or $1,200 for the week we were in Cabo -  unbelievable!!!  I opted for ATT’s international phone and data plan for one week which should protect me from those exorbitant charges.  Anyway, I thought you should know should you be planning any travel out of the country.

OK, time to get on with today’s post – here we go.

My Zumbrella Named One Of Scott Kelby’s Top Holiday Gifts For 2009!

Scotts Gonzo Gift Guide Can you believe it, my specially designed collapsible Zumbrella made Scott Kelby’s Gonzo Gift Guide!  Here is the link to Scott’s story right here.  The cool thing about my Zumbrella is how quickly it works in any shooting situation. 

Want to see what I’m talking about – hit the PLAY button below to revisit my Technique Tuesday episode entitled, “Love Lines – Another Live Wedding Shoot”  to see how efficiently we work with it on the job.

We just got more Zumbrellas in last Wednesday and are shipping them out daily. Here are the links to the Digital Resource Center for the Zumbrella alone, Zumbrella with lighting DVD, and the entire Zumbrella/DVD/Bracket kit. Order right away before we run out of stock again.  The Zumbrella has been a BIG hit among lots of photographers across the country.

Canon 1D Mark IV As A Wedding Camera

1d_markiv_586x225 I came across this post while on my weekend internet cruise and found it quite intriguing.  It seems that renowned photographer, Jeff Ascough,  got his hands on one of the new Canon cameras and had it long enough to use it to shoot wedding over the weekend.

I am always intrigued by the low noise capabilities of these latest, greatest, anti-noise machines.  Jeff was using the camera at ISO 6400 and 12,800 and was blown away with the results.  You can read the whole story right here.

A Digital Frame That Does Video Too

Brookstone Frame As you know, I’m a BIG fan of Animoto because of it’s ability to easily incorporate short video clips with still images.  Anyway, we were passing through the Las Vegas airport about 10 days ago and were “killing” some time before we boarding our connecting flight. 

We popped into the Brookstone Store, always a good place to visit, to look over the latest greatest electronic gadgets.  The item that got my attention was a digital frame [link] that they were displaying which was doing the Animoto trick – combining the stills with the video – very cool, I thought.  For $99, I decided to pick one up and give it a try.

I’m thinking this could be a nice add-on product for wedding and family portrait packages. The quality looked good and the image/video transitions were very pleasing, too.  I’ll keep you posted on my further thoughts on this very cool item once we return and I get a chance to “play with it for a while. My “wheels” are turning right now with some pretty good ideas on how we can incorporate the frame into our product mix.

How About Some More Reading Material For Your Spare Time

Photography BB Online Mag Over the weekend, I stumbled on Photography BB, a photo e-magazine that seemed to be pretty jammed pack with solid info on many fronts.  The latest issue of Photography BB magazine includes stories on macro photography, Lightroom 3 Beta, a cool Photoshop tutorial, and lots more.  You can check it out right here.  Hey, while you’re at it, you may as well check out the 21 proceeding past issues too;~)

Color Photography Before Color Photography Was Invented

OK, gang, you have to check this out.  I want to point you towards some of the most fascinating photography I have ever seen. It is beautiful color photography from the early 1900’s taken long before Kodachrome film was ever invented!  Many of the images are simply breathtaking and considering the techniques used to obtain the finished result, it makes the imagery that much more remarkable.

Russian Color 1900Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944), a turn of the century photographer from Russia and photographer to the Czar produced these wonderfully amazing images from B&W glass plate negatives.  Here is the main link to Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii photographs.  Be sure to check out all the links on the page.  It’s a wonderful journey back into time.

Hey gang, that’s it for me.  We are off to catch some fun in the sun today.  I’ll see everybody tomorrow for another episode of Technique Tuesday. I just might have a little surprise in store for you, so be sure to check back,  See ya’ tomorrow.  Adios, David

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Be Thankful"


"Be Thankful"
©David A. Ziser

I captured this shot last Saturday afternoon from the balcony of our hotel in Waikiki Beach.  The sight was simply unbelievable - the vibrancy of the colors, the size of the rainbow, and the end to end sweep of it's arch.  The view of this rainbow was simply breathtaking. Maybe the folks in Hawaii see rainbows like this often, but to this Midwesterner, it was an eye-popping, jaw dropping site to behold and for which to be thankful. Camera specs; Canon 7D fitted with 18-200mm IS lens at 18mm, F16 @1/800 second,  ISO 400.  Enjoy!  -David

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody

Thanksgiving_000004518224XSmall How many people woke up this morning, given the fact that today is a US holiday, Thanksgiving Day, even a moment's notice? And then tomorrow are back into the fast pace of our busy lives.  The day goes fleeting by, we eat too much turkey, watch too much football, hopefully get to spend some time with family and friends, and then it's all over.

I want to offer a different suggestion for this Thanksgiving Day. I don't care if your Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or commune with the cosmic presence in your own way. I don't care if you are rich or poor.  I don't care if you are young or old, healthy or sick, happy or sad, or somewhere in between. Here is my suggestion.

Why not "pray the day" away making each moment today a special moment, a thankful moment to be savored.

Why not "put the brakes" on email, Facebook, Twitter, and all the other "busyness" of our lives and consciously just stop and enjoy "a thankful pause that refreshes."

Maybe it's just a breath of the crisp, brisk Midwestern air, a soft breeze, the soft sounds of birds, the aroma of the turkey in the oven, or a pie, cake or cookies fresh from the oven. Maybe it's snuggling up with a loved one, sharing a laugh with a sibling, hugging mom or dad no matter how old you are, calling a friend you haven’t talked to in a while or tossing a football with your kids.  All these moments and so many other moments today, when noted to ourselves consciously, can be thankful prayerful moments if we make them just that.

Living Thanksgiving Day this way today will make it that much more special for you and all those around you.

A special THANKS to all our service men and women around the world. Our thoughts and prayers are especially with you as you continue to serve our country. May God bless. 

Happy Thanksgiving everybody,  -David

p.s. LaDawn and I or spending the long weekend together and with friends which is another way of saying I will be taking a "bye" on the blog tomorrow which means you can too.  You'll see me here again bright and early on Monday from Cabo Mexico, all the pixels willing. So have a great weekend and I'll see you then,  David

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Lake Light"

0006-lake Post-0413-DZ_IMG_8829

"Lake Light" 
©David A. Ziser

Here is another image I produced in the shooting situation I described in today’s post below.  The lighting was pretty much "high noon" lighting with not much shade in which to pose my bride.  Add to that the fact that there were no leaves on the trees so the light was spotty everywhere. In spite of those facts, I still think we pulled off a nice shot for the client.  I love how the background scenery goes nicely out of focus.  Add the water’s surface reflecting the blue sky and we have a nice setting for our bridal portrait.  My assistant added the light from camera right and I exposed the ambient light to be about 1 1/2 stops underexposed so that the direction of light was apparent from the flash.  That added depth and dimension to the subject.  All elements came together for a very nice outdoor portrait of my bride.  Camera specs; Canon 5D fitted with a Canon 70-300mm IS DO lens at 235mm, F5.6 at 1/200 second, ISO 100.  Enjoy!  -David

Making The Day Wednesday: Making A Background Out Of No Background

Good Morning Everybody,

It was a long flight back home but we landed safe and sound, checked in with the team, and are getting ready to head north to spend a Thanksgiving Wednesday with LaDawn's family later this afternoon. Yep, we made it back home and are off and running again.

On the flight back I had chance  to put today's post together - I think you are going to like it.  It's another post on lighting and covers one more instance of how to take a difficult shooting situation and still come up with great images for the client.  That said, let's get right to today's post.

Making  A Background Out Of No Background

Yesterday I suggested you re-read my post entitled, "Lighting Challenge Wednesday" [link]. It’s the perfect lead in for today’s post because we had a similar set of challenges to deal with.

After I pulled off the portrait series back at the hotel using the only three trees in Northern Kentucky left with leaves serving as my background for the shot as described in the link above - it was off to the park to see if we could make “lightning strike twice” and do it again in our new location. 

Hey, no problem – it’s always about using the long lenses, wide apertures, and dropping the exposure of the ambient light. That sentence pretty much summarizes how I was planning to handle the lack of a decent background situation.  As a matter of fact, it is my “modus operandi” anytime I find myself in that kind of situation.  Let me walk through the process.

First, let’s check out the situation.  Look at our first shot at a less than desirable location.  Not much going on scenery-wise on this early November day.  Most of the leaves had dropped to the ground and the sun was pretty bright and high in the sky and no visible clouds.

0002-lake Post-1918-NV_1918-DZ_IMG_3164

I thought I could pull off the same thing I had accomplished at the hotel just a few moments earlier. The problem this time around was that alignment of the trees with the direction of the sun was not working in my favor.

I could find a few trees that would work for the background – they are to the right of the scene you see here. Notice the tree to the far right in the above image – it would have worked perfectly had the sun been coming from a direction behind that tree seen on the far right.

Since it was coming from the left of that tree we see here, this sun would have created very unflattering split lighting on the wedding party. Couple that with many problem shadows that would have further complicated the shooting of the image and we have a receipt for a lighting disaster.

DAZNOTE:  It was amazing to me in Hawaii as we watched many photographers shoot their images with the clients in direct sunlight with no regard to direction of light and the harsh shadows associated with that direct light. 

In fact, one photog? was heard to saying to his clients, during his family portrait shoot,  that he had to wait for the sun to come out from behind the clouds before he could shoot the shot - AHHHH!

Hey, don’t get me wrong here – I’m not picking on any photogs in particular, especially Hawaii, but folks, light is light and we’ve got to learn to use it right!

OK, so what was I going to do at the park.  I continued to survey the area.  There were a few trees that offered me an ever so tiny piece of shade in which to position my subjects.  Shade, any amount of shade, is your friend in these challenging lighting situations.  If you can find any small spot of shade in which to position the couple, keeping the harsh sun off their faces and wedding gown, the battle is mostly won.

Check out the next shot.  Notice the small spots of shade cast by a few of the trees.  I might be on to something here.  Notice too the lake in the background to the right.

0001-lake Post-1916-NV_1916-DZ_IMG_3162I had an idea.  If I could position the bride in one of the “shadow spots” and use the lake as the background, I might be able to pull off the shot.  I knew that a long lens was going to be my “weapon of choice” for this shot.  I needed to compress the background and that’s the job of the long focal length lenses.

I mounted my Canon 70-300mm IS DO lens onto my Canon 5D Mark II and started to preview some locations.  I found one I liked.  With the long lens compressing the lake and its surrounds I thought I could come up with a pretty cool background.  The fact that the water surface was also reflecting the blue tones of the sky sure didn’t hurt either.

Next challenge – getting the direction of light on the subject.  It was pretty bright so I knew I needed to use a low ISO for the shot – I chose ISO 100. At this ISO, I was able to get by with F5.0, not bad. That should blur the background enough to give me ample separation of the background from the subject.

What about the shutter speed – the camera was reading F5.0 at 1/125 second for the correct exposure of the ambient light.  But, I wanted the light from my off-camera flash to be the “key light” on the scene with the ambient acting as my fill.  That meant that I needed the ambient to be underexposed by 1 1/2 stop.

The ambient light, in this flash situation, can only be controlled by the shutter speed. So, I needed to use a faster shutter speed for this shot.  No problem, I chose 1/320 second 1 1/2 stops faster than 1/125 second.  That should be enough to underexpose the ambient light as planned. 

You’re thinking, “Ziser, you’re crazy.  Your camera only syncs to 1/200 second.”  You’re right, so I just choose to “cheat the sync” and shoot at the higher shutter speed than the camera’s normal sync speed.  I just needed to remember to keep the subject in the “flash sync” part of the viewfinder – the top 2/3’s – which I did and obtained a nice result. 

Check out the next image.  Notice that the underexposed ambient light easily showed the effect of the off-camera flash. It was the off-camera flash that created the nice highlights next to the shadows giving me the dimensional lighting I was looking for and also repeated the effect of the dimensional lighting on the background created by the sun.

0005-lake Post-0403-DZ_IMG_8819So that was it.  I took several images of the bride and the bride and groom and got a pretty nice series of images for them.


I think, that too many times photogs just give up the search for good locations and good lighting.  That’s too bad. Those who take the time to make the effort are going to be rewarded for their efforts.

That’s still going to be the BIG differentiator between the shooter making “beer money” on his/her shoot versus the photographer making “real money” on his/her shoot and giving the client images that are special, unique, and creatively different from the rest of the crowd.

Sorry, got into a little “soap box” action there, but it’s still true. Why compromise your talent, your style, and your finished product just because it’s easier to just get by on the shoot?

Push it and make it something special, not just for the client, but for you too.  It takes each of us pushing a little harder to raise the bar even higher on our own wedding photography an especially in the field of photography as a whole.  Keep pushing to make it better.  We owe it not just to our own clients but to all brides seeking something different and special in their photography. 

Hey gang, that’s it for me today. We’ve got some running we have to do and then we head off to a Thanksgiving celebration with LaDawn’s family later this afternoon.  If you’ve got a minute, check back tomorrow for my Thanksgiving thoughts on the holiday.

 I hope to see you then, –David.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Honolulu Rising"

Honolulu Abstract-IMG_3232

"Honolulu Rising"
©David A. Ziser

This is an image taken from our hotel earlier this week.  We are right in the mist of downtown Honolulu.  It's quite a changed place from  it's Pearl Harbor days of the 40's.  I have always been a fan of "urban landscapes" always intrigued by the lines. colors, and symmetries I see so often in our strolls through the big cities.  I am always looking up. Each night the building featured in this shot would go through a wonderful metamorphosis of color and tone as the sun set to it's left.  I have loved watching the cinematic lighting on this building most every evening in Honolulu.  This shot is one of my favorite captures of this building. The symmetries, strong vertical lines, and subtle contrasting colors make for today's striking simple urban portrait.  Camera specs; Canon 7D fitted with 18-200mm lens at 160mm, F9.0 @ 1/640 second, ISO 400. 

Enjoy!  -David

Technique Tuesday: A Video Tour Of My Gear Bag - Another Encore Performance

Good Morning Everybody,

Today is our last day in beautiful Hawaii, but you know what, that's OK.  We've had a great stay, explored lots of the sites, walked the beach, ate some great food and just relaxed.  Yesterday we even hiked to the top of Diamond Head and got this fabulous view of the city.

0001-From Diamond Head-IMG_3515

Later this afternoon we head back to good ol' Kentucky and even though Hawaii was a great visit, there's still no place like home.

I promised LaDawn that we would spend our last few hours on the island just relaxing before we jumped on that 8 hour flight back to Atlanta on the mainland. That means that I'm running an "encore performance" Technique Tuesday this week.

Wait, don't get too "bummed" about not having a new Technique Tuesday today.  Back in the secure DPT vaults are several great TTues episodes and I'm picking out one of my favorites today for your joy and edification.

Just know this - as we travel back that long 10 hour journey home, I will be thinking of nothing but brand new Technique Tuesday Episodes that you will see in upcoming posts.  The verdant, fertile mind of the air traveler is the perfect place to "birth" those new TTues ideas;~)

Anyway, let's get on with today's "Encore Performance" of this week's Technique Tuesday.  Here we go.

Video Tour Of My Gear Bag - An Encore Performance

Today's episode features a tour through my gear bag.  I still receive many comments about the gear I use on a wedding even though most of the questions have already been answered here in my blog.  I know we've got a lot of new readers these days who may have missed those posts. 

That's why I've chosen "A Video Tour Of My Gear Bag" as today's post.  It's kind of long - about 18 minutes, so just sit back and relax and enjoy the show.

Tomorrow I’m featuring another "Shooting Solution" from the wedding I featured a few weeks ago in the post entitled, "Lighting Challenge Wednesday" [link].  Give it a read before tomorrow's post. It will be a good refresher into the post tomorrow.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. We are heading out for one more day of sunshine, cool breezes, and warm oceans.  See ya' tomorrow back in Kentucky. Aloha,  -David

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Blue Hawaii"

Blue Hawaii-IMG_3129

"Blue Hawaii" 
©David A. Ziser

I made this image on the way back to the hotel on Saturday.  I love how the rich blue tones just pop out of the background of the scene. We’ve seen these Water Lilies everywhere on the island and they are really beautiful. Just point the camera at them and you’ve got a great shot. Camera specs; Canon 7D fitted with 18-200mm IS lens at 150mm, F5.6 @ 1/200 second, ISO 400.  Enjoy!  -David

Quick Hit Monday: My Latest Video Is "Live"; TeleSummit Update; DPT Flickr Group Update; More 7D Video; Data Storage In The Cloud

Good Morning Everybody,

Is it time to get up yet?  What, it's Monday, and I have to get the blog up?  But, but, but we're still in Hawaii.  Look at the beautiful sky and the wonderful beaches; feel the warm breezes and smell the sweet floral scents in the air.

Shakespeare But as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet,

"I'll have grounds
More relative than this—
the blog's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King."

OK, maybe I've misquoted Shakespeare, but as has been said many, many times before, "The blog must go on."  And go on it will, all the way from Hawaii;~)

Hawaii Wedding-IMG_3142Hey gang, I hope everyone had a great weekend - you can bet we did while visiting in Hawaii. We mostly just relaxed since arriving. We've taken in a few sites, but mostly just chillin' knowing we didn't need to be anywhere any time soon. 

On Saturday their were lots of weddings taking place here at the Hilton Hawaiian Village – I just needed to grab a shot or two.

DAZ-LD-Greg-IMG_3278On  Sunday morning we hooked up with Greg – he had been to my DWUC tour twice and also recently to my Digital Master Class – and he showed us a few very beautiful sites outside of Waikiki.  It was a nice visit.

We head back home on Tuesday afternoon getting in on Wednesday just in time to spend time with family over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  We certainly have MUCH to be thankful for.

We've got a few more days here on the island so let's get right to Quick Hit Monday.

My Latest Video Goes Live At Kelby Training

DAZ Kelby Training Pic It's true, it's true - my long anticipated fifth video has finally gone "live" over at Kelby Training.  It's entitled, "Rapid Fire Tips And Tricks".  I'll walk you through 15 lessons on how to get the most out of some difficult and not so difficult lighting situations. 

As I've said so many times before, these lessons are NOT necessarily wedding centric videos. Every lesson is about lighting. My subjects' just happen to be brides and grooms, but the lesson is still about the light.  Anyway, why not make the trip over to Kelby Training right here and check it out. Hey, with the cost only being $24.95 a month for all "you can eat" online training, Kelby Training is a steal of a deal - guaranteed!

Quick Update On 16 Hour Marketing Telesummit Marathon Update

Telesummit2A few months ago I was thrilled to be involved with Sarah Petty's super informative and successful Joy of Marketing TeleSummit [link]. She received so many emails from those who missed it that she has made the download available again. I've just discovered that it will only be available till December 13, 2009.  So, if you are interested check it out right here.

Update On DigitalProTalk's Flickr Group

Flickr DPT grab I have to admit, I've been a little lax about keeping our DPT Flickr group [link] updated. Originally I wanted it to be a place where photogs could come together and help each other out, share ideas, and post contest entries that I occasionally was running here at DPT.

Nicholas Now for the good news - my buddy and "Ace #1" assistant, Nicholas Viltrakis, has offered to take over those duties for me. So, as of today, you can rest assured that images will be moderated much more quickly.

I want to look to you guys and girls and loyal readers of DPT on just how we can really get the DPT Flickr group really rockin'. Drop a comment or two in the "Comments" section below and "let's see what we can build together."

And Speaking Of Comments, And Comment SPAM

No Spam Folks, the comment SPAM has been driving me crazy around here at DPT. I was finding the comment spam being posted to much older posts so I changed the Blogger settings to allow posts newer than 14 days to be posted without moderation. Well, the spammers have worked their way around that limitation too and recently started posting to the most recent DPT posts.

So, to keep this blog free of all comment spam, I decided to enable comment moderation for all comments. After each day's blog posts I'll make it a habit to get the comments posted from the day before. Sorry for any inconvenience this new policy may present, but it really shouldn't affect things much as I've always let just about all the comments stand anyway.

Canon 7D Video Again

7D Video Hey gang, here is a post I found over at Photography Bay linking to a post over at on the first impressions of video capabilities of the new Canon 7D - here is the link. For anyone wanting to make video part of their product offerings for their clients - me included, this is a good read.

Store Your Digital Images In A Cloud

With all the talk about "Cloud" computing these days, the option has come up as to whether "cloud" storage is really an option for the digital photographer. You know, so much data and too little time to back it all up.

I started experimenting with "cloud" storage over two years ago when Amazon introduced their Amazon S3 (Scalable Storage Service). It worked pretty cool. I was using the Jungle Disk software which was just in Beta at the time and all worked quite well.

Jungle Disk2The uploads could be quite long, but it seems that Amazon has eliminated that obstacle too - now you can send them a portable USB drive of your data and they will put it in the "cloud" for you… all perfectly safe.

Let me point you too Geoff Baehr's article at our buddies over at Geoff is a super geek guru who shoots with two of the really big digital guns - the Phase One P45 and Linhof M679cs and really had data storage issues to deal with. In his post right here he shares with you exactly how he does it.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. We are heading off to see the Pearl Harbor Memorial and maybe give Diamond Head a climb. See everybody tomorrow of another Technique Tuesday episode. See ya' then.  Aloha, -David

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Morning Commute"

Morning Commute-IMG_2949 "Morning Commute" 
©David A. Ziser

I made this image just a few hours ago as we headed down to the beach for our own morning commute.  The morning light was just beginning to show itself over Diamond Head offering a soft , simple background for this shot.  When I cropped in close topping the palm trees I really liked the very simple composition of the tree trunks against the sky.  Their reflections in the water pool in the foreground added a visually balanced aspect to the frame.  As I was composing the shot, a morning jogger entered the scene.  I made a few shots of him as he passed through the frame. A few minutes later, the traffic started to pick up a bit.  This was the shot I was looking for - the three individuals passing through this very simple “three tree” composition.  The lack of the palm frawns simplifies the shot even more so the the focus is completely on the "commuters".  I have to admit, I had the camera on "P" for "Professional" but I still love the shot. Hey, it's all about capturing the "decisive moment"  so said Henri Cartier-Bresson. Camera specs; Canon 7D fitted with 18-200mm lens at 100mm, F7.1 @ 1/250 second, ISO 640.  Enjoy!  -David

Friday: Stop The Insanity!!! Or How To Avoid The Holiday Rush

Good Morning Everybody,

We are settling quite comfortably into our Hawaiian surrounds.  Nothing much happened yesterday expert for the small tour on downtown Waikiki and a visit to the local Sam's Club - yes, I said Sam's Club.  LaDawn and I really know how to live when we go on vacation;~)

We got some great leads on some places to visit today so that's our plan - to don our best tourists attire and set out on a day's worth of island exploration.  So, since we are hitting the road in the next few minutes let's get on with today's post.  I think it's an important read for anyone who wants to stop the insanity of the holiday rush at their studio.  Here we go.

Stop The Insanity!!! Or How To Avoid The Holiday Rush

Nervous I can remember years ago sitting with several friends at our local Music Hall watching Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite.  The time-frame was about two weeks before Christmas and all I could remember is how much I hated being there that evening.

No, it wasn't the performance of the famous "Nutcracker March"  or the very pleasant "Sugar Plum Fairy".  It was the fact that I had way too much work to do back at the studio.  We had our backs up against the wall and I saw little light at the end of the tunnel in getting everything delivered by the holidays.  What in the world was I doing WAISTING MY TIME watching the dance of the sugarplum fairy?!!!

Quite the way to spend a few holiday moments with friends, right?  I made up my mind at that time, that this was never going to happen again.  The sad thing is that for many studios, full or part time, the agony of the holiday rush sucks the beauty out of enjoying the holidays for too many of us.

Back in the day - pre-digital days that is - album companies took FOREVER, or so it seemed to deliver the ordered back to the studio.  Many studios found themselves making holiday deliveries on Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day!  So many photogs completely missed the fun and excitement of the days leading up to the holidays that they could have shared with family and friends.

Make up your mind that it is never going to happen.  Here is what we did to bring sanity, no, more than that, JOY back to the holidays. It was simple, just set your deadlines for holiday delivery to a reasonable time-frame in which you know you can meet them. 

I knew I wanted to have everything delivered by a minimal one week BEFORE Christmas - yes, before Christmas.  That gave me that week to ENJOY the holidays and all the activities revolving that special time of the year. 

So, let's backtrack. It took us a week of production to organize the client's order, and prepare the images for the album.  Next, it took the lab about a week to process the order and get it back to us. Album delivery cycles usually took about 6-8 weeks to bind the prints and ship the album to us once they had received our order. 

Folks, that's 10 WEEKS of production to get the final album to the client! Add to that the fact that I wanted everything delivered by December 18 and you can see why we set our album cut off date to September 30. 

December Guess what - IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM the first year we gave it a try.  Sure we still made a point to deliver individual gift images to our clients right up to that week before Christmas, but that was never the problem.  The problem had been for for us to keep promising far more than we could reasonably deliver in those 10 weeks before Christmas.

Once the clients understood the normal production schedule, they understood and really never had any problem with our early album cut off date.  If the album was not going to be ready for delivery we at least could deliver the gift photographs to them in time for the holidays. All was right with the world.Thank goodness these timelines have been substantially reduced thanks to digital.

I've been holding to that same strategy for many years now and it still works really well.  I always have to "giggle" though when I have a new team member come on board.  This has happened twice over the last 7 years.  The new employee wants to promise the world to the customer and does. 

I want to mention that I was to be off that week before the holidays and not to count on me for any production help whatsoever.  It they were making the client commitments, they were responsible for following through on them. It only took them one season to learn the lesson I had learned so many years before.

You might be thinking that, "Wow, Ziser really offered his clients poor customer service by not delivering more orders before the holiday."  Actually, I think we offer exceptional customer service because we are keeping ALL of our delivery commitments to all of our clients. 

No one is being delivered late orders.  We never have to make an excuse for an album not arriving on time for the holiday delivery.  In a word, we never disappoint. As a matter of fact, we excel in customer service because we are delivering our orders to the client well before the client needs them.  Now they have ample time to wrap, ship, and/or deliver them to their family members too. And, guess what, now we too get to enjoy the best part of the holidays with our family and our friends.

Just make up you mind to do it and you can do it too - so to each of you reading this today - an early holiday wish. Happy Holidays to each of you and may your days be filled with peace and joy this season.

Hey gang, on that holiday note, I'm out of here.  We're off for a little island fun on this beautiful day.  I'll see everybody next week on the flip side.  And just remember, Hawaiian pixels need a little sunscreen too;~)  See ya' Monday.  Aloha, David

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"The Tourist"


"The Tourist"
©David A. Ziser

This is not a typical image I post on my DPT site, but the image still struck me as a special Hawaiian moment.  We were cruising the beach yesterday morning just checking out our surrounds after our grueling flight in the night before.  It was great to feel and breath in the fresh sea air and feel the warm sunshine.  I, as always had camera in tow.  We were heading back to the hotel to prepare for last night's program and I pointed my camera towards Diamond Head.  I had a outrigger in the foreground , the palm tree silhouetted in the sun and Diamond Head in clear view.  I lifted the camera to my eye to take the photograph just when this gentleman walked into the shot, stopped, and proceeded to shoot some video of whatever he had just found interesting.  I waited, and waited some more.  He just stood there almost frozen just shooting his video. After a moment, I realized I was MISSING the shot myself. His placement in the composition was perfect for my shot.  I was able to fire only two shots before he finally moved on.  I wish I had realized earlier that there was a great story telling image right before my eyes.  Anyway, after reviewing the images yesterday, I thought this one image really told the Hawaiian tourist story, hence the title.  Camera specs; Canon 7D fitted with 18-200mm lens at 19mm, F 22 @ 1/1250 second, ISO 500.  Enjoy!  -David

Business Day Thursday; Maybe It's Time To Choose Your Customers Instead of Them Choosing You

Good Morning Everybody,

Can you believe it - we wrapped my Digital WakeUp Call tour  last night in Honolulu, Hawaii. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended.  I did a quick poll and was surprised and honored by the number of people that flew in from the surrounding islands - about 40% of all those attending WOW!  Thank you so much for everyone making the effort to be there.

Next week I’ll do a quick wrap up of the entire tour just to give you a peek at all our high points we had along he way.  You're asking, "What about the low points?" The fact of the matter is that we had very few low points most of them are long forgotten.  The cities visited, our beautiful drives, and especially the people we met along the way certainly enhance our memories of our tour.  We can't wait to go over all the photographs we took over those many months and relive our adventures again.  Thanks one more time to all of you who attended who will help to make those memories - lasting memories.

So, I know what you’re thinking, “When’s the video coming out? You never know, I’ll keep you posted;~)

Hey gang, I thought I was going to go easy on today's Business Day Thursday's post - I promised LaDawn and little less time on the blog and a little more time enjoying the island this week.  Don't worry, that is definitely our game plan, so let me get right to today's post.  Here we go.

Maybe it's Time To Chose Your Customers Instead of Them Choosing You

Shopping! Sounds like strange advice doesn't it?  But you know, in this day and age, it something we should all consider.  So many people  are looking for the cheapest deal available.  Too many photographers are out there accommodating too many of those clients.

Where does all this lead?  I remember clearly the words of advice I was offered when I attended my first meeting of our local Tri-State Professional Photographers Association back in 1979.  I was definitely the new kid on the block and was looking for any kind of business advice I could get.

I walked into that meeting with my legs wobbling with nervousness as I walked in to meet all the "Big Gun" Cincinnati photographers.  Fortunately for me, one of the first photographers I bumped into was Craig Elbe, a big boisterous, dare I say opinionated, character of a guy who gave me the best piece of advice for my budding business.

Craig sees me come into the meeting and as I pass him, he calls out to me saying, "Hey buddy, you're new here aren't you?  What kind of photographer are you?  Don't tell me you're another wedding photographer, we got too many of them in his town already." 

Well, those remarks were NOT setting me at ease at all at my first professional photographers meeting.  He then went on to give me the best advice I have ever received when it comes to business building - and, it is still as fresh in my mind now as it was when Craig said it to me.

He comes close to me and starts poking his finger into my chest saying, "Let me tell you this, kid.  If you do a cheap wedding, they'll recommend their cheap friends. Shoot expensive weddings and they'll recommend their rich friends."  You know I took that advice to heart and started to do just that.

In fact in my DWUC tour, my second business lesson to all the attendees is to get to know the people doing business with the people YOU want to business with and work on creating authentic relationships with them.  Uhmmm... authentic business relationships - sounds like the subject of another blog post down the road.  Anyway, I took Craig's advice years ago and it has served me well.

Craig Elbe has long since passed away, but when he was alive, I counted him as one of my friends in the Cincinnati photographic community.  Consider Craig's advice as you grow your own business too.

Along those same lines, I found this related article over at Seth Godin's site entitled, "Choose Your Customers, Choose Your Future." [link] He basically says the same thing. Here is a quick excerpt from his very brief post:

"Sell to angry cheapskates and your business will reflect that. On the other hand, when you find great customers, they will eagerly co-create with you. They will engage and invent and spread the word."  Sounds to me like he's paraphrased Craig Elbe's words 30 years later.

Give it some thought - you business may just take a turn to a brand new, unexpected, brighter future.

Hey gang, that's it for me today,  we are heading out and planning to soak up some of this great Hawaiian sunshine.  I'll plan to see everyone tomorrow.  Have a good one. Aloha,  David

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"The Wild Blue Yonder"

0001-Saga Pics-IMG_2810

"The Wild Blue Yonder" 
©David A. Ziser

I am such a "sucker" for these 30,000 feet vistas. That was the case here as we made our way from Las Vegas to Las Angeles yesterday in what turned out to be one of the longest travel days of our lives. I love using a long focal length to catch the mist and fog in the distance of the hills.  I love too the varying tonalities the hills and mountains take on as they recede into the distance.  This is pretty much how the image presented itself to me yesterday.  I tweaked the colors and contrasts just a bit in LR3 Beta.  Boy, do I hate LR3 Beta's new import functionality. The subtleties of color, tone, and contrasts in this monochromatic image imply a simple feeling of peace and tranquility - at least to me.  I love how the image turned out.  Camera specs; Canon 7D fitted with 18-200mm IS lens at 180mm, F14 @1/1600 second, ISO 400. Enjoy!  -David

Wednesday: The Saga Of The 60th City

Good Morning Everybody,

Although it is probably well into the afternoon for many of you reading my post today.  We are now in Honolulu where we have a 5 hour time change from my normal EST locale.  No problem, the post must go on.

In today's post, I'm transgressing from the normally photographically centric content in order to give you a peek behind the scenes of the "trials and tribulations" of putting on a national tour. 

Yep, I've said it before, this is city #60 of my DWUC tour.  Tonight will be the last time I present "Digital WakeUp Call - A New Dawn." The program has been a kick to present and we've loved our audiences and the special people we have met along the way. But getting to city #60 has been quite the adventure.

We were up bright and early yesterday morning, actually at the "crack of dawn" about 6:00 a.m. so we could repack our bags for the long trip to Honolulu.  We left Cincinnati with over 500 lbs of tour supplies including the DWUC tour handbooks, vendor materials, tour DVD's etc.  Fortunately we are Delta Medallion travelers and are permitted to take most of it with us with an extra charge.  I'll tell you, getting to the airport and checking in 8 bags weighing in at 500 lbs. is no picnic.

0001-Saga Pics-IMG_2810 After the Las Vegas program we reduced what we had carried but picked up 14 more boxes of vendor supplies at our venue on Monday.  Now we were essentially repacking with all the necessary materials for the Honolulu program.  We had to watch our travel weight once again.

Although the flight didn't leave till 11:00 a. m. we arrived about 8:30 a.m., checked in easily, and just strolled through the Las Vegas airport till we boarded our flight, lifted off to Las Angeles arriving 1 hour later safe and sound.

Now we had a 3 hour wait till we  boarded the flight to Hawaii. We were on board and on our way by 2:45 p.m.  Lift off was kind of shaky,  I was thinking, man, give it the "juice" we're going to run out of runway - seconds later, we were airborne.  The sun was shining brightly over the soft waves of the ocean and LaDawn and I were in the process of settling in for a relaxing 6 hour flight to Honolulu. 

0002-Saga Pics-IMG_2819 It was about 20 minutes after lift-off that the pilot made the first announcement about a possible maintenance problem but it didn't look serious and we, the passengers, shouldn't worry.  Sure, 6 hours over nothing but water and we shouldn't worry ;~)

Minutes later, it was escalated to a real maintenance issue, and 10 minutes after that we were headed back to the airport. After being in a holding pattern for some time, our plane was back on it's glide path to LAX.

0003-Saga Pics-IMG_2821 Next came the pilot's next announcement instructing us not to worry.  It went something like this.  "Folks, don't worry when we touch down and you see all the fire trucks lined up on the runway. It's normal procedure and happens all the time." 

I'm thinking what happens all the time - fire trucks lining up on the tarmac when a plane returns to the airport - how often does it happen?!!!

0004-Saga Pics-IMG_2823 As we landed the fire trucks were lined up on the runway as we touched down.  We made our way back to the gate, parked the plane, and maintenance types rushed onto the the plane.  How long would the delay be - none of us were sure.

We were ushered off the plane and back into the passenger lounge - it is now 3:45 p.m. As LaDawn said, "Wow, for getting up at 6:00 a.m. we sure haven't traveled far in the last 9 hours."

0006-Saga Pics-IMG_2829 I roamed around the passenger lounge and chatted up whom ever I can find to see if I could get the rest of the story.  Well, it seems that the fan that keeps the plane's electrical circuitry cool during flight had malfunctioned and stopped working.  Uhmm, probably a big problem for a six hour flight, mostly over water, that just started. At this point, I'm kind of glad we turned around and headed back.

But here is the rest of the story.  It turns out that this fan was replaced just before take off - and now it was broke again!  The FAA chap I spoke with mentioned that they got the spare fan from United.  "Was it new? I asked.  His answer kind of surprised me - "No sir, not new, but serviceable."  Oh good, I thought used parts were used to fix the plane the first time around. Hey, what do I know, I guess that's how they do things.

Now here's the deal.  When a part goes out like this, they send out an "all points" bulletin to all the other airlines' maintenance departments to see if anyone has the part.  This is the second time today, this plane needs the part.  I'm thinking, "Am I lucky if they find the part? Maybe another used one, install it, and we take off again only with the second part possibly going out 3 hours later at 30,000 feet."  Hey, what are you going to do - it's air travel.

I contacted our hotel in Honolulu to notify them of our very late arrival.  I did the same with the car rental company, too.  They closed their offices at midnight so that looked like that part of our itinerary might be in jeopardy.  The National car rental agent assured me that there would be no problem - I was relieved.  Remember, we still had around 400 lbs. of tour supplies to get off the plane and over to the hotel.

0005-Saga Pics-IMG_2827 The pilot comes out about a hour later and says they "think" they have a replacement part - he will get back with us......shortly.  Fortunately about 30 minutes after that he re-appears, mentions that they do indeed have the fan part and it is being installed as he spoke.

The cheer went up in the passenger lounge and about an hour later we were being re-boarded.

By 7:45 p.m. we were finally airborne again - whew!!!  In my mind there was still the small issue of getting to the rental car office before they closed.  I decided to sit back, relax, and enjoy an adult beverage.

0007-Saga Pics-IMG_2834 Well, you guessed it - the famous fan made it, the plane made, and all of us made it safe and sound to Honolulu landing at 11:30 p.m.  Now the rush to National Car Rental.  I made it with 15 minutes to spare and proceeded to rent my car. 

It's 20 hours since we woke up to leave for the trip to Hawaii - could there be another surprise while simply renting a car?  Turns out there was.  The National agent I spoke with on the phone 7 hours earlier thought I wouldn't make it in time to rent the car and re-booked the reservation for pick up on the next day. 

Well, the next day, was 15 minutes away, but I was renting the car now - I had managed to make it to their counter before closing time.  Things were good or so I supposed. It turns out National wanted to charge me an extra day's rental for the  15 minute early pick up!!! WHAT!

After a very patient conversation with the manager of the National office, they credited the extra day's charge - I was finally on my way back to pick up LaDawn with all the bags. We were on our way to the hotel - well almost. The GPS malfunctioned at the outset and we went 28 miles out of our way in getting to the hotel.

No problem, we arrived about 1:15 a.m. at the Hilton Grand Waikikian Hotel relieved we had finally made it.  Jorel, yes just like the name of Superman's father, checked us in.  He was about the nicest, most competent hotel person I have ever met - talk about customer service.  It turns out we got a nice room upgrade to the 35 floor looking out over the city and the ocean - nice.

0008-Saga Pics-IMG_2836 The beautiful morning presented itself to us when we awoke 5 hours later and once we had a chance to take it all in, the room and the views were gorgeous - talk about "clean livin'".

We rose to an easy morning, checked out our meeting room it's perfect for tonight's program.  I have to say, I'm stoked about presenting the final program later on this evening and meeting the nearly 100 photogs planning to attend. So ends the “Saga of the 60th City.”

0009-Saga Pics-IMG_2839 Now on to the flip side of this trip - it was quite the adventure to get here and now that we are LaDawn and I begin a week long vacation in Hawaii starting tomorrow - we can't wait.  Look for the posts to come out a bit leisurely for the next week.  I'll be thinking of all of you out there reading DPT, but we are are going to be taking in the beautiful island too.

See everybody sometime tomorrow ;~)  Aloha, -David

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"The Colors Of Beauty"

0002-The Color Of Beauty-0889-DZ_San Diego Z09-Edit "The Colors Of Beauty"
©David A. Ziser

I coerced LaDawn to be my model on this shot I made in conjunction with today’s tutorial. We did the shoot during our trip to San Diego in mid August of this year. The Hilton Bay Front hotel offered some great locations and backgrounds for some striking imagery.  The wall decor in this shot was one such location.  In this shot I really wanted to play off of the colors of the painting.  Although I shot it from many different angles this one was my favorite. I love how the colors just wash across the frame leading the viewer right to the subject.  Notice too how the light tonalities in the wall decor and the light backlit wall panels balance the scene with the subject at the pivot point of that visual balance. Camera specs; Canon 5D Mark II fitted with 24-105mm IS lens at 35mm, F5.6 @ 1/200 second, ISO 1600 (necessary for shooting the video segment of TTues episode.)  Enjoy!  -David

Monday, November 16, 2009

Technique Tuesday: The Colors Of Beauty

Good Morning Everybody,

We had a good turnout in Las Vegas last night and are on our way to Hawaii in just a few minutes.  I still can’t believe it – only one city to go.

Yesterday I got a chance to prepare today’s Technique Tuesday episode which will help us in our run to the airport this morning.

LaDawn and I had completed three TTues episodes when we were in San Diego in August of this year.  All three focused on one of my favorite subjects – composition.

This third episode was made in a very noisy section of the Hilton Bayfront Hotel with guests walking through the shots, music playing in the  background, and lots of stray noises coming from everywhere.  Still, I think you will like the lesson.  Just keep your ears turned up to "high” and you should be able to catch it all ;~)  So, that said, let’s get on with today’s Technique Tuesday.

The Colors Of Beauty

The third episode never made it on-line until today.  In today’s episode I’ll show you how to use color and composition to take a very striking series of images of your subject.  I’ve even featured one of those images in my “image of the day” above.

If you missed the previous episodes, here are the links below:

Design Lines – Part 1 [link]

Design Lines – Part 2 [link]

The secret to great photographs, I was once told, was to “explore the location.”  That’s exactly what I’ll do in this tutorial.  Take note how much the simple changes in composition impact the perception and enjoyment of the final image.

The colors of this striking wall decor certainly add the excitement of these images too.  Yes, I did give the colors a slight tweak in Lightroom and Photoshop in order to get the finished image I wanted.  Anyway, hit the PLAY button below and enjoy the show.

Hey gang, that’s it for today.  We’ve got to be heading to the airport shortly.  It’s a long flight to Hawaii with us landing about 6:30 p.m. – very late our time. 

I promise, we’ll be plenty rested for Wednesday 60th presentation on my DWUC tour.  Hey, you still have time to register.  See ya’ tomorrow. I may even present the program in shorts and my Hawaiian shirt;~)

Aloha, -David

"Midnight Serenade"

Midnight Serenade2

"Midnight Serenade" 
©David A. Ziser

This image was made a few weeks ago during my Digital Master Class. Actually, it was one of the last images of the day.  Drees Pavilion is a big favorite for wedding receptions  in the Cincinnati area. The site has a beautiful view over the city and offers a wonderful setting for the perfect wrap up wedding shot. This is  always a favorite for my clients. Dragging the shutter (slowing down the shutter) to capture the ambiance of the location together with the back lighting makes for a great shot with which to wrap the wedding album. Camera specs; Canon 7D fitted with 24-105mm IS lens at 24mm, F5.6 @ 1/15 second, ISO 1600.  Enjoy!  -David

p.s. Next year’s Master Class is announced for April 26-30, 2010. Here is the link to all the info right here.

Quick Hit Monday: Great Marketing Blog; Film Photography For Weddings; Green Screen Fun; Mardi Gras 2010; and A Giggle For The Road

Good Morning Everybody,

Las Vegas This morning I,m coming to you from beautiful downtown Las Vegas. We spent the weekend getting things repacked for the last two cities of my DWUC tour, jumped on the plane early Sunday evening, arriving in Las Vegas three and a half hours later.  Yep, it was a long day, but I have to tell you, knowing that we are leaving for Honolulu tomorrow doesn't make it seem that bad ;~)

We've got a great crowd for this evening program with over 100 photogs planning to stop by. I'm looking forward to seeing everybody there this evening.  Hope you can make it too.

You know, when I'm traveling the way we've been for the last several months, email kind of gets put on the back burner till I can up for air over the weekend.  Don't get me wrong - all the urgent pieces get taken care of but the other items I save for a leisurely viewing later.

This time around I came across a few gems I thought I would pass on to you today.  Here we go.

MEI - Solid Marketing Advice For Your Business

MEI-SC Skip Cohen and I have been friends going back to the days when he was president of Hasselblad, Inc. He was also the CEO of WPPI for many years turning an already successful organization into a real powerhouse of training and knowledge. About 6 months ago, Ship struck out on his own and started Marketing Essentials International, better know as MEI.

He hosted "Skip's Summer School” in the middle of the summer and it was a big success.  He has already announced the speakers for next year.  Here is the link.  You just may want to mark your calendars now – I’m sure it will be another hit.

Anyway the reason for the notice today is this. At the same time Skip announced MEI, he kicked off his blog and has been posting nearly daily since his first post.  Skip is one of the sharpest guys I know.  That's why I wanted to point you towards his MEI blog right here.  The content has grown substantially over these last several months with several guest bloggers on board too and has become a rich resource for all photogs.

More Great Wedding Photography - And It's All Shot On FILM!!!

On November 6 I posted a story featuring 5 wonderfully talented wedding photographers.  Here is the link again. Tanja Lippert, one of the photographers I featured, posted a nice "thank you" in the comments section of that post. 

Keep Film Alive More importantly, it turns out, all of Tanya's shooting is done with film - who would of guessed in this day and age. Anyway, she asked me to check out her other site - [link].  OK, I was hooked - I headed over to see what was cookin' and was presented by a number of terrific images all shot by film photographers. The trip is definitely worth it so please check it out - I think you'll love the images, film and all.

Mardi Gras 2010 Romaguera Style

MArdi Gras 2010aA few weeks ago I posted a note about my buddy, Ralph Romaguera, wanting to get a group of photographers to join us in New Orleans, February 5-7, 2010. Mardi Gras Romaguera style is three days of intense fun and excitement. I known Ralph for many, many years so I guarantee he will make it a wonderful experience. Here is the link to all the Mardi Gras info.

Ralph has invited me to be part of the festivities for the last three years, that included riding the floats and throwing the beads. Convention commitments have kept be from attending, but not this time. This time I'm all in. So, if you would like to jump in on this Mardi Gras experience joining Ralph and I and lots of other celebration minded photogs, drop Ralph a note so he can reserve you a place.  You can contact Ralph right here.  Hope to see you there.

I Can't Believe It - Westcott Has Gone Green - Green Screen, That Is

Westcott Green Screen The folks at Westcott have been my buddies for years and were one of my Platinum sponsors for the DWUC tour, too.  Anyway, I was checking my mail over the weekend when  I discovered this notice about their new Green Screen product.  A green screen is a green background used in the television industry that allows the producer to show the announcer in front of just about anything - all very cool.

Well Westcott, just announced a price drop in their Green Screen product [link] - from $99 down to $69. What a deal1 the $69 cost includes the screen and the easy to use software.

Check out this very cute video presented by my friend Kelly as she shows you just how easy and fun their Green Screen product is to use.  Heck, with Christmas right around the corner, this might be the perfect "fun" gift for yourself. Here is the link to the video.

And Now, A Little "Giggle" For The Road

Sure we all shoot wedding party groups at every wedding every weekend.  This PG rated video [link] shows some of the groups we may be missing and may want to include in our next wedding shoot.

Hey gang, that's it for me today.  We are off to check boxes and begin set up for the program this evening. We fly Tuesday to Hawaii and have the last DWUC program there on Wednesday evening. Just a quick "heads up" on blogging times for the next 9 days. Since we will be in Hawaii over that time period which includes a 5 hour time change, look for the posting to be up much later in the day if you are an east coast reader. Heck, with LaDawn and I chillin' in Hawaii for the week, I'll be lucky to get it up at all ;~)

Hope to see lots of you this evening at the program - see ya' tonight.  -David