Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday: The Week In Review

Good Morning Everybody,

0001-DAZ MC Spr10-John_WGS1716 Today is out last day of my Digital Master Class. We had a great week and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.  As a matter of fact, that's Jesica from B&H jumping for joy because she was having so much fun;~)

It was a fun week and we all put in some long hours.  Robert, one of our attendees, was telling us on Wednesday about how he was so engrossed in working on his Tuesday images, that time sort of slipped by that evening.  He knew it was getting late so he thought he should be "hitting the sack."  Just as he was about to turn in he heard showers being turned on in the adjacent rooms. Whoops! He had worked through the entire night on images he had taken the day before.  That's what I call student dedication.  Everyone had a good giggle.

Today I thought I'd share with you a few of the students' images so you get an idea what goes on during the week.  Here we go.

I love this first image that Robert took during our Tuesday shoot.  I love the blowing of the hair and veil.  The bride’s simple expression, the background, and soft lighting all make for a great shot.0002-DAZ MC Spr10-Robert Ash - Rebecca on wall Craig, one of my coaches, found this great urban setting while we were shooting in downtown Cincinnati. The class loved the location and got some great shots. Don captured this fun shot near the same location.

0003-DAZ MC Spr10-Ziser.Day2.Don.Race-2

The next day we headed to Ault Park for an entire day of shooting.  With lots of time and my four coaches working with each person individually, we tried to give everyone an opportunity to capture and create some nice images.  One of my favorites is this one by Jost.

I love how he found the slight opening in the foliage, positioned Leonora right in that spot and shot away.  He has her carefully positioned at nodal point #2 which gives a nice visual balance to the scene.

I really love this next shot. Because we were in the park on a very bright sunny day, you just like on a wedding day you have to make the best of the situation.  One of the best solutions is to make the sun your friend.

0005-DAZ MC Spr10-Jeff_POR3658That’s exactly what Jeff did in this image.  He used the sun as the main light getting this great result.  Look how rich and blue the sky looks because of his sunny day exposure.  Another thing I love about this shot is how he used lines to finesse his composition. The bride leaning to the right is complimented with the groom leaning in the opposite direction.  The strong clouds lines add the final touch to a great shot.

Stephan captured this great shot of Leonora. I’m not quite sure how Stephan lit the image – either with off-camera flash or with our Westcott reflectors, but is a beautiful image.  I love the sun supplying the accent light, and how he threw the background out of focus with his long lens and wide aperture too.  Having a gorgeous subject didn’t hurt either ;~)

0004-DAZ MC Spr10-Stephen_4 After we left Ault Park, we headed up to Drees Pavilion.  This is one of the most popular places in the city for photographs.  The view down the Ohio River Valley is spectacular. 

Bryant made this great image with my Z-Ray technique [link]. A tungsten high intensity flashlight illuminates our subject with the camera color balance set to 3200 Kelvin.  The non-tungsten part of the scene goes blue because of the color balance setting on the camera resulting in a very dramatic night time bridal portrait.

0007-DAZ MC Spr10-Bryant - 2BA23619

You know, I say early in the week, that the lighting techniques I teach during my class are not “rocket science”. The type of light source does not make much difference.  It’s always about the direction of light – how it hits the subject and how it creates that dimensional look to the scene that makes all the difference.

I loved what Stephanie said yesterday afternoon. She said, “I was really frustrated, I just wasn’t getting it. But I kept at it and finally later in the day, it finally all came together for me and THAT is exciting.”

And when it does come together, it really is exciting.  This week provided a couple of nice surprises for me, too.  I picked up on a brand new lighting technique I have hardly ever used. I’ll tell you about in next week so stay tuned.  I always said, “One of best ways to learn is to teach.” The energy of the entire class, from students and teacher alike, results in a great learning experience for all.

Our next Digital Master Class will be held in October.  We haven’t nailed down the exact date yet, but it’s looking like that 3rd or 4th week in October. I’ll let you know as soon as we have it on the books.  If you are interested, give Jennifer a call at 800.292.2994 to reserve your seat. I hope to see you in the fall.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  Class starts in just a few minutes.  Today we wrap at noon but not before we give away about $1000 worth of door prizes – yep, $1000 worth.  I told you we have a great time during my Master class.

Adios Everybody,  -David


  1. Beautiful shots, attendees! I'm happy for you that you had a great week and the weather shaped-up! Brian F.

  2. Wow! What a variety of locations and images the attendees captured. It must be so exciting to know that you are changing the lives of these new "amateur" photographers into outstanding portrait photographers. The work looks beautiful. I can't wait to sign-up for a future class. Thanks for all you do in helping to raise the level of professional photography.